EXPLORE WY: Wind River Country Dances & Pow Wows 2014

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Make Your Mother’s Day Special with gifts from Tom Balding Bits & Spurs – in addition to their bits & spurs, they offer jewelry, clothing, scarves, keychains and much more! Click the image for their website!

Photo credit – Jennie Hutchinson

Wyoming’s Wind River Country has released the summer 2014 Native American Dances & Pow Wows schedule! Read on for dates, locations & more – and for the TBA events, stay tuned to their Facebook page and website, www.windriver.org.

May 2014

2 Riverton – United Tribes Club Spring Social Powwow. 1 p.m. Gourd Dancing (Veterans) 6 p.m. Grand Entry – Central Wyoming College gymnasium, 2660 Peck Ave., 855-2285, www.cwc.edu
3 Riverton – Native American Day – Dance Competition 2-7 p.m., $10,000 in cash prizes, 10269 HWY 789, 856-1472, windriverhotelcasino.com
16-17 Ethete – 7 p.m., Wind River Tribal College Powwow, Blue Sky Hall, 506 Ethete Rd., 335-8243

June 2014

3, 10, 17, 24 Riverton – (every Tues.) 6 p.m. Northern Arapaho Cultural Experience, Wind River Casino 10269 HWY 789

18, 25 Lander – (every Wed.) 7 p.m., “Eagle Spirit Dancers,” Museum of The American West, 1445 Main St., 335-8778

TBA Ethete – Yellow Calf Memorial Powwow, Blue Sky Hall, 506 Ethete Rd.

27-29 Ft. Washakie – 55th Eastern Shoshone Indian Days and Powwow – & Rodeo, Wind River Indian Reservation, Old Wind River Hwy Road

July 2014

1, 8, 15, 22, 29 Riverton – (every Tues.) 6 p.m. Northern Arapaho Cultural Experience, Wind River Casino 10269 HWY 789
2, 9, 16, 23, 30 Lander – (every Wed.) 7 p.m., “Eagle Spirit Dancers,” Museum of The American West, 1445 Main St., 335-8778

2 Riverton – 7 p.m. Powwow Dancers, 1838 Rendezvous Site, E. Monroe Ave. 856-0706

TBA Ethete – 7 p.m. Ethete – Annual Ethete Celebration, Ethete Road
TBA Arapahoe – Annual Northern Arapaho Celebration, Wind River Indian Reservation

August 2014

1-2 Thermopolis – 7 p.m. Gift of the Waters Pageant, Hot Springs State Park at the big spring.
5, 12, 19, 26 Riverton – (every Tues.) 6 p.m. Northern Arapaho Cultural Experience, Wind River Casino 10269 HWY 789, 856-1472,
6, 13, 20 Lander – (every Wed.) 7 p.m., “Eagle Spirit Dancers,” Museum of The American West, 1445 Main St., 335-8778

TBA Crowheart – Traditional Community Powwow, (Eastern Shoshone) Wind River Indian Reservation, Old Yellowstone Hwy

September 2014

19 Lander – 71st One Shot Antelope Hunt Powwow, 332-8190


C.J. Box, SHOTS FIRED: Stories from Joe Pickett Country

We’re always excited to see a new book from C.J. Box arrive in our mail! We announced the debut of Box’s newest Joe Pickett novel, STONE COLD, in March, and now there is a new book of short stories from Box heading to stores in July 2014! Read on for more info from Putnam, Box’s publisher…


From New York Times-bestselling author C.J.Box comes SHOTS FIRED:  Stories from Joe Pickett Country, a memorable collection of crime and suspense stories about the Wyoming Box knows so well – and the dark deeds and impulses that can be found there.

Over fourteen Joe Pickett novels and four stand-alone books, C.J. Box has been consistently hailed for his brilliant storytelling and his extraordinary skills at creating character, suspense, and a deep sense of place. All of those strengths can be found in the ten riveting stories – three of them written especially for this book and never before published – that make up SHOTS FIRED, which Putnam will publish on July 15 ($26.95).

In “One-Car Bridge,” one of four Joe Pickett stories, Joe goes up against a “just plain mean” landowner, with disastrous consequences. In “Shots Fired,” his investigation into the radio call of the title nearly ends up being the last thing he ever does. In “Pirates of Yellowstone,” two Eastern Europeans, strangers in a strange land, hear that American tough guys can be ruthless — but it’s not till they try strong-arming one that they discover the real truth of the statement. And in “Le Sauvage Noble,” the stranger is Jimmy Two Bulls, a Lakota who takes a job in the Wild West Show at Disneyland Paris and finds its perks to be pleasant – good wages, decent food and French women who find his “noble savage” act to be pretty exotic. That is, until he meets Sophie. Then Jimmy finds out what “savage” really means.

