ART IN WY: Lander Art Center NEAT Exhibit


Robert Martinez


TheNative Emerging Artist Training (NEAT) exhibition is scheduled to open July 1, 2011 and run through August 6, 2011.

The NEAT program began in 2009 to help train Native artists from the Wind River Reservation how to enter juried exhibitions and how to market their artwork.

This year, the show consists of young artists from Wyoming Indian Middle School as well as skillful adult artists.

Colleen Friday

Robert Martinez

Colleen Friday


Be sure to visit the Lander Art Center in Lander Wyoming, and support our talented Wyoming artists!

Kati Hime, Editor


LIFE AND TIMES OF WLM: On the Road Again…


Hitting the pavement with Levi in Cody…

The weekend after Memorial Day Weekend Levi and I hit the road for a big distribution trip.  We hit a wide variety of towns on our trip:  Shoshoni, Worland, Thermopolis, Greybull, Cody, Riverton, Lander, Dubois, Jackson (and Wilson and Teton Village) and Pinedale.  WHEW!  It was so much fun — we fight over who gets to do distribution, because it’s the best part of the job:  everyone is so excited to see the new issue, and you get to hit the road and travel through Wyoming — as WORK! Who could ask for anything more?!

The weather was gorgeous and the driving absolutely beautiful.  The scenery was on display for us and we enjoyed the time together thoroughly — it’s hard to find time to get away with your hubby when you’re both engrossed in careers, volunteer activities and family life.  A few notes from the road:

— We rented a truck to haul the gigantic load of magazines that we had (and to keep the miles off our SUV).  We rented through a Laramie company that brings up their vehicles from CO — hence we had a CO license plate on our truck.  I cannot tell you how many times we were asked “You’re from CO?!”  NO!!!  We just had a rented truck!  We joked that we were going to have to make a big sign that says “No, we really ARE from WY” to attach to any rented trucks in the future… 🙂

— Cody has a Dairy Queen.  Why is this important?  Because as a child I grew up with these crazy traveling parents.  (My father truly could have been the inspiration for Clark Griswold. ) There were two rules when we would travel as kids:  #1, eat fast.  My dad would sit there during meals and say “Eat eat eat darn it!  We’re losing time!”  (Levi still can’t stand it when we’re traveling and I’m done eating in 10 minutes.)  Rule #2:  ICE CREAM.  And lots of it.  For some reason my parents’ stomach size triples as soon as they leave Laramie’s city limits.  They eat breakfast — get ice cream — then lunch — then get ice cream — then dinner — then get ice cream again.  Sometimes we’ve been known to see how early the ice cream places open while on vacation.  (Levi (being the one to marry into this crazy family) said to me when we were 20 “I can’t keep up with all this eating!”)  The other thing that you need to know about my parents though is that they are workout fanatics:  my dad is a champion tennis player for the Wyoming old fogies league (don’t tell him I said that), 🙂 and my mom runs five miles a day on average.  So all the eating really doesn’t seem to phase them. But it is a funny story to tell.

ANYWAY, now that I’m an adult I find myself strangely craving ice cream when we’re traveling…and Cody had a Dairy Queen.  I think the other DQ patrons were a little confused by my display of sincere excitement…  There was also a carnival!

— Levi FINALLY got to see Snake River Brewing, and Tim did not eat anything with ketchup.  Tim also did not run into a fire extinguisher while giving us the tour — which was my fault before because he was looking at me, walking and talking. (Or at least he said it was my fault.) 🙂  We had some very enthusiastic guests join us on our tour — I really should have asked them where they were from…  As always, the food was incredible and Levi had a great time.  Thanks, Tim!

— We stayed at the REMARKABLE Bentwood Inn in Wilson.  Absolutely GORGEOUS!  The lodge was breathtaking, the patios and opportunities for relaxation were abundant.  We also had our own in-suite gas fireplace which was a really nice touch.  The breakfast the following morning was delicious:  fresh fruit and french toast with a variety of syrups, including LAVENDER — I never have had the chance to try lavender syrup, but it was really good!  A MUST stay when you’re in the area!  Visit their website for a tour as my photos don’t even begin to do it justice:

By the time we were approaching home, we had discussed our family, our future, the business, the house, split the atom and cured world hunger, AND panned through Levi’s entire ipod twice…we were becoming rather bored.  We began looking at Wyoming license plates as they passed and started coming up with the counties that stood for each number.  We discovered we were lacking on our knowledge in this department, so in case you are too (or are slightly curious), here they are:


1 — Natrona — Casper

2 — Laramie — Cheyenne

3 — Sheridan — Sheridan

4 — Sweetwater — Green River

5 — Albany — Laramie

6 — Carbon — Rawlins

7 — Goshen — Torrington

8 — Platte — Wheatland

9 — Big Horn — Basin

10 — Fremont — Lander

11 — Park — Cody

12 — Lincoln — Kemmerer

13 — Converse — Douglas

14 — Niobrara — Lusk

15 — Hot Springs — Thermopolis

16 — Johnson — Buffalo

17 — Campbell — Gillette

18 — Crook — Sundance

19 — Uinta — Evanston

20 — Washakie — Worland

21 — Weston — Newcastle

22 — Teton — Jackson

23 — Sublette — Pinedale


‘Til Next Time — Hope to see you on the road!

