December 23, 2010

Happy Trails Clark Wheeldon - Godspeed

Clark Wheeldon and his dog Rat, hunting in the Gros Ventre Mountainsat
Clark Wheeldon and his dog Rat, hunting in the Gros Ventre Mountains.
My friend Clark Wheeldon died the other day, a western character like no other! He will be missed but he gave us many memories hundreds of us will treasure forever.

Clark was my first friend in Jackson Hole; he rented me a house on his ranch and was immediately accepted into Clark's world, a world of horses, rodeo, hunting tall tales and family. It wasn’t long before my wife Sharon, and I felt as though we were a part of the family. We were soon friends with a great extended family of true western characters.

Clark always had a pot of coffee on the stove and a story to tell, and his stories were always good. A revolving door of characters were always stopping by, and he never had to worry about emptying that pot of coffee alone.

Many old cowboys are colorful characters, but Clark outshined them all. He’d start weaving the story and that twinkle would come out in his eye and that mischievous grin would cross his lips, and you knew you were in for a good one. He used to tell us about 25% of something and left the rest to our imaginations. Clark was a man of mysteries, and he would almost tell you some of them. I firmly believe all that Clark left to my imagination about deeds he hinted that he may have done.

Clark and Granddaugheter Sadee Wheeldon horseback riding in the Gros Ventre Wilderness
Clark and Granddaugheter Sadee Wheeldon horseback riding in the Gros Ventre Wilderness
In the 1956 film Jubal starring Glenn Ford, Ernest Borgnine, and Rod Steiger Clark was the stunt rider for Glenn for a two minute bucking horse ride, a ride that makes all those eight-second riders look like pikers. Hearing Clark was in it I rented it while sill living on the ranch, Clark stopped by the house while my wife and I were watching it and he watched the riding scene with us. He claimed that he had never seen it. This rodeo tradition continued until his progeny took over the Jackson Hole Rodeo.

Clark knew I was pretty good about keeping my dog secured and didn’t let him run abound, but one day he got through a cracked door. Spot, the dog went chasing sheep and bit up about ten of them, a week later one of them died. I promptly went over and tried to pay for the sheep.

Clark says: “ You ain’t paying for the sheep”

Me: Yes I am, my dog killed your sheep and I’m paying you for him.

This went back and forth for a bit until Clark concluded.

It ain’t your fault that sheep died, you know how those sheep are, their head gets a little bit to close to the ground then they are dead. You ain’t paying for that sheep!

clark Wheeldon, hunting client Bruce and I on hunting trip in the Gros Ventre Mountains
Clark Wheeldon, hunting client Bruce and I on hunting trip in the Gros Ventre Mountains
Sitting around the fire in hunting camp with a hunter that was a doctor from Pennsylvania, chat got around to college, and the Doctor said he went to Penn State, Clark replied, “ I want to Penn State too, or was that State Pen"?

Most ranchers have a cow dog, not Clark; Clark had a dackusaund hound named Rat that rode on his horse with him. It was something to see. He had a piece of carpet tied onto the back of the saddle so Rat would have a place to ride. He did make Rat walk a lot but when it was time to ride he would tell Rat to load.

I happened to be out of town when my moving truck came, and I had hired some young movers to move the stuff into the house, Clark stopped by to find the two movers sitting on the front steps while putting off carrying my safe into the house, Sharon said Clark was pissed these workers were sitting on their ass and he went over to the moving truck, and 63 year old Clark picked up the safe and took it into the house; the embarrassed movers jumped back to work.

Our friend Harry Taylor was known to overindulge in the booze more than he should, well one day after retirement age Harry went out and got a job, all was well until he up and died. Visiting with Clark shortly thereafter we were bemoaning Harry’s demise, and Clark said, “ That’s it – I’m quitting."

Me: I asked, “ What are you quitting Clark” expecting him to reply “ Drinking”

Clark: Working, I’m gonna quit working, look what it did to Harry!

About ten years ago Clark got a hip replacement so I decided I would drop in on him and see how he was doing.

Me: It looks like you are getting around on that new hip pretty good.

Clark: Yep, pretty good, pretty good.

Knowing that what a good sense of humor Clark had I replied.

Me: Well when are the going to get around too replacing you rest of you?

Clark: Ha, ha, ha, I don’t know but it better be soon!

