Get Local: The Last of the Old West

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Howdy folks, my name is Bill Lewkowitz. I am the Business Development Director for JHMR and have been working for the resort since 1984.  I have a great job and in winter, I try to get out on the mountain every morning to ski and I absolutely cannot miss a powder day.  When I moved to Jackson, Wyoming in the spring of 1981, I came to the West looking for a more exciting place to ski and call home, and Jackson Hole and the Tetons surely exceeded my expectations.  Not only did I find the best place in the US to ski and live, I found a true western community that was so much more than just a ski town.  I fell in love with the area, the people, the western culture and I looked for new things to do that would broaden my perspective on living and playing in Wyoming.

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After a few summers of playing softball, fly fishing, camping and trying other Jackson pastimes, I realized that I was in the perfect place to nurture my lifelong passion for horses.  At first, I leased horses, and then worked part-time on a dude ranch; guiding trail rides and wrangling on pack trips.  At that point, I knew I was hooked and horses would always be part of my life.  I was lucky enough to meet my future wife Natalie, a Wyoming raised girl, who just happened to own a wonderful barrel racing and team roping horse. I quickly became immersed in the world of horses – team roping and rodeo.

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Summers in Jackson Hole are the perfect time to do all sorts of outside activities and team roping has been my activity of choice for the past 20 years.  It’s an exciting sport that features two mounted riders and a live steer.  The first rider tries to rope the steer around the horns and then the second rider tries to rope the hind legs.  Sounds simple, right? However, trying to accomplish this task with two riders, two horses, and a steer that is trying to get away makes it much more difficult than it appears. The sport derived from activities necessary on working ranches and the technique is still used by cowboys today to capture steers when they need to be restrained for doctoring or other needs.  To be a good team roper takes a lot of experience and practice, but having a good horse is one of the most important elements in the sport. I am very fortunate to have two wonderful rope horses named Jax and Skamper. Horses need to be well bred, stout,have the right mind/temperament and be well trained to become a good roping horse.  The horse of choice, for almost all ropers, is the American Quarter Horse and ropers look long and hard to find “a good one”.

In Jackson, we are fortunate to have several nice public arenas where one can practice team roping. There are two arenas at the Teton County Fairgrounds and one is an indoor facility, where you can practice year round.  Another great place to team rope is at the arena, located at Owen Bircher Park in Wilson. Here members of the Wilson Roping Club can be found roping steers every Tuesday and Thursday night May-October.  This tradition has been going on for over 50 years. On these nights, you will find kids, men and women of all ages roping and enjoying the thrill, excitement, and camaraderie that comes with this truly western activity.

Of course, if you are going to rope, you are going to want to compete and cowboys and cowgirls have plenty of opportunities in and around Jackson at various rodeos and roping competitions.  Local ropers and rodeo contestants are lucky, since there is a rodeo in Jackson every Wednesday, Friday (most) and Saturday nights from Memorial Day – Labor Day.  Located at the Teton County Fairgrounds in the town of Jackson, the Jackson Hole Rodeo has over 100 years of tradition and visitors and locals alike come to see cowboys and cowgirls compete.

Events include bull riding, saddle bronc riding, bareback riding, barrel racing, junior bull riding, ‘muttin-busting’ , tie-down and team roping.  Rodeo competitors of all ages can be found all summer long competing in these events for nightly prize money and year-end buckles and saddles.  Every cowboy or cowgirl knows that winning prize money is an important part of rodeo, but I doubt you can find any rodeo competitor who does not want to win a gold buckle or saddle sometime in their rodeo career.  As they say, money lasts only to your next entry fee is due, but the buckles/saddles and the memories that come with them, last forever.  For more information and the rodeo schedule, you can visit the Jackson Hole Rodeo website at www.jhrodeo.com

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Another great western tradition in the Jackson Hole area is the annual Teton County Fair and Rodeo.  This year marks the 60th year for the Fair and the dates are July 22nd – 31st.  The Teton County Fair is dear to my heart and I spent 15 years working on the Fair Board to help produce this annual event.  I truly enjoy everything that comes with the Fair and there are activities for all ages and preferences.  There is no admission fee to the Fair, but there is a charge for some of the evening events that include Pig Wrestling, Professional Bull Riding, Rodeo and the local favorite, the Figure 8 car races.  In addition, there is a free concert on Wednesday night July 27th, featuring Chancey Williams and the Younger Brothers Band and the Grammy-nominated Reckless Kelly Band.  Everyone loves a carnival and the Teton County Fair offers one of the best traveling shows in the western US.  There are plenty of games to test your skill and luck, all kinds of carnival food and of course, plenty of rides for kids and thrill seekers of all ages.

