The Fourth Annual Big Horn Basin Folk Festival is coming up soon. The festival is part of the Gift of the Waters Pageant Days week-end, Saturday and Sunday, August 4 and 5, 2018, in Hot Springs State Park, Thermopolis, Wyoming. The festival program includes a robust line-up of activities for the whole family, along with Wyoming’s own artists, craftsmen, musicians, storytellers, artisan and guild members’ demonstrations.
“There will be a variety of art and music activities for kids and the whole family to choose from on both days”, according to Festival Committee head Toddi Darlington. “You can pick up a schedule at the festival and find exact times and locations”. Activities on Saturday include Sun Fabric art and owl rock painting in the Kids Being Creative Activity Tent plus the Color Thermopolis Mural, roping, and a singalong with V, the Gypsy Cowbelle with handmade instruments on The Green. The Buffalo Steel Drum band will be playing too. Ghost Stories at The Pavilion start around 7:30pm, after the Pageant.
On Sunday, there will be additional activities in the Kids Being Creative Activity Tent, including Sallie Wesaw and Friends with hands-on iris basket making — plus there will be demonstrations and storytelling on both days around the festival that will be for the whole family to enjoy. Food will be available both days.
The festival is part of the Gift of the Waters Pageant Days weekend. The Pageant tells how the hot springs were transferred to the state by the Native Americans on the Wind River Reservation. It will be performed starting at 6 pm in the area around the Big Spring Saturday and Sunday evening, and is free and open to the public. T-Shirts for both the Folk Festival and the Pageant are available to buy in advance at Thermopolis Print Zone/Discover Thermopolis, 521 Broadway.
The Big Horn Basin Folk Festival is open to the public without charge. It is sponsored by Hot Springs Greater Learning Foundation, Kiwanis International and Hot Springs State Park with support from National Endowment of the Arts, Wyoming Arts Council, IMtour, Wyoming Independent Music Initiative and Hot Springs Travel & Tourism. Additional support is from Hot Springs County Education Endowment, Las Fuentes, Thrivent Financial and Pinnacle Bank.
James Fuller, historian & owner of Discovering History and Heritage in Cheyenne, has just released his new book, The Wyoming Blizzard of 1949: Surviving the Storm, and is traversing the state over the next two months. Follow the schedule below to find a location near you – this is a fascinating story of survival captured in a book that will be a wonderful addition to any Wyoming lover’s library.
About the book…
A Frozen Frontier
Snow, wind and frigid temperatures devastated parts of Wyoming and neighboring states in 1949. For nearly two months, towns and ranches were marooned by enormous drifts, some reportedly eighty feet tall. The storm stranded hundreds of motorists on the highways and stalled nearly two dozen trains at depots throughout the state. Communities pulled together to assist not only their neighbors but anyone unable to escape the snowstorm. The death of motorists and livestock weighed heavily on the minds of Americans as news spread nationwide. Author and Historian James Fuller recounts these harrowing stories of tenacity and fortitude.
BOOK SIGNING DAYS/TIMES/LOCATIONS…
*Times are subject to change – stay tuned to the Discovering History and Heritage Facebook page for updates!
July 16 Noon-4 pm Cheyenne Depot Plaza, Cheyenne
July 17 1-4 pm Wyoming National Guard Association, Cheyenne
July 19 2-4 pm Weston County Museum, Newcastle
July 23 5-6 pm Goshen County Library, Torrington
July 25 6-8 pm Natrona County Library, Casper
August 4 10 am Wyoming Historic Governor’s Mansion, Cheyenne
August 5 12 pm Uinta County Museum, Evanston
August 10 6-8 pm Grand Encampment Museum, Encampment
August 15 9 am Wyoming State Fair, Douglas
August 16 7-9 pm Dubois Museum & Wind River Historical Center, Dubois
August 17 6-9 pm Riverton Museum, Riverton
August 29 6-8 pm Jim Gatchell Memorial Museum, Buffalo
August 30 7-9 pm Rockpile Museum, Gillette
September 3 9 am – 1 pm Meeteetse
September 4 1-3 pm Hot Springs County Museum and Cultural Center, Thermopolis
September 27 5 pm Rock Springs Library, Rock Springs
click on the image above for a full list of Big Horn Basin Folk Festival Events & Details!
“Hear Me Now” — Wyoming Storytellers Take Spotlight
By Ellen Sue Blakely
Images provided by Hot Springs Greater Learning Foundation
For a full schedule of presenters during “Hear Me Now” Storytelling Circle, August 6-7, see www.wyomingfolkfestival.com. Other weekend events include the Gift of the Waters Pageant Days, Kiwanis Craft Fair and the Big Horn Basin Folk Festival, with music performances all day, demonstrators, workshops, food vendors, juried art show & sale and kid-friendly activities.