I knew Clark would have a clever response :D

My times on the ranch are treasured memories and one of the highlights of my life.
Clark wasn't a big fan of the government and I would like to share a couple of his poems he wrote on the subject
Capitol Hill National Anthem by Clark Wheeldon
Rejected from Hell - a poem by Clark Wheeldon
Clark Wheeldon hunting the Gros Ventre Mountains
Happy Trails Clark - Godspeed

If anyone has any Clark Wheeldon Stories please share them below

December 01, 2010

Jackson Hole Wyoming's National Elk Refuge

When the sun peaks over the Gros Ventre Mountains east of Jackson Hole, and its light creeps slowly across valley, light creeps over bundles of fur and antlers starting to stir from a cold winter night. As the sun reaches the base of the Grand Teton, orange and yellow light bathes the landscape and 6,000 wintering elk. By ten o'clock, adventurous visitors braving the winter cold venture out on the refuge in horse drawn sleighs to get an up close view of these majestic animals.

In the pre Columbian area elk ranged from the eastern states through central and western North America. They grazed the open prairies, mountain valleys, and foothills. As settlers pushed slowly westward, the distribution of the elk was rapidly reduced to the western mountains. By 1900, elk had disappeared from more than 90 percent of their original range.

When settlers arrived in Jackson Hole and homesteaded the valley in the 1880s, there may have been as many as 25,000 that wintered here. Establishment of farms and ranches displaced the elk from the traditional wintering areas and livestock competed for winter food, and hungry elk raided haystacks. The ranchers had to kill the elk if they wanted to stay in business.

In the early 1900s, severe winters with deep, crusted snow also took a serious toll on the wintering elk. In 1909 the ranchers and town folk of Jackson Hole appealed government to fund some land and a feeding program too save the diminishing elk herd. The refuge was created in 1912 as a result of public interest in the survival of the Jackson elk herd on about 1200 acres. The government has added to it over the years and today the Refuge consists 24,700 acres and is some of the last remaining elk winter range for the Jackson Hole Elk Herd. Prior to1916 Refuge was dotted with over 44 homesteads.

For More information

November 29, 2010

U.S. Taxes Explained in Beer Terms . . . .

U.S. Taxes Explained in Beer Terms . . . .

        Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100.
        If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:
        The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
        The fifth would pay $1.
        The sixth would pay $3
        The seventh would pay $7.
        The eighth would pay $12.
        The ninth would pay $18.
        The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.
        So, that’s what they decided to do. The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. ‘Since you are all such good customers,’ he said, ‘I’m going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20. ‘Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men – the paying customers?
        How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his ‘fair share?’ They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody’s share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man’s bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.
        And so the fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
        The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33% savings).
        The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28% savings).
        The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
        The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 ( 22% savings).
        The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).
        Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.
        ‘I only got a dollar out of the $20,’ declared the sixth man.
        He pointed to the tenth man,’ but he got $10! ”Yeah, that’s right,’ exclaimed the fifth man.
        ‘I only saved a dollar, too.. It’s unfair that he got ten times more than I! ”That’s true!!’ shouted the seventh man.
        ‘Why should he get $10 back when I got only two?
        The wealthy get all the breaks!
        ”Wait a minute,’ yelled the first four men in unison. ‘We didn’t get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!
        ‘The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up. The next night the tenth man ( the richest) didn’t show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn’t have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!
        And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

November 24, 2010

Skiing and Riding in Jackson Hole

Skiing and Riding in Jackson Hole
Jackson Hole SkierJACKSON HOLE • Jackson Hole is world famous for one of its ski resorts but Jackson Hole is lucky enough to have three of them. All have differing attributes, Snow King is In the town of Jackson and is smaller but is affordable and convenient Grand Targhee is plumb over on the far side of the Grand Tetons but for that reason it gets much more snow so is Jackson hole’s powder cache, and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is the destination resort of the three and certainly is the gem.