Together these ten stories prove again what BookPage recently remarked about the Joe Pickett novels:  “I would say that he is at the top of his form, but the top just keeps moving ever upward.”

C.J. Box is the author of fourteen Joe PIckett novels, including the March 2014 entry STONE COLD, along with four stand-alone thrillers (for St. Martin’s). He has won the Anthony, Macavity, Gumshoe and Barry awards, as well as the French Prix Calibre .38, and has been an Edgar Award and Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist, all for the Pickett novels. Box has also won the Edgar Award for best novel for his first stand-alone, Blue Heaven. His books have been translated into 25 languages.

A Wyoming native, C.J. Box has worked on a ranch and as a small-town newspaper reporter and editor. He lives outside Cheyenne with his wife Laurie and their four horses.







MADE IN WYOMING: Last Loop Rope Art


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 Chele Needens Last Loop Rope Art

209 Klondike Road Buffalo, WY 82834

307-684-7843   twoeyedbaker@hotmail.com   lastloopropeart.com   On Facebook — Last Loop Rope Art


Last Loop Rope Art was started in 2000, when a very dear friend of Chele’s that made rope items passed away. His wife asked her if she would like to give it a try, and handed over all her husband’s supplies. Chele began, as many do, making pieces for her friends and family – and has turned that small beginning into a business.

Last Loop Rope Art has come a long way from that first Rope Basket. Chele is the creator and sole owner, and does everything from start to finish. That includes actually roping with the ropes that are later turned into a piece of art! Chele is a rancher and loves to barrel race and pole bend. While at rodeos she likes to see if any of the cowboys are willing to part with their ropes. Her rope activities and the ropes the cowboys use give each of the pieces a unique story and are a piece of Wyoming’s way of life. In 2010 Country Women Magazine came out and did a story on Last Loop Rope Art. They spent two days with Chele learning how to rope and how to make a rope bowl. The story came out in the spring of 2011, the April/May magazine.

Chele’s rope art is a little different from others. There is no glue; the work is burned together and then power washed. Although these rustic, one-of-a-kind pieces are sturdy, they are still a piece of art and can break.

Chele enjoys taking a customer’s idea and creating a beautiful piece of art, so custom orders are welcomed. Pieces include: baskets, bowls, candle holders, bathroom soap bottle holders, wastebaskets, lamp bases, business card holders, bird houses, welcome signs, wreaths, crosses and ribbons, mirror frames, clocks, footstools…..the possibilities are endless. Depending on the product, rope used and embellishment, prices start at about $17.50.

Chele also produces WildRags. WildRags are usually as 36” x 36” piece of cloth in various colors, patterns and fabric type that cowboys have worn for decades. They were traditionally used to keep the cowboy’s neck and face warm, cool by wetting in cold water, or to keep the dust out of their face, and other practical uses. Chele makes Wyo-Skies Wildrags, which are made from 100% silk, in a variety of sizes and dimensions. She dyes them herself and no two scarves are the same. These are great for anyone, in any type of weather (silk allows your skin to breath). Wyo-Skies Wildrags can be used as headbands, belts, wraps…and just about any way a person could image. Pricing starts at about $15 (8” x 54”) to $45 for a 44” x 44”. Most of Last Loop Rope Art pieces are feature on their Facebook page, Last Loop Rope Art & Wyo. Skies Wildrags, and the website, lastloopropeart.com. Pieces can be found at the Flying Eagle Gallery in Thermopolis, as well as the Jim Gatchell Museum and Frontier Toppings in Buffalo.

NEWS FROM THE PARKS: Junior Ranger Day April 26

National Park Week begins Saturday, April 19, making this a wonderful time for an early season getaway to experience the wonders of Grand Teton National Park and the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway. Visitors can participate in special National Junior Ranger Day programs on Saturday, April 26. Join us for fun and free activities for the whole family, starting this weekend.

The theme for this year’s National Park Week invites visitors to Go Wild! for history, nature, culture, wildlife, and fun in America’s national parks. “National Park Week is a great time to discover the diverse wildlife, iconic landscapes, vibrant culture, and rich history found in our national parks,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “Every park offers a different experience so I invite everyone to join the celebration and get to know a park.”