When we were kids and all the cousins gathered for the annual Fourth of July ice cream and watermelon feast, our great aunt Kate kept all of us in line by expounding on a “haint” she called “Rawhide and bloody bones.” For years, we assumed Aunt Kate had made up this scary haunt of a creature.
It turns out that Kate had borrowed and adapted “Rawhide” from an Irish tale — probably one she had heard as a child from her grandparents who had come from the Emerald Isle. Aunt Kate is long gone; but, to this day, her scary rendition still brings chills and laughter to the now-aging cousins.
That’s the power of story. If you have ever sat around a campfire and told (or listened to) ghost stories or tall tales, you know its spell. Those who study stories as an art form say telling stories is the oldest art form; and from it grew poetry — rhyming was a way of remembering a longer story.
Although there has not been an organized effort at preserving Wyoming’s stories in recent years, our people have always been inveterate storytellers. Mountain men told plenty of whoppers when they gathered at the fur-trading rendezvous. Music and storytelling were common in the Native American tipis, cowboy bunkhouses, farmhand shacks and homestead cabins. It still is. Given half a chance, today’s outfitters, hunters and fishermen will regale listeners with tales about the “ones that got away.”
This year, Wyoming is taking a step to share our long-standing storytelling tradition at “Hear Me Now,” the state’s first organized Storytelling Circle. (The concept of a “storytelling circle” harks back to those days of campfires and tipis.) The event is part of the Big Horn Basin Festival, August 6-7, 2016, in Hot Springs State Park, Thermopolis. “Hear Me Now” is sponsored by Hot Springs Greater Learning Foundation with a ThinkWyoming grant from the Wyoming Humanities Council. Additional support comes from the National Endowment for the Arts, Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund and Wyoming Arts Council.
“Hear Me Now” will be moderated by Spencer Bohren, nationally known musician and storyteller. Although Bohren now lives in New Orleans, Wyomingites still claim him as their own since he grew up in Casper, and his family still lives and plays music there. Bohren maintains strong ties with the state, presenting educational programs in the schools and public performances in Wyoming communities throughout the year.
Professional storytellers telling tales throughout the day are Michelle King, Basin; Catherine Ringler, Powell; Marilyn Braaten, Thermopolis, and Jennisen Lucas, Cody. The group recently formed the Big Horn Basin Storytelling Guild to promote the art of storytelling.
Echo Klaproth, Shoshoni, former Wyoming poet laureate, and Dick Hall, Thermopolis, cowboy poet, will bring poetry into the tent. Mike Hurwitz, who will be performing at the Big Horn Basin Folk Festival during the weekend, will drop by with his own brand of Western stories. Karl Milner, who specializes in mountain man skills, will add a story or two from the mountain man era. Annie Hatch, Wyoming Arts Council folk arts specialist, will give a bit of historical perspective on the art of Wyoming storytelling. Miss V, sometimes called “The Gypsy Cowbelle,” will talk about her adventures homesteading in Wyoming.
As a special feature, Spencer Bohren will perform his nationally acclaimed “Down the Dirt Road Blues,” 11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m., Sunday, August 7, in the Storytelling Tent. Bohren uses historic music instruments as he tells how one song moved from its African roots to blues to rock and roll.
“Hear Me Now” is free and of interest to all ages. Visitors can “come sit a spell” and — if you are so inclined — you can even add your own tales — true or otherwise — during the open microphone opportunities.
After all, if you don’t tell your favorite story, who will?
Ellen Sue Blakey of Thermopolis is a textile artist, rug braider, author, musician and occasional storyteller. You can hear and see her story about rug braiding and Depression-era women on youtube. If you attend the Storytelling Circle, look her up, say the magic words “Uncle Charlie”; she may just tell you the story of Charlie, the sheriff’s hat, a blackberry pie, and how he came to Wyoming.
It’s a big time of year across Wyoming – JULY!! Green River Rendezvous in Pinedale, Wyo Rodeo in Sheridan, Laramie Jubilee Days, Cheyenne Frontier Days, county rodeos, OH MY! So much fun! Excited to help promote it all … Check out the images for both the Meet Me on the Green Pageant & Parade (part of Green River Rendezvous in Pinedale), and Laramie Jubilee Days’ schedule of events …
On April 1, Levi & I were treated to a night at the Mountain View Hotel, a historic establishment in Centennial, just about 30 miles west of Laramie on US Highway 130. Due to our crazy lifestyle with our businesses, we weren’t able to make it until later that Friday evening. However, the owners, Kat & Mike, were kind to us and showed us around, regardless of the hour – part of that Wyoming hospitality that they literally offer around the clock.
