Saturday, July 30, 2022

The Farmers Market in Jackson, Wyoming, Our Star Valley Pickleball Tournament, and A Day Fly Fishing on the Greys River

The last ten days have been busy. We finally got a slight amount of smoke from the fires to the west but no alerts for air quality have been issued so we continue our normal activities. Last week we drove to Jackson, Wyoming for the first farmers market, spent two days watching the pickleball tournament, and finally took a drive up the Grays Rive Road for some fly fishing.
Our friends Fred and Becky invited us to join them for a day in Jackson, We arrived early enough, to get spaces to park in the large lots just north of the town square. Our first stop was at the Bunnery, which is famous for its sticky buns. All of their selections were good, but the cinnamon rolls lacked enough cinnamon and were pretty bland.
From there we walked to the Farmers Market where we strolled past the many vendors, deciding on what we wanted before making our purchases. I had to try the lengua tacos, (tongue), and they did not disappoint. We also purchased several jars of huckleberry jam and pineapple jam. They should go great with crepes! Our friends had never been to Café Genevieve and so we went there for lunch. It is our favorite place to eat in Jackson and we all loved our meals. The café was saved from destruction after a developer wanted to buy it and build another motel. Thank goodness donors raised the millions required to buy the café other stores and the land, ensuring that their flavors would not disappear. We also stopped at Mangelsen Gallery. If you only enter one shop in town, be sure to go there as you will marvel at his magnificent wildlife images. People often tell me that I should sell some of my pictures. They simply pale in comparison with his work.
Several days later the Star Valley Pickelball Tournament started, and we spent two days there enjoying the high caliber of competition. Renita and I play but to see the skill levels top players compete at, was an eye opener. We play for fun and to meet people, (and get exercise). The tournament was well organized and was well run. The players did well in the intense afternoon heat!
A few days later we finally drove up the Grays River road for a day of fly fishing. We had avoided the road due to its poor condition, (and we only drive up it with our for wheel drive truck). The first twelve miles is almost entirely covered with washboards, and is a dusty mess. Still. we did catch fish, all Fine Spotted Snake River Cutthroat trout.
Renita had a huge fish jump out of the water and try to take her fly on the way down. Talk about a fish story. She did manage to have several on including the small one pictured.
All of the fish here are wild and have never seen a hatchery. We practice catch and release of all of the cuts. I
t was a good day and we ended up landing seven of the beautiful wild trout. Returning home, it took two days to recover from the rough ride.
Now we are resting and making new cabochons for next year’s shows. We use them to construct new jewelry during our winter stay in Texas. Clear skies

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Dan and Barb: Fishing for Fossils at the Warfield Quarry, near Kemmerer, Wyoming

On the way to our place, Dan and Barb passed Fossil Butte National Monument. They expressed interest in hunting for fish fossils at one of the private quarries and we said we would love to join them! You may recall that several years ago had also “Gone Fishing” with another friend Mark Wolbrok,
We loaded up in Dan and Barb’s Jeep, (its not a place for most SUVs), it was about a two-hour drive to the quarry. The operators recommended that everyone should stop at the National Monument first, but because of the hot weather, we decided to visit the museum after digging.
Arriving at the quarry a youngster showed us his fish fossil His excitement rubbed off on us and as soon as we finished the orientation, we all started to chisel apart the slabs looking for our own. There were two places where fossil crocodiles had been found and were now closed.
After splitting smaller slabs which contained fish fossils, we decided to try our hand at splitting large blocks. It was a multiple person effort as the rocks are heavy!
Dan and I positioned one large slab as Barb used her chisel to split the rock. It actually required multiple chisels to get a good split and when it finally did, she found four different fish fossils.
Meanwhile Renita was taking pictures and splitting smaller slabs. The quarry provided a heavy-duty cart and after loading it full we rolled it to the trim saws.
Dan and I trimed the fish fossils into manageable shapes, Dan had found a large slab that held five fish fossils and he was able to trim it so it would fit in the jeep. What a find!
He also found a crocodile coprolite! Renita and I were both envious as we looked at his crocodile “poop” specimen. You can actually see what the croc had been eating and it was not a surprise that there were fish scales in the coprolite.
Our four hours of digging went quickly, and loading the jeep we next went to the Fossil Butte Museum. Besides examples of all the fish, reptiles, plants, birds, and even mammals discovered, a new exhibit used holograms to show the fish swimming in the ancient lake.
We all enjoyed our time and Renita and I hope to head back next year. If you are in the area, be sure to try your hand at a different type of fishing. Clear skies