The entry fee for a private, non-commercial vehicle to Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks normally costs $25 for seven days.

National Park Week wraps up with a celebration of National Junior Ranger Day on Saturday, April 26. Free events will take place at the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center (CTDVC) in Moose and children who participate in at least three of the activities will earn a Junior Ranger badge or patch. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., families can explore rescue vehicles and equipment used in park operations including fire engines, ranger patrol cars and snowplows. Visitors are also invited to:  participate in physical games testing their skills in an obstacle course; compete against the natural abilities of wildlife in Animal Olympic Games; listen to tales about Grand Teton in the story corner; touch animal furs, feathers and bones or dress up in a real ranger uniform; and spring into fitness with St. John’s Medical Center Wellness Services staff.  Bird handlers from the Teton Raptor Center will be present from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to provide information and demonstrations with live birds of prey.

Junior Ranger Day is made possible in part with funding by the park’s long-time partner Grand Teton Association (GTA), who will offer a 15 percent discount in the CTDVC bookstore. Participants can buy educational materials, books and other merchandise like videos, posters, and plush animals by using this special discount.

Thanks to the GTA, free shuttles will also be available to transport families from Jackson to the CTDVC for the Junior Ranger Day events. Space on the shuttles will be limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information about Junior Ranger Day activities or about the free shuttle service, please call the CTDVC at 307.739.3399.

Additional information about National Park Week, including a list of nationwide events can be found online at www.nationalparkweek.org.

Opening dates for seasonally operated facilities and roads in Grand Teton National Park and the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway are as follows: 



Teton Park Road May 1
Moose-Wilson After snow melt—date to be determined (TBD)
Grassy Lake Road June 1; remaining snow drifts may limit access
Signal Mountain Summit TBD


Paved multi-use pathways will be fully accessible for use once the snow melts naturally.


Visitor Centers & Ranger Stations


Craig Thomas Discovery & Visitor Ctr. Open
Colter Bay Visitor Center May 10
Jenny Lake Visitor Center May 16
Laurance S. Rockefeller (LSR) Preserve Center May 31
Flagg Ranch Information Station June 2
Jenny Lake Ranger Station June 6




Gros Ventre May 2
Signal Mountain May 9
Jenny Lake May 9
Colter Bay May 22
Colter Bay RV Park May 22
Headwaters Campground & RV Sites June 1
Lizard Creek June 13


All backcountry camping permits cost $25, whether advanced reservation or walk-in. Backcountry reservations may be made until May 15 with an additional $10 fee for advanced booking. Reservations can be made online at Recreation.gov. After May 15, all backcountry site permits are issued on a first-come, first-served basis.




Signal Mountain Lodge May 9
Jackson Lake Lodge May 19
Colter Bay Cabins May 22
Triangle X Ranch May 25
Jenny Lake Lodge June 1
Headwaters Lodge at Flagg Ranch June 1

Entrance Stations


The Moose, Moran and Granite Canyon entrance stations are open. Fee options include:
$ 12 for a 7-day permit to enter by foot/bicycle into Grand Teton & Yellowstone national parks

$20 for a 7-day permit to enter by motorcycle into Grand Teton & Yellowstone national parks

$25 for a 7-day permit to enter by vehicle into Grand Teton & Yellowstone national parks

$50 for a Grand Teton/Yellowstone Annual Pass valid for one-year entry into both parks

$80 for an Interagency Annual Pass valid for one year entry to

all fee areas on federal lands


Bicyclists are reminded that they must stop and show an entry pass before proceeding through the gates, just as vehicles are required to do.  An automated self-serve machine is located on the multi-use pathway adjacent to the Moose Entrance Station. People traveling on the pathway by foot, bike, or rollerblade will be required to stop and pay $12 for a 7-day entry permit, or have a valid pass in possession.


Personal identification is required with any pass that requires a signature.


For additional information about activities and services within Grand Teton National Park or the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway, please visit the park’s website www.nps.gov/grte, stop by any visitor center, or call 307.739.3300.


Sara Pinson, RD, LD: Can Do Weekly Resolutions


We’re thrilled to add another guest blogger – Sara Pinson, RD, LD, who will provide us with tips on eating & staying healthy. Certainly something that is applicable to everyone!


