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End of the Year

January 3rd, 2014 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

 

I love end-of-the-year articles. Whether they are “Top 10” movies, the best car chases, the Darwin Awards or even the influential people who die, I simply enjoy looking back at the year that was.

In that spirit, I would like to offer my own list of seven significant events for 2013 and happenings in our beautiful corner of the world.

Sequestration threatens to delay opening of Yellowstone. In the spring we started hearing rumblings that budget cuts would result in delays of opening some of the roads heading into Yellowstone National Park. Of particular concern was that the east gate would open some two-three weeks later than normal so that the sun could melt the snow instead of National Park Service crews plowing the roads.

In demonstrating a typical Western “Can Do” attitude, a campaign spearheaded by our Chamber of Commerce raised enough money to pay for Wyoming state road crews to plow from the east gate up and over Sylvan Pass until they met the NPS crews working their way toward us.

The Prince of Monaco comes to town. In September Monaco’s Prince Albert II came to town to present the Camp Monaco Prize to commemorate the 100th Read More


Decorating for Christmas

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

 

Okay, so I am a little late getting my Christmas decorations out. I am simply one of those people who like to take holidays one at a time.

I may see a perfect gift in May and buy it, but I typically put it in the back of my closet and not think about it again until December.

At Thanksgiving I like to focus on friends, family and football. In my mind there is plenty of time to prepare for Christmas. And don’t even talk to me about Christmas when the kids are trick or treating.

This year, right after Thanksgiving we had a cold front blow through shortly after turkey day, and let me tell you, it was cold enough that I dug a jacket out of my closet that I only wear a few times a year. This coat is suede with a sheepskin lining that invariably receives comments from men and women, alike. It still looks brand new, and I expect to wear it for many years.

When the front arrived, one of my neighbors casually mentioned that I probably regretted my rule of not putting up my lights until the halfway point Read More


Christmas Gifts

December 10th, 2013 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

 

Now that Thanksgiving is another fond memory of turkey, laughter, broken ovens and unusual uses for plumbers’ torches, I am turning my attention to preparing for Christmas.

I don’t spend a lot on gifts, but I do like to put thought into them. Accumulating a lot of possessions is not important among my circle of friends, and if you quietly observe you can see what people appreciate here.

Every year I make a vow to keep my eyes open all the time in case that perfect gift lands in my lap. Other times I find something that’s perfect for multiple people and have to decide who gets it.

In August I ran across “160 Acres,” an old album signed by the Sons of the Pioneers. I can think of several musicians in town who would carry my bags through a Black Friday crowd, shovel my driveway all winter and string my holiday lights for that piece of vinyl.

One year I found an original poster that Union Pacific had created to promote visitation to Yellowstone. It showed various bear “tourists” strolling around Old Faithful, eating picnics and enjoying idyllic scenes of the park. It was perfect for a certain Read More


Thanksgiving Wrapup

December 4th, 2013 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

 

Well, Thanksgiving certainly didn’t turn out the way I planned.

My house is always the one where the crowd varies from year to year, and there are times when I invite people and then forget that I invited them until they show up. One year I was driving past an open restaurant and saw a friend heading in for dinner on Thanksgiving. I stopped, made him get in the car and brought him home to join the rest of us.

When I actually know who is coming, I assign everyone to bring various dishes. This year Jackie brought a root vegetable casserole, Emma made an apple pie and William brought three growlers of his home brew.

Michael created a candied yam dish complete with marshmallows on top that he decided at the last minute needed roasting. Do you know those little torches people use to caramelize the sugar on top of a crème brulee? I don’t own one, so we went to the garage and found a torch that a plumber uses to solder pipes. We learn out here in the West to be innovative and that some tools have many uses.

The big glitch, however, Read More


Thanksgiving Week

November 26th, 2013 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

 

Thanksgiving is this week, so I thought I would list the things for which I am thankful.

What, you thought I was going to discuss cowboy music?

I am thankful for my hometown. I have been to the big city and enjoyed the energy, the diversity, food from a truck, street musicians and unlimited restaurant choices. But none of that compares to old friends, new friends, restaurants where the staff already knows how I like my coffee (just enough cream to take the edge off) and being 100 percent positive that I will see familiar faces every time I walk down Sheridan Avenue.

I am thankful I live in a place where a retired United States senator invites you to call him by his first name.

I am thankful that I can walk past the Dairy Queen and see a former U.S. cabinet secretary and a U.S. senator (not the same one who still lives in town and goes by his first name) enjoying ice cream cones after the dedication of the Heart Mountain WWII Interpretive Center.

I am thankful the West is still alive and that people can visit and see a real rodeo and Read More


Back To School

November 19th, 2013 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

 

While I normally do not preach about some of my deeply held beliefs, today I want to talk about the importance of continuing education. Whether it is taking a French class at Northwest College in Powell or participating in a seminar about roping techniques, I am always open-minded and supportive.

One of my bucket list items is to go to school to be a bull fighter – dressed as a rodeo clown. I know a guy who works in Yellowstone who went through this training a few years ago. I have this great video of him getting flipped by a bull. It looked scary, but fortunately, he escaped with just a few bruises which he wore as a badge of honor for several days. He still talks about that incident and the bull fighting school as a highlight of his time spent in our town.

I think he enjoyed learning how to put on the makeup a little too much.

Even though I grew up surrounded by some of the best streams in the world for trout fishing, I never really knew how to tie a fly or cast properly. Since we have absolutely terrific fly fishing guides in Read More


Veterans Day

November 12th, 2013 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

 

Today, the day after Veterans Day, I want to thank all of the men and women who served our country in the military and were fortunate enough to return home.

As opposed to Memorial Day which is a solemn day honoring the people who served their country and paid the ultimate price, Veterans Day to me is more of a celebration and a time to remember friends and family who served.

Like most people, I can list family members who served in the military. Two of my great grandfathers fought in World War I. In fact, they were very close to each other in eastern France in the Alsace region which has flipped back and forth over the centuries between Germany and France. The only time I ever heard of the two of them talking about the war was one Christmas gathering when they figured out that they had been in several of the same villages. They did not discuss the trenches or actual battles.

My maternal grandfather was in the Army in the Philippines during World War II. His brother was also there and was able to track down my grandfather as he recovered from Read More


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