Driving a car:
One of the best ways to experience the area of the 2020 Hemingway Society Conference is to fly into Billings International Airport on Sunday, rent a car and drive to Sheridan, Wyoming (2 hours, 133 miles) for the first four nights of the conference. Then on Thursday, a conference travel day, continue on (through Cody for lunch and a tour of the Cody Museum) to Cooke City, Montana (3 hours, 150 miles driving time) where we will spend the next three nights. The conference ends on Saturday night, so on Sunday morning drive the 125 miles of mountain roads back through Beartooth Mountains and Red Lodge arriving late (5:00 PM) at the Billings airport. Plan at least three hours of driving time on the 68 miles of the Beartooth Highway. Be sure to pack a windbreaker and warm clothing for the trip!
Driving a car from Billings will be a world-class loop that will take you
- through the Little Bighorn Battlefield;
- to Sheridan, Wyoming (where Hemingway finished A Farewell to Arms);
- over the Big Horn Mountains;
- through Cody, Wyoming;
- through the Absoroka Mountains
- to Cooke City, Montana (from where Hemingway sent off final drafts of Death in the Afternoon and To Have and Have Not);
- then over the Beartooth Mountains;
- through Red Lodge, Montana (hometown of Robert Jordan); and
- back to the Billings airport.
Having your own car (or rental) will allow you to go at your own pace, stopping to visit museums, hike, fish, raft, watch wildlife, attend rodeos, visit Yellowstone, etc. This loop will show conference attendees the best of Wyoming, Montana, and Cooke City/Yellowstone, all through a Hemingway-tinted lens.
Not driving a car:
For people attending the conference who cannot or would rather not drive, we are offering two transportation options if you fly into the Billings airport.
1) To attend both Sheridan and Cooke City locations without a car:*
Fly into the Billings Airport (Saturday recommended) and on Sunday and take the 10:30AM (Mountain Time Zone) conference one-way shuttle bus service into Sheridan, Wyoming ($50). HERE is your link to make your reservation for the shuttle. Once you are in Sheridan, shuttles will run from all major hotels to all academic sessions and conference events.
Then, when registering for the conference, you must sign up for the Thursday tour bus leaving Sheridan at 9:00AM to Cooke City, Montana ($175)* with a lunch stop at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody. This bus continues at 9:00AM on Sunday to the Billings airport, arriving by 5:00PM. See the bus schedule for details. For those choosing the Cooke City bus service, the bus will also provide transportation to all conference events in Cooke City.
*IMPORTANT: LODGING RESTRICTIONS APPLY TO THIS BUS OPTION.
In Cooke City all bus passengers must stay at either The Grizzly Lodge: www.yellowstonelodges.com
or, Silver Gate, Pine Edge and Whispering Pines Guest Cabins: www.pineedgecabins.com/en-us
If you will be taking this bus you should make your old west dinner cowboy cookout reservations as soon as possible. See society website for the cookout details at www.hemingwaysociety.org/old-west-dinner-coookout or www.yellowstonenationalparklodges.com/adventure/wild-west-adventures/old-west-dinner-cookout
2) To attend only the Sheridan location without a car:
Fly into Billings and take the 10:30 am (Mountain Time zone) round trip shuttle bus to Sheridan ($100). Then on Thursday take the 8:45 AM round trip shuttle back to the Billings airport arriving at 11:30 am. HERE is your link to make your reservation for the round-trip shuttle. Local transportation will be provided to conference events in Sheridan.
Please note: if you choose to fly into and out of Sheridan there is no option provided for transportation to Cooke City that returns you to the Sheridan airport. If you fly directly into and out of the Sheridan airport (limited flights available), then contact your hotel for how to get from the airport to your hotel. All other local transportation will be provided to conference events.
3) Attending only the Cooke City portion of the conference without a car?
If you really want to come to Cooke City without a car it will be an adventure. For example, from the North take a Greyhound bus to Livingston, MT and hitch-hike through the northern part of Yellowstone to your hotel in Cooke City. Other shuttle services are available, but no local bus service in Cooke City or return transportation to your airport will be provided by the conference [except for option 1) above.] To attend only the Cooke City portion of the conference you should live there or fly into the airport of your choice (Sheridan, Billings, Bozeman, Cody, or wherever), rent a car there and drive to Cooke City.