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort offers visitors one of the best ski and snowboard experiences in the world. It is world renowned for its steep and deep terrain, consistent fall line, deep, light powder and endless backcountry, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort also allows beginners and intermediates to excel at their own pace on a variety of groomed runs and open bowls.
Corbut'sJackson Hole Mountain Resort has been rated as the third best ski resort country and who could argue with that. Jackson Hole has 4,200 vertical drop and that drop comes right out of the Grand Teton Mountain Range. These spectacular mountains crown jewel the Grand Teton Towers over the Valley and resort at a majestic 13,770 above sea level. When they say ski the big one they mean it!
With 2,500 acres of inbounds terrain, a 4,139' vertical rise, 459" of average snowfall each winter, and unparalleled backcountry access, Jackson Hole offers a truly unique winter experience. Two distinct mountains in the heart of the Tetons - Rendezvous and Apres Vous - make up Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and have been home to incredible skiing and snowboarding for the past 40 years. Whether you're here to experience "The Big One's" wild, untamed terrain, rolling, wide-open groomers, or you're just getting out on the snow for the first time, it's bound to be an experience you'll never forget.
downhill ski racer, Snow King Mountain
Snow King Mountain
Since Snow King’s founding in 1939 as the first ski area in Wyoming, Snow King has served as Jackson Hole’s ‘Town Hill.’ Generations of residents have grown up learning to ski there. It’s a real part of the community, where parents can drop off their kids for after-school turns and adults can do some bump skiing during their lunch hour. But it’s not just a place for townies, its steep terrain will challenge the best of skiers yet has great terrain for the beginner.
With Jackson Hole Mountain Resort only a short drive away, Snow King doesn’t bother trying to compete with its high-octane neighbor. Instead, it positions itself as the little guy who just tries harder. With its short-but-steep ski area, ski-in/ski-out accommodations, and ultra-convenient location, I felt right at home at Snow King. It is what it is an unassuming and fun mountain where people come to ski, and not to be seen.

Grand Targhee
Grand Targhee Skier, Grand Teton There’s only one word for skiing at Grand Targhee: extraordinary.  Though other words such as effortless, knee-deep, and uncrowded all apply.  The key is the more than 500 inches a year that fall on the backside of the Tetons – the snowier Western side – each year.  Add to that a skiable terrain of nearly 2000 acres, with more than 1,000 reserved for Sno-Cat Adventures, and you have an experience beyond compare.  In addition to Grand Targhee’s legendary powder, families love our corduroy grooming with cruising runs that are a signature of Grand Targhee Resort.
It's not only about legendary powder; those who love to carve will begin to salivate just thinking about shredding the pristine corduroy.  And if awesome freestyle terrain is on your agenda, look no further.  We’ve got two parks plus natural freestyle terrain to get you stoked.  North Pole Terrain Park gives everyone a chance to ease their way into the world of freestyle riding.  Trick Town takes the action up a notch, with numerous features, including table top, rainbow, flat down flat and flat down rails and more. Center Earth freestyle area is a dynamic playground based on natural features and enhanced with expert grooming.

More Info

November 19, 2010

Yellowstone Snowcoach Tours

Snowcoach tourYellowstone National Park In winter, is nature’s crystal cathedral. The landscape transforms into a marvel of textures and shapes all sparkling with an icy diamond allure. In the quiet of Yellowstone winter, hot springs bubble and boil, fumaroles hiss and howl, geysers roar and rumble. A whiff of sulfur mingles with the clean, tangy smell of lodgepole pine. Bison, elk and cluster around the geyser basins and along the ice free streams. Bald eagles and Canada geese grace the skies and waterways. Aboard a passenger snowcoach, you are toasty warm and have a personal introduction to this First of all National Parks through the narrative of an expert guide.

Snowcoach tours offer the most comfortable and easiest way to experience this winter wonderland. Snowcoach tours run through most of the park all through the winter season, and are available from a number of National Park Service approved vendors. Snowcoach tours are available at Mammoth, Old Faithful, and at the south and west park entrances. Comfortable for everyone of any age, these climate controlled customized touring vehicles create an amiable environment from which you can view wildlife and thermal activity. Imagine a large van with an extended high top, tank treads for tires and skis extending at the front of the vehicle. Many of the Yellowstone Snowcoach operators offer guided tours that include skiing, snowshoeing and lunch.
Snowcoach Sno Lodge, yellowstone
Snowcoach unloading passangers at Old Faithful Snow Lodge
Snowcoach tours will unlock the park's secrets for you, while a naturalist guides you through the splendors of the first national park. You may be concerned that you have less control on where you stop; but the snowcoach operators are very good about stopping for scenic viewing, photo opportunities and leg stretching. Snowcoach tours are also less expensive than snowmobile tours.
Although Yellowstone’s bears are hibernating for the winter there are abundant wildlife viewing opportunities. Elk and bison are seen routinely and wolves are seen often. Yellowstone’s Wildlife is challenged more than any other time of year and their struggle is evident too see. That is why there is so much interest in seeing this adventure first hand.
During the winter, the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel and the Old Faithful Snow Lodge are the only two overnight facilities open in the park. The Snow Lodge is only accessible by over-the-snow vehicles. The park’s winter season begins Dec. 18, with the opening of the Old Faithful Snow Lodge.

