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November Quiet Time

November 5th, 2013 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

 

Things are quiet right now in our little slice of heaven. Most of the roads in the park are closed as the National Park Service allows the snow to build up so that the over-the-snow vehicles will have a good base come December. It’s a bit chilly to go rafting down the Shoshone River, and the Nite Rodeo buttoned up its operations until next Memorial Day.

I still see fishermen coming through town, and the hunters like to stay in town and enjoy our restaurants and nightly entertainment. The museums are always great with many visitors taking extra time to learn about the area and its early inhabitants, natural features, art and more.

There is still some time before the ice climbing gets going. It’s also easy to imagine hitting the slopes at Sleeping Giant Ski Area.

For the most part, however, we are in that shoulder season where many of us cut back on our hours and reconnect with friends who worked many days – sometimes weeks – in a row because that is simply what we do in an area that ebbs and flows with so closely related to the patterns of tourists.

I Read More


Halloween Costume

October 29th, 2013 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

 

With Halloween quickly approaching I am frantically trying to figure out what costume I will wear as I pass out candy. I don’t want it to be too frightening, but I will want something that will work for the grownup party Friday night.

 When I was a little girl, my mother always wanted me to dress up like a cowgirl. One year she said I could be a barrel racer, and the next I could be the rodeo queen.

 “Mother,” I always responded, “This will be the most boring costume because everybody dresses that way around here every other day of the year.”

 “Well, what about being a zombie cowgirl?” she asked.

 It was only years later that I realized my mother just didn’t have the Halloween costume gene.

 Also, she was cheap.

 One thing I don’t like to do is just head down to Wal Mart and buy a prepackaged costume. I am okay buying individual components like a Lady Godiva wig or stuffed parrot to go on my shoulder as part of my parrot costume.

 Last year, I purchased a beard about two feet long, and I never used it. Because I just couldn’t Read More


Vacationers In Buffalo Bill’s...

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

 

Now that the government shutdown is behind us, I am so happy things are back to normal, people are back to work and folks are coming back to Cody.

During that time when all those people who think the center of world is located on the eastern seaboard decided that they know what is best for the rest of us, something fun happened.

I met a group of people who were planning on heading to the park (we call Yellowstone “The Park” around here), but they decided to spend three extra days here in our slice of heaven.

Understandably, these folks were a little disappointed that they had driven all the way from Ohio — home of the Buckeyes, the Pro Football Hall of Fame and more nice people than there are lodgepole pine trees in the Shoshone National Forest — only to be turned away 50 miles short of the east gate.

Naturally, me being me, I felt somewhat responsible that their vacation was interrupted, and I took it upon myself to help them map out some alternatives.

We met on the porch of the Irma Hotel for coffee, and our half-hour planning session stretched to Read More


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.

Museums

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.

Parks

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