International Pedigree Stage Stop Sled Dog Race Kicks Off TONIGHT!

visit our website & find a WY vendor

We dare you to say the name 10 times fast – or even the acronym, IPSSSDR — I always get hung up on S #2. 🙂 This beyond awesome, annual event finds dog teams mushing across the western half of Wyoming, stopping in small towns along the way, and bringing together a whole lot of folks excited to see this wintry spectacle. The event kicks off TONIGHT, January 31, in Jackson (see event details below!) – and continues through February 8 with stops detailed below… Stay tuned to their website & Facebook page for pictures, details, updates & more!

Photos in this blog post taken from IPSSSDR Facebook page

The excitement of the 19th annual IPSSSDR will be unleashed tonight at the Town Square in downtown Jackson, Wyoming. It’s easy to find the starting line if you listen for the enthusiastic howls and excited barking of more than 300 sled dogs. And they are ready to run!! Prepare yourself for a full evening of events as this week shifts into high gear.
The first teams leave the starting chute at 6:30PM so come early to take advantage of the unique opportunities this race offers. You can meet and greet the mushers, see the lovely Rebecca Podio, Miss Wyoming 2013, watch video of previous races, and, on this cold night, enjoy some hot food and drink. You can even win prizes at the PEDIGREE® tent. Then pick out a choice spot to watch the teams as they race through the streets of Jackson on their way to the Snow King Resort. After you’ve seen the two and four footed athletes head down the block and out of sight, catch the free shuttle START BUS from Town Square to the Snow King Center. At the finish line you can congratulate the mushers and maybe even pet a dog or two, then watch the torch light parade as it snakes down the mountain (see photograph), the Jackson Hole Air Force participate. And if that isn’t enough, there will be dazzling fireworks, too.

The race continues for the next eight days, covering 330 miles with stops in Alpine, West Yellowstone, Lander, Pinedale, Big Piney/Marbleton, Kemmerer, and, crossing the final finish line February 8, in Evanston. Follow the race right here on Facebook or visit the official race website for exclusive coverage, photos, and current standings.

MADE IN WYOMING: Tom Balding Bits & Spurs

visit our website & read the current issue

We are thrilled to team with the Wyoming Business Council to feature a Wyoming First business every week on our blog! Wyoming First is a program that promotes Wyoming member businesses. Visit their website (click here) to learn more about this service — and if you are a Wyoming business who’s not a member, be sure to inquire about membership! There are many benefits!

This week we are featuring Tom Balding Bits & Spurs of Sheridan, WY

Tom Balding, Tom Balding Bits and Spurs  655 Riverside  Sheridan, WY 82801  307-672-8459

After leaving the fast-paced life in California, Tom Balding moved to Sheridan, Wyoming.  Being an avid outdoorsman he was drawn to the area after a visit to Sheridan.  Tom admired the breathtaking scenery and limitless opportunities to enjoy the outdoors.  He takes pleasure in supporting his community and his days are full running the business, spending time with family and being involved in the community; however, he also takes time to enjoy the beautiful outdoors that captured him in the beginning.

Tom has always been drawn to working with metal. In 1984, a neighbor asked Tom to repair a broken bit — and that began his journey to Tom Balding Bits and Spurs.   The business began with Tom putting together scrap sailboat parts to create the first bit design.  He quickly learned through trial and error what was required of the bits in order to perform at the level his clients required.  Tom decided to pursue bit and spur crafting full time and the process was refined into the high quality craftsmanship that Tom Balding Bits and Spurs is known for today.

For 15 years Tom ran the company as a one man operation.  In 1998, a multiple winner of American Quarter Horse Association World Championships began using Tom’s bits.  Word got around the western horse circuit; Tom sold his house and built his shop and began hiring his team, which he calls a small family.

Tom works closely with professional riders during the development of new products to make certain of their performance, and feedback is considered for the final designs.  It can take up to a year before the final product is offered to the general public.

Almost all bits and spur orders are custom orders.  They have a list of parts, finishes, and extras for their bits and spurs and people choose exactly what they want.  People can order products via the website (, phone (307-672-8459), or email (  The base price on bits is $125 and on spurs $240. They can become as elaborate, and in turn more expensive, as the customer desires.

Along with the famous Tom Balding Bits and Spurs, customers can find belt buckles, bracelets, earrings, scarf slides, key rings and money clips on the web site and at the store.  Tom and his team pay just as much attention to detail for these items that they do with the bits and spurs.

They were recently featured on three segments of Discovery Channels “How It’s Made” —  one segment on spurs, the second on bits, and the third on belt buckles. Their reputation and customer base is worldwide.

Tom Balding Bits & Spurs offers tours Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm MST, which includes a walk through of each product’s process.

Valentine’s Day Fun in WY – Singing Flowers in Laramie, Wintry Fun in Green River…

Laramie’s Fresh Flower Fantasy Brings Harmony to V-Day

In Laramie and looking for something fun & unique for your sweetie on Valentine’s Day? Fresh Flower Fantasy offers singing valentines! Have your beautiful roses or other flowers delivered by some very talented musicians – and you can even name your tune! Delivery charges are tiered, from the non-musical variety to a selection from the list below…or add your own for just a little extra! Details — call 307-742-7616!
A list of the selections you can choose…or name your tune for just a little extra: 
“1, 2, 3, 4” by the Plain White T’s — “It Only Takes a Moment” from the musical Hello, Dolly — “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz — “Just the Way You Are” by Bruno Mars — “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri — “You’re Still the One” by Shania Twain — “Mine” by Taylor Swift — “Lucky” by Colbie Caillat and Jason Mraz (duet only) — “I Can’t Help Falling in Love With You” duet originally by Elvis — Duets or solos available, unless marked otherwise!