Kati Hime, Editor



NEWS FROM THE PARKS: Teton Employees Receive Fire Service Awards

Teton Interagency Fire Employees Receive 2010 Regional National Park Service Awards

On behalf of the National Park Service Intermountain Region (IMR), Grand Teton National Park Superintendent Mary Gibson Scott and Bridger-Teton National Forest Supervisor Jacque Buchanan presented two Teton Interagency Fire employees with awards for excellence in fire management. Grand Teton National Park Assistant Fire Management Officer Mack McFarland received the IMR Interagency Fire Management Leadership Award and Martha Williamson, Teton Interagency fire planner, received the IMR Fire Management Achievement Award.

McFarland’s leadership award recognizes his exemplary service and dual role for the past three years as a fuels specialist for Grand Teton National Park and as the north zone assistant fire management officer for fuels on the Bridger-Teton National Forest.

“Mack had the vision and skills to effectively work within each agency’s constraints and overcome any obstacles to successfully complete fuels treatment projects for both agencies,” said IMR Fire Management Officer Michael Davin. “Mack is a great example of a service-first approach that is truly working.”

McFarland began working seasonally at Grand Teton in 1990 and became a permanent employee in 1996. During his tenure as the interagency fuels specialist, McFarland managed several large-scale projects: the multi-year Lower Gros Ventre Prescribed Fire and the Buffalo Valley Fuels Environmental Assessment, among others.

“On behalf of the Intermountain Region, I extend our thanks and appreciation to Mack McFarland for his dedication and commitment to the teamwork, integration and cooperation between the Bridger-Teton National Forest and Grand Teton National Park,” said IMR Director John Wessels. “His skill in ‘leading by example’ demonstrates a genuine interagency spirit.”

Williamson came to Bridger-Teton National Forest and Grand Teton National Park as the interagency fire planner and fire GIS specialist in 2008. She earned the fire achievement award for her significant GIS support and contributions in training for the IMR Wildland Fire and Aviation Management Program.

“Martha provided invaluable direction in creating hands-on training for National Parks Service fire personnel within the Wildland Fire Decision Support System,” said IMR Director John Wessels. “In addition, she has participated in and provided direction for our regional fire geo-database.

Martha works hard to find practical solutions to fire spatial analysis, risk assessment and solution development to better protect people, firefighters, and natural resources.”

The Intermountain Region of the National Park Service spans eight states from Montana to Texas, and includes 92 parks and national historic sites.

WYOMING ARTS: Jackson’s Lynn Friess Wins Award


Jackson Hole Author Lynn Friess Wins Gold 2011 “IPPY” Award

Picture book Western Lullaby takes a first place in Independent Publisher awards

Jackson, Wyoming – May 24, 2011 – A Jackson Hole picture book, Western Lullaby, written by Lynn Estes Friess and illustrated by Barbara Leonard Gibson (Mariposa Ranch Press, 2010), has won a gold medal in the national 2011 Independent Publisher Book Awards. Launched in 1996, the “IPPY” Awards are designed to bring increased recognition to deserving but often unsung titles from independent publishers.  Western Lullaby by Jackson Hole resident Lynn Friess took first place in the category of “Children’s Picture Books (7 & Under).”

Author Friess, a grandmother of 10 and avid art collector, wrote the award-winning Western Lullaby as a bedtime story focusing on the nocturnal sights and sounds of the West, combining the dreamy tale of a little cowgirl’s nighttime surroundings with vivid illustrations by Gibson of the Western outdoors.  An audio CD of the lullaby that inspired the book is included, performed by Wyoming singer-songwriter Marilee Gordon.

This year’s “IPPY” Awards presented gold, silver and bronze medals to winners in 69 national categories as well as regional awards and 12 Outstanding Books of the Year.  Western Lullaby tied for the gold in its category with Henry! You’re Late Again! by Mary Evanson Bleckwehl, illustrated by Brian Barber (Beaver’s Pond Press).  According to Independent Publisher, the 346 medal-winning books for 2011 came from a pool of 3,907 total entries, representing 45 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia, seven Canadian provinces, and seven countries overseas.  A full listing of the 2011 “IPPY” Award winners is available here on the Independent Publisher website.

Western Lullaby was the first picture book written by Friess, a close friend and supporter of the Jackson Hole-based National Museum of Wildlife Art.  In September 2010, Friess published her second picture book, Jackson Hole’s Carl Discovers Wildlife Art, illustrated by John Potter, and written as an engaging way to introduce children to wildlife art and the museum.  The Carl title is the first in a planned series, and proceeds from the book help sponsor programs, exhibits and operating support for the museum.

Media Contact: Ponteir Sackrey, National Museum of Wildlife Art, 307.732.5444,


ART IN WY: Architecture Speaks in Black & White


Architecture Speaks In Black & White – photography by Michael Flicek

Architecture has much to say about many aspects of human existence.  Structures have voice.  Much as the great thinkers and philosophers throughout time have struggled with universal human concerns like truth, beauty, and spirituality or logic and metaphysics, so have architects throughout time worked to interpret these human concerns through their use of light, space, and form.  All of this has been, and is, done within the context of a time and place that carries with it particular cultural, political, and economic conditions and particular climactic and geographic conditions.  From the early drawings on cave walls to the utility of log houses in early America to the icons of modernity across time in the great cities of the world, human design has and will continue to leave a mark on our world. –  excerpt from Michael Flicek’s artist statement

The Corridor Gallery proudly presents “Architecture Speaks In Black & White”, a photographic exhibit by Casper resident and artist, Michael Flicek. Michael has been shown in numerous galleries nationwide and is an award-winning photographer with a vast resume´. Architecture Speaks In Black & White will be Michael Flicek’s second solo show to Casper, Wyoming.