According to Yellowstone Park Winter visitor statistics, snowcoach tours are quickly becoming the most popular way to visit Yellowstone. A combination of lower cost, greater comfort, commanding views, and opportunities to learn about Yellowstone is inspiring more visitors to choose snowcoach tours as their preferred way to experience Yellowstone.
A snowcoach tour is an awesome way to view wildlife in Yellowstone
A snowcoach tour is an awesome way to view wildlife in Yellowstone
Advantages over snowmobiles include: easy communication with your guide, you can still stop when you want to for photo opportunities. Snowcoach tours start at $109 per person (West Yellowstone), private tours can be even less. They are warm and cozy, even in the coldest weather. Regardless of snow conditions, snowcoach access is available even when snowmobiles are not. The interpretative information given on snowcoach tours is interesting, educational and fun. Larger coaches can accommodate more than the snowmobile tour limit of 10 sleds. It is easy to communicate and interact with each other on the trip.
There are more than 12 Snowcoach tours serving all three Yellowstone Park entrances. Many tours offer multiple day vacation packages, which include snowmobiling and snowshoeing.
Yellowstone National Park is a wonderful place to see year round, but the winter time has been called it's best season Even if you have been through Yellowstone Park a dozen times in the summer, Yellowstone's unique winter environment should not be missed.

Star Valley Wyoming Visitor Information

STAR VALLEY WYOMING - Wyoming's Star Valley is known as the "Little Switzerland of America," because of its beautiful farms surrounded by steep, rugged mountains. The area's many dairy herds and dairy products enhance its claim to the European moniker. The moniker certainly fits. With a beautiful high-alpine setting and the rural backdrop of a mountain valley, northwestern Wyoming’s Star Valley really does feel like a picture postcard from some long-past excursion to Switzerland except that we wear regular clothes here.
Cattle drive in Alpine Wyomin is usually a family affair
Cattle drive in Alpine Wyoming is usually a family affair, the Nelson girls do their part to get their families herd to summer range.

Star Valley is located 30 miles south of Jackson Hole and is tucked between the Salt River Range in western Wyoming and the Webster Range of eastern Idaho. Scattered through Star Valley are a number of small towns with unusual names like Smoot, Grover, Etna. Alpine, Thayne, Osmond, Freedom and the areas newest town Star Valley Ranch. Three national forests surround Star Valley, Bridger-Teton National Forest, Caribou National Forest, and the Targhee National. Star Valley Wyoming. The Snake and Greys River inter the valley on the north side and dump into 20-mile long Palisades Lake and the Salt River winds through its center. Star Valley provides great access for the outdoorsman and is home to world class hunting and fishing. Star Valley Is a rich place to visit or live.

Star Valley still lives its western heritage, ranching is still a way of life for many. In the Spring you can still find cowboys driving cows to summer pasture in the surrounding mountains and in Fall you can find them at roundup time for the cattle drive back to the ranch.

The valley hosts quite a variety of fishing opportunities. The Salt River that flows through the valley offers great fishing for brown, rainbow and cutthroat trout, the Grey's River and little Greys River are home to many fine cutthroat trout and Alpine Canyon's Snake River provides greatwhitewater adventure fishing for cutthroats. Star Valley is only a 20 mile drive to the world class fly-fishery the South Fork of the Snake. If you prefer lake fishing to rivers 20 mile long Palisades Reservoir provides fishing opportunities for all of the above as well as
Kokanee Salmon. All of these rivers are fed by small stream many of which fish well as well but some things are best left unpublished assmall streams can't take the pressure of fame................................. for more fishing Info
fly-fisherman Salt River Range, Greys River, Alpine Wyoming
A fly-fisherman trying to persuade cutthrout trout to come up for a visit on the Greys River below the Salt River Mountain Range

The magnificent mountains of Star Valley Wyoming are known worldwide for their excellent big game animals. elk, deer, bear, antelope, moose, mountain lion, mountain goat, and bighorn sheep can all be hunted here in the Yellowstone ecosystem. Many Boon and Crocket records have been established here. This region has a large selection of outfitters and guides to fulfill the dreams of any sportsman............................. for mor hunting Info.