Fine hospitality at the Mountain View Hotel isn’t a new phenomenon, but it is something Kat & Mike are proud to continue. Opened in time for the June 4, 1907 arrival of the Laramie Plains, Hahn’s Peak Railroad opening, the establishment was dedicated in a “golden spike” ceremony. Painted white with black trim and built at a cost of $8,000 at the time, it boasted 20 guest rooms, a dining room and a “most improved system of plumbing” – never mind that the bathrooms ended up in the stables. Today, you can find the historic register books and china in the nearby Nici Self Museum.
The hotel has received a lovely face lift by Kat & Mike, and its rooms and suites include a restaurant serving breakfast and lunch, coffee roaster and espresso bar. Kat & Mike showed us the suites that make a great stay for a small group, and work well for snowmobilers, hunters, summer vacationers… We discussed how the hotel also makes a great stay for wedding parties getting married in the Snowies – many groups rent the entire hotel for their wedding party to enjoy historic accommodations prior to the big day.
Our room was the Mountain Sage Room, a comfy space with two queen beds and a beautiful en suite bathroom. I had to grab many pictures of the eye-catching antiqued ceiling. We settled in with snacks and a late night Myth Busters marathon, and ended the night soaking in the peaceful silence that I remembered from nighttimes of living in the Snowies as a kid.
In the morning, the room had a lovely sunlight glow and still remained peacefully quiet. I prefer to wake up to a good book, especially on the weekends, so I grabbed my Doris Kearns Goodwin The Bully Pulpit (a great read if you like presidential – or just Victorian – history like I do!) and waited for Levi to wake up. Meandering downstairs, the smell of freshly roasted coffee greeted us and Levi, our family java hound, made a beeline for the espresso bar while I thanked Kat for a great & peaceful night’s stay. Families of snowmobilers were enjoying breakfast in the quaint restaurant, and since we had to rush back as we had a full day of parties with our Laramie bounce house business, I eyed their plates greedily and noticed everyone was having a good meal. There were lots of options for Levi when it came to his coffee, and he went for black with a little extra milk to go. The early spring sunshine was bright and there were still hints of snow – winter season adventure may have been winding down, but you wouldn’t have known it to see the cars with skis and snowmobiles go swishing by through Centennial on their way to the Snowies and Snowy Range Ski Area.
If you’re heading to Laramie or Saratoga to partake in the beauty of the Snowies or enjoy Laramie Jubilee Days, you must make a stay at Mountain View Hotel high on your priority list. After all, if you’re right there and adventuring, you’ll want to fall into a comfy bed that’s nearby and enjoy fresh Joe in the morning. Why not do all that with a little history besides? And when you’re there, be sure to take the hop, skip and jump across the highway to the Nici Self Museum and learn the history of the area. Gold star for those who can email us and let us know where the village got its start and its intriguing name …
Lacee & Shaun Sims are good, kind people that are part of the family owned & operated Sims Sheep Company of Evanston & Lyman — Lacee is also a photographer who owns Leather-n-Lace Photography in Evanston. For a National Ag Day shout out (which we just barely missed on March 15!), we wanted to share a few glimpses into their everyday life ….
About the Sims Sheep Company … Within this company, you’ll find the most prolific and hardy range sheep in North America. Among the breeds found on the ranch are Purebred Targhee and Targhee-Fin Cross Rams. Sims Sheep Company raises Feeder Lambs, Ewe Lambs, and Range Sheep. The Ranch embodies a conservationist spirit, using sustainable farming and grazing methods. The land hosts a variety of animal species which provides excellent Elk, Deer, Antelope, and Game Fowl hunting. The ranch is family owned and operated and boasts a heritage of over 100 years of family ranching.
A Noble History Comes Home: Chief Washakie paintings that hung in the Noble Hotel return to Lander for the first time in 50 years.
Twenty three epic paintings about the life of Chief Washakie by famed western artist J.K. Ralston will be on display at the Lander Pioneer Museum. The paintings used to hang in the Noble Hotel, but haven’t been seen in Lander since the hotel closed nearly fifty years ago.
The paintings and extensive history about Washakie and the Shoshone people will be on display in the main gallery of the museum for the coming year. There is also a display about the Noble Hotel featuring original furniture and a video on Washakie. The museum’s winter hours are currently Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The paintings were commissioned by Harold Del Monte, owner of the Noble Hotel in 1945. Del Monte, an avid historian, wanted guests to experience western history while they stayed at his hotel. He amassed a large collection of Indian artifacts, had western style furniture made to create the feeling of a mountain lodge, and used western themes throughout the hotel.
He hired Montana artist J. K. Ralston to create a series of paintings about the life of Chief Washakie, who Del Monte recognized as one of the most important Wyomingites. Ralston, then at the beginning of his career, spent time in Lander researching the landscape and clothing of the Shoshone. He then painted twenty three large scale oil paintings. The paintings cover important parts of Washakie’s life from his becoming chief, to the battle of Crowheart Butte, the coming of white settlers, the creation of the reservation and his death as a revered leader. Ralston went on to become one of the major western artists and his work is highly sought after by collectors.
