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A Ski Resort for the Rest of Us

February 22nd, 2016 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

I’m a skier, and I think the sport is awesome. But I’m not an awesome skier. I like my meandering blues and greens, but my days of double-black moguls are long gone. In fact, they never really even existed. And when I drive west for a day of winter fun at Sleeping Giant Ski Area, none of this matters in the least.

Why the confession? Because as the unofficial ambassador for all things Yellowstone Country, I want to remind my readers Sleeping Giant Ski Area is one of the family-friendliest, prettiest, most well-managed ski areas you’ll ever want to visit. For those of us happily in the green- and blue-run category, there are more than enough runs to keep us energized and entertained. In fact, 55 percent of the entire mountain – 26 runs in all – are blue and green. My friends who love the moguls find plenty of challenging runs too, with 45 percent of the terrain and 21 runs in the expert category.

Events at Sleeping Giant are fun for the entire family.

And for stat-lovers, here are a few other fun facts about Sleeping Giant. It has a total of 184 skiable acres, 47 runs, a base elevation Read More


Happy Birthday, You Know Who

February 16th, 2016 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

So what do you get a guy heading into his 18th decade?

Around here that is a legitimate question since Feb. 26 marks Buffalo Bill Cody’s 170th birthday. Because we have thrown parties for reasons significantly less important, this event will be commemorated by a lot more than cake in the company break room.

Here in Cody we will start things off on his birthday – Friday, Feb. 26 – with the Cody High School FFA’s annual wreath-laying ceremony at the sculpture Buffalo Bill – The Scout at 11 a.m. Artist Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney created this sculpture, and it was instrumental in the development of the Whitney Gallery of Western Art and the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.

Local tradition of the Future Farmers of America (FFA) laying a wreath at the “Scout” statue.

From 5-7 p.m. that day the Center of the West will host the “Buffalo Bill Birthday Bash” featuring the Buffalo Bill Band, birthday cake, light hors d’oeuvres, family activities and a cash bar.

 The next day will see “Buffalo Bill Birthday Ball” at the town’s Wolfville Hall from 5-11 p.m. One of Cody’s major events, the Buffalo Bill Birthday Ball features music, dancing, dinner and Wild West entertainment. The Read More


Walking my way through winter

February 8th, 2016 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Although Cody winters are relatively mild compared to many parts of the country, by about February, some of my friends and neighbors in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country are starting to show signs of cabin fever.

My neighbor barely returned my wave when we were both out shoveling the other day, and when declining my invitation to join me for some prime rib at the Irma Hotel followed by a drink in the Chamberlin Inn’s solarium, my best friend informed me that she wasn’t emerging from her house until the first bears start emerging from theirs. (Last year the first den-exiting bear was sighted on Feb. 9, so my rather dramatic friend may not have long to wait.)

The Center of the West grounds offers great areas to walk.

But I have a better solution to grumbling or hiding until the end of winter: strap on your step-tracker and walk it off. Like nearly else everyone around here, I have a good pair of heavily treaded, waterproof hiking boots. And from now until spring I intend to wear them every day and go for a walk or hike.

Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country is home to more than 25 developed parks and miles of trails. Read More


Marking Up My February Calendar

February 1st, 2016 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

I like dates…the ones on the calendar as well as the ones with cowboys. And today my mind is on both kinds.

The calendar dates I’ve been thinking about lately are cause for celebration and reflection.

Ice climbers from all over the world come for the Cody Ice Climbing Festival held President’s Day weekend.

February 12, 13 and 14 is, as everyone knows, Valentine’s Day Weekend. And I have a very special date with a very special cowboy, although what he has planned for me may make some city-slickers cringe. On Friday we’re pulling out our crampons and heading to the 18th Annual Cody Ice Climbing Festival. With more than 300 frozen waterfalls in our South Fork Valley, there is some world-class vertical ice climbing. I’ve gotten pretty good at this over the years, and we’re both looking forward to some multi-pitch climbs and getting together with our frosty friends.

Then if we still have the energy, my beau and I will head to the 7th Annual Ice Fishing Derby at the Sunshine Reservoir in Meeteetse. Ice fishing is huge in these parts, and we all want bragging rights for our catches during the derby. I didn’t do so well last year, but Read More


The Winter Games advocate for people to...

January 19th, 2016 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Pardon me if I seem distracted, but I think I am coming down with a case of “Senioritis.”

No, I am not looking to cut class and spend the day watching the latest Star Wars movie. Instead, I plan to lie about my age, sign up for the Wyoming Senior Olympics Winter Games and spend the day skiing or shooting hoops.

These games will be held right here in Cody Feb. 18-21 and are open to anyone 50 years old and up. Since I am barely out of my 20s I have to cross my fingers when I fill out my application that no one will notice. Never mind that some of the participants went to school with me. They just failed a lot of grades and didn’t graduate from high school until they were pushing 40.

Participants age 50+ compete in a variety of competitions.

Events include the indoor mile walk and run, pickleball, Nordic skiing, Alpine skiing, swimming racquetball, basketball, snowshoeing and cowboy musician roping. Okay, that last one is not an official event, but a certain cowboy musician will be providing a night of exciting entertainment during the games.

