During the summer the town of Cody, named after the famous Buffalo Bill Cody, is teeming with tourists eager to explore the nearby Yellowstone National Park. During the winter you can still make the most of the mountains and keep yourself entertained, even if you’re just waiting for the snow to melt.
1. Explore the town of Cody // There are some great stores where you can buy an authentic pair of cowboy boots or souvenirs for your family back home. You can get a craft beer in the local brewery or an amazing dinner at one of the steakhouses. You’ll have a great view of the mountains each time you cross the street, and the locals are super friendly.
2. Take a drive and see how much wildlife you can spot // Considering the largest wild animal we have in the UK is a pony, I absolutely lost it when I saw my first herd of bison!! We also saw a lot of big horn sheep and deer. Unfortunately all the bears were hibernating, and the wolves and big cats are almost impossible to spot.
3. Go skiing or snowboarding // An hour north is Sleeping Giant Ski Area. It’s a tiny hill with two chair lifts, a small terrain park and a beginners learning area. It has some good off piste tree runs and if it snows you’ll have fresh tracks all day because it’s so quiet, perfect! A day ticket costs $34, be sure to check opening times before you drive out there.
4. Try cross country skiing // It’s a hilarious mix of ice skating and skiing, you awkwardly shuffle forward with no edge to cut into the snow, with just enough grip to ascend up the smallest of inclines, and there is absolutely no stopping if you start going down hill. But it’s a great workout, and a good way to get into Yellowstone National Park in the winter if you don’t want to pay for an expensive snowmobile tour. Rent them for $15 a day.
5. Go and shoot some guns // There are a ridiculous amount of gun shops in this small town, and probably there is a shooting range somewhere. Or you can find yourself a real American with real guns to drive you deep into the Oregon Basin for sightseeing and shooting. Turns out I’m a pretty good shot!
6. Enjoy the scenery // If you have access to a car you can explore to your hearts content. The drive to Yellowstone it gorgeous (even if you can’t get into the park itself), it’s a short and pleasant drive to cross the border into Montana, or you can take one of the many off road tracks into the mountains or the impossibly flat Oregon Basin to see where you end up.
My two weeks in America were brilliant. I finally got to spend a Christmas with my dad, and Amy and her family, drinking copious amounts of wine, eating too much food, paying Diablo for hours on end and a few terribly awkward rounds of Cards Against Humanity. So thank you Brian, Julie and Jonah for being so awesome and giving me a proper American holiday!
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