In August of 2004 Cody City Council enacted a 2 hour parking limit down town. But it really isn’t for you, and it really isn’t for me, and there won’t really be anyone checking cars to see how long you have been parked. So what is it all about? Well, Cody merchants became angry at each other over the habits of various businesses employees. The employees would park in front of businesses that they didn’t work at, and leave their cars there all day. Here are some quotes from the Cody Enterprise, our local newspaper, Issue Aug. 4, 2004.
“The council and city staff made Clear that enforcement of the two-hour rule will largely result from individual businesses filing specific complaints with the police department, rather than officers initiating the action.------Business owners have repeatedly said the parking problem is not caused by the public, tourists, or other shoppers, but results from downtown employees parking for many hours in front of other stores. We are not targeting shoppers-----We don’t care if they are there for 10 hours. This action targets employees and employers.” So there you have it, when you see those 2 hour parking signs, you now know what the real story is.
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Early Spring Bear Warnings
Spring visitors to Cody Country and Yellowstone should be alert to signs of bear activity. Grizzly and black bears emerging from their winter dens are hungry and will be searching for winter killed wildlife and winter-weakened elk and bison. Be especially careful if you are hiking and come upon a carcass as these attract bears. If a bear should be present do not approach it in any circumstances. Bears feeding on carcasses are very aggressive and will defend their food. This is also true of mother bears with cubs, the mother will be aggressive in defending her babies. If you should surprise a bear and he charges, pepper spray designed to repel bears can be used as a last resort. In most cases the spray is effective, but remember this only works for short distances such as 10 to 30 feet away, and if the wind is blowing in your face, you will also get the spray. Cold temperatures and the age of the product may also affect its efficacy. This spray is NOT a repellent, and spraying it on yourself or your tent does not prevent bear attacks. Also be sure you talk or wear bear bells as you hike to alert any bears in the area of your presence, surprising a bear is one of the causes of a bear attack. This advice, of course, also goes for summer and fall when bears are still active in the area.
Canoeing and Kayaking at High Altitudes
While driving in the mountains of Wyoming you may see beautiful high altitude lakes, mirror smooth and surrounded by mountain peaks. Your canoe is strapped to your car top and you are tempted to stop and take a paddle. This activity can bring both joy and peace, but also danger. Remember that the water in mountain lakes is extremely cold and high winds can develop suddenly. If you accidentally fall in while canoeing this combination of wind and cold-water temperature can make hypothermia a possible danger even in warm weather. In Yellowstone Lake for example the average summer water temperature is 45 degrees. Always wear a life jacket and do not head across large lakes, rather stay close enough to the shoreline so that you could swim to shore if you need to. The photo is the view you will see as you drive the highway, which swings along the Buffalo Bill Reservoir just after you pass through the tunnels on your way to Buffalo Bill State Park or Yellowstone National Park.
Weather, Critters, Crime--and GHOSTS
Snow can come at any time of the year in the high country. Always take some warm clothing, just in case. If visiting Yellowstone in the spring or fall call 307-344-2117 for road conditions in the park.
The crime rate is VERY low in Cody, we do, however occasionally have items stolen out of cars that are left unlocked. Just as a precaution, lock your vehicle.
All those wild animals you see are really wild. You would be surprised how fast a buffalo, bear, or moose can run when on the attack. Heed all warnings, don't think you can get away with sneaking up quietly on an animal to snap that photo. You MIGHT get away with it, but we have a large number of tourists who end up visiting the hospital after being gored or attacked by wildlife. You don't want to be one of these. Take along a telephoto lens if you want that close-up.
Also if going to Yellowstone, you will see signs that say fragile ground, stay on the path. Believe it, people do fall through, and ever so often we have people and children who fall into hot scalding water receiving serious burns, even in some cases death. Don't let your children run down the paths and board walks ahead of you when in the park. Be mindful of all the warnings and do not take them lightly.
Oh, and about the Lockhart Inn (see accommodations-2), you can heed my warning, or take it as a bit of fun, when deciding if you want to stay there. These ghosts, if there are such things, that seem to haunt the Inn and the Reindeer Ranch store downtown, seem to be friendly ones.
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