When the hotel closed in 1969 the paintings went into storage. They were on display for two years at the state capitol in Cheyenne. The capitol building is closed for renovation and the Governor declined to buy the paintings to permanently display. The Alice C. Del Monte Trust, which owns the paintings, approached the Pioneer Museum about displaying them in Lander again. “We were thrilled to have the opportunity to host the paintings,” said museum Visitor Services Coordinator Randy Wise. “This is a major western art collection that has so many ties to this area: The Chief Washakie story, the connection to Lander and the Noble Hotel. It is especially nice to be able to have this exhibit during our 100th anniversary. It is an honor to be able to share these with the people of Fremont County again.”
An unveiling of the exhibit was held October 17. About 100 people attended the catered affair. When the curtain dropped and the paintings were revealed against the deep red background an audible gasp was heard. Many people in attendance could remember the paintings when they were in the hotel. More than a few had worked at the hotel when they were younger.
“What a wonderful thing to have back in Lander,” said Lander resident Gene Thompson. “This collection should be seen here where it was created and where Chief Washakie lived.”
“We are grateful for all the hard work that has gone into getting this exhibit to happen,” said Fremont County Museum Central Director Scott Goetz. “We’d especially like to thank May and Dave Raynolds for their generous sponsorship of the exhibit. Without their support the display would not be nearly as complete.”
The paintings will be on display anytime the museum is open. The museum held a free open house for the public to celebrate the paintings November 7, featuring guest speakers about Washakie, Ralston and the Noble Hotel, and special tours of the gallery.
The “Noble History Comes Home” exhibit is one of many new and exciting things happening at the museum. Museum officials share that new displays, programs and events will be coming up in 2016.
It might have been former U. S. Sen. Al Simpson who said all politics in Wyoming is personal. I would expand on that by claiming Wyoming is such a small state that “everything is personal.”
On a recent Monday we experienced events that might only happen in a small town. Two members of our community had died. Their families used different funeral homes. And, unfortunately, both funerals were scheduled the same time, Monday morning at 10.
Luckily, Lander is a city of about 7,500 people with not very long streets. We would try to be two places at once. This could get tricky.
Nancy loaded her famous scalloped potato dish that was required at the Catholic Church for Mickey Simmons Sr.’s funeral luncheon into my little car (easier to maneuver) and off we went to Holy Rosary. I handed the dish to Annette Yates in the kitchen. Then we went to the front of the church. After we signed Mickey’s guest book it was off to funeral #2 at United Methodist Church.
Joyce Nations Hornecker, 65, was a nice gal whose dad had been an editor years ago at our newspaper. She was revered for having operated the senior center for years.
After signing her guest book and greeting old friends like Cody Beers, Jean Mathisen Haugen, Sheriff Skip Hornecker, Pastor Mark Calhoun and City Councilman Dick Hudson, it was time to sit and listen to Ralph Mesa sing a few songs and hear about Joyce. Her brother Jim Nations and her nephew Cody said some wonderful things and a slide show flashed life events about Joyce and her husband Johnny behind them on two big TV screens.
It was a nice funeral full of pioneer Wyoming folks. The Hornecker family has a long history in the Lander area, much of it in ranching.
Since we had sat in the back, we quietly slipped out and got into my little car and headed back to the Catholic Church. Since Mickey’s service was a Mass I knew it would be longer so this was going to work out just fine. Got there in time to sit with Mayor Del McOmie just behind former Mayor Mick Wolfe and his wife Marge. Fr. James Schumacher and Deacon Rich Miller conducted the service.
The elder Simmons, 82, was a long time member of the parish and his son, Mickey Jr., had been public works director for Lander for many years.
After communion, the decedent’s eldest grandson, Lucas Anderson, gave a wonderful eulogy. In his tribute to his grandpa, he said the gentle older man left him with two big life lessons: first was to always be willing to say you are sorry and second, to be quick to offer forgiveness. Pretty neat lessons.
Lucas and Becky Murdock provided the vocals during the service. Becky plays one of the best cellos I have ever heard.
After the service we slipped out and drove back to the Methodist Church. There we joined the Hornecker family and friends having a brunch following and paid our respects to Joyce’s husband Johnny.
Not sure how many miles we put on but then went home and changed clothes and I headed to the golf course.
As a former vice-chairman of the Wyoming Aeronautics Commission, the annual Wyoming airport operators group meeting is always fun. They had invited me to be their banquet speaker. And since someone had cancelled a spot in their golf scramble, they asked if I wanted to play? Sure, I told them, but I might be late since I have TWO funerals to attend that morning.