The region provides access to hundreds of miles of groomed snowmobile trails that in turn open up access to countless high country open bowls and mountain vistas in both Wyoming and Idaho. The Greys River drains the Wyoming Range and is the area between Alpine and Kemmerer. This area has approximately 335 miles of trails....................................... for Snowmobiling Information

For the whitewater enthuisist Alpine Canyon section of the Snake River just north of alpine regardless of the water level provides plenty of whitewater action. At prime flows (6-12,000 cfs) world class 2 & 3 waves are found throughout this stretch of the Snake River. ...................For whitewater rafting check out the whitewater rafting page, for kayaking check out the kayaking page. There are many more recreation opportunites, too many to mention but look around the site and you will find info about skiing, mountain biking, bicycle touring etc.

Annual Festivals: Cutter/Chariot Racing December through February, Afton Snowmobile Hill Climb Challenge in late February, Professional Rodeos July 4th weekend and at the Lincoln County Fair in late July and the first week of August.

More about Star Valley Wyoming


November 13, 2010

Pinedale Wyoming Recreation Information

PINEDALE WYOMING • Sublette County in Western Wyoming is the gateway to the Wind River Mountains, the Upper Green River Valley, The Gros Ventre Range, and the Wyoming Range that includes two rugged wilderness areas, the spectacular Bridger Wilderness and Gros Ventre Wilderness are pristine unspoiled places where man is only a visitor. Over 1300 lakes, including Fremont Lake and Half Moon Lake dot the region and are said to be some of the best trout fishing outside Alaska. Throughout Sublette County you will find spectacular scenery, wildlife, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, photography, and so many more exciting adventure opportunities.


This rural farming and ranching valley have only about 7,000 residents throughout 4883 square miles. The county is 80% public land including Bureau of Land Management, State, and the Bridger-Teton National Forest.
Fishing here is legendary The New Fork River starts high in the Wind River Range as a glacial stream before flowing into the New Fork Lakes, just north of Pinedale. From the lakes, it flows as a small stream down the Green River Valley and behind the town of Pinedale. While it widens after merging with Duck Creek, it is still a small, stream that provides excellent habitat for German Brown Trout. The Green River starts as a small glacial stream high in the Wind River Mountains. Like the New Fork River, it dumps from the glaciers into a pair of large lakes in the northern region of the Winds and emerges suddenly as a fast-flowing, freestone river with a deep emerald color that appropriately gives the Green its name. As it flows through the valley, it widens, slows, and begins to wind its way south. The good bank structure provides holding ground for wild Brown Trout, while the freestone qualities created at the headwaters hold a strong population of hard-fighting Rainbow Trout. Many high mountain lakes of the Wind River Range are home to five-pound golden trout and the morainel lakes at the base of the Wind River Mountains are home to many giant Lake Trout. Due to the afore mentioned plethora of wildlife The Green River Valley is a hunters nirvana.
Average summer temperatures are in the 70s-80s and winter about 15 degrees F. Average rainfall is about ten inches per year. Pinedale is your base camp for adventure into the beautiful Wind River Mountains, and right on the way to Yellowstone National Park, the Tetons and Jackson Hole!Gannet Peak is the highest mountain peak in Wyoming and has 5 rugged glaciers on its flank, the largest glaciers in the American Rocky Mountains. It is remote and considered an exciting alpine mountaineering challenge due to its inaccessibility and moderate difficulty. This trip is best tackled by experienced climbers with great stamina well acclimated to high elevations. Gannett Peak is the longest round trip of any climb, including Danali in Alaska. The hike is at least 40 miles roundtrip and an almost 9,000 foot vertical climb.
Whether you are searching for golden trout, bagging Gannett Peak, plotting a new route up Pingora in the Cirque of the Towers, or just heading in for a quick day hike to enjoy the beautiful wildflowers, you are sure to find this area to be a special place, and will want to return again and again. If you're looking for fewer crowds, western hospitality, and fantastic scenery consider visiting the Upper Green River Valley.

