MADE IN WYOMING: Simple Joys Soap

visit our website & read the NEW Sprinter 2014 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 Simple Joys Soap of Sheridan, Wyoming

Susan Flynn, Simple Joys Soap  PO Box 6461  Sheridan, WY 82801  307-672-2130   

Simple Joys Soap began when Susan developed an obsession with soap-making! There were so many essential oil (scent) combinations to try out and so many recipes! As she was purchasing ingredients in a Good Health Emporium & Warehouse Market in Sheridan, both owners began asking her if she would like to sell soap to them. Of course, Susan said yes!  She was making so much more than she could use or give away, so it seemed to be the way to go — and with that, Simple Joys Soap was launched!

As a family business, Susan’s daughter and son-in-law help her with production and distribution.  In busy times, she has also had help from friends and other family members.  Simple Joys Soap is an entirely home-based business.

Although there are about 18 different scents, there are still many more possible combinations of essential oils and additives.  Susan enjoys trying new ideas for special projects, so custom orders are always welcome.  Also, for a nominal one-time fee, she offers custom soap labels to wholesale customers.  For example, Paradise Guest Ranch, The Ranch at Ucross, and others have their logo on the soap label.  In these businesses, Simple Joys Soap is available to the guests to use in their room and in the gift shops to buy as gifts.

For retail customers, Simple Joys Soap may be purchased by a phone, email, or the website:www.simplejoyssoap,com.  Wholesale customers can email Susan at or, or phone 307-672-2130.

There are three sizes of soap: Hospitality, Half-size, and Full-size bars. Retail prices range from $1.00 to $5.00. Simple Joys Soap is made from a vegetable-based product made with high-quality ingredients and scented with essential oils. The labels accurately describe the ingredients found in the soap. Whenever possible, Susan supports local businesses when purchasing ingredients such as honey, coffee, organic oatmeal, etc.  Extra soap is donated to local charities yearly.  Simple Joys Soap is passionate about recycling ingredient containers!

Liberty Lausterer: Hitch Your Wagon to the Stars

visit our website & read the new Sprinter 2014 issue!

Our guest blogger, Liberty Lausterer, is back with another introspective look at our square state. Liberty moved to Wyoming within this past year, and offers us her perspective at life in the Cowboy State from a new resident’s eyes.



Here’s a scary thought. According to Tyler Nordgren, author of Stars Above, Earth Below: Astronomy in the National Parks, 50% of children born this year will never see the Milky Way. I’m no astronomer, but I’d say that’s pretty tragic news.

At a recent talk Nordgren gave at UW, he shared how light pollution is quickly turning the night sky into a rare commodity. We have now entered the era in which families across the U.S. will have to pack their kiddos into a car and drive a lengthy distance to a national park (spending lots of money on gas and lodging and drive-through meals), all so their kids can see the stars. And in some cases (such as Great Smoky Mountains National Park) not even the parks are immune to the devastating effects of light pollution.

The good news is we in Wyoming don’t have many city lights. It’s one of the many things I love about living in a sparsely populated state! But what our children, and our children’s children, will see in the coming generations depends a lot on the choices we make today. From the lights we install in our yards to light up our walkways, to the street lights we approve as communities, the fate of Wyoming’s night sky rests in our hands.

image by Tyler Nordgren

John Muir, the naturalist, said “When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.” My husband and I have stopped turning the front porch light on when we leave for the evening. I guess you could say it’s our small act of gratitude for the gift of this incredible Wyoming sky we share. So hitch your wagon to the stars!



Black Dog Animal Rescue Wins a Car!

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We’re so excited for our friends at Black Dog Animal Rescue, located in Cheyenne & also serving Laramie and the region! They were awarded with a new Toyota Sienna Van for their good deeds as part of the Toyota Cars for Good program. Congrats to them – it is VERY well deserved! Pics follow of the award, plus a note on their upcoming event on April 10, AND info on how you can foster a dog – or adopt one & give it a loving Forever Home!


Click on the photo above for info on Thankful Thursday, April 10!

Info on BDAR from BDAR…

Black Dog Animal Rescue (BDAR) is Cheyenne’s only No-Kill animal shelter. We are a small organization run solely on a volunteer basis and funded entirely through donations. BDAR came into existence because of a strongly held belief by its founders. Namely, that no animals should be euthanized in shelters because of population restrictions or because of the length of time it may take to find a permanent home.

*Please Note: “Black Dog” is only part of our name – being a black dog is not a requirement to be rescued.

