Circle J Ranch event 2016


Harvest Party, City Park in Lander Wyoming! October 1, 9 am - 12 noon
Harvest Party, City Park in Lander Wyoming! October 1, 9 am – 12 noon


A Trip Down Memory Lane in Sheridan plus Buffalo and Two Mountain Passes

By Bill Sniffin

As readers of this column know, I am no fan of the “new” JC Penney Company.

It is my contention that old James Cash Penney (whose first store was right here in Wyoming, in Kemmerer), is spinning in his grave as how his successors have managed to ruin that company.

But I loved the old Penney’s and I took a trip down memory lane at that company’s long-time store on Main Street of Sheridan recently. There, smack in the heart of the town, is an old-fashioned Penney Store, complete with a basement, a half upstairs and, well, the only edifices missing were the pneumatic tubes sending sales tickets flying around the store.

My first Penney store experience was in Oelwein, Iowa, and it was a scene right out of the movie, A Christmas Story. And that store 60 years ago looked just like the one there in Sheridan today.

Here in Lander, when I first came to work at the Journal, one of our biggest advertisers was the JC Penney Store, again, right in the heart of our downtown.  And yes, it had a half upstairs and it had a basement.  I think tubes were still there which would whistle sales tickets from the various cash registers back to the bookkeeping department. Even by today’s standards, these tubes were space age. Amazing.  They provided a way to quickly move information around prior to the age of computers.

On this trip, we took two different scenic drives on our way to and from Sheridan.

First, we traveled to Greybull so we could take US 16 up Shell Canyon and over the mountain. The weather was beautiful and we even stopped and checked out the Dinosaur tracks outside of Shell. Also, took a photo of the canyons there at the Big Horn Mountains that seem to form a “W” and a “Y” — is that there or was I just imagining it?

Near Burgess Junction I ran into Ed Kingston at the Elk View Inn.  First met Ed 15 years ago.  He has done well and aged better than me. The lodge is beautiful. It and Bear Lodge plus a few other lodges make that area a snowmobile and ATV mecca.

We encountered terrible fog descending into Dayton and on our way to Sheridan and settled into a rainy trip.

Bob Grammens and Kim Love had me on the radio for a couple of mornings and that was sure fun. Radio appears to be struggling in some communities, but not Sheridan. Lots going on in that area. Don’t touch that dial!

Although energy is a big deal in the Sheridan area, you would not notice it by how the Main Street feels.  It is certainly lively including a new store started by a 13-year old boy. Amazing.  His name is Luke Knudsen and he started a store called The Old General Store, which features antiques.

Another neat store is the Best Out West store owned by Christy Love, Kim’s sister.

The remodeled Sheridan Inn is a real treat. The old strucure originally built by Buffalo Bill Cody is now a true modern classic.

One of the premier craft breweries in the state is the Black Tooth establishment, which exists in an old auto garage.  Great beer and a great location.

Our trip was designed as loop drive so we headed south to Buffalo and were impressed by how busy the Sports Lure store was there in the main business district. Small towns are lucky to have local-owned stores like it and the Office to cater to local needs.

It is hard not to love Buffalo’s Occidental Hotel. What a beautiful job its owners have done to restore it.

This is the heart of Longmire country but despite looking for them, none of the characters were to be seen on this day. Longmire is the name of a popular TV series based on books by Craig Johnson of Ucross.

While in Buffalo, I also looked for the infamous “Bench Sitters,” made popular by the Sagebrush Sven columns in the Buffalo Bulletin.  It was the wrong time of day to see them, too, I guess.

Heading home, we headed up into the cloudy Big Horn Mountains over Tensleep Pass.  Ran into fog, rain, slush, snow and wind but got through it.  Lots of highway construction on the very top. The flag people were dressed like Eskimos.

Worland and Thermopolis were both quiet on this wet Friday evening, although it was sure tempting to take a dip into a hot thermal pool on a cold, wet shivery night.  But we kept on going.

Got home just as the sun was going down, which was our goal. Hate that driving at night in a storm.