Green River — 2014 Crystal Classic Winter Festival Offers Wintry Fun, Food & Heat for the Whole Family! Say wha?! Read on for more…

Be sure to check our the Crystal Classic Winter Festival in Green River, where you can enjoy fun of the chilly — and hot — variety… Confused? Here’s a list of what you can enjoy:  ice carving competitions — Snow Boot Softball Tourney – 5K Walk/Run — fireworks at Expedition Island — ice bar — Ice Cube Hunt — soup cook off & s’mores stations — live music to heat you up… just to name a few activities! Check out the Sweetwater County Tourism website for a full schedule of events – and head to Green River to get your winter adventure on!

Liberty Lausterer: “This Wyoming Life”

visit our website & read the current issue

Earlier this month I saw Ira Glass give a talk at the Jackson Hole Center for the Arts in Jackson, WY. Glass is the host of the public radio show This American Life. He appeared on stage wearing a skinny grey suit and tie, having flown in from NYC, and joked that he was way overdressed for his Wyoming audience. His blue jean wearing, ice pick carrying audience cheered him on in agreement.

Then Glass did what he does best, he told stories. The stories he told, like those heard on This American Life, ranged from the weirdly mundane to the shockingly bizarre. But every story, whether it was one about an AWKWARD gaff at work, or questions surrounding a bizarre murder case in North Carolina, were told in a spirit of mystery and intrigue. Glass has reclaimed the ancient art of storytelling. Based on the huge success of the radio show and the buzz in Jackson around Glass’ appearance (a second show was added when the first one sold out in just four hours), I’d say there is something in all of us that still longs to hear a good story.

That’s the truly magnificent thing about stories, everyone has at least one to tell. And since there are only a half million people living in Wyoming that means that Wyoming stories are pretty rare as stories go. It just so happens that Wyoming Public Media has started a project to collect stories from around the state. Anyone can participate. All you have to do is show up and tell one or several stories of your life in Wyoming. You can listen here to stories that have already been collected, and you can get information about where to go to share yours.

Because while there is something exciting about someone flying in from NYC to share stories that are broadcast all over the nation and beyond, I’d say there’s something even more meaningful about hearing stories from this Wyoming life.

C.J. Box Releases “Stone Cold”

visit our website & read the current issue


I was thrilled to receive my copy of C.J. Box’s newest book, Stone Cold, published by Putnam. The 14th novel in Box’s acclaimed series about Wyoming game Joe Pickett, will publish on March 11. C.J. Box is a long-time resident of Wyoming – I was beyond thrilled to interview him for our Sprinter 2012 issue of WLM! A graduate of Kelly Walsh High School in Casper, and a reporter for the Saratoga Sun, C.J. Box discusses topics that are sympathetic to the west and Wyoming. “My goal is that with every book, readers are exposed to different points of view on controversial issues that they may not have known before,” Box said during our 2012 interview.

Critics call Box’s 2013 national bestseller Breaking Point “explosive” (South Florida Sun-Sentinel), “superlative” (The Cleveland Plain Dealer), “thrilling” (Publishers Weekly) and “exceptionally well-told” (USA Today).  Stone Cold puts Joe Pickett in the middle of an investigation of a mysterious new resident…

“In a distant part of Wyoming, a very rich stranger has settled in and built a virtual fortress for himself and his rather menacing staff. Located in the remote Black Hills of Wyoming, this grand estate poses a number of mysteries… Joe Picket, still officially a game warden, but now mostly a troubleshooter for Wyoming’s controversial Governor Rulon, is assigned to find out what the about the mystery man is. But as Joe investigates,  he soon realizes there is more to the situation than he’d anticipated…” Putnam Publishers

Loved by readers across Wyoming, the nation and world, C.J. Box continues to capture and hold readers’ attention through his suspenseful stories. Be sure to reserve your copy of Stone Cold at your favorite store!




Gain Free Entry into Grand Teton National Park on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

MOOSE, WY — Grand Teton National Park will waive entrance fees on Monday, January 20, 2014 in recognition of the Martin Luther King, Jr. federal holiday. Grand Teton will join the more than 400 other units of the National Park System to acknowledge this special day as part of an effort to encourage families and individuals to visit and experience the wonders of their national parks. The entry fee for a private, non-commercial vehicle to Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks normally costs $25 for seven days.

In addition to waiving entrance fees during this upcoming holiday, Grand Teton will also offer free admission on eight other days throughout 2014. The additional fee-free dates for the calendar year include:

•             February 15-17 (President’s Day weekend)

•             April 19-20 (National Park Week opening weekend)

•             August 25 (National Park Service’s 98th anniversary)

•             September 27 (National Public Lands Day)

•             November 11 (Veterans Day)

Weekend visitors to Grand Teton can enjoy winter activities from auto-touring, wildlife viewing and photography to cross-country skiing, skate skiing and snowshoeing across the snow-covered landscape.  A popular winter trail—that spans the unplowed Teton Park Road from Taggart Lake parking area to Signal Mountain Lodge—is open, and although not machine groomed, it is packed and tracked by previous skiers.

In addition to skiing, photography and wildlife watching, ranger-led snowshoe hikes take place each Tuesday, Friday and Saturday day at 1:30 p.m. from the Taggart Lake parking area. The two-hour guided walks offer an opportunity to learn about snow science and winter ecology. Previous experience is not necessary, and snowshoes are available for a rental fee of $5 for adults and $2 for children, 8 years or older. Reservations are required and can be made at 307.739.3399.

For complete information about winter activities in Grand Teton National Park or the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway, go to Visitors can obtain winter season information about Grand Teton and the JDR Parkway in the following ways:

  •  The park’s website at
  • The Jackson Hole and Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center on North Cache Street in Jackson.
  • The park’s information line at 307.739.3399, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday— Saturday.