Donations are always graciously welcomed! If you have anything you would like to donate contact BDAR and arrangements can be made for drop-off or pick-up. Our phone number is: (307) 214-6600 and email address is: Visit our website for more information on BDAR, volunteer and foster information, and take a look at the current dogs up for adoption!

Apply to foster a dog! We have lots, and you can even pick the one you really want to help after you’ve gone through training. We’ll give you all the supplies you need, pay for all of the vet bills, and even give you a buddy to help you out with any questions or issues that might come up!

Check out some of the adorable faces we currently have waiting….

Have more questions? Get them answered here:

Wind River Country to Have a Team in Cowboy Tough Adventure Race

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Chuck Schuster and Karla Wagner competing in Leadville. Photo credit: Shad Hamilton

Fremont County, WY – The Rev3 Cowboy Tough Adventure Race will return to Wyoming for a second year, and this year not only will a considerable portion of the race take place in Fremont County, but the county will have its very own team.

The Wind River Visitors Council is sponsoring a local four-person team for the three-and-a-half-day race on July 17-20. The Wind River Country Team will be the local team to root for as the race makes its way from South Pass City to Casper. Adventure racing mixes outdoor sports like mountain biking, trail running, trekking, and water sports with navigation challenges over a course that, in this case, totals 290-390 miles.

Casey Adams is part of the Wind River Country Team in the Rev3 Cowboy Tough Adventure Race. Photo credit: Kelsi Dean

“We are so fortunate to live in a place with such incredible outdoor and recreational opportunities and community support from organizations like the Wind River Visitors Council,” said team captain Casey Adams. “We are very grateful to the council for making this race possible for us.”

The Wind River Visitors Council is looking forward to following the team, comprised of Adams, Shad Hamilton, Chuck Schuster and Karla Wagner, as they prepare for the race in the Southern Wind River Mountains of Wyoming over the next four months. These competitors will keep the public updated about their adventures in preparing for the race, while helping spread the word about the amazing access and recreational opportunities Wind River Country has to offer.

Shad Hamilton screaming down the Powerline descent at Leadville. Photo Credit: Shad Hamilton

Wind River Country is hosting the start of the Adventure Race on July 17, as well as a significant portion of the route on July 18. The race will start at South Pass City State Historic Site. Competitors will hike, bike trek and paddle through the Shoshone National Forest, Sinks Canyon State Park, Lander, Riverton, Shoshoni, Boysen Reservoir and Boysen State Park. On July 19, competitors will head toward Casper for the final portion of the race.

According to Paula McCormick, Marketing Director of the Wind River Visitors Council, a partnership with Governor Matt Mead’s Office, Wyoming Office of Tourism and Central Wyoming College are making it possible to host the start of the race in Fremont County.  Joining the Wind River Visitors Council in supporting this team already are the National Outdoor Leadership School, the Lander Cycling ClubBrooks Running and Deuter.

Shad Hamilton screaming down the Powerline descent at Leadville. Photo Credit: Shad Hamilton

“The Wind River Visitors Council is working with our partners to make this race great for the competitors and for locals and visitors who may want to watch portions of the race. We are very proud that Fremont County was selected to be the start of the race in its second year in Wyoming,” McCormick explained.

Fremont County is a great place for adventures—an outstanding location to train for an adventure race such as the Cowboy Tough. Not only do the mountains afford excellent training grounds, but the communities also provide support like an extended family.

About The Wind River Visitors Council:

The Wind River Visitors Council is Fremont County’s Lodging Tax Board that oversees tourism promotion for the county and its communities. For a complete calendar of events go to, or to request a vacation packet, please visit us at Wind River Country or call 800-645-6233.

MADE IN WYOMING: Maura Jacobsen Pottery

visit our website & read the winter issue – spring issue is coming soon!

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 Maura Jacobsen Pottery of Cheyenne

Maura Jacobsen Cheyenne, WY 970-629-9478

Maura Jacobsen started her business in a two room cabin in Riverside, Wyoming after she graduated from the University of Wyoming in 1993. It has grown over the years to include her husband and three children, who run the shipping department. Maura’s pottery studio is located in Cheyenne where she produces pottery platters made out of vintage license plates.

Maura has lived in many small towns in Wyoming where she has promoted her love of art.  The business has grown over the years and she does demonstrations and classes for adults and children.  Maura is also on the Wyoming Arts Council Artist Roster.

