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Winter in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone...

October 23rd, 2011 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Winter in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country is a magical time – frost on the trees, snow on the mountain, warm fireplaces and hot cocoa… I’m getting anxious for the change in seasons, can you tell?  As I’m writing this, the clouds have rolled in and the weatherman is calling for snow tonight! 

Many people that I talk to in the summer ask what the town does in the winter – do the sidewalks roll up?  Do the shops close down?  How do we get around, with all the snow?Well, let me answer the last question first – a lot of folks don’t realize that here in Cody, Powell and Meeteetse, we actually don’t get a lot of snow that sticks around – the mountains to the west catch most of the moisture, and we’re left with very little that the wind doesn’t kick up and blow away!  But that snow in the mountains makes for amazing recreation opportunities…

Like skiing!  Sleeping Giant Ski Area re-opened a few years ago as a community ski hill, run by a local foundation whose goal is to get as many families and kids up there as possible!  Check out their magic carpet for the lesser-skilled skiers Read More

Horses – How the West is FUN!

October 16th, 2011 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

I love horses!  They’re beautiful, majestic, amazing animals whose relationship with human beings spans centuries.  And when it comes to the “western experience”, horses just come with the territory!  Think about it -  in every western movie, western-themed logo or promotion, horses feature prominently.  As it should be!  After all, how would the first tourists have travelled to Yellowstone National Park, if not by horse-drawn stagecoaches?   Think of the influence the presence of our equine friends have held on our western heritage here in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country – and how much of a presence they still are for those who come to visit!

Obviously, Cody IS Rodeo, and there would be NO rodeo without horses!  They feature in every aspect of the evening’s entertainment – barrel racing, team roping, saddle bronc riding, you name it, horses are the main attraction.  Even in bull riding, the cowboys are watched over and rescued by the faithful outriders on their trusty steeds.  And the Cody Nite Rodeo runs from June 1 through the end of August, so there’s no reason at all to miss the action when you come to visit next summer!

If you’re looking to immerse yourself in the western experience, most of Read More

East vs. West

October 7th, 2011 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

I went home to the Midwest this last weekend, and was struck by how close together the towns are back there compared to out here in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country!

When I talk to visitors, one of the common topics of conversation is “Gee, how do you handle the isolation?”  Folks are so struck by the distances between communities out here.  I have to admit, when we first moved out west, it was a little hard to get used to – where I’m from, there’s about 3 miles between little towns… out here, there’s at least 15-25 miles between towns!

The fun part about that is that there is such diversity between towns here, where back east it seems one town kind of runs into another.  For example, Cody really feels like a western town – Old Trail Town, the Irma Hotel, the nightly gunfights in summer, the western-themed downtown shopping… they all contribute to the wild west feel that Buffalo Bill Cody set the scene for when he envisioned this jumping-off point to Yellowstone National Park.  In contrast, Powell is very much an agriculture-based community, and also is home to the only community college in northwest Wyoming.  Meeteetse, to the south, Read More


September 28th, 2011 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

How long has it been since you’ve checked out the fall colors here in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country?  According to my friend at Yellowstone’s East Gate, Ranger Robin, the leaves are turning and the colors are stunning! 

If you missed my last blog on Robin, she’s been a ranger at the East Gate for the last three years, and enjoys every day that she gets to welcome folks to the country’s first National Park.  She lives in a mountain cabin halfway between Cody and Yellowstone, so she gets to see wildlife almost every day!  And the visitors love to see all the animals before they even get in the Park – just this week Robin heard two different reports of grizzly bears crossing the highway just 5 miles east of the gate, and others spotted a wolf just up from the pass that same day.  And something even more unusual – Robin said that visitors reported seeing a mountain lion in the Hayden Valley, along with a wolf and eagles, all in the same area! 

Robin says that visitors are REALLY enjoying the beautiful weather we’re having right now – in fact, some have jokingly asked if they have to pay more Read More

RENDEZVOUS ROYALE – A celebration of...

September 20th, 2011 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

ren·dez·vous: (rahn-duh-voo) noun

1. an agreement between two or more persons to meet at a certain time and place.

2. the meeting itself.

3. a place designated for a meeting or assembling.

4. a favorite or popular gathering place.

All these definitions apply to the annual Rendezvous Royale, a fabulous week-long party here in Cody that celebrates all that is unique and great about western art! 

If you haven’t been to the Rendezvous before, be prepared for events and happenings all day, every day, for five days!  According to Kathy Thompson, the director of the Buffalo Bill Art Show and Sale, people come from all over the United States to take part in the authentic western experience that is Cody.