What a great loop drive it was, though. The passes were full of amazing color.  I am sure the rain and snow pretty much wiped out most of those pretty leaves, which impressed us at the time. This all occurred during the fall solstice, which here in Wyoming, truly marks a real change of seasons.





Downtown Sheridan Wraps Up Summer!

3rd Thursday Sheridan Logo July 2016

From the Downtown Sheridan Association…

The days are getting shorter, and I for one look forward to a little slower pace…but, honestly there is still so much going on and so many reasons to visit downtown, I never do seem to get much time to unwind!

This week, our final 3rd Thursday will feature the Craft Brothers and the Sheridan High School varsity teams pep rally. Be sure to stop by the main stage for the first ever “flash mob” to be held on Main Street at 7pm!


The following Thursday at the weekly farmers’ market on Grinnell Plaza, CATO Ranch and the Cottonwood Shop are sponsoring the first “Sheridan Amateur Chopped” contest! A lively crew of local foodies will be cooking up some delicious meals comprised mostly of locally raised meats and produce. The last Thursday of September, the 29th, the Sheridan Farmers’ Market sponsored by Landon’s Greenhouse, will close out the downtown market season here on Grinnell Plaza. However, Saturday, October 8, the DSA will again cosponsor the Sheridan Local Food Expo/Fall Harvest Market. This year’s event will take place October 5th through October 8th, kicking off with a premier screening of the PBS/Farm to Fork Episode of, “Compost” at the Sheridan Public Library on Wednesday the 5th at 5:30pm.

 14079511_10154340567590535_5021185094035579366_n 14232477_10207555033375218_5755006678691571871_n

Friday, October 7th is the Farm to Plate Gala Dinner at the Barn in Big Horn. A four course seasonally inspired dinner prepared by Chef Antonia Armenta Miller, of CATO Ranch, will be paired with wines from Jackson Hole Winery. The tickets are $75 each. This fee helps raise funds to benefit the Local Foods Expo group with a portion of the proceeds also benefiting the local youth programs that promote our commitment to support, promote and educate the community on the importance of buying and eating locally. For more information, please contact Bonnie Gregory at 307-752-5712.

The weekend will wrap up on Saturday with the Farmers’ Market Fall Festival at the Whitney Academic Center on the Sheridan College Campus. Sponsored by Wyoming Roofing, this market combines the Sheridan & Landon’s Farmers Markets from 9am till 11am with live music by Crooked Mountain and featuring other seasonal events. The morning market will be followed by a discussion panel entitled, “Eating, Growing & Selling” at noon. For more information, please contact Donald Legerski at 307-683-7849 or email


Finally, the Historic District Promotions Committee continues to focus on year-round shop local campaigns that help to increase awareness of what our downtown has to offer as well as create incentives and enthusiasm for local shoppers during the off-holiday season. The October Hunting for Bucks shop local campaign incorporates the ever popular hunting season as well as rewarding locals for shopping downtown by offering “chamber bucks” as a weekly prize for shoppers throughout the month of October. The City of Sheridan has generously agreed to sponsor the campaign again this year. Last year, the first Hunting For Bucks campaign was a huge success with $800 in chamber bucks distributed to 21 lucky shoppers.

For more information, please call 307-672-8881 or email


ART IN WY: Karen McLain, Sage Community Art Center & More

artists Jamie Barron & Sonja Caywood

SHERIDAN:  Sagebrush Community Art Center Presents “East Meets West in Wyoming”

Sagebrush Art Center hosts “East Meets West in Wyoming,” paintings by Sonja Caywood & Jamie Barron.  This show features a common theme in two artistic styles:  

Jamie Barron, born in North Dakota, currently resides in New York City, where she earned her MFA in Fine Art.  Barron says of her work: “I like to engage the viewer by using familiar iconography from everyday life experiences such as barns, cows and horses but changing them just so subtle to make one stop and look.  Sometimes using glitter or glazes to create an ethereal image. I find one can easily transplant his or herself into my paintings and remember, dream or reflect. “

Jamie Barron, “Blue Moon Beauties”

Sonja Caywood was born in Sheridan and attended Sheridan College.  Caywood explains: “Raised in a ranching family, I deeply value the land and the livestock of the Bighorn Mountain region.  It’s essential for me to record this vestige of ‘the west,’ as subjects once thought to be permanent fixtures of our landscape disappear.  I strive to express my affection for my subjects in painterly strokes of color with an emphasis on light.”
