Michael is partial to black and white photography working in the digital realm. Capturing the image on locations is only the beginning of his process. Once Michael composes a photograph, he’s on to the next step of immersion within his “digital darkroom”. Michael then manipulates the image to fit his vision of a final work of art. Once satisfied, he creates immaculate digital prints in limited edition on archival quality glossy baryta finished paper. Due to the high quality print and stock used, Michael’s photographs take on a traditional look.

“Architecture Speaks In Black & White” will only be featured for 3 days at the Corridor gallery. The press and public are invited to attend the free opening reception on Friday, May 20th at 7pm. The public and press are invited to attend an artist’s talk with Michael on Saturday, May 21st at 2:00pm. Michael’s work will show only through Sunday, May 22nd. We hope to see you there!

Event Details

Event: “Architecture Speaks In Black & White” by Michael Flicek

Specifics: Located at The Corridor Gallery: 120 E. 2nd St. Casper, WY 82601

Tickets Cost/Avail: Free Admission

Opening Reception: Friday, May 20th at 7:00pm

Artist’s Talk: Saturday, May 21st at 2:00pm

Open Showing: Saturday, May 21st 10:00am to 5:00pm

Sunday, May 22nd noon to 4pm

Information: For more information, please contact The Corridor Gallery at (307) 333-7035, Reed at (307) 259-8001 or visit

Michael Flicek:, 307-259-3963

Hope to see you there!

Reed Merschat

The Corridor Gallery

120 E. 2nd St.

Casper, WY 82601

g. (307) 333-7035

m. (307) 259-8001

GTNP: Bicyclist Injured in Truck Collision


Bicyclist Injured in Collision with Delivery Truck

A 54-year-old Jackson, Wyoming resident received multiple injuries when he was struck by the rearview mirror of a delivery truck while biking on Highway 26/89/191, about 9:15 a.m. on Wednesday, May 11. The delivery truck, driven by a 54-year-old Jackson man, and the bicyclist were both northbound on the highway when the accident occurred approximately one mile north of the Airport Junction in Grand Teton National Park. The cyclist was wearing a bike helmet.

After making contact with the bicyclist, the driver of the truck quickly stopped and made a 911 call on his cell phone to summon help. Teton Interagency Dispatch Center received the rerouted 911 call from the Teton County Sherriff’s Office at 9:19 a.m. and a park ranger immediately responded to the accident site.

The ranger provided emergency medical care to the bicyclist and sent him by park ambulance to St. John’s Medical Center in Jackson.

Further details about this incident will be available at the conclusion of an accident investigation.

About 3.8 million people travel by vehicle on Grand Teton National Park roads each year. While accidents between vehicles and bicycles or pedestrians are rare, park managers completed a transportation plan in 2007 that included, among other goals, a system of multi-use pathways within the park to separate pedestrians and bicyclists from vehicle traffic.

Construction of a separated pathway running parallel to Highway 26/89/191 is scheduled to begin on June 1, and a 6.3 mile pathway segment from Moose Junction to the park’s south boundary will join a pathway system being built from the Town of Jackson toward the park. Once constructed, the entire pathway (approximately 12 miles) will provide a measure of safety, separating non-motorized users from motorists on Highway 26/89/191.

Grand Teton Natl. Park Recognizes Intl. Migratory Bird Day

Grand Teton National Park Recognizes International Migratory Bird Day

Grand Teton National Park will celebrate International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD) with a bird-watching caravan on Saturday, May 14, 2011. Park ranger naturalist Andrew Langford will visit areas throughout the park that provide excellent opportunities to locate, identify, and record birds as part of the North American Migration Count. The free activity begins at 8 a.m. in the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center at Moose and finishes by 4 p.m. at Christian Pond near Jackson Lake Lodge. Reservations are not required.

Anyone interested in birds is welcome to participate in the annual bird count and bird-watching excursion hosted by Grand Teton. Throughout the day, participants will take short walks at various locations, so those attending should wear comfortable shoes and bring a lunch, drinking water, warm clothing and rain gear. Bird field guides, binoculars and spotting scopes are also recommended items.

“Go Wild, Go Birding!” serves as the theme for the 2011 IMBD observance. This declaration highlights an attempt to engage new audiences—young people and adults alike—in learning about bird-watching and bird conservation. Participants in Saturday’s bird-watching caravan will learn about the latest programs and activities designed to create new enthusiasts and introduce them to birding as a worthwhile and pleasant pastime. Participants will also gain basic skills and techniques for identifying birds by their size, plumage and calls.

Observed each year in May to celebrate and support bird conservation, IMBD serves as the hallmark outreach event for Partners in Flight—an international conservation program whose goal is to reverse declining populations of migratory birds by bringing attention to factors that may contribute to worldwide declines. This year marks the 21st anniversary for Partners in Flight.

For more information about International Migratory Bird Day and the North American Migration Count, please call the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center at 307.739.3399. Participants of the IMBD activity are reminded that park entrance stations are open; therefore, they will need to present a park pass to travel through these entrance gates.


Missing Skiers Found in GTNP

On the evening of Saturday, April 23, after a long day of searching an avalanche debris field in Garnet Canyon Meadows, a Grand Teton National Park ranger picked up two discernible beacon signals deep in the snowpack.

Due to the late hour—coupled with the need to evacuate all search teams from the Teton canyon and cease helicopter operations before day’s end—a handful of rescuers were not able to dig deep enough to locate the source of the signals. Early Sunday morning, a core group of park rangers flew back into Garnet Canyon to resume digging. After two hours, they reached Walker Pannell Kuhl and Gregory Seftick, buried under 13 feet of snow near a large boulder in the avalanche path.