There are two potter styles.  The style being produced the longest is all hand thrown and glazed stoneware for everyday use.  Fun patterns and sayings are a reflection of where Maura lives and the silly things her children say.  The second style was just started this last year; the vintage licenses plates. These become one-of-a-kind patchwork platters.  Maura receives license plates from around the county to be made into platters.  The love for the license plate platter had taken off.  Maura has found that a license plate holds fond memories and stories, and this product allows customers the opportunity to take the plate off the garage wall and share it with family members by having a functional piece of art made.

Custom orders are a large part of Maura’s business. Her products can be purchased through her website at  Maura’s pieces can be found at Wyoming Home in Cheyenne, Made Jackson Hole and at Wadoo in Old Town Fort Collins.  Check her web site for more locations as they are added. The prices range from $18 to $75.  

She is always looking to create a product people will love and something that brings a smile to their face when they see what has been created just for them.


ART IN WY: Sheridan, Cheyenne, Casper, Lander, Laramie



The SAGE Exhibit Gallery features lifelong Sheridan area resident Dean States, whose exquisite colored pencil drawings will be exhibited during his “Seven Years Plus” show, which runs March 1st-31st.  An artist’s reception and gallery talk will be held March 13 at the Main Street SAGE Exhibit Gallery (at Sheridan College’s Main Street location), 171 N. Main, in Sheridan, WY.  As always, the public is invited and refreshments will be served.

More of States’ work can be seen at Dean States Studio, located at 637 W. Loucks in Sheridan.

This project is supported in part by a grant from the Wyoming Arts Council, through funding from the Wyoming State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Jenny Wuerker


The Sagebrush Art Center’s Invitational Gallery hosts Buffalo, WY artist Jenny Wuerker’s exhibition, “Painting the Expanse,” March 10- April 12, 2014.  The reception and artist’s talk will be Friday, March 14th, from 5-7pm at the Art Center’s front gallery, located in the Historic Trail Depot (201 E. 5th Street) in Sheridan, Wyoming.  The public is welcome and refreshments will be available.  Wuerker says of her work, “I paint the expanse of the West, the iconic American landscape. Painting on large canvases, immersed in the elements, and battling the occasional rattlesnake is like the X-Sport of landscape painting. When I’m standing out in the landscape, the subject of my work is as much the act of painting outdoors as it is the landscape depicted.”

Sagebrush Gallery Hours are Monday-Saturday, 10-5pm.

This project is supported in part by a grant from the Wyoming Arts Council, through funding from the Wyoming State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts.


LARAMIE:  University of Wyoming Art Museum Celebrates Youth Art Month

CHEYENNE:  Cheyenne Botanic Gardens Garden Series

This great series of garden lectures is sponsored by the Laramie County Master Gardeners and  Cheyenne Botanic Gardens. All presentations begin at 1:00 pm and are held in the Cottonwood Room, Laramie County Library.

March 15, 2014, ‘Tuning up the Wyoming Garden’ with Wyoming Plant Company owner, Tom Heald.

April 26, 2014, ‘Seed, Soil, Sun, Water: all you need to grow food in the west’ with high altitude food growing teachers and sustainable greenhouse designers, Penn & Cord Parmenter.

These events often sell out. Advance purchase of tickets is highly recommended. Tickets are $15 per lecture and are available on the web (up to 2 hours prior to the lecture) at Brown Paper Tickets (Keyword: Gardening with Altitude) or at the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens weekdays (cash or check); contact Darcee Snider 307−637−6458 for more info.

art by Dalton Schneider

LANDER:  Lander Art Museum Celebrates Youth Art Month in March

In celebration of March’s Youth Art Month, the Lander Art Center hosts the Lander Valley High School and Middle School Select Art Show on display now until Saturday, March 29th. The exhibition consists of select works by local youth artists in a wide range of art mediums from drawing, painting, and printmaking to sculpture, ceramics and digital art.

This artwork showcases the incredible skill and creative expression of young students. Their work is a reminder of the freshness art can embody and be an inspiration to us all. Students are lead by art instructors Jason Dayton, Shawna Pickenpaugh, and Melissa Scherr-Bender.

Lander Art Center openings are free and open to the public. Thank you to this year’s exhibition sponsors Lander Valley Education Foundation and John P. Shade, an Edward Jones financial adviser.