Sonja Caywood, “Golden Opportunity”

The exhibition runs October 11th- November 16th at the Sagebrush Art Center (located in the Historic Train Depot, 201 E. 5th St. in Sheridan). An Opening Reception and artists’ talk was held on October 11. 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.

Karen McLain, “Freedom on Top of Mountain”

KAREN MCLAIN:  Capturing the Beauty of Wyoming’s Wild Horses

We appreciate Arizona artist Karen McLain sharing her love of Wyoming and its wild horses with us – she has tireless captured our state and its wildlife in paint and the result is exquisite. The following is a description from Karen of her most recent trek through Wyoming…

This was the fifth summer that I have gone to visit the wild horse ranges, but the first year that I made it to Wyoming. The trip included stops at the Little Book Cliffs, Sand Wash Basin, McCullough Peaks and Pryor Mountain areas.  The beauty of Wyoming was very inspiring and the horses were ones that I wanted to visit for many years. I traveled with my 1972 Shasta trailer, “The Paint Box” and stayed out on the ranges. (Although some areas required truck and tent camping), I had a very comfortable month-long painting adventure.

The McCullough Peaks horses were rugged and handsome, a  classic wild horse. Even tough it was windy, I did get some paintings done while I was there. The range is easy to access and the location as the gateway to Yellowstone is easy for visitors to be able to get to on a day trip.  After spending three nights at McCullough Peaks, I headed up to the Pryor range.  The beauty just blew me away. The open meadows, Tea Cup  and Mystic Waterhole  areas allowed for wonderful photo and video opportunities. It was a real treat to spend time with Cloud and his band. I know I will be back next year.


“McCullough Peaks Paint”

“Fishing Yellowstone”

On the way home to Arizona, I spent a few days in Yellowstone. While I was there, I was able to get two buffalo paintings done, even though I had to move three times while working on one of them. The buffalo clearly had someplace to go!

Wyoming is a painter’s paradise, and I look forward to my next visit!

“Stallion Bunch”

“Wild Rainbow”

Thundered Into Our Hearts”

“When They Got to the Top”






On the Calendar & Food News: June 21, 2012


Our Sister Publications:  Wyoming Weddings —  Wyovore —  WYO XY — Wyoming Woman —

click on the link to connect with Evanston Bluegrass Festival — THIS Saturday, June 23…

Lots of event & foodie news from across Wyoming… If you have an event or food-based business that you want to see featured in our weekly blog, give us a holler —

3rd Thursday Sheridan image from 3rd Thursday Sheridan committee

SHERIDAN TONIGHT, JUNE 21! Downtown Sheridan’s 3rd Thursday event kicks off for the summer! Follow the link to a great informational video:


Visit Flaming Gorge Days for “Southwest Wyoming’s Weekend of Fun!” in Green River — sports tourneys including bball, golf, dodgeball, children’s entertainment, horseshoes, a parade, concerts… Lots of action in a beautiful community!

Crawfish Boil in Jackson — image from 307 Live


12:00 PM, Cutty’s Lawn, check out Stooges Brass Band from NOLA headlining at the LARGEST crawfish boil in the Rocky Mtn Region! Tickets $15 in advance, $20 day of — click here for more info  Thanks 307 Live for the scoop!

