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Classic Cody/Yellowstone Country Vacation...

April 12th, 2014 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Just Don’t Call ME a Classic

I love classic vacations.

For my whole life I have watched families come for a classic Cody vacation, arriving in their overstuffed vehicles with mom and dad in the front and the kids jockeying for position in the back.

Early on these family vacations were taken in station wagons (think the Griswold Family Truckster) followed by minivans. Today’s version tends to be a sport utility vehicle, but the concept is still the same.

When these vehicles first arrive, the doors open and the family members all depart from different angles, stretch and look around, ready for their first taste of Western fun. I can tell they are ready to spend some time anywhere other than in the car.

The good news is that they have come to the right place with plenty of activities within walking distance and a well-planned street system that makes it very difficult to get lost.

There really isn’t any bad news.

Often one or both of the parents will look around before turning to each other and say “Yep, this is how I remember Cody when I came here with my parents when I was a kid. I sat on the porch of the Read More


Everyone’s Talking About the Bird

April 4th, 2014 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

I like to think that I have a good working knowledge of the birds of Yellowstone Country and can tell the difference between the Wyoming state bird – the Western Meadowlark – and my all-time favorite – Clark’s Nutcracker.

I understand that with our wide open spaces and wilderness there is tremendous bird habitat to be found just by driving a few minutes in any direction. Migratory patterns enable us to see a huge variety of birds at different times of year. Many people think of the pelican as a bird you see on a pier in Florida, but I associate them with the Yellowstone River as I watch cutthroat trout swimming upstream at LeHardy Rapids.

To truly get a sense of just how spectacular and varied the bird population is in this region, you should consider attending Spring into Yellowstone Birding & Wildlife Festival May 14-18. The festival features field trips and interactive seminars led by some of the biggest names in birding.

Ibis Birds

Returning this year is Luke Seitz who has made quite the name for himself as a bird expert, artist and photographer. I met Luke last year and was overwhelmed by his knowledge and passion, not Read More


Where are the “Real” Cowboys?

March 29th, 2014 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

So I was walking through town in the middle of the day earlier this week when I came upon a group of tourists fresh off the motorcoach.

There is just something about me that prompts perfect strangers from out of town to approach me with questions. I really don’t understand how they sense that I truly enjoy meeting them and have been known to end up late for an appointment or two because I lost track of time with a tour group. It must be my hidden superpower – sort of like how Bruce Willis is always at the high-rise office building or airport when the evildoers are planning their latest heist.

On this day, one of the members of the group approached me.

“Good morning, ma’am,” she said. “I was wondering if you could clear something up for me.”

“Well, I am sure that I could,” I responded. “As long as your questions don’t involve politics, religion or why every other show on television features zombies.”

“Oh, it’s nothing like that, I can assure you. It’s just that we heard that Cody was the place to go to meet real cowboys, and so far we have only seen that strikingly handsome man over there Read More


Musings on Road Trips and Togas

March 22nd, 2014 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Like many people I know, I have found the movie “Animal House” to be a continuing source of inspiration throughout my life.

Even when the situation was especially dire for the boys of Delta Tau Chi, after they were placed on double-secret probation and were dealing with the twisted maneuverings of those mean guys from the Omega House, Boon, Flounder and the rest of the guys didn’t give up. They went on a road trip.

Well, first they had a toga party. (And launched an incredibly weird college trend that I believe still exists today on certain especially exuberant campuses.) But with maturity, there’s wisdom. I’ve since learned that not everyone can pull off a toga. Or should. And “friends,” seriously, if that picture shows up on Facebook we will have some words.

But my point is when it looked like all that the Delta Tau Chi’s valued in their world could soon disappear — their beer, their friendship, their girlfriends, their beer — instead of giving up, they gave in to the call of the open road. On their way, they experienced the hospitality of an authentic roadhouse, enjoyed some regional music and even met some charming locals.

Chief Read More


Plan your spring getaway to...

March 7th, 2014 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Springtime is coming. And so are the babies.

Soon bison and babies will appear in Yellowstone.

During the springtime, Paris has nothing on Cody. Well, except a really tall tower. And wonderful croissants. But they don’t get to mark the coming of springtime with the emergence of the grizzlies or sightings of furry orange elk calves. We do. C’est la vie.

Spring is going to be here before you know it, and it’s going to be a springtime to remember. I promise. How do I know? Because our winter was one to remember. If you talk with the old-timers around here they’ll say they haven’t seen a winter like this in 20 years.

The snowfall we’ve had this year is far, far more than what we usually get. One of my pals who is a Weather Channel nut keeps track of snowfall and percentages. He told me the snowpack is 141 percent above our normal range. It seems like the countryside has been whiter than an elk’s behind for months and months. Years, in fact, if you ask me on one of my extreme spring fever days.

But no matter how you measure it, everyone agrees that springtime 2014 is going to Read More


Shh. Don’t Tell the Kids They’re...