The indoor events will be held at the Paul Stock Aquatic and Read More


The Art of Cody

January 12th, 2016 by Park County Travel Council | Comments (2)

During the post-holiday winter months, I often find myself seeking inspiration. And I frequently find it in Cody’s art.

Ranging from a bold and richly detailed mural showing the history of the region’s Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) community to a whimsical painting of bare-bottomed cowgirls, the art that can be found in Cody reflects our wild Western town’s collective attitude of independence, ambition and respect for tradition and history. As a life-long student of history, I also enjoy that many of the town’s most famous pieces of art come with an interesting and sometimes quirky back story.

Here are a few of the places I visited on a recent free weekend.

The Cody Mural/Historic Site. A great example of artistic story-telling, the Cody Mural Historic Site is located in the rotunda of the LDS Church in downtown Cody, this ambitious painting by Chicago artist Edward Grigware depicts the beginning of the church and experiences of early members during their exodus from the East to Utah. The artist was not a member of the church so he spent nearly a year studying the history of the church and their expansion into the West, and his stunning interpretation draws visitors of Read More


What’s on my Cody calendar this winter

January 5th, 2016 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

During this long holiday weekend in Yellowstone Country, I have two goals: clean and organize my house (isn’t that what everyone does?) and mark up my brand new 2016 calendar with important upcoming dates and events in Cody. The latter task is easy; there’s a handy calendar of events on the Yellowstone Country website. The first task could take me well in to March.

Those of us who live here as well as those hardy winter-season visitors who come to play know that there are great events year-round, including during the winter months. First up, at least for me, was a Yellowstone Quake hockey game in the Riley Arena on Saturday, Jan. 2. If you love hockey like I do, Yellowstone Quake is a great way to support our Cody team. The team is a USA Hockey-sanctioned Tier III Junior ice hockey team playing in the North American 3 Hockey League. You might be surprised just how exciting junior hockey can be, and I try never to miss a home game.

Watching a Yellowstone Quake hockey game is always a thrill.

Another one of the events I always look forward to in winter is the annual Ice Fishing Derby, this year scheduled Read More


Time to Get my Ski Legs Back

December 21st, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Good news.

In Cody/Yellowstone Country we are always grateful for moisture!

A storm blew through Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country this past week, and we received the most snow in the region.

When I lived in the big city, a good dumping of snow was not necessarily welcome except by the kids who were always happy with a day off school. Parents had to scramble to make sure everything was under control, commuters had to drive slippery roads to get to work, and everyone had to dig out their driveways and hope the plows didn’t block them in.

Around here we view things differently.

First of all, we live in a dry climate. If it weren’t for the Buffalo Bill Dam just west of town creating a reservoir that supplies irrigation for the farms, our food sources would look a lot different with significantly less local and fresh produce. Tourism and ranching are already big drivers of our economy, and they would be even more dominant without the foresight which resulted in the ability to irrigate our lands.

When the snow falls, we invariably tell our out-of-town family and friends “It’s great news. We can use the moisture.”

Like much of the country, our Wyoming fall was Read More


How Buffalo Bill Influenced a Generation...

December 14th, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Those of us who live in Cody, Wyoming sometimes forget that our town founder was a world traveler and his legend reached many corners of the globe, even long after his death.

Of course we all know about how his “Wild West Show” touched Europe, and how his friendship with Queen Victoria resulted in the magnificent gift of a Cherrywood bar that still graces Buffalo Bill’s Irma Hotel today. I thought I knew most of the stories about Col. William Frederick “Buffalo Bill” Cody. I was wrong

The cherrywood backbar given to Buffalo Bill by Queen Victoria.

Here’s the story:

In the 1950s, more than a century after Buffalo Bill’s birth in Le Claire, Iowa, a generation of disenfranchised young men and women in the African nation of Congo, and in particular, the city of Kinshasa, found a role model in the pop culture version of Buffalo Bill. At that time, Buffalo Bill’s legend was popularized and romanticized in movies and TV shows. The actors who portrayed Buffalo Bill were tough, masculine, and they always got the girl. Scenes of conflict between Cowboys and American Indians had a particularly heady effect on the youth in Congo, a country under the rule of Belgian Read More


Kickin’ Off the Holiday Season

December 3rd, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite days of the year, and this year was exceptional as several out-of-town friends made it back to Yellowstone Country for the long weekend.

I am not, however, ready to start celebrating Christmas. You see, we always had a rule in my house when I was growing up that we could not start decorating until all of the leftover turkey was gone. Like the dad in the movie A Christmas Story, my father is a true turkey lover who cannot get enough turkey sandwiches, turkey soup, turkey casserole, turkey a la king…you get the idea.

Old Trail Town provides ol’ time Christmas cheer during their Christmas Open House.

And since he insists on cooking a bird weighing at least 25 pounds, it takes a while before we can even think about displaying the nutcrackers and animated toys. Like every other kid I knew, I was ready to put up a tree as soon as Halloween was over. My dad always insisted on one holiday at a time and had his philosophy that Christmas was better if you did not try to celebrate it for too long.

Only after I got older did I appreciate his perspective.

That Read More