CHEYENNE, JUNE 22-24 — Celtic Music Arts Festival 7th Annual Event

My Irish dancing heart skips a beat at the mention of this event! Check out the 7th annual Celtic Music Arts Festival. LOTS of artists and fun — check out the Cheyenne  Depot Museum website for more info…


Gilchrist Gallery in Wheatland is celebrating their 2nd anniversary! Come celebrate fine arts, craftsmanship & collectibles in Downtown Wheatland at 867 Gilchrist.  Noon – 5 PM Friday, June 22; 9 AM – 5 PM Saturday, June 23 — click here for more info!

image from Gillette’s Donkey Creek Festival


Enjoy three days of nationally renowned musicians and FABULOUS music in Gillette — all for free! Visit the festival’s website for schedule of events — a rapidly expanding event since 2006!


This annual event is named in honor of a friendly, although ill-fated, pooch that liked running alongside a group of local cyclists — and has become a much anticipated race in the Wyoming cycling arena. Click here for more info.


Head up to Thermopolis June 22-23 for the Cowboy Rendezvous PRCA Rodeo! Rodeo action begins at 7 PM each night; slack performed all day June 23. Parade will be held June 23 at 10 AM, and a dance after the June 23 night performance! Click here for more info…

EASTERN SHOSHONE INDIAN DAYS POW WOW:  Visit the Wind River Country tourism website for more information on this event, running June 21-23!



Altitude — This week, you’ll not only find Altitude’s microbrews at the bar, but in our special entree recipes, as well. Enjoy our beer both ways!

potato skins appetizer Smoked beef brisket, bacon, cheddar cheese and green onions baked on potato skins, Served with bbq bleu cheese sauce. 7.
baked salmon Served over rice simmered in Tumblewheat ale with sauteed red bell peppers, green onions and water chestnuts. Finished with a wasabi teriyaki sauce. 16.5
chicken “wit-sala” A new take on the classic chicken marsala. Pan seared chicken breast, sauteed garlic, mushrooms and onions served over fettuccine in a Solar Wit ale sauce. 12.5
eight ounce pork loin Grilled and brushed with a Bearpaw Brown ale and honey glaze. Served with a bacon, green onion and smoked gouda potato cake. 14.

Connect with Altitude:  Facebook  Twitter  FourSquare  ontheweb


stuffed tomato Homemade chicken salad studded with celery, carrots, pickles, onions and dill. Stuffed into a fresh tomato and served with your choice of fries, chips and salsa, creamy mashed potatoes, cottage cheese or dinner salad. 7.5
mustard bbq beef sandwich Beef brisket marinated in a sweet and tangy mustard bbq sauce and stacked on a kaiser with melted white cheddar cheese. Served with your choice of fries, chips and salsa, creamy mashed potatoes, cottage cheese or dinner salad. 9.

Connect with Lovejoy’s:  Facebook  FourSquare  ontheweb


  • WYO FARM & RANCH FAMILY BBQ, JULY 9, 1-7 pm, LANDER — Hosted by the Crofts Family Ranch & The Fremont County Cattleman’s Assoc.
    Afternoon BBQ open to ag families and their surrounding community. Featuring a walking tour of South Pass and group discussion about issues facing the industry. Contact the Wyoming Stock Growers Association for more info to RSVP – (307) 638-3942 or (there is no charge for this event.)
  • ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP TOUR, JULY 12, PINEDALE: Sommers Ranch  hosts this celebration of Wyoming Environmental Stewardship Day by touring its beautiful ranch. This is an all-day complimentary event, meals and on-site transportation are provided. Contact the Wyoming Stock Growers Association for more info or to RSVP – (307) 638-3942 or (there is no charge for this event, but RSVP is required).
  • BIG HORN MOUNTAIN FESTIVAL, BUFFALO:  July 6,7,8, check out this fabulous event full of bluegrass & traditional music for the whole family:
  • OYSTER RIDGE MUSIC FESTIVAL, KEMMERER:  July 27-29 The home of the Wyoming Flatpick Guitar Championships plus a variety of nationally renowned and Wyoming musicians. Food, fun and listening enjoyment, in a beautiful atmosphere.
  • BEAR TRAP MUSIC FESTIVAL, CASPER:  August 4-5, this event draws the masses to Casper Mountain for a day of jamming.


Our Sister Publications:  Wyoming Weddings —  Wyovore —  WYO XY — Wyoming Woman —