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Buffalo Bill’s Name Still Dominant

October 15th, 2013 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!


Let’s face it, it’s near impossible to go anywhere around here without catching on that Buffalo Bill Cody is still a dominant force. While our friendly little town was named after the man when it was founded in 1895 and incorporated in 1901, there was a whole mess of things named after Buffalo Bill after he died. Some are nearby and others are located throughout the West where he lived and died.

Here is a quick rundown.


The Buffalo Bill Center of the West (BBCW) in Cody is actually five museums with the Whitney Gallery of Western Art, Firearms Museum, Plains Indian Museum, Draper Museum of Natural History and, of course, the Buffalo Bill Museum.

There is also a Buffalo Bill Museum in LeClaire, Ill. focused on life along the Mississippi River and local history and one in Golden, Colo. next to Cody’s official grave.

Fort Cody Trading Post in North Platte, Neb., is the home of a miniature Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. The show took 12 years to carve and contains more than 20,000 hand carved pieces – many animated.


There is the Buffalo Bill State Read More

Fall Activities in Buffalo Bill’s...

October 9th, 2013 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!


While the government shutdown has closed Yellowstone National Park, Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country and the area east of the park still offer plenty of great fall activities.

Here are some reasons to visit the region:

 ·   Wildlife viewing is near its peak in the Wapiti Valley between Cody and the east gate of Yellowstone. Bears are preparing for winter, and bull elk are emitting a distinctive bugling sound to get the attention of potential mates. There are also good opportunities to see pronghorn, bighorn sheep, deer, moose and eagles.

 ·   The region offers some of the world’s finest trout streams, and Cody has more than its share of expert fishing guides. Multiple fly fishing shops offer maps and advice.

 ·   Restaurants are open, extending a wide range of ethnic foods as well as traditional fare. Two breweries have opened offering local beers, pub foods and full menus.

 ·   The town’s retail shops and art galleries Read More

Yellowstone National Park Closure

October 2nd, 2013 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!


Since the fortunes of our town of Cody and Yellowstone National Park pretty much go hand in hand, the government shutdown affects us profoundly. So many people stop in Cody on their way to or from the park that our hotels, restaurants and attractions depend upon that traffic.

Now that the park – and 400 other NPS units – is closing, we are looking at ways we can help travelers who are already in the region as well as those who have questions about future travel.

First of all, roads inside the park are closed. The Buffalo Bill Scenic Byway between town and the east gate is open through the Wapiti Valley. You can make your way to Pahaska Teepee, the various guest ranches and other stops without any problem.

The same thing applies to the Chief Joseph Scenic Byway and the road leading to the Silver Gate in the northeast corner of the park. You can drive to Cooke City and Silver Gate, Montana, but you cannot continue into the park.

If you are traveling to the park right now and were planning on camping or staying in one of the park lodges, you should make alternative Read More

Bison…Part 2

September 24th, 2013 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!


Last week I told you about how the American bison herd was decimated in the 1800s and brought to the edge of extinction. I love researching this and sharing it with you. We went from some 30 million bison down to a small number right down the highway in Yellowstone National Park.

In the early 1900s many people – especially hunters and other sportsmen – were alarmed at the rate that various species were being hunted to extinction. Many of the animals were not hunted for their meat or hides. Instead, they were killed purely for sport with stories of eastern dudes shooting rifles from train platforms and leaving the carcasses behind to rot.

Because so many American Indian tribes relied on the bison, killing large numbers was also viewed as a way to get the tribes under control and forced onto the reservations.

In 1907 – 10 years before the National Park Service even existed – some 28 head of bison in the park were relocated from the Mammoth Hot Springs area of the park to the Lamar Valley. A ranch was created, and semi-domesticated bison from other parts of the country were brought in Read More

Bison…Part 1

September 17th, 2013 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!


Around here the legacy of our town’s founder, William F. Cody, known as “Buffalo Bill”, is easily found.

Interested in history, art, firearms, the surrounding regions or our native peoples? Spend a day or three at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.

Want to go camping or boating? Head west to Buffalo Bill State Park.

On your way, stop and check out the Buffalo Bill Dam.

Technically, William F. Cody could have easily been nicknamed “Bison Bill Cody.”


The term “buffalo” as it applies to our North American species is actually a misnomer. Early settlers here called them buffalo because they reminded them of the African buffalo. The species are not related, and the proper term for our species is “bison.”  The Latin term is actually Bison bison. I guess the biologist who came up with that name liked it a lot.

Bill Cody was hired to hunt and kill bison to help feed railroad workers, and he received his nickname because he was good at it.

The bison was a huge part of the culture and life of the plains Indians in this country with the animal providing food, clothing, housing and Read More

Buffalo Bill Art Show

September 11th, 2013 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!


