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Getting Ready to Spring into Yellowstone

April 2nd, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

In honor of springtime, I did what lots of people who live in Yellowstone Country do. I bought myself some new bling for around my neck. And we’re not talking about another turquoise necklace. No, I went whole hog and invested in this darling camo-colored pair of 8 x 32s with ultra-clear fluoride HD objective lenses, multi-coatings for exceptional resolution, magnesium construction that is durable but lightweight, nitrogen purged, fully sealed and abrasion resistant. Oh yeah. These babies are the bomb.

And every one of my friends – women and men – will be coveting my new binoculars when I break them in at this year’s Spring into Yellowstone Festival May 13 -17.

Happy Explorers on the Spring Into Yellowstone tour.

This is the third year of the Spring into Yellowstone Birding and Wildlife Festival. I took a peek at the festival website, to see what’s in store this year, and it looks to me like the line-up is bigger and better than ever. The festival kicks off at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West on the night of the 13th. And the next two days are jam-packed full of guided hikes, seminars, tours and workshops led by some of the Read More


Excuse me, I Need to get a Couple of...

March 27th, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Comments (2)

Today is my day to ignore all distractions, turn off the sounds of acoustic guitars and fiddles in the background, close the shades and focus on my work in my Cody, Wyoming office.

No, although I will be rooting wholeheartedly for my University of Wyoming Cowboys, I am not trying to get everything done early so I can pay sole attention to the NCAA basketball tournament.

Instead, I want to knock off early enough to get out of the office and head to my other office – my outdoor “office” in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country.

Young pronghorn quickly learn to run and are very fast

While the Northeast has been hit hard this winter with record-breaking snow (I sincerely feel for you, Boston), northwestern Wyoming has seen an early spring with plenty of sunshine and mild temperatures. I have already put many miles on my hiking boots as the trails are clearing at a nice rate. With the snowmelt I anticipate a strong rafting season in our area’s rivers.

Springtime to me, however, is when I love to go wildlife watching.

Here is what I expect to see in the next few months here in Yellowstone Country:

Grizzly and black bears. Just because bears hibernate for Read More

Get your Quirk on in Buffalo Bill’s...

March 26th, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Some of my friends think I’m, well, unusual. I believe the best ice cream flavor is anything but vanilla; I choose cars painted in colors not found in nature (presently highlighter yellow); my fashion choices often combine classic cowgirl, Grandma’s lace and ‘60s mod; and my decorating style is what my friends kindly call “eclectic.” So it is only fitting that I live in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country.

Cody’s Trolley Tour will take you through 100 years of history.

 Many towns claim to be unique, but Cody takes being unusual to a whole new level. I call that level quirky. No other town that I know of has such a strange and wonderful mix of sights and experiences.

The famous Cherrywood bar at the Irma Hotel.

Here are just a few examples of the quirkiest of Cody’s experiences:

Savor a key lime truffle handmade by a saddle bronc rider. Rock the Cowboy Boogie in the one-time home of a successful madam with a heart of gold. Eat Rocky Mountain Oysters at a room-long bar that was presented to Buffalo Bill Cody by Queen Victoria. Learn about gun safety from a wacky group of local actors with a penchant for to-the-hilt dressing in old-timey cowboy clothes. See Read More

ORD to COD. And Back.

March 6th, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Comments(1)

Although I now live in the small town of Cody, Wyo., I have taken a bite out of the Big Apple and seen all the stars as I walked down Hollywood Boulevard. I love the conveniences, walkability and mix of cultures of the big city. Not to mention the various types of food and even the art house movies.

But after spending some time in several big cities, I decided I would return to my hometown. I missed chatting up the clerk at the grocery store as we compared notes from our childhood. I missed the scent when the breeze blew through the national forest on a hike and the hiss of steam escaping thermal features. I missed many things.

A weeks visit to Cody/Yellowstone Country is easy from Chicago.

Once I moved back, however, I missed friends I had made. In particular, I became very close very quickly to a group I met in Chicago.

You can imagine my excitement last year when United Airlines introduced a summer route and began flying non-stop between Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and Yellowstone Regional Airport here in Cody. That’s ORD and COD to those of you like to use airport codes like me.

While flyers have Read More


Gone Fishin’

March 2nd, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

I know what you’re thinking.

You’re incredibly disappointed because you missed the Meeteetse ice fishing derby last weekend because it was too close to Valentine’s Day, and your boyfriend (girlfriend/wife/husband) had big multi-day plans involving a treasure hunt.

Meeteetse’s Ice Fishing Derby 2014.

Even if you are a huge fan of both Grumpy Old Men and Grumpier Old Men and you really do believe that Ann Margaret and Sophia Loren would both turn up in northern Minnesota in the middle of winter, there was no way you were going throw a monkey wrench in your partner’s romantic plans.

Well, I have some good news for you. Because the weather has been too nice and sunny, the organizers had to cancel the seventh annual Presidents Day Ice Fishing Derby.

Many of us were eagerly awaiting the event, but it was called off because of warm temperatures that made it a bad idea to try and ice fish.

Source.

Fortunately, my friend Tess from the Meeteetse Visitor Center called me the other day with some great news. The community plans to instead hold an open water fishing derby May 2-3 on the Upper Sunshine and Lower Sunshine reservoirs. The derby will feature teams of up to three Read More


Spreading the Word of Cooperation

February 23rd, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Just returned from the Wyoming Governor’s Conference on Tourism, and I am ready to spread the word.