Over 35 rescue personnel and four canine teams methodically searched the large avalanche field in Garnet Canyon for more than ten hours on Saturday.

With the help of good weather, rescuers hoped to find any clue as to the fate of Kuhl and Seftick. At 7 p.m. with just two teams left to airlift from the canyon, Ranger Nick Armitage made one final sweep with his avalanche transceiver over an area that had been probed by rescuers earlier in the day. After Armitage picked up first one beacon signal, and then another, five additional rescuers joined in digging through the dense snowpack to reach the source. Although five feet of snow was cleared away, rescuers were not able to reach the beacon before the last helicopter flight needed to be made. Upon removing the snow, however, rescuers also made a positive probe hit. It should be noted that avalanche probe poles are generally 10 feet long and the beacon was deeper than their initial reach.

On Sunday morning, helicopter pilot Nicole Ludwig—flying a Teton County Search and Rescue contract helicopter out of Hillsboro, Oregon—airlifted six park rangers back into the Garnet Canyon Meadows to resume digging toward the two beacons. Rangers continued to excavate through another ten feet of snow before they reached Walker and Greg. Rangers then prepared them for a helicopter flight to the valley floor where a Teton County coroner met the ship.

It appears that Walker and Greg were buried by a large avalanche that shed off the north face of Nez Perce Peak sometime Saturday night, April 16, while they were in their tent, located near a large boulder between the Platforms and the Meadows of Garnet Canyon. Walker and Greg carried avalanche beacons and other appropriate gear with them on their trek into the Teton Range, and their beacons were transmitting when the avalanche enveloped their campsite.

The concentrated search for Kuhl and Seftick lasted six days, due in part to stormy weather, new snowfall and ongoing concerns about avalanche danger for rescue teams. Search operations involved park rangers and staff, as well as numerous Jackson Hole community rescue personnel. Grand Teton National Park appreciates the cooperation and dedication of the organizations and companies who assisted during the past several days.

Those groups include trained rescue personnel, volunteers and support staff from Teton County Search and Rescue, Teton Interagency Fire personnel, Bridger-Teton National Forest and Bridger-Teton National Forest Avalanche Center staff, a Yellowstone National Park employee, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort ski patrol, Wyoming K9 Search and Rescue teams, and Grand Targhee Resort ski patrol and canine teams, as well as experienced professional mountaineers from Jackson Hole Mountain Guides and Exum Mountain Guides.

The Seftick and Kuhl families extend their heartfelt thanks to all rescuers for their work in helping to locate their sons and brothers.

Grand Teton Natl. Park Search for Skiers Entering Sixth Day


Search for Missing Skiers Enters Sixth Day

The search for Walker Pannell Kuhl, age 27, of Salt Lake City, Utah and Gregory Seftick, age 31, of Columbia Falls, Montana resumed today, Saturday, April 23 in Grand Teton National Park. Kuhl and Seftick began an overnight camping and skiing trip one week ago, and were reported missing on Monday, April 18, when Kuhl failed to show up for work. This marks the sixth day for a concentrated search to locate the missing skiers.

A high pressure system brought sunny skies and calm winds this morning, creating perfect weather conditions to continue search operations. Four K9 search and rescue teams from nearby Grand Targhee Resort in Alta, Wyoming, and more than 35 search and rescue personnel were airlifted from a helispot on the Teton Park Road (elevation 6,685 feet) into a high elevation helispot in Garnet Canyon (9,500 feet) near the base of Nez Perce Peak to begin another full day of combing through a large avalanche debris field. A broad snowfield on the north face of Nez Perce gave way sometime after Friday, April 15, and the resulting avalanche path covers Garnet Canyon Meadows where it is presumed that the two men may be found. The avalanche debris field is approximately 200 feet wide, 200-300 yards long and 15 feet deep.

Grand Teton National Park rangers again enlisted the assistance of trained rescue personnel and support staff from Teton County Search and Rescue, Teton Interagency Fire, Bridger-Teton National Forest, Yellowstone National Park, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort ski patrol, Wyoming K9 Search and Rescue, and Grand Targhee Resort ski patrol and K9 teams, as well as experienced professional mountaineers from Jackson Hole Mountain Guides and Exum Mountain Guides (two park concession companies) to provide the best possible and most complete exploration of snow-covered area where Kuhl and Seftick may be located.

Local weather forecaster Jim Woodmency, who joined the search effort today, reminded the search teams that over three feet of new snow has fallen on the Teton Range over the past week. Bridger-Teton National Forest Avalanche Center has recorded 661 inches of snowfall at the Raymer snow plot (elevation 9,300 feet) so far this winter. The Tetons receive an average of

400 inches of snowfall per year.

Further information about today’s search effort will be available after individual teams return to the incident command center near park headquarters at day’s end.  Visit for more information.

Bridal Expo Mania!!!


Well, as is the case with most bridal expos, it snowed. However, we were able to travel easily, so it was okay! What. A. Weekend. Although it’s draining and busy, it’s arguably one of my favorite weekends of the year, business-wise!