I managed to play the last nine holes with two guys who help run the Cheyenne airport. Later Bob Hooper, Cody, who is president of the WAOA, called me a sandbagger. I had luckily made four long putts in the nine holes I played and ended with a pretty good score.
That evening, we joined the airport folks. There was a lot of gossip about the future of Wyoming’s home-owned airline Great Lakes. Lately the struggling carrier has seen its market share slip. This has boosted flights out of Casper’s airport according to manager Glen Januska.
His staff counts license plates in their parking lots. He says on a typical day their lots are full of cars with Fremont, Johnson and Sheridan license plates. It appears to be obvious that folks who used to fly out of Sheridan and Riverton on Great Lakes are now flying out of Casper.
Check out Bill Sniffin’s columns at www.billsniffin.com. He is a longtime Wyoming journalist from Lander who has written six books. His newest is Wyoming at 125, which is now on sale at fine bookstores. His books are available at www.wyomingwonders.com.
Everything old is new again in this exceptional dual use historic downtown Laramie building. Exceptional location, exceptional renovation, and now an exceptional price! The top level offers top shelf living quarters with 12 foot ceilings, gourmet kitchen, fantastic bed/bath combo, and more than just a touch of whimsy. The main level is currently operated as a restaurant/wine bar (OK, it’s a Speakeasy), with a converted commercial kitchen area, but can just as easily be used as retail or office space. And, even the basement is finished, and features a sauna, steam room, office, shop, and more. The list of improvements are astounding and lengthy — please contact our office for more details, or better yet, a tour of this incredible downtown find! Business and Pleasure collide at an incredible price of $460, 000… All measurements and information contained herein is deemed accurate, but not guaranteed. Please verify if material to purchasing decision. Sellers are considering this sale to be part of a 1031 tax exchange, and all offers must contain language reflecting such. This listing also appears as a commercial listing on the Laramie MLS.
As I write this, the beautiful view of the Wind River Mountains out of my window is obscured. It is so smoky we are leaving our windows shut because it smells like a brush fire a short distance away.
In this case, that brush fire is 1,000 miles away. Northern California and parts of Oregon and Washington are burning up.
This smoke is covering up towns all over Wyoming especially in the Big Horn Basin and Wind River Basin.
It is hard to find a city or town from Cheyenne to Evanston or Powell to Gillette in which smoke has not dominated the view. At least the sunsets and sunrises have been magnificent!
Here in Lander, we enjoyed one clear day between all the smoke from the northwest to local smoke from the Little Bob fire on the Wind River Indian Reservation. They are letting it burn and it is over 1,500 acres and growing.
These ash clouds also remind of a time 27 years ago when Yellowstone National Park literally burned up. Here is what I recall of that event:
Is this hell? Or is it Yellowstone? That was my exact thought as I piloted a small, single engine airplane over the vast expanse of Yellowstone National Park the first week of September, 1988, during the horrible fires that year.
Flying with me on that day was Larry Hastings, one of the best pilots and instructors in Wyoming history. Also along and helping take photos was Mike McClure, a legend in his own right, as a premier photographer.
Both men lived in Lander. We had been talking about making this flight for some time.
It was my bright idea. We had seen TV coverage of the fire but no one seemed to have a good aerial view. I always want to figure out a way to take a big picture in the easiest way possible and flying over the park seemed the best plan.
Hastings was aware ofthe altitude restrictions, which caused us to be quite high as we flew over the world’s oldest national park while it was literally burning up.
The view was both impressive and unimpressive. It was impressive because as far as the eye could see was smoke. It was unimpressive because it was impossible to make out landmarks. Not even the mountains were very visible.
What was visible were a large number of hotspots where fire would shoot 200 feet in the air. It was hot down there. The park I loved was going to be changed forever.
That event two and half decades ago was unprecedented in the history of the National Park Service. There were contrasting programs of fire suppression and “controlled burns” in place, which caused the people responsible for the park’s existence to be incapable of dealing with the conflagration.
Cities and towns in a wide circle around the park enjoyed the most colorful sunsets in history. Lander, which is a two-hour drive southeast from YNP, the evening views were unprecedented. It was an awful time for folks with respiratory problems. No wind and no rain could relieve these conditions.
Fighting the fires in 1988 cost $120 million which is $230 million in today’s dollars – almost a quarter of a billion dollars. It covered some 800,000 acres or over one third of the park.
Biggest fire was the North Fork fire, which was started July 22 by a cigarette dropped by a man cutting timber in the neighboring Targhee National Forest.
One of the most amazing scenes of this fire was when embers from it were sent airborne across the massive Lewis Lake by 80 mph winds setting new fires on the other side of the lake.
This complex of fires burned 140,000 acres and was finally extinguished when some welcome rains fell later that fall.