Learn More About Pinedale Wyoming's Recreation Opportunities in the Wind River Mountains

October 28, 2010

Yellowstone Wolf Photo Gallery

Yellowstone Wolf Photo Gallery

A Photo Gallery about Yellowstone Wolves. Perhaps more than any other member of the animal kingdom, wolves have historically played the villain's role. Misperceptions about wolves have abounded for centuries, historically, cultures worldwide, believed that wolves were so aggressive that they posed a risk to humans but, ironically, wolves are wary of humans because man has been killing wolves for millennia. Folklore is littered with proverbs and metaphors about this fearsome carnivore, from Peter and the Wolf in Russia to the wolf’s mysticism in Native American culture; wolves have long been a powerful symbol. Even today, wolves engender excitement merely at the possibility of an appearance on the wilderness stage. Wolves nearly disappeared from the west by the early 1900s. In 1930, a federal agent killed the last indigenous gray wolf of Yellowstone. In 1933, the Yellowstone adopted a policy, limiting the unnecessary killing of predators in the park, but it was too late for Yellowstone’s wolf. Since then a conceptual evolution has taken place, in 1972, ideas of restoring the wolf to the Yellowstone eco-system, to restore endemic biodiversity, began to circulate. A new philosophy of wildlife management took root when the Endangered Species Act was passed in 1973, Consequently, wolves were listed as an endangered species in the United States. As part of a recovery plan the Fish and Wildlife Service, recommended introducing an experimental population of wolves into Yellowstone National Park. The plan included special regulations that took effect in November 1994, outlining how wolves would be managed as a nonessential experimental population under section ten of the Endangered Species Act.

October 23, 2010

Wyoming Landscape Photos

A photo portfolio of the Wyoming Landscape mostly in the Greatet Yellowstone vicinity including Jackson Hole, Cody, the Wind River Valley and Pinedale Wyoming and their mountians including the Grand Tetons, the Wind River Range, the Gros Ventre Range, the Wyoming Range, the Snake River Range and the Absaroka Mountain Range.

Montana Landscape Photos

Scenic photos of the Montana Landscape including, the Yellowstone, Gallatin, Boulder and Madison Rivers, Fall Colors, The Gallatin Range, the Absaroka Mountains, ranching heritage and more. Active lifestyle and farming photos and wildlife will be found in other catagories.Montana Landscape

October 17, 2010

Idaho Photo Portfolio

A photo portfolio of Idaho mostly from Teton Valley, Swan Valley, Island Park and the Idaho Falls Region. These valleys are home to the Grand Tetons, the Snake River Range, the Bighole Mountains, Centennial Mountains and their rivers, the Teton, Henry’s Fork of the Snake, the South Fork of the Snake River. The portfolio also includes photos from the rest Idaho including the Sawtooth Range of Stanley Idaho and Lost River Range of Mackey.

August 21, 2010

The US standard railroad gauge

The US standard railroad gauge (distance between the rails) is 4 feet, 8.5 inches. That's an exceedingly odd number.

Why was that gauge used? Because that's the way they built them in England , and English expatriates designed the US railroads.

Why did the English build them like that? Because the first rail lines were built by the same people who built the pre-railroad tramways, and that's the gauge they used.

Why did 'they' use that gauge then? Because the people who built the tramways used the same jigs and tools that they had used for building wagons, which used that wheel spacing.

Why did the wagons have that particular odd wheel spacing? Well, if they tried to use any other spacing, the wagon wheels would break on some of the old, long distance roads in   England , because that's the spacing of the wheel ruts.

So who built those old rutted roads? Imperial Rome built the first long distance roads in Europe (including England ) for their legions. Those roads have been used ever since.

And the ruts in the roads? Roman war chariots formed the initial ruts, which everyone else had to match for fear of destroying their wagon wheels.

Since the chariots were made for Imperial   Rome , they were all alike in the matter of wheel spacing. Therefore the United States standard railroad gauge of 4 feet, 8.5 inches is derived from the original specifications for an Imperial Roman war chariot. Bureaucracies live forever.

So the next time you are handed a specification/procedure/process and wonder 'What horse's ass came up with this?' , you may be exactly right. Imperial Roman army chariots were made just wide enough to accommodate the rear ends of two war horses. (Two horses' asses.)

Now, the twist to the story:

When you see a Space Shuttle sitting on its launch pad, there are two big booster rockets attached to the sides of the main fuel tank. These are solid rocket boosters, or SRBs. The SRBs are made by Thiokol at their factory in  Utah

The engineers who designed the SRBs would have preferred to make them a bit fatter, but the SRBs had to be shipped by train from the factory to the launch site. The railroad line from the factory happens to run through a tunnel in the mountains, and the SRBs had to fit through that tunnel. The tunnel is slightly wider than the railroad track, and the railroad track, as you now know, is about as wide as two horses' behinds.