We started with a quick trip to Rawlins for some business Thursday night. Met some great folks! Hit the road and headed to Rock Springs, where we had to have dinner at one of our favorite restaurants: Winger’s! We used to have one in Laramie, where I waited tables in college, and we MISS it! We had a great time there — brought back a lot of memories… 🙂

We stayed at the Homewood Suites in Rock Springs, which is a co-sponsor for our Sweetwater County Bridal Expo along with First Comes Love Bridal in Rock Springs. WOW. Seriously. Christine Kronz and I discussed how we could quite possibly be content just making that our second residence. 🙂 The staff was so fun to work with, like always. GM Ginny and Sales Director Pam put on quite a show! We had to enjoy our favorite places (IHOP stacks of pancakes, for example), 🙂 but we tried a new place for lunch — Dickey’s Barbeque Pit! Holy COW they are GOOD! We were expecting Keith & Erin Turbitt in that night, so we didn’t eat a big lunch, since we DID have stacks of pancakes at IHOP for breakfast…had to keep our stomachs ready to go out that night… 🙂 We were informed by the staff that we were ‘going to be sorry’ we ordered one sandwich to split. And yup, they were pretty much 100% right on that. 🙂 GOOD. Yummers. Go there. It’s awesome!

Before lunch, we went and visited Bernice, a dear friend from Facebook who lives in Rock Springs. It’s always so neat to get to meet people and put faces and voices with names. Bernice is a very dear lady, and a good friend, and we wished we could have spent more time visiting with her. We had a hiccup with vendor tables that I had to sort out Friday, and we had to keep working on that, so we cut our visit short. I was excited, though, to see her at our expo on Saturday, along with her husband David! What a treat to meet them both — and Bernice even got pictures so we can remember our visit! She is a VERY special lady.

First Comes Love’s super cool owner, Sonya, got to work setting up the staging, balloons, etc. with her hubby Kevin, and their amazing support staff of family and friends. Sonya & I were laughing at how easily things came together this year — even if we did have a hiccup in vendor tables. Part of the excitement! 🙂  They were super organized, so Keith & Erin, Levi & I went to Bitter Creek Brewery for dinner that night…

Bitter Creek Brewing is one of our must-eat places in Rock Springs. Levi really enjoys their brew pub burger, and I’m a classic burger gal. We discovered Keith will find ways to work their creative beer names into the conversation…which dissolved the entire table into laughter more than once. We had entirely TOO much fun!  Levi and Erin highly recommended the Sweetwater Wheat…and the Red Desert Ale too… YUM…

The show Saturday was AWESOME! We had a fantastic turn-out, and great vendors — we are so blessed to work with such amazing people! The hotel was very accommodating, First Comes Love put on a fantastic fashion show, and we greatly enjoyed the event. We’re excited for next year! 🙂

The snow made its appearance as we packed up to leave. It never fails! We were going to take Keith & Erin to Winger’s, but we changed plans and hit the road with snacks to make sure we made it back to Laramie — we had to be in the Laramie Bridal Expo Sunday! We made it back late and drug our tired selves to Altitude in downtown Laramie. Levi & I really enjoy splitting the Garlic Chicken Pizza, and Erin liked the chicken fried steak…Keith had to tempt us with fried cheesecake, which was entirely too delicious. Levi’s favorite beer at Altitude is the 7200 Stout…yes, he has a favorite at all of Wyoming’s breweries. 🙂 Check Altitude out online!

We were EXHAUSTED, but mustered up the energy for the Laramie Bridal Expo on Sunday. And of course, it revolved around food as well… 🙂 Yes, we enjoy eating! We introduced Keith & Erin to McAllister’s in Laramie — my absolute favorite there is the orange cranberry club sandwich, and Levi really digs the french dip…and the sweet tea. LOOOOTS of sweet tea. 🙂 Erin was wondering why we had never introduced her to McAllister’s before… 😉

The Laramie Bridal Expo was AWESOME as always!!! Lori at Dan D Party Corner puts on quite a show. Anne from Ludwig Photography is her co-sponsor, and Lori (surprisingly!) gave me a microphone for a SECOND time — one of these times she is going to learn! 🙂 I got to introduce Kelli Erickson, owner of Mountain Valley Bridal in Laramie, for the fashion shows, and announced door prizes… And discovered just how tricky some names can be…sorry to those names I butchered! We met a LOT of wonderful brides from all over Wyoming and the country — our wedding guide is sure making the rounds this season! We weren’t able to attend the Cody Expo, but David Huber Photography and Pre.Veil Events had them on hand — we heard they flew! Thanks guys!

Tonight, we’re tuckered out. But ready to hit the ground again tomorrow, because the printed copies of our newest issue are hitting the streets! Time for distribution trips — more eating — and more blogging! Best of all….more exploring Wyoming! 🙂

‘Til Next Time…I’m going to work off these calories I digested the last few days…(but they were worth it!)

Kati Hime, Editor

Tips from the Road

I have been on the road a LOT the past week. Since last Thursday, I have driven over 2000 miles. And we’re not done! We have traveled darn near every corner of the state repeatedly since we began our Wyoming Weddings guide in January 2009. Having grown up in Wyoming, we have spent years traveling the state to visit family, attend sporting events (as participants and coaches), with our volunteer organizations, for vacations, etc… But I have to say that we’ve learned the most about our state these past two years. Now that our 1st anniversary of Wyoming Lifestyle Magazine and 2nd anniversary of Wyoming Weddings is approaching, I thought it appropriate to highlight some of the tips and memories I have accumulated…

I have learned that when speaking in front of people, I need to remember one word: EXHALE. I tend to inhale, inhale, inhale, until I’m speaking fast and about to hyperventilate!