February 27th, 2014 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Don’t tell anyone, but I can be one of the sneakiest people you have ever met. Especially when it comes to kids. I have figured out ways to get kids to enjoy learning vacations without even realizing they are learning.

When families come into town, we often head over to the Buffalo Bill Center of the West (BBCW). I never tell the kids they are going to a museum because I don’t want them to put up any barriers or start saying things like “Oh no, not another museeeeeum.” You know, using the tone where teenage daughters roll their eyes and say “Oh, Mother” and turn “Mother” into a three-syllable word.

I don’t want them to think they are learning anything. At least until it is too late.

Fortunately, we have an array of “please touch” exhibits and wow-inducing displays that showcase our region’s history and Western spirit and introduce our larger-than-life town founder. The Buffalo Bill Museum features wall-sized displays and interactive exhibits spotlighting the showman’s legendary Wild West Show, encounters with royalty and some of the colorful characters who traveled with him.

One of my first tricks is to casually let it slip that when he was still known as just Bill, Read More


Planning a golf getaway in Cody, Wyoming

February 21st, 2014 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

What is it about the Olympics that makes me want to try all sports?

Plan a golf getaway in Cody, Wyoming!

I don’t know about you, but when I watch the Olympics I want to head to our ice arena, strap on my skates and start doing laps. I am sure that I look just like the speed skaters as they hit those turns performing those perfect crossovers. In fact, the Dutch skaters – especially the Mulder twins – would probably ask me for a few training tips.

A girl can dream, can’t she?

If it’s not skating, I want to drive to Sleeping Giant and spend the afternoon on my snowboard in the terrain park or racing some friends on skis in an impromptu slalom. Or we could cross country any number of places in the area. I wish we had a bobsled run, and something about curling is simply mesmerizing.

To most of us here in Cody, the specific activity is not always the most important thing. The most important thing is getting out and enjoying any number of activities. This summer I intend to hike, bike, fish, fly, ride and more.

Something that I also plan on mastering this year is golf. Read More


The Easy Way to Plan a Vacation to Buffalo...

February 6th, 2014 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

When it comes time to plan a summer vacation in Cody (or Yellowstone or Wyoming) my friends have developed a foolproof method.

They let me do it for them.

I don’t mean to be a busybody; it’s just that my enthusiasm kicks in when I hear the words “Yellowstone Vacation” or “I’m thinking of heading to Wyoming this summer, do you have any special tips or suggestions?”

I can put together a three-, five- or 10-day itinerary faster than you can say “Corrie, slow down and take deep breaths. You’re starting to concern me.”

When people do allow me to share my experience, the first thing I suggest is that they try to envision just how much space we have here in the West. Wyoming on a single page in the road atlas can look like it is the same size as Ohio. Not even close. To illustrate, Interstate 80 across Wyoming is a little more than 400 miles while Interstate 80 across Ohio is close to 235 miles. People move here for our wide open spaces and big skies, but they learn quickly to not try and see everything in one day.

Exterior of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West

My second Wyoming Read More


New Furniture

January 28th, 2014 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

 

I confess. I tend to get pretty attached to my stuff. I still have my childhood stuffed bison – which my parents named Teddy – I swear! – that was chewed, squeezed, thrown, stomped and drooled upon. And I’ll never throw it away.

But anyone who has been to my house lately would probably agree that some of my furniture is getting pretty worn and ragged. I have a chair with a chunk out of one of the legs thanks to my puppy, and a sofa with the stuffing coming out of one of the cushions. For awhile, I just turned that cushion over but now the stuffing is coming out of both sides and the throw blanket covering that spot isn’t fooling anyone.

So I’m going furniture shopping. Did you know January and February were two of the best months of the year to shop for furniture? Fortunately, Yellowstone Country has dozens of designers and furniture makers who specialize in the Western rustic style of furniture that was first made famous by Thomas Molesworth, who supplied distinctive Western-style furniture to some of Cody’s finest guest and dude ranches from the 1930s through the ‘60s.

I’m Read More


Sleeping Giant Discount

January 21st, 2014 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

 

While I don’t have a large house, I do love hosting and entertaining out-of-town guests.

During the summer my guest room is often used by friends and relatives coming to town on vacation, to visit family or to attend class reunions. When you live in such a desirable destination, you learn to either embrace these opportunities like I do, or you develop strategies to ensure guests stay somewhere else.

I believe I do go a good job of making people feel welcome. I recently hosted some good friends who were having their hardwood floors sanded and refinished. When it was time for the stain and topcoats, they avoided their house by moving in with me for the weekend where we enjoyed great conversation and watched the Rocky Mountain region’s Broncos make their way to the Super Bowl.

In the next few weeks, however, I was faced with a dilemma as two sets of friends want to visit at the same time.

Since my house is not big enough for everyone, I wasn’t sure what to do. I was already committed to the first set of friends who called me, but I wanted to do something to Read More