Grace Flint

Reb Lindwurm

Braden Meyer


CASPER:  The Nicolaysen Art Museum Features Michael Copeland




NEWS FROM THE PARKS: National Elk Refuge Celebration, GTNP Looking for Youth for Summer 2014

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image from National Elk Refuge website

National Elk Refuge:  NER to Celebrate the National Wildlife Refuge System

The National Elk Refuge is pleased to offer an opportunity this month to celebrate several significant dates in the history of the National Wildlife Refuge System. From Friday, March 14 through Sunday, March 23, displays and naturalist presentations at the Jackson Hole & Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center will focus on the conservation efforts of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The events listed below will run daily throughout the ten–day celebration and are free of charge. The Visitor Center is located at 532 N. Cache Street in Jackson and is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm daily.

President Theodore Roosevelt established the nation’s first wildlife refuge on March 14, 1903 at Pelican Island National Bird Reservation in Florida. Since then, the National Wildlife Refuge System has grown into a vast network of habitats that benefits wildlife, provides outstanding outdoor experiences, and protects a healthy environment. To show how large the national wildlife refuge system has grown, National Elk Refuge naturalists will display a large U.S. map in the Jackson Hole & Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center, showing the location of all the refuges (over 560) throughout the country. Visitors will be asked to place a pin on the national wildlife refuge closest to their home. On March 24, the refuge receiving the most pins will be announced on Facebook and Twitter.

Guests can learn more about the establishment of the National Wildlife Refuge System through two displays set up in the small theater located on the top level of the Visitor Center. The first exhibit will be a time line showing significant dates throughout the history of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, along with a brief description of each event. The second display will highlight the 80 year history of the Federal Duck Stamp program. President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp Act, popularly known as the Duck Stamp Act, on March 16, 1934. Originally created as a license required for hunting migratory waterfowl, Duck Stamps have a much larger purpose today. They serve as a vital tool for wetland conservation, with 98 cents out of every dollar generated by the sales going directly to purchase or lease wetland habitat within the National Wildlife Refuge System. The sale of stamps is not restricted to hunters; many non–hunters collect the beautiful stamps and purchase them to support wildlife conservation. Refuge naturalists will share images of some of the previous Duck Stamps from throughout the years.

Visitor center staff will run a video entitled “America’s Darling: The Story of Jay N. Ding Darling” continuously during the celebration to honor the conservation achievements of the man that designed the first Federal Duck Stamp. In addition to his Duck Stamp art, Darling authored two books and twice won the Pulitzer Prize for cartooning, in 1923 and again in 1942. He used his satirical pen to promote issues of conservation and to bring national attention to environmental concerns. On Sunday, March 16, naturalists will set up a table with art supplies and reference books outside of the theater, allowing children and adults to design their own Duck Stamp.

More information on the National Wildlife Refuge System can be found at To inquire about the Visitor Center events, please call 307.739.9322.

National Park:  Youth Conservation Program Recruits Wanted!

Grand Teton National Park Recruits for 2014 Youth Conservation Program

MOOSE, WY —Grand Teton National Park is recruiting participants for the 2014 Youth Conservation Program (YCP). Funding for this youth employment opportunity comes from the Grand Teton National Park Foundation through generous contributions by their donors. Applications must be postmarked by March 14, 2014

The YCP is a summer program for high school students, ages 16 to 19. The 2014 program will span ten weeks from June 16 through August 21. This marks the ninth year that Grand Teton has conducted the program, and trail supervisors hope to enroll 15-25 short-term positions during this recruitment period.

Participants must be at least 16 years of age by June 16, and live locally as housing is not provided. Applicants must also be United States citizens and students in good standing. Other qualifications include good team skills, a willingness to learn about Grand Teton National Park and its trail system, and the ability to work at a physically demanding job which may involve lifting 30-40 pounds. Wages for participants in the YCP program are set at approximately $11.00 per hour.

YCP enrollees develop an understanding of National Park Service (NPS) conservation ethics as they assist with critically-needed maintenance and rehabilitation on park trails and pathways. Participants work alongside NPS crew leaders and become familiar with NPS stewardship goals, while learning essential trail maintenance skills. YCP participants will work 30-50% of their time with several of the other park divisions (i.e. Science and Resource Management, Interagency Fire, Interpretation, and Visitor and Resource Protection). Students will also meet experts in all aspects of public lands conservation.

During the course of their day, YCP participants may answer basic visitor questions and serve as ambassadors for the park as they complete project work on some of the most visible, and most impacted, park trails. Most of the work will be focused on projects dealing with rehabilitation of trails and backcountry areas through activities such as brushing, hazard tree removal, and construction of water bars and drainage swales. In addition to the project work, environmental education programs and several recreational opportunities are also offered.