I have learned which public bathrooms throughout the state do not offer paper towels for opening the door to the bathroom as I leave. Yes, I’m one of those. I am a health care worker who is a germaphobe and a mother — bad combination. 🙂

Speaking of bathrooms, I have discovered that there is a gas station and general store combination in Pinedale that has the most beautiful bathroom. Yes, my travels revolve around places to eat, get gas, find cell phone service, and bathrooms. Modern day survival tools! 🙂

I will forever think of setting up the Rock Springs Bridal Show when I eat Domino’s Pizza. Combine a whole stack of pizzas, beer, a stage and balloon arch to assemble… The boys had too much fun making things out of balloons and we enjoyed ourselves far too much. Can’t wait for the next time! It also ALWAYS snows either before or after the show. Always!

Speaking of Rock Springs, I am hopeless when it come to navigating Rock Springs and Green River. I get lost in Downtown Rock Springs EVERY time I am there! Yesterday was no exception — I got lost in Rock Springs AND Green River AGAIN! Someone, I need a map!

For the Rawlins show, it was again storming. We left early with Keith & Erin Turbitt and crawled through the storm to get to Rawlins. There was a very sweet desk clerk at the Hampton Inn who has an accent — it’s a New York accent I think — that I cannot understand. He kept making jokes and laughing at me and I was clueless — Erin had to translate. 🙂

There are some Wyoming terms that you just don’t get wrong. I knew for years that Popo Agie is NOT pronounced ‘Po-Po Agee”, and ESPECIALLY not “Poo Poo Agee”! However, this year I was informed that Devils Tower does NOT have an apostrophe in it. To the dismay of English teachers everywhere. 🙂

In Wheatland, the Best Western has the sweetest desk clerk. He remembers my name, where I’m from, what we do and all of the places I’ve been to recently each time I go in. It’s pretty impressive! I need him to remind ME what I’m doing sometimes… 🙂

I have learned that there are many scenic places I drive through that cause me to say “WOW….” every time. Doesn’t matter if I just drove through that area two hours ago. I say WOW again.

I have learned where the sulfur pockets are throughout the state. Just saying. 🙂

This year was the first time I witnessed the Evanston Roundhouse. WOW! That is one impressive structure!

I learned that Tim Harland of Snake River Brewery eats fried bologna and ketchup sandwiches. My lunch was abruptly ended when I learned that fact. 🙂

I met Patrick Zimmerer in person by surprise when we were having dinner at The Bunkhouse in Torrington — and of course he had lots of Table Mountain Vineyards wine on hand at his table! He’s a good guy — and The Bunkhouse is one of many great restaurants in Torrington!

I have learned that Matt Mead does not mind two obnoxious youngsters who are bent on showing me that they are not going to always behave at a business event. Bless him for being so patient. 🙂

I have learned that Leslie Petersen has a terrific memory for people, places and conversations. She remembered a great deal about our interview the next time I saw her — what a classy lady!

I have learned that I can run four miles instead of two in Torrington — talk about good workouts! I may have to drive to Torrington regularly just to work out! 🙂

I have (slowly) begun to understand the one way streets in Casper and Cheyenne. Kind of.

When I see a Maverick store, I will always think ‘Linda Mccoul’. 🙂

I have learned that wearing my tall platform heels two days in a row to business events will give me a case of plantar fasciitis. However, one day on, one day off and one day on again will not…even though Levi warns me I’m tempting fate on that one…

When a special guest appears at an event, be careful introducing them at the podium. They may just have left early…. Hmmm, does anyone have a joke to fill that moment?! 🙂

And most importantly perhaps… I have learned that no matter who you talk to in Wyoming, they know someone, somewhere, that you also know… Without fail. EVERYONE is connected. Everyone!

Till next time, I’m going to keep gathering those memories and little lessons learned. Last night, as I saw the lights of Laramie ahead, I realized that entire state of Wyoming is ‘home’ to us. And that’s a pretty good feeling.

Kati Hime, Editor

Plan a Ski Movie, and See it Snow!

Well, I did it again. I planned a trip, and it snowed. So if you’re grumpy about the arrival of winter in Wyoming, I’m afraid you have me to blame. It happens every year during bridal fair season, and this year we added presenting ski movies to our list of special events — so henceforth there will be snow. (Sorry.)

For me, though, I LOVE snow!!! A gentleman I know calls me a ‘Wyoming Road Warrior’. I take that as a compliment. My father the Highway Patrolman calls it insane. I think that is part of the definition of ‘Wyoming Road Warrior’ — a little bit of courage and insanity mixed together — and add some 4-wheel drive. 🙂

I left last Friday morning for a 3-day adventure in northwest Wyoming. What an adventure it was, too! I arrived in Jackson and had lunch with my friend Tim Harland, VP of Sales & Marketing for Snake River Brewery in Jackson, and author of our column, “The Beer Made Here”, which takes an educational approach to the life and times of brew in Wyoming. I enjoyed lunch and a tour of the brewery — this business really strives to work in tandem with the community of Jackson, and they have grown by leaps and bounds. (They also make a pretty tasty pulled pork sandwich, although I had to give Tim my fries, it was so filling — it was either that or his story of fried bologna and ketchup sandwiches that made my lose my appetite.) 🙂

While waiting for our Jackson screening of Warren Miller’s “Wintervention” to begin, I went shopping in downtown Jackson. If you’re there, do NOT miss MADE, in Gaslight Alley! I bought a really fun and funky glass ring for $15. Seriously. John, the owner, makes beautiful works of glass art, including Steamboat belt buckles! They are COOL! As always, I enjoyed my time shopping in Jackson — the shopping is where the West meets New York. Always a treat for me!