Stories about other parts of the park and the valiant effort of more than 13,000 firefighters, 120 helicopters and other aerial devices, plus National Guard and civilians detail bravery but were to no avail. Important structures like Old Faithful Inn and the Lake Hotel were saved but efforts to stop the fires proved to be impossible.
Mother Nature wanted that fire to burn and it did until she was ready to put it out.
And that memorable day 27 years ago we were flying above a scene right out of Dante’s Inferno. I experienced a memory that I would both like to forget and yet, always recall.
Check out Bill Sniffin’s columns at www.billsniffin.com. He is a longtime Wyoming journalist from Lander who has written six books. His newest is Wyoming at 125, which is coming out in September. His books are available at www.wyomingwonders.com.
Grand Teton National Park Welcomes Fourth-Grade Students
New Program Encourages Families and Classes to Visit National Parks
MOOSE, WY — Grand Teton National Park invites all fourth-grade students to visit the park for free as part of the White House’s new Every Kid in a Park program. Fourth-grade students can visit https://www.everykidinapark.gov/ to complete an activity and obtain a voucher for a free annual entry pass to more than 2,000 federal recreation areas and lands, including national parks.
Grand Teton National Park Superintendent David Vela said, “We invite all fourth graders and their families, as well as fourth-grade classes, to the park to discover, learn and have fun.” Vela said one of the goals of the program is to connect young people with the great outdoors.
To receive a voucher for their free pass for national parks, fourth graders can visit the Every Kid in a Park website and play a game to access their special voucher. Fourth graders and their families can then obtain a pass for free entry to national parks and other federal public lands and waters across the country from now through August 31, 2016. The website also includes fun and engaging learning activities aligned to educational standards, trip planning tools, safety and packing tips and other important and helpful information for educators and parents.
In addition to providing every fourth grader in America a free entry pass for national parks and federal public lands and waters, fourth grade educators, youth group leaders and their students can participate in the program through field trips and other learning experiences.
Grand Teton National Park offers a “Weather Wonders” snow science field trip for fourth-grade classes and geology field trips in the fall and spring. The distance-learning program “Snow Desk” broadcasts live to schools around the country during the winter.
Park personnel will be at Colter Elementary in Jackson Hole to share information at the fourth-grade parents’ night on Wednesday, September 16 from 6-7 p.m. Other schools and fourth-grade teachers that are interested in the program should contact Megan Kohli at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 307-739-3656.
The goal of the Every Kid in a Park program is to connect fourth graders with the great outdoors and inspire them to become future environmental stewards, ready to preserve and protect national parks and other public lands for years to come. The program is an important part of the National Park Service’s centennial celebration in 2016, which encourages everyone to Find Your Park.
Every Kid in a Park is a government-wide effort, launched by President Obama, and supported by eight federal agencies, including the National Park Service, the Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Department of Education, Fish and Wildlife Service, Forest Service, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
FROM GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK: Ride Menor’s Ferry & Experience Early Method of River Crossing on the Snake
MOOSE, WY — Ever wondered how Jackson Hole’s early settlers crossed the Snake River before bridges? Beginning Monday, July 20, visitors can take a ride on a replica ferry boat and experience crossing the Snake in the same fashion provided by Bill Menor through his routine ferry service of the late 1800s and early 1900s. Park ranger naturalists will offer free rides daily from 9:00–10:15 a.m. and 1:15–2:15 p.m., as well as before and after the ranger-led program, “A Walk into the Past,” that occurs each day at 2:30 p.m. Call 307.739.3399 for additional operation times.
The wooden ferry boat serves as a central feature of the Menor/Noble Historic District, located just north of the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center in Grand Teton National Park. Ferry rides transport visitors across the Snake River from Menor’s general store on the west bank of the river to Dornan’s on the east bank—and back.
Menor’s Ferry consists of a wooden platform deck placed upon two pontoons for flotation. The ferry is tethered to a cable system that spans the river and operates by directing the pontoons toward the opposite riverbank, allowing the power of the current to push the craft across the river channel. The system uses river power—rather than motor power—to push the ferry across the water. This type of river travel existed in ancient times and was widely used throughout the United States.
Menor’s Ferry played a vital role in providing safe transport for passengers over the swift-flowing Snake River before construction of a bridge. Prior to the ferry’s existence, the Snake River was essentially impassable from Wilson to Moran—except during low water periods in the fall and winter months. As a man of vision, Bill Menor saw the need for a more convenient access across the Snake River and consequently built and operated his ferry from 1894 until 1918 when he sold it to Maud Noble. Maud operated the ferry until 1927 when its use became obsolete after a steel truss bridge was constructed across the river, allowing for vehicles and foot traffic to cross without the assistance of a ferry service.
Although transportation has changed over time, Menor’s Ferry offers a chance to step back into the past and experience a bygone time and historic mode of river passage.