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

The Buffalo Bill Center of the West, in Cody, Wyoming 2022

Lately I have been getting behind on our blog. The excuse this time is that we are in the middle of our show season. We planned a mini vacation where we showed and sold our jewelry during the Alpine Mountain Show. And two days later traveled to Cody, Wyoming for the Fourth of July celebration and another showing.
In Cody it was impossible to get into a campground and so we planned ahead and made reservations at Buffalo Bill State Park. To get there we were able to drive through Yellowstone National Park and across Sylvan Pass. As soon as we drove into Yellowstone, I had to smile as we are so lucky to be able to live near and travel through such a beautiful park, (the picture is of the Thorofare, the most remote spot in the lower forty-eight states). The bear were all hiding but we did get to see elk, buffalo, and tourists getting way to close to the massive animals, (the current score is buffalo three and idiots zero as people continue to get too close). Arriving at the state park we were able to set up and had stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
We had arrived two days early and decided to spend the extra time visiting the Buffalo Bill Cody Museum, (actually five museums in a connected building). The museum had completely changed the Firearms Museum and had a new exhibit celebrating Yellowstone’s one-hundred-and-fifty-year anniversary!
Fifty years ago, I worked for a custom Gunstock maker, (Anton Custom Gunstocks). There I learned to inlay rosewood and ebony into shotgun stocks, apply the finish to the wood stocks, and to hand checker the stocks grips. I also got to examine some of the finest guns produced. All my work had to be top notch and it influenced me later in our lapidary and jewelry making business. Entering the firearms collection museum, we saw that new showcases had greatly increased the showcasing of the Museums collection. The Museum has over seven thousand guns and the new exhibits allowed them to show a larger part of their pieces. They even had interactive displays in which you could try shooting a pistol and even a World War one Machine gun.
There were so many exhibits that I had a hard time picking a favorite but one of them was a Purdey shotgun with incredible gold and platinum inlays. Another was a dueling pistol from the eighteenth century.
The museum had an area where a display told of the misuse of guns and also talked about when guns had been used for self-defense. Taking no position, the display allowed you to write comments, both pro and con. They were then posted for all to see.
I was pleased to se how the Museum handled the modern controversy.
Our next top was at the Yellowstone exhibit where we enjoyed early art works
, exhibits of native American artwork
, transportation methods, and wildlife displays
. The museum ended where the Draper Museum of Natural history began and there a team was learning how to assemble a grizzly bear skeleton.
We told them of our non-commercial travel blog, answered our questions and even let us hold the skull and front paw of the specimen.
We also enjoyed the Golden Eagle displays, and the display of Doctor David Love, filed Geology Field Work and Equipment. Almost fifty years ago, I did my Geology Field work Class at Iowa State University, where I spent two months mapping and studying the Geomorphic and the Structural Geology of Wyoming, (the field camo housing were barracks from the Japenese-American World War Two detention center at Heart Mountian, Wyoming.
I was told that Dr Love had located a gold vein near Yellowstone National Park and that it was incredibly valuable.
He was reported to have said that he promised to never tell anyone the location as the mining there would forever damage the nearby National Park, (it was later discovered but an agreement was reached where it would never be developed).
Leaving the Museum, we stopped at a live exhibit where a cowboy chef was preparing biscuits, cowboy coffee, and beans over an open fire. He served us after he warned us that the beans would have the same effect shown in the movie, Blazing Saddles, (it did). The biscuits and coffee were also excellent! It was a great end to our museum visit. If you haven’t yet visited the Buffalo Bill Cody Museum, be sure to include it in your Yellowstone travel plans. We hope to return next year and visit the other three parts of the Museum. Clear skies