It doesn’t really surprise me that we have more than our fair share of artists here in Cody. After all, true talent can live most anywhere, and who wouldn’t want to live here? There are certainly plenty of awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping, double-take scenes around here that artists, sculptors and photographers never have to go far to find something to paint, sculpt or shoot.

And then there are the folks who have expressed themselves in the areas of leather working or furniture building. I have seen saddles that I am afraid to sit on and armoires in which I would be reluctant to actually use for storing clothes. They are just that spectacular.

If you want to see what I mean stroll around town just about any time or just come to the Buffalo Bill Art Show & Sale.

This fine art sale focuses on “works relating to the land, people and wildlife of the American West.” The show will be held at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, and everybody is welcome to stop by and see the work.

The fun part for me is the Friday night auction where we get to view the art before it Read More

Prince Albert To Visit

September 3rd, 2013 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!


My fondness for cowboy musicians is no secret around town. Some people call it my weakness, and I will admit that is a good word to describe my feelings. Others have called it an obsession, but I would not go that far. That word describes people who collect CDs and posters and display them in their homes in secret rooms. That’s not me.

These days I have my eye on someone else – Prince Albert II of Monaco.

Now why in the world would a gal from little Cody, Wyoming set her sights on royalty from the most glamorous nation on the Mediterranean Sea? Do we really expect that the prince knows anything about Cody or that he ever even heard of our town?

As a matter of fact, he is coming to town and following in the footsteps of his great grandfather, Prince Albert I.

The first Prince Albert came to Cody in September, 1913 to go hunting at the invitation of Buffalo Bill. (That guy really did have cool friends.)

The hunting party camped in the area near Buffalo Bill’s hunting lodge, Pahaska Teepee at the east entrance to Yellowstone National Park beyond the western end Read More

Fall In Yellowstone Country

August 27th, 2013 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!


There are several ways to tell that summer is winding down here in Cody. The main thing is the rhythm. The vehicles pulling into, out of and through town are less dense with not as many rental RVs going past.

There are fewer families as kids are heading back to school. Up the Wapiti Valley those of us lucky enough to spot bears – from a safe distance, of course – see that they are getting a little chunky as they eat as much as possible in preparation for winter hibernation.

The bull elk start bugling and sparring as they try to impress the females for rutting season. That would not do much for me as I prefer cowboy love ballads over violent displays.

The air starts to turn a little cooler.  As I pull jeans and sweaters out of the closet, I start thinking about my favorite fall things to do.

Here are just a few:

One of our most prestigious events of the year, Rendezvous Royale is staged the third week of September. The event includes the nationally known Buffalo Bill Art Show & Sale with Western-themed art, a quick-draw event, auction, Western Read More

Fires Are Natural

August 20th, 2013 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!


It’s August, and that means there are fires in the West.

Pardon me if that sounds somewhat nonchalant, but we have learned so much about fire ecology, especially with the 1988 Yellowstone fires being discussed. It’s hard to believe it has been 25 years since 793,000 acres burned inside the park. I won’t say what I was doing then, but I was barely out of diapers.

Now that I have graduated to big girl pants, I know that fire is a natural part of a larger cycle and is actually necessary for a healthy forest to exist.

Let’s back up a few decades. For many years, the idea was that all fires were to be prevented or extinguished as quickly as possible. Remember Smokey Bear who used to say “Only YOU can prevent forest fires?”

The result was that tremendous resources went into putting out the fires as quickly and efficiently as possible. The unintended consequence of this policy was that the forests were getting older and the amount of fuel was increasing.

When that long, hot summer of 1988 arrived there was plenty of fuel in and around the park. The fires that started were the result Read More

Ashlee Lundvall

August 13th, 2013 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!


                                                                                                                                                                                Photo by Layna Hendrich, Photographylayn

For such a small town, Cody sure has more than its share of accomplished people. Sure, Buffalo Bill was considered the best-known person in the world at one time, but there have been others who have gone on to achieve great things.

One of my neighbors is former United States Senator Alan Simpson whom I have looked up to my whole life – he’s very tall! Senator Simpson (many people still call him “Al,” but I cannot imagine calling him anything but “Senator” or “Mr. Simpson”) is one of those people you run into on the sidewalk and he is genuinely interested in your life. He is unfailingly polite and encouraging.

Those words describe a lot of people around here. We teach our kids to say “please” and “thank you” and how to use their knives and forks properly. And we always tell them they can do whatever they set out to.

When I heard the news recently that our own Ashlee Lundvall had won a national pageant I stopped in my tracks and let out a silent scream of pride and congratulations.

You see, Ashlee was paralyzed in 1999 when she was Read More