Sara Pinson is a Registered Dietitian, Wellness Coach and Type I Diabetic.  As the owner of Sustainable Wellness, she works with individuals and organizations to help people make health changes simple, not hard.  Sara Pinson, RD, LD  foodladytalks@gmail.com

How do you want your 2014 to “taste”?

Build Your Base by Practicing “You Can Do” Weekly Resolutions

Compliments of Sara Pinson, RD, LD

Sustainable Wellness:  One Bite @ a Time!


“The little train went roaring on, so fast, it seemed to fly
Until it reached a mountain rising almost to the sky
The little engine moaned and groaned and huffed and puffed away
But halfway to the top it just gave up and seemed to say

I can’t go on, I can’t go on, I’m weary as can be
I can’t go on, I can’t go on, this job is not for me…

I think I can, I think I can, I think I have a plan
And I can do ‘most anything if I only think I can”

The 1930’s child’s book titled The Little Engine That Could originally authored by Platt & Munk CO., Inc. told a sweet and simple, yet meaningful story.  A story that can easily be applicable to so many aspects of our life.  Change, such a hard thing to do.  Takes willpower.  If only it could be as easy as the characters tell us in The Little Engine That Could.  News alert…it CAN.  Take a step back and consider what it would look like if your New Year’s resolutions could actually turn into habits that don’t fly away in the Wyoming wind?  What if you woke up and made the following promise to yourself… “Each day of the week, I will do just one thing to make a better me.”  Up for it? Below you will find a suggested daily “to-do” list.  Read on…and THINK you can…because you “can do most anything” if “only” you think you can.
Monday- Identify your motivation level.  Your motivation drives your commitment, your sustainability and ultimately your success.  Choose your number TODAY.  Are you a 1 and not really into this change for the better type of thing?  Are you a 5 and somewhere in the middle and not really sure which direction you want to head in or are you a 10 and just can’t wait to begin your journey towards a healthier YOU, no matter how challenging it may be?  Stay true to your number and recognize what increases, decreases, or holds you motivation steady.

Tuesday-Try a new and unfamiliar fruit.  Variety is so important when trying to sustain your wellness.  Often we get tired of the same types of foods.  Keep it new, fresh and exciting by putting yourself out there and trying an unfamiliar fruit. Have you ever heard of blood oranges or dragon fruits? Take a few minutes today and read up on a fruit you have never tried before. You may surprise yourself and like it!

Wednesday- Try a new and unfamiliar vegetable.  We tend to turn to the usual, carrots, broccoli and greens beans. But what about eggplant, radish, kale, brussel sprouts or spaghetti squash?  The list goes on when it comes to veggies you may have never heard of before.  Spearhead a family challenge, try to find vegetables that begin with the letter A, then B, then C and so forth.  What an innovative way to get your kids to try a new food and add some spunk to your usual choices!

Thursday-Take 5 minutes out of your day, increase the volume on your I-Phone and bust a move.  Getting your heart huffing and puffing gives you an energy burst that is priceless.  Taking just a few minutes out of your day and allowing yourself to be a little “silly” goes a long way in the day’s productivity and sets the stage for a happy mood and decreases stress level. Grab a friend, a co-worker or a family member and combine fun with fitness!

Thursday: Look at a food label of a food or drink that you have in your house.   You may just surprise yourself and recognize what REALLY is in some of your household staples.  If you find that it’s loaded with sugar and fat, this doesn’t mean you CAN’T have it.  Raise your awareness.  Saving those indulgences as a “sometime” food grants you the permission to enjoy it but with portion and frequency control in mind.

Friday: Use measuring utensils to measure out your cereal, rice or pasta.  Get ready for a wakeup call!  It accumulates quickly.  Adding perspective to what and how much you are eating goes a long way in promoting appropriate serving sizes. You won’t know until you do it, so grab that utensil, measure up and resonate on where improvement may be necessary.

Saturday:  Take 15 minutes to eat your meal.  We call this “mindful eating”.  Take home message, the slower you eat, the less you will eat and the faster you will get full.  Mealtime should be a relaxing family centered activity, so take your time, engage in conversation (without food in your mouth) and enjoy each other’s company. The hustle and bustle of the day deserves a dinner meal that is free from distraction and simply…peaceful. 

Sunday: Share with 1 person, 1 change you have made this week.  Two huge aspects of sustaining wellness is holding yourself accountable and being proud of YOU.  If you made a goal and stuck with it…celebrate!  Change is hard and should be recognized.  Even if it was as simple as going to the gym once in the last 5 days, great work and spread the word.  Remember living a healthy life is contagious so you are it and pass it on!