Our movie screening was decent — the JH High School was very accomodating, and the ski coach, Cody Hansen, was a great help. We had a modest crowd, but it’s a good start to our work there. We’ll be there next year and will look to grow on what we started!

I stayed in the most ADORABLE inn. The Inn on the Creek. Oh my GOSH is all I can say! This inn combines a handful of comfortable yet luxurious rooms that are contained within a quaint stone cottage that overlooks ‘the creek’. My room was the Goldeneye, with a jacuzzi tab and gas fireplace in my bedroom, complete with votive candles! I felt a little guilty about being there by myself — but the jacuzzi tub soak and a good book helped ease that guilt slightly. 🙂 Breakfast was served to my door right on the nose, with my specifications made when I checked in. The staff was so gracious and friendly, and I will definitely put this on my list of repeats. Bravo!!!!!

I hit the road on Saturday morning and headed to Cody by way of Dubois, Riverton, Shoshoni and Thermopolis. My Road Warrior status was challenged slightly as snow was falling on a slick road over Togwotee Pass. The beautiful scenery welcomed me to Dubois, and I was excited to see that the Capitol Christmas Tree Celebration was taking place! I enjoyed meeting members of the tree committee as well as an online friend from the area! It was a fun, short stop!

The rest of my trip was uneventful, and I always love traveling through the Wind River Canyon. What a town Cody is! I had a great time. My hosts highly recommended Cassie’s for supper and brunch Sunday morning, and they were absolutely spot on. I recommend the rotisserie chicken, which was HUGE! For brunch, I had the cream cheese stuffed french toast with berries and whipped creme…it was absolutely enormous and decadent! The Bloody Marys are known as some of the best in town. The atmosphere is very cozy, and the history just oozes from the walls. The staff is friendly and very knowledgeable about the menu. The manager is always greeting guests and making sure everyone is well cared for. When I arrived, I was greeted by probably half a dozen employees! The live music was a nice touch for my Saturday night visit, and I can imagine how much fun one can have on their dance floor!

Sunday morning pre-brunch I enjoyed the Buffalo Bill Historical Center. What a gem! I could go on and on about all that I loved…the historical models, the displays, the William Cody antiques and family memorabilia, the Plains Indians exhibit, the Yellowstone displays…just outstanding. Definitely one not to miss! Post-brunch, I took a drive up to the Buffalo Bill Dam (BEAUTIFUL!!!) and stopped in to see the Irma Hotel. Another historical gem not to be missed — built by William Cody and named for his daughter, the hotel celebrated its centennial in 2002. I also had only a moment to explore downtown shops before the Capitol Christmas Tree arrived in Cody, so I popped into Reindeer Ranch on Sheridan Ave. WOW!!! The beautiful Christmas decorations were jaw-dropping. The store is a mixture of historical components and fun holiday decorations. I could have spent a LOT of time in that store!

I felt very privileged to experience the arrival of the tree in Cody. The turn-out was impressive, and the excitement was electric! It was fun to be a part of that energy, even if it was for a brief moment — we had some movies to put on!

Our two screenings of Warren Miller’s “Wintervention” in Cody went over VERY well! The Sleeping Giant Ski Area staff were great at connecting with the public, and the attendees were very supportive of the resort. We had a great turn-out, people had fun, and it was a real joy working with the staff. Tony and the staff of Big Horn Cinema were AWESOME, and extremely accommodating! I’m excited to go back next year!

The drive home was slow, with snow the entire way from Cody to Laramie. Levi waited up for me as always to get home, and we rolled into bed at 3 AM — but it was worth it, it was a GREAT weekend!

Til next time — I’m logging the miles and excited to see where the adventure takes us next!


Kati Hime


The Life & Times of WLM — The Killer Casper Wasp (Yes, it was a KILLER!!! Quit laughing!) :)

Well, Levi is going to kill me for posting this one…but that’s okay. I rather like our couch, it is comfy to sleep on…hence why he’ll come wake my sorry butt up at 2 AM when I’ve fallen asleep writing an article on that same couch…often times hands still on the keyboard… 🙂

Last weekend Levi & I were in Casper for another Job’s Daughters conference. We arrived a little early and made our way through our distribution points in Casper, dropping off loads of extra copies. (Sadly, this is about as close as we get to a vacation sans babies anymore.) 🙂

As we left Country Charm Gift Shoppe, we began to cross the street. What should come buzzing around my head, then his, and back ahead, but a wasp! One thing you should know about me — I do NOT like wasps. I don’t know why. They’ve never done anything to me — but they seem rather grumpy, and I tend to shy away from grumpy organisms, people, moose and wasps included. 🙂

So I did what my grandma always told me, and that was to stand still. Which I did — in the middle of the street. Levi apparently did not receive my grandma’s memo, as he proceeded to wave at the air in front of the wasp and told me to move OUT of the street, but that childhood lesson was firmly lodged in my brain. I was unable to move. Plus…it LANDED ON ME!!! I resisted the urge to scream and jump around, and then it moved — to Levi, then in my bag of magazines, then in Levi’s bag of magazines, to him, to me, and so on. We ended up going back to the sidewalk after a moment of “It’s on you!” “No, it’s on you!” We put down our bags, and watched it explore their contents before flying off…once we guessed it had left, we picked them up again and kept going…