So, a major Space Shuttle design feature of what is arguably the world's most advanced transportation system was determined over two thousand years ago by the width of a horse's ass. And you thought being a horse's ass wasn't important? Ancient horse's asses control almost everything... and
CURRENT Horses Asses in Washington are controlling everything else

August 09, 2010

Smelling The Flowers

A grizzly Bear forages south of Yellowstone National Park.

August 05, 2010

Buck having Lupin Lunch

"Civilizations die from suicide, not by murder."

"Civilizations die from suicide, not by murder." Arnold J. Toynbee 

Professor Joseph Olson of Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul , Minnesota , points out some interesting facts concerning last November's Presidential election: 

Number of States won by: Obama: 19 McCain: 29

Square miles of land won by: Obama: 580,000 McCain: 2,427,000

Population of counties won by: Obama: 127 million McCain: 143 million

Murder rate per 100,000 residents in counties won by: Obama: 13.2 McCain: 2.1

Professor Olson adds: "In aggregate, the map of the territory McCain won was mostly the land owned by the taxpaying citizens of the country.

 Obama territory mostly encompassed those citizens living in low income tenements and living off various forms of government welfare..."

Olson believes the United States is now somewhere between the "complacency and apathy" phase of Professor Tyler's definition of democracy, with some forty percent of the nation's population already having reached the "governmental dependency" phase. 
 If Congress grants amnesty and citizenship to twenty million criminal invaders called illegals - and they vote - then we can say goodbye to the USA in fewer than five years. 

 If you are in favor of this, then by all means, delete this message.

If you are not, then pass this along to help everyone realize just how much is at stake, knowing that apathy is the greatest danger to our freedom.

August 04, 2010

Cutting Hay, Jackson Hole, Wyoming

A Jackson Hole farmer rushes to get his hay put up before looming thunderstorm damages the crop. Although a beautiful scene I bet this farmer had other things on his mind besides pretty farmscapes.

Many Rocky Mountain ranchers move their cattle to the national forests in the mountains so they can grow hay on their property so the cows will have something to eat when they come out of the mountains for the winter. The cowboys of the west are under assault because many don't like to see their cows on public land. I have written a couple of articles articulating the problem.

If the Western Watersheds Project and other anti grazing organizations has its was ranchers like these will be put out of business and these wonderful green spaces will be lost to development.

The Public Grazing Conundrum

The Cowboy: an endangered species

July 16, 2010

Trout Lake, Yellowstone National Park

This serene and beautiful lake is accessible via a short hike through the forest. It is a steep 1/2-mile trail through a Douglas fir forest leads to the lake. Trout lake sits in a depression on a high bench above the Soda Butte Creek Canyon south of Cooke City. Formerly known as Fish Lake and Soda Butte Lake this 12-acre gem is a popular backcountry lake for hikers and anglers.

Upon reaching the lake you can take a nice easy walk around it with great views in every direction. Mount Hornaday is seen behind the lake and in spring to early summer will sometimes have a waterfall on the side. 10,003 foot Mount Hornaday was named in 1938 for naturalist William Temple Hornaday, a former director of the New York Zoological Gardens who championed the cause of saving the American Bison from extinction.

A River Otter Family takes in a little sun between fishing expeditions into Trout Lake.
Many River Otters frequent the lake that are quite used to people making them very easy to photograph and observe. Otters are known for their playfulness, exhibiting behaviors such as mud/snow sliding, burrowing through the snow, and water play. Many "play" activities actually serve a purpose. Some are used to strengthen social bonds, to practice hunting techniques, and to scent mark. North American river otters get their boundless energy from their very high metabolism, which also requires them to eat a great deal during the day. Trout Lake’s otters may be a bigger reason for the popularity of the lake than the fishing.

Trout Lake has always been popular with anglers for its large (14-20") Cutthroat trout and very large (20-30") Rainbow trout and Rainbow/Cutthroat Hybrids. In the early days of Yellowstone, Trout Lake was used as a fish hatchery to transplant fish to other parts of the park. There is a small wooden bridge over the inlet of the lake. In early summer you will see trout spawning here.
fisherman, Trout Lake, Yellowstone National Park
Woman fly-fisherman trying to land a fish at Trout Lake
The lake can be easily fished from the shoreline, however, many fishermen use float tubes to access the deeper parts of the lake. Using a float tube on Yellowstone lakes requires a park service boating permit. The lake opens for fishing in mid June, but a section of the lake near the inlet stream is closed until mid-July to protect spawning Cutthroat trout, but the otters can’t read the sign. All Cutthroat trout and Cutthroat/Rainbow hybrids caught in Trout Lake must be released.
Fishing permits are required at Yellowstone Park and can be purchased at all park ranger stations, visitor centers, or Yellowstone Park General Stores. All adults and kids 16 and up are required to purchase a $15 three-day permit, a $20 seven-day permit or a $35 season permit. Children under 15 may fish without a permit if they are fishing under the direct supervision of an adult who has a valid park fishing permit, or they can obtain a free permit signed by a responsible adult; with this permit, a child can fish without direct adult supervision.