MADE IN WYOMING: High Country Horse

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 High Country Horse of Laramie, WY

Oliver “Ollie” Hill, High Country Horse Laramie, WY 307-745-4553  Ollie_wy@hotmail.com  www.highcountryhorse.net

Ollie Hill got started because of his love for horses and hunting and fishing trips in the back country of Colorado and Wyoming.  His first high country experience was during a high school graduation fishing trip with his brother.  Ollie’s will to take a horse on this trip out weighed his knowledge on how to do so.

Ollie participated in Al Richardson’s noted Packing and Outfitting course during graduate school.  He became inspired to teach others how to enjoy riding, packing, cooking and learning survival skills for high country adventures.  This is when he became interested in sharing this experience and information with others to help them learn.  Packing schools and demonstrations are very much hands-on, with a custom arrangement with tack and saddle shops and with universities and colleges.

Ollie began authoring books and teaching credit courses, as well as teaching one day packing courses and demonstrations.  There are now five “how to” books that are on the market in over 40 states and over 20 countries.   These “how to” books provide information on animal packing and outfitting:

  • Packing and Outfitting Field Manual
  • Dot It Yourself Plans for Rawhide Panniers
  • Do It Yourself Plans for Mini-Pack Horse
  • A Do-It-Yourself Guild to Improvements, Repairs and Complete Rigging of Crossbuck and Decker Pack Saddles
  • Do It Yourself Plans for Deluxe Portable Camp Table

The newest product is an educational game for kids and their horses–”Kid’s Arena Horse Play Game.”  This game was created to provide a fun learning experience for kids and their horses.  Kids complete the arena course by successfully answering horsemanship questions and performing riding skills required to move on to each station.  The questions address both Western and English riding and cover a wide range of horse health, anatomy, tack and equine knowledge.  The game is for three age groups.

To order any of High Country House books or the game, visit their web site: www.highcountryhorse.net.   Customers can also order by phone or mail.


NEWS FROM THE PARKS: Teton Park Road Now Open for Non-Motorized Spring Season Activities

Teton Park Road Now Open for Non-Motorized Spring Season Activities

images by Grand Teton National Park — taken from the Mount Moran scenic turnout on the Teton Park Road in GTNP — April 2, 2014

Grand Teton National Park road crews cut through the deep snowpack on the Teton Park Road between the Taggart Lake parking area and Signal Mountain Lodge—a distance of 15 miles— and completed this portion of the annual spring plowing on Friday, April 4. The Teton Park Road has now melted down to pavement and is currently open to non-motorized recreation such as walking, roller-blading, and biking. However, road crews are still in the process of clearing the Jenny Lake scenic loop road, as well as other auxiliary roads and wayside areas.

Because the annual snow removal operations are still underway, anyone using the Teton Park Road for springtime recreation must be alert for and be prepared for sharing the road with heavy equipment, large trucks, and other park vehicles that will regularly travel this roadway as the spring opening continues. As a safety precaution, visitors to this area must stay at least 500 feet back from the large rotary snow removal equipment at work.

The annual plowing of the Teton Park Road is a process that can take several weeks to complete, depending on the depth and consistency of the snowpack. Due to the exceptionally deep and dense snowpack this year, snow removal on just the principal Teton Park Road has taken the better part of two weeks. Still, springtime visitors can look forward to access on this park road for more than three weeks before it opens for the summer travel season.

The Teton Park Road will open again to private vehicle use on Thursday, May 1, 2014. Visitors are reminded that dogs are permitted on the Teton Park Road. Owners are required to keep pets on a leash no longer than six feet in length, and are required to use waste disposal bags to pick up after their dogs. Mutt Mitt stations are in place at the Taggart Lake parking area.

REMINDER: Bears are now out of hibernation and active again in Grand Teton National Park and the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway. Consequently, park visitors need to be alert for bears and take appropriate precautions when using the Teton Park Road and other park areas. Visitors should exercise common sense and good judgment, stay alert, and follow these recommended safety tips while biking, hiking or spring skiing:

• Make noise

• Travel in a group of three or more

• Carry bear spray and know how to use it

• Maintain a 100-yard distance from bears at all times

• Never approach a bear under any circumstances People should also report any bear sightings or sign to the nearest visitor center or ranger station. Timely reporting will help park staff to provide important safety messages about bear activity to other visitors.