Two temporary exhibits will be on display next month at the Jackson Hole & Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center, located at 532 N. Cache Street in Jackson. The public is invited to view the colorful exhibits, which celebrate Wyoming successes.
From the National Elk Refuge … The first exhibit commemorates the 125th anniversary of Wyoming statehood. Wyoming became the 44th state admitted to the Union on July 10, 1890. An interactive display will give visitors an opportunity to learn more about the state’s history and fun facts. Both a Wyoming and National Elk Refuge time line will be featured, along with coloring sheets, state logos, and a Wyoming quiz. Small Wyoming flags will be given to the first 200 families that visit the exhibit, which will be in the upstairs theater from July 2 through July 12.
Later in the month, visitor center staff will add a second exhibit to the upper level of the visitor center. The Wyoming Junior Duck Stamp 2015 Artwork Tour for the Top 100 entries and National Best in Show will move from its current location at the Campbell County Public Library in Gillette to the Jackson Hole & Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center from July 9 through August 2.The exhibit features an acrylic painting of two wood ducks by Andrew Kneeland, age 17, of Rock Springs. Not only was Kneeland awarded top honors in the state competition, but his artwork was judged the winner among best–of–show entries from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. His design will appear on next year’s Federal Junior Duck Stamp, scheduled to be released in June 2016.
The Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design Program is a dynamic educational program that uses both conservation and design principles to teach wetland habitat and waterfowl biology to students from kindergarten through high school. The program incorporates both scientific and wildlife management principles into an engaging visual arts curriculum. At the completion of their studies, participants complete a Junior Duck Stamp design, which is submitted to a state or territory contest. Top entries move on to the national competition.
Jackson Hole & Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center hours are from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm.
The 2015 Lander Brewfest will be held on Friday June 12th from 5-9pm and Saturday June 13th from 2-7pm in the Lander City Park, 405 Fremont Street. Tickets and more information about the breweries and program are available at www.landerbrewfest.com. The early-bird ticket rates are $25 for a one-day pass and $45 for a full weekend pass. Tickets can also be purchased day-of for $30/$50, giving 21+ age adults unlimited access to over 70 beers from our 25+ breweries that are coming from Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, Utah, and Colorado.
“We are excited to be moving Brewfest back to City Park,” said Rose Burke, Event Coordinator of the Lander Chamber of Commerce. “In addition to the centralized and sheltered location, this year’s event will include vibrant music, excellent food, and interactive games such as Beer Trivia and the Lawn Game Olympics.” Burke adds, “And the event is open to all ages, so kids and non-drinkers are welcome for free.” Please note: as an all-ages event, Lander Brewfest coordinators require all minors be accompanied by an adult and to please leave pets at home.
Burke noted that this year’s event gives regional craft brewers an opportunity to shine and has added new programs such as “Brewer’s Corner Classes” and “You Be the Beer Judge” sessions where participants can learn more about craft beer. “Our craft brewers are really artists that create some of the best beer in the country. They have a lot to share about their trade and have a vested interest in educating beer connoisseurs,” she added. “Hopefully, we all leave Brewfest with a better appreciation of who is making good beer and continue supporting these small businesses by demanding these products at local bar taps and on supermarket shelves.”
In addition to new programming, the 2015 Lander Brewfest will feature excellent live music. Friday night Spirit Family Reunion will close out the evening with foot stompin’ new-grass-blue-grass, hailing from from Brooklyn, New York. Saturday Jackson’s Chanman Roots Band will kick off the day with root jams and Eugene, Oregon’s Sol Seed will rock out the evening with an eclectic reggae and root vibe.
Lander Brewfest is also hosting Wyoming.com “Golf with the Brewers” 9-hole scramble at the Lander Golf Club, Saturday June 13th from 9am-12pm. “We have 30 of our brewers signed up and most of them are bringing some of their brews to share,” said Burke. “It should be a fun opportunity to play golf, talk with the brewers, and play golf.” Tickets are $30, available online.
Brewfest is partnering Saturday’s events with the Fremont Area Road Tour, a road bike race for all ages, levels, and distances beginning and ending at Lander City Park. June 1st is the deadline to register for the “Bike and Brew” packages: www.landercyclingevents.org.
The 2015 Lander Brewfest is presented by Fremont Toyota and sixteen additional partnering sponsors and organizations. Please thank these businesses by supporting them with your patronage.
For more information or to volunteer contact Rose Burke, Event Coordinator, Lander Chamber of Commerce: email@example.com, 307-332-3892. Press release from Wind River Visitor Council
SINKS CANYON ROUGH & TUMBLE TRAIL RACES SATURDAY, JUNE 6
The Lander Running Club is excited to announce the first ever Sinks Canyon Rough and Tumble Trail Races to be held this Saturday, June 6th! The race will be held in the spectacular Sinks Canyon on the Shoshone National Forest, starting and finishing in Bruce’s Parking Area.