As an extension of their mission to support innovative projects that add value to Grand Teton National Park, the Foundation provides funding for salaries, work boots, work pants, tee-shirts, and free transportation to and from Jackson for YCP participants. For more information about this youth program and how to contribute to future YCP activities, or other Foundation programs, contact Leslie Mattson by email at or phone 307.732.0629.

To obtain an application or get further information about the 2014 YCP, please call Stacy Myers in Grand Teton National Park at 307.739.3379, or write to YCP Program, GTNP, Drawer 170, Moose, WY 83012.  Applications are also available online at


MADE IN WYOMING: Olde Tyme Remedies/Unker’s Multi-Purpose Therapeutic Products

visit our website & read the current issue – spring issue is coming soon!

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 Olde Tyme Remedies, LLC of Upton

Patricia Pendleton, Olde Tyme Remedies, LLC  — Mfg. of Unker’s Multi-Purpose Therapeutic Products  Upton, WY 82730


Patricia Pendleton is the current owner and CEO of Unker’s.  Her great uncle began making the mutli-purpose healing and pain relief salve from a formula which went back to the early 1900’s. Pat’s father refined the original formula to use all pure essential oils and continued making the salve in his garage in Wapakoneta, Ohio. The name Unker’s is derived from a young relative who could not say “Uncle” but could only say “Unker.” In 1995, the company moved to Upton, Wyoming, where all products are manufactured today.

Unker’s Multi-Purpose Therapeutic Products does not take custom orders since they have product available for shipment at all times.  All products are handcrafted and there is a full line of personal care and topical pain relief items.

This is a family, Christian-based, and woman-owned manufacturing company competing successfully in a market place with much larger companies.  They stand behind their products and have not issued a refund due to the quality of the products in 32 years.  Unker’s Multi-Purpose Therapeutic Products has had customer’s family members call them when they have passed away to let them know that their product & company meant so much to that person!  How many companies can say that?


Unker’s products are multi-purpose topical pain relief, so not only do customers get a high quality product made in the USA, they also save money.  No need to buy one product to treat one symptom only to find it has chemicals in it, an expiration date and may not do the job.  Unker’s manufactures their products with all pure essential oils purchased from US vendors, no chemicals and an indefinite expiration date!


Customers can contact Unker’s Multi-Purpose Therapeutic Products directly to purchase by the case, or they can purchase from one of the many retail locations listed on their website.  Prices vary depending on the quantity/cases purchased.  Unker’s does not sell individual items from their facility, but refers customers to one of their retailers.

Purchase Unker’s at these retail locations in Wyoming:

  • Discount Remedies and Wyoming Shirt & Gift in Casper
  • Nature’s Corner in Thermopolis
  • Hasco Industrial Supply in Worland
  • Genesis Chiropractic in Landers
  • South Street Pharmacy in Wheatland
  • Broken Wheel Truck Stop in Douglas
  • Joe’s Food Center, Arrow Gas in Upton
  • Diehl’s Supermarket in Moorcroft
  • Cassidy Seed & Feed in Sundance
  • Thars Feed in Newcastle

Unker’s took its first venture into NASCAR recently by sponsoring veteran driver Mike Wallace’s Car No. 28 in the running of February’s Nationwide Series Daytona 500. (see picture).  Veteran NASCAR driver Mike Wallace #28 in the Unker’s sponsored car February 22, 2014 Daytona Florida

Catch Some Air with the Jeep Brand at JH Mountain Resort

visit our website and read the current issue — our spring issue is on its way soon!

Catch Some Air with the Jeep® Brand at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort


What’s your style?  From March 1 until March 30, get familiar with the expert skills of the 2014 Jeep® brand vehicle lineup at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. While there, the Jeep brand will be offering an up close look at all the sweet spots on the all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee recently named ‘Best Small Utility’ by PBS’ MotorWeek, the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee, and the 2014 Jeep Wrangler. While out on the fresh powdery slopes, posses making trails at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort can get some solid hot cocoa, coffee, key vehicle knowledge and gnarly keepsake photos, all compliments of the Jeep brand. All those who visit the Jeep brand experience at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort can enter the 2014 Chrysler Group National Giveaway for a chance to win $45,000 towards any eligible vehicle, including the 2014 Jeep Cherokee. Learn how the Official Vehicle of the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is made to keep up with any adventure. For more information on the Jeep brand please visit