Although Rendezvous Royale takes place the last full week in September, the activity actually begins in August, with the display of the Buffalo Bill Art Show and Sale’s Miniature Art Show.  These smaller works of art have all been created by the artists who have been invited to participate in the larger Buffalo Bill Art Show and Sale that happens during Rendezvous Royale at the end of September.  The show hangs at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center until it’s time for the big show Read More


September 15th, 2011 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

It seems like every time we turn around, there’s another animal on the endangered species list.  We don’t hear too often about species that have become extinct in our lifetimes, because of the hard work that’s being done and attention that is paid to our animal friends from environmental groups and the national and state wildlife divisions.

But the case of the black-footed ferret is unique – the species was thought to be extinct in the late 1950s, until a small population (a group of ferrets is called a “business” – isn’t that cool?) was discovered in South Dakota in 1964.  When that “business” of ferrets began to decline, wildlife officials captured some of the ferrets to save the species.  However, the last of those died in captivity in 1974, and it was thought the species was officially extinct.

Then came a fateful day – September 26, 1981. I talked to a friend of mine, Dennie Hammer, who is now with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.  On that day, Dennie was employed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as the crew leader for a team searching for endangered species that might have habitats on land that was being considered for Read More


September 8th, 2011 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Living out here for as long as I have, I have been privileged to see how important our western heritage is to the residents of Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country.  From the ranchers who are still living the western dream, to the local organizations raising funds to restore historic buildings, to the shopkeepers who make sure that visitors get that “western experience” – the folks who live here appreciate every day our unique place in America’s history!  And for those of you who have visited here or are considering a trip this direction, there are so many attractions and activities that celebrate our American heritage:


This collection of authentic buildings (the original buildings, not just recreations) brings to life what the area was like in the late 1800s!  Step onto the boardwalks at the original town site of “Cody City”; wander into a saloon that was frequented by outlaws like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (and visit a cabin that they used as a hideout); see the log cabin that a Crow scout for General George Armstrong Custer used as his home; take in the vista of the plains as they meet Cedar and Rattlesnake mountains west of town. Read More


August 29th, 2011 by Park County Travel Council | Comments (3)

My friend “Robin” has the greatest commute in the world.  She lives in a log cabin between Cody and the East Entrance to Yellowstone, and every day she goes to work she sees wildlife, incredible scenery and the best of what this part of the country is!

Robin works as a Park Ranger at the east entrance to Yellowstone National Park.  This is her third 6-month season working for the National Park Service, and she says she is simply blessed to be doing what she does!  Robin greets people as they come to the world’s first National Park, and she says the reactions of folks who are visiting for the first time can really touch your heart.

Robin’s day on the job begins when the first visitors pass through the gate at 8 a.m., and is ready with her fellow gate-keepers to issue their familiar greeting – “Welcome to Yellowstone!”

And it truly is a welcome, and sometimes a profound, event for most of the folks who come through that gate, according to Robin.  She relayed several heartfelt stories to me about people who have been checking a visit to Yellowstone off their “Bucket Lists”… like the elderly couple who drove to the Read More


August 23rd, 2011 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!


CODY, Wyo., August 22, 2011 – Ah, fall. The kids are back in school, and couples without children and older travelers hit the road.  It is peaceful, the weather can be wonderful, lodging easy to secure and there is still plenty to do.


Everyone knows there are numerous attractions in Yellowstone Country, including Cody, Powell and Meeteetse, Wyo., in the summer. But what about autumn? Oh, yes. The days are pleasant (average September temperatures are in the upper 60s), and nights are cool (the gauge hits mid-40s) – perfect sleeping weather. It tends to be a dry month (an inch or less of precipitation). October is slightly cooler with a little more chance of dampness.


It’s a time of fall colors, which can be lovely here and in Read More


August 12th, 2011 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Did you know that there are over 85,000 dams in the United States?  My goodness!  Just eleven of those are in Wyoming – and we’re really fortunate here in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country to benefit from the Buffalo Bill Dam, construction of which began on October 19, 1905 and was completed January 15, 1910. The dam provides this area with irrigation water, electricity, recreation opportunities, and a great history lesson.

What’s neat about the Buffalo Bill Dam is not only the value of the crops raised on almost 100,000 acres of now-irrigated agricultural lands, the power generated by the four electric plants fed by the Dam, and the water used for the cities and towns downstream – it’s also the historical significance of how the construction of the dam changed this part of the country.

At the time of its construction, the then-named Shoshone Dam was the tallest concrete dam in the world, at 325 feet. It cost about a million dollars at the time to build the dam, which holds back about 400,000 acre feet of water in the Buffalo Bill Reservoir. Construction was difficult – because the region was so remote, it was hard to recruit and keep workers; additional Read More