“With two race distances of 4 and 11 miles, the runs promise to challenge runners of all inclinations and abilities; both include hill climbs, swooping smooth singletrack, and technical running,” said Evan Reimondo, co-founder and coach of the LRC. “These runs feature new, world class trails in the foothills of the Wind River range, and we truly believe they will become classic trail races.” said Amber Wilson, also co-Founder and coach of the running club.
The Lander Running Club was founded in December of 2013 by Evan Reimondo and Amber Wilson shortly after they transplanted to Lander following their graduate studies at NAU in Flagstaff, AZ where they both enjoyed the sense of community, encouragement, and friendship that came with participation in the local running club there – Team Run Flagstaff. “This was an attempt to bring that sense of running community with us to Wyoming, and we’re very excited to see it growing and becoming pretty successful,” said Amber.
The Lander Running Club hosts a weekly track workout on Wednesday nights and group trail runs on Saturdays along with a growing series of races year-round. Membership in LRC is free and open to the community. Runners of all ages and abilities are welcome. For more information about the Lander Running Club or to sign up for the group’s once-weekly newsletters detailing weekly group runs and upcoming running events, visit landerrunning.blogspot.com, visit and “like” LRC on Facebook at facebook.com/landerrunning or email Evan and Amber and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Race day registration starts Saturday, June 6th at 7am in Bruce’s parking area.
11-mile race briefing: 7:45
11-mile start: 8:00
4-mile race briefing: 8:15
4-mile start: 8:30
The Sinks Canyon Rough and Tumble Trail Races have permit approval from the Shoshone National Forest, and are sanctioned by the USATF.
— from Coach Amber Lynn Wilson, Press Release from Wind River Visitor Council
DUBOIS MUSEUM PRESENTS WYOMING COMMUNITY BANK SPEAKERS SERIES — BEAR SPRAY 101 JUNE 11
“Bear Spray 101 How to avoid bear encounters, the proper use of bear spray and how to defend yourself during an attack,” Fourth program in the Wyoming Community Bank Speaker’s series at the Dubois Museum in the Dennison Lodge June 11, at 7 p.m.
Bear Spray 101: How to avoid bear encounters, the proper use of bear spray and how to defend yourself during an attack.
A program on Bear Spray 101 will be presented June 11 at 7 p.m. at the Dennison Lodge in Dubois. The program is the Fourth in the Wyoming Community Bank Speakers Series at the museum. The series will feature speakers and programs on the area’s culture and history at all three county museums throughout the summer and fall. The programs are free and open to the public.
The program, led by Brain DeBolt, the Large Carnivore Conflict Coordinator with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.
The next speaker through the Dubois Museum will be at the Dennison Lodge July 9, 7 p.m. and will be a program by Mark Thompson sharing his story of life in the Dunoir Valley. This will also be a great opportunity for others to share their stories of Dubois in the past.
For more information call the museum at 307-455-2284, on Facebook at: Dubois Museum & Wind River Historical Center
DUBOIS MUSEUM PRESENTS WIND RIVER VISITORS COUNCIL TREK SERIES JUNE 13 — “Byrd Draw Explorations”
First program in the Wind River Visitors Council Trek Series at the Dubois Museum Saturday, June 13 at 8:30 am.
Bruce Thompson and Sally Wulbrecht will lead the trek. The trek will investigate what the rocks, plants and animal tracks have to tell us about life in the badlands canyon. Bring a lunch, plenty of water and dress for hiking on rocky trails. The trek is free and open to the public. Meet at the Dubois Museum at 8:30am. Please call the Dubois Museum 455-2284 to register for the program.
This program is the First in the Wind River Visitors Council Trek Series at the museum. This series will feature treks on the area’s culture and history at all three county museums throughout the summer and fall.
The next activity will be a Wind River Visitors Council Trek Series through the Dubois Museum on Saturday, June 20, 9 a.m. to the Torrey Basin Petroglyphs, Limit of 12 people so call now to reserve your spot.
For more information call the museum at 307-455-2284 or on Facebook at: Dubois Museum & Wind River Historical Center — Press Release from Wind River Visitors Council
Wyoming Heritage Days, A Walk Through Time at the National Historic Trails Interpretive Center in Casper
June 13, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
June 14 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
The event is FREE and open to the public!
LOCATION: National Historic Trails Interpretive Center, Casper – right adjacent to the Events Center!
Description: In celebration of the 125th anniversary of Wyoming’s statehood, The National Historic Trails Interpretive Center in Casper will host a premier living history event. The event will feature colorful personalities from Wyoming’s past. Many called Wyoming “home” before it was a state. All played an important role in Wyoming’s unique heritage.