Over the years I have become good friends with my counterparts from various towns all over the state. The conference provides an opportunity for us to compare notes about things like festivals, rodeos, museums and who has the best-looking cowboy musicians. (I’ll let you in on a secret: Cody does.)

We brainstorm and share ideas, and we always  want to see each other succeed. Sure, there are times when people forget just where the last great idea came from, but we all understand that even though we are thousands of feet above sea level, the rising tide raises all of our boats.

It’s easy to get “Buffalo Bill’d” during your Cody visit.

This attitude of cooperation is one reason Wyoming is such a great place to visit. As the least populous state in the union, Wyoming is blessed with some of the world’s truly spectacular natural features. At the same time, we don’t have an exorbitant number of people concentrated in our tourist attractions and generating huge businesses.

Nevada has Las Vegas which has as many people on a given day as Yellowstone sees all summer. Personally, Read More


Active Travel is Nothing New in Buffalo...

February 9th, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Comments(1)

When you live in a town like Cody that is dedicated to tourism, you need to be a bit of a travel expert, so I tend to try to hone up on my travel industry knowledge, particularly during the winter months. And while doing just that last weekend, I’ll bet I came across a dozen articles discussing the “emerging” trend of active travel.

Are you kidding me?

Excuse me while I harrumph. Active travel, at least here in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country, is hardly new. In fact, our town founder Buffalo Bill himself was an active travel expert, whether he was performing his Wild West show in Europe or hunting near his hunting lodge, Pahaska Tepee.

Buffalo Bill’s hunting lodge, “Pahaska Tepee” which means “long hairs lodge.”

Of course, a century ago, horseback riding was as much transportation as recreation, and wildlife was spotted and then often hunted. Still, Cody visitors were moving, seeing, doing and playing all the time. Ernest Hemingway came here to fish, hunt and find inspiration. The Prince of Monaco visited as Buffalo Bill’s guest to hunt in the wilderness and enjoy the company of like-minded friends. And visitors to Yellowstone National Park were climbing, hiking, exploring and discovering.

Read More


Winter is the Time to Dream

February 2nd, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

I heard someone describe the various phases of travel as “dreaming,” “planning,” “experiencing” and “remembering.” That makes sense to me. Here in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country, we welcome the bulk of our visitors during the months of June, July, August and September and most of them probably spent time dreaming about Cody before they got here.

I do the same thing. During the winter, I find that my eyes linger on the pretty pictures in magazines of destinations to which I’ve always wanted to travel. I know I’ll never see some of those destinations – I’m a girl on a budget, after all – but it is fun to fantasize that someday I will. That exclusive beach resort in the Caribbean is probably not going to see the name “Corrie N. Cody” on the register anytime soon. In Cody, though, few people will stop dreaming about this destination because of budget concerns. There are plenty of options for all budgets, from camping and RV sites to quaint and historic inns. And all of Cody’s museums and attractions are reasonably priced.

Dreaming of a Cody Sunset?

Next step is planning. That’s when you get serious and start looking at your calendars, chequebook, clothes, Read More


It’s Time for the Olympics in...

January 19th, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Since the holidays ended I have been working out furiously and watching my diet.

The reason is not that I need to lose weight because of the Christmas cookies and New Year’s Eve parties. Rather, our little town of Cody will be hosting the 2015 Wyoming Senior Olympics Winter Games February 19-22.

Events will include alpine and Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, basketball, pickle ball, racquetball, swimming, an indoor mile walk and ice hockey.

I love winter sports in Cody. I can spend a weekend switching among downhill skiing, snowshoeing and cross country skiing. My skating skills were never really strong enough for me to be a decent hockey player, but my jump shot often hits nothing but net. I am a decent racquetball player, and pickle ball has truly piqued my interest although I have not tried that sport. Yet.

These winter games are now open to any athlete 50 years and older. Several hotels in town are offering special deals to participants. Details are on the website.

Wyoming Seniors will compete in all sorts of winter sports in Cody, WY. Feb. 19-22.

So, you’re probably wondering just how old I am. While I will admit that I can flawlessly sing along to the Urban Cowboy Read More


Cowboy Christmas for One of Cody’s Own

January 6th, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

For cowboys, Christmas can come anytime of the year, and that’s exactly what happened to one of my favorite Yellowstone Country cowboys, Al Schultz, and his roping partner Mark Aragon. And Cody couldn’t be more proud.

The two won a world team roping championship in Las Vegas early in December, and they split a purse in the staggering amount of $240,000. Christmas definitely came early for these two cowboys.

Many cowboy champions begin competing at the Cody Nite Rodeo.

For those of you who know something about the world of rodeo – and here in the home of the Cody Nite Rodeo, most of us do – the competitive spirit of the professional cowboy is sometimes as big as his Stetson. But for Al and Mark, the competition they won was one for which they didn’t think they even had a shot. As my pal Lew Freedman wrote in the Cody Enterprise: “Coming into Vegas it seemed they had the same chance of winning as they did capturing the World Series of Poker.”

Al Schultz and son-in-law Mark Aragon – World Champion Team Ropers.

But the roping gods were aligned during the competition, and the two roped spectacularly. On the first day, Al Read More