Once we arrived safely on the other side of the street, wasp nowhere in sight, we breathed a big sigh of relief. THAT was when we looked up — and saw a man in the shop window laughing hysterically at us. And that was when we realized that we probably looked a little silly. (Just a LITTLE.) I really wanted to go in that shop and inform that laughing man of the size of this killer wasp… 🙂

Well, lessons for the day: #1 You’re never too old to be afraid of a wasp. #2 My grandma failed to tell me what I should do if a wasp lands on me in the middle of a downtown street. #3 My husband is truly my knight in shining armor, risking his safety by waving his arms in the air in front of the killer wasp… and #4 I am definitely now sleeping on the couch. 🙂

‘Til next time… I am maintaining that this wasp was GINORMOUS and had a stinger the size of an embroidery needle… 🙂

Kati Hime, Editor

The Life & Times of WLM

I have run into many people that want to know about the people behind our publication…for some reason that escapes me, people think that what we do is glamorous. Quite the contrary! We’re ordinary people living ordinary lives, save one thing — an extraordinary opportunity to promote the people, places, lives and times of our great state. I’ve also been one to share the crazy happenings of our family behind the scenes — and some have said that the crazy anecdotes that we experience would make a really interesting column. Well, here you go…the Life & Times of WLM. The craziness behind the scenes that makes us who we are. Not just ME, mind you — our crew, our helpers, our little oddities…we are an interesting bunch. 🙂

And to start off with, I’ll do what I do best — make fun of myself. Many of you may not know that for all the work you see on the front side, I am a Mountain Dew crava-holic, who says ‘so’ too often and chews my gum too loudly (per my husband). 🙂 What many of my friends know is that I am my worst critic….

Case in point yesterday. My hubby was enjoying the new PSP game I got him for his birthday, and I was playing Spider Solitaire on my laptop, attempting to unwind from the day so I could get to sleep. We were sharing the couch, me with my legs stretched up on him and he busy blingy-blingy-blinging away. And this was the conversation:

Me: “Hey guess what — someone told us the magazine is good today!”

Levi (with game clicking and little blingy-blingy sounds happening, eyes never looking up): “Awesome, Honey!”

Then it occurred to me. Why hadn’t I thought of this before?

Me: “Hmmm.”

Levi (blingy-blingy-blingy, eyes glued on game): “Hmmm what?”

Me: “They said ‘good.'”

Levi (blingy blingy blingy…): “Yeah. Good is good.”

Me: “Yeah, but…they didn’t say GREAT.”

Blingy blingy blingy stopped. Silence. I looked up. His left eyebrow was raised and he looked at me with that look that said ‘What did you just say?’

Levi: “Seriously.”

Me: “Yeah, seriously! Good is good, but…great is GREAT.”

Levi: “Ser-i-ously.”

Me: “Well…yeah! Why, what’s wrong with always striving to be better?”

Levi (face turning red and little puff of smoke coming out his ears…to his credit all he simply said was: “Woman, you are killing me.”

Back to blingy blingy blingy…

I thought about that then and again today when I was running…which is my time when my creative juices flow and I think about things in great detail. (Of course, perhaps it is because that is my time when I am childless and have a few minutes to think in peace.) When is GOOD good enough? When am I being too harsh of a critic of myself? As Levi always says, “You have to trust in the product. Trust in yourself.” That’s pretty hard to do sometimes. That’s something that I’m going to add to my to do list — FIND HAPPINESS IN THE GOOD, WHILE STRIVING FOR THE GREAT…

I hope that you all find happiness in your GOOD today while striving for your GREAT moment…and in the meantime, I’m going to work on that exact same thing…while attempting to shun the Mountain Dew habit and keep my gum popping to a minimum… 🙂

Kati Hime


Catching up!

My goodness, how time flies when you’re preparing an issue! Now that things are wrapping up, I can finally catch up on things like blogging — and laundry, yikes! 🙂

Summer is entering its last month, and August brings with it a feeling of ‘hurry up and get things done’. Hurry up and do school shopping, schedule the kids’ activities, go through the school clothes to see what doesn’t fit, but most of all, hurry up and enjoy all that Wyoming has to offer before the winter comes again. (Although I need to add that winter holds its own allure for me — I’m a ski bunny at heart.) 🙂

I battle with myself during August, because with the urge to hurry up comes the urge to SLOW DOWN and enjoy summer. It’s funny how both of these urges can describe summer enjoyment. Go, see, do, explore, photograph, log in the memory book; but also sit, breathe, sip and smile. Fortunately in Wyoming, we can do both — the same outdoors that offer endless opportunity for adventure also offer beautiful scenery in which to sit, relax and unwind.

So as a way to satisfy both cravings, I suggest going, doing and seeing — with a dose of relaxation. For example: GO hike the nearest mountain with your kids — and stop at every viewpoint to breathe, sit and take a picture. Point out the colorful wildflowers to your kids — guess at what their names are (who cares if you’re wrong?). Or fish the nearest lake — and I’d suggest that whether you catch something or not doesn’t matter. What’s important is that you are OUT, enjoying Wyoming. On the other end of the spectrum, go check out that neat museum or cultural center in your community or a neighboring one. Learn something new about your home state that you never knew — and once you have, promptly share it with someone. Education is one half learning, and one half sharing.

Once you’ve gone, done and seen, learned a little and experienced a little…don’t do anything. Fix yourself your refreshing beverage of choice and sit on your step, patio, deck or front yard. Breathe deep. Enjoy the fresh air — and the time that summer has left. Enjoy life — that is part of what summer is all about!

Until next time — I’m breathing deep! (And doing a mountain of laundry!) 🙂