Spawning Trout
Hikers, Trout Lake
A trout going up the stream above the lake to spawn
Hikers, Mount Hornaday, Trout Lake
Boy jumping Stream

June 11, 2010

New Daryl L. Hunter - Photo Gallery

New Photo Gallery

When I was a wander lusting young man I would often find myself in beautiful places, so I bought a camera so I could document my wanderlust.

1n 1987 I packed up my Toyo 4X5 view camera, Pentex 6X7 medium format camera, and my 35-millimeter cameras and headed to 
Jackson Hole Wyoming, one of the best places on earth to be an outdoor photographer.

Jackson Hole is full of active lifestyle types, fly-fishing, hunting, whitewater sports, horseback riding, etc. I became a freelance guide as well, fly-fishing, snowmobile, park tour guiding, and horseback wrangling my way to beautiful pictures all over the area and throughout the spectrum of activities in the area.

Jackson Hole abuts Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park an embarrassment of riches for wildlife and scenic photography.

My freelance photography bifurcated to include graphic design work, which opened the door to web publishing requiring that I learned to write. I publish 
The Greater Yellowstone Resource Guide.

My photographs have been published by National Geographic, Outside Magazine, Snow Country, Outdoor life, International Wolf Magazine, Esquire Sports, West Coast Board Sailor, Warren Miller Productions, U.S.A. Today, San Francisco Magazine, Fly-fisherman, Beet, a Belgian fishing magazine and Fit For Fun a German sports Magazine.

I am proficient with small, medium, large format photography. As a stock photographer my photos have been used in hundreds of brochures, rack cards, newspapers, and websites promoting the Greater Yellowstone area and beyond. Today I shoot exclusively with my Canon EOS D5 Mark ll, its 21-megapixel censor can produce Tiff files of 60 megabytes, a size that can reproduce very large prints, or provide the opportunity for cropping tight and still having plenty of resolution to work with.

I have been working with Photoshop extensively since 1995 and am proficient with photo manipulation and montage. Today my photo management system is Aperture by Apple; it is superb at color correction with the added benefit of photo database management.

Education: Independent study of photography and digital design:

Photography has more pay offs than monetary. It drives us to search out pretty places or to dissect our surroundings to find it where we are. It makes us seek out beautiful things even in adverse conditions. Wherever we go we are looking for a beautiful rectangle we can isolate out of the chaos of life, when you are always seeking beauty, you will find more than your share - that is rich.

April 29, 2010

The Hole Picture Safaris - Yellowstone Tours

Bull Elk, Fulld Moon
The Hole Picture Safaris are more than just a wildlife safari company; we also do national park tours of Yellowstone and Grand Teton Parks. We do photography tours that cater to photographers and get them to the pretty spots when the light is good or to where the wildlife is active. Our Wildlife Safaris strive to show you as much of Yellowstone and Grand Tetons‚ megafana as possible in the allotted amount of time. Custom tours are available for those who have a different idea of what they want to see or do, ideas that coalesce between the minds of the tour contractee and tour contractor.

Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is the last remaining large, nearly intact ecosystem in the northern temperate zone of the Earth and is only partly located in Yellowstone National Park. The Greater Yellow Ecosystem is one of the world's foremost natural laboratories in landscape ecology and geology and is a world-renowned recreational site The Greater Yellowstone Region is a huge place, Yellowstone Park is 2.2 million acres but its whole eco-system is about 10 million acres, much of it drop dead beautiful and much of it deserves to be seen as much as Grand Teton and Yellowstone Parks.

Our region is gifted with an embarrassment of riches scenic of splendor accented with a plethora of wildlife. Hole Picture Safaris will show you where to find what you hope for as well as many things you never knew of.
All tours provide natural resource information including information about our wolves, grizzly bears, mountain goats, black bears, mule deer, elk, bison etc. We also provide information about our mountains, lakes, rivers, trout streams, National Forests and National Parks. Our natural history orations are not to be outdone by our tales of human history.

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