No Fair would be complete without a livestock show and sale and this is the true foundation of the Teton County Fair.  It has become a time-honored tradition to come to the livestock sale on Friday afternoon to get a chance to watch the sale, visit with neighbors and bid on the kids 4-H steers, pigs, lambs, and rabbits.  Generosity prevails from the local buyers and local business owners who bid on the livestock and many healthy college funds are bolstered at the sale.  There is much more to do at the Fair that I have not mentioned, so come see for yourself and check out this summers ‘Steers, Cheers and 60 Years” Fair.  You can get more detailed information at their website at www.tetoncountyfair.com

Well ‘pard’, I hope this gives you some insight into the activities and traditions in the “Last of the Old West” available in Jackson Hole.

Let’r buck!web-20130418_ES_lockhartranch

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Get Local: Riding (and Building) the new Skyline Trail with Andrew Whiteford

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The Skyline Trail is the latest (and maybe soon to be greatest?) piece of trail in Jackson Hole’s extensive Cache Creek trail network.  Though not yet complete, the Skyline Trail will run 6.31 miles along the Skyline ridge, connecting the top of the Ferrin’s trail to the Cache-Game Divide, offering up incredible views in all directions in addition to creating a multitude of new singletrack options for trail users.  The trail is not yet complete, though the distance of the trail changes everyday as work is ongoing.  Did I mention the views?

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Today I’m riding the trail with Andrew Whiteford, a JHMR winter athlete as well as pro mountain biker who also serves on the Friends of Pathways board.  Whiteford is a passionate trail builder and trails advocate, and he certainly knows how to enjoy a nice piece of singletrack.  As I struggle to keep up, I let Andrew do the talking while we climb from the base of Snow King, then continue on to the top of the Ferrin’s Trail where the Skyline Trail begins.  I gasp for air and ask Andrew a few questions, while he cruises along at a nice conversational pace (for him).

“I’ve always enjoyed my time outdoors, and I’ve never been one to avoid manual labor.  Trail work, like gardening, can be meditative, and provides you with tangible results directly related to the effort you put into it.  Talk about an awesome stress release, too- I don’t have a gym membership or a boxing bag at home, but I can certainly go move around some rocks and lift logs and let my mind wander and release that energy in a really positive way.  As a cyclist, I started digging dirt jumps in parks with my friends in elementary school, and since then have always associated the creation of new trail and features with increased personal enjoyment, new challenges, and improving my own skills. ”

We reach the top of Ferrin’s and take a break to discuss the new trail as well as our love for the existing trail network in Cache Creek.  Ferrin’s itself is an incredible trail, and when combined with the Hagen trail is probably my favorite “quick” climb/descent in the valley.  With a vertical gain of about 1,400 feet this makes for perfect after-work exercise, though this is really just the beginning of the offerings in Cache Creek.  Once Skyline is complete, trail users are going to enjoy many new options for longer outings, and I’m sure that all sorts of crazy combinations will be created by Jackson Hole endurance junkies.

The view from the top of Ferrin’s:

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I ask Whiteford about what kind of combinations he looks forward to when the trail is complete, and he has trouble deciding amongst the variety of options.

“I think it will depend on available time and energy, but I could ride from my neighborhood in Rafter J, along the bike path towards town, and then I’d link together: Linda’s to Sink or Swim towards the bottom of Ferrin’s, then descend to Hagen.  Continue up Hagen along to Cache Creek trail and take that to Game Creek.  Then I’ll ride Skyline from Game Creek divide to Ferrin’s saddle, and either wrap up descending West Game Creek and out Game Creek to the bike path, or perhaps Wilson Canyon if I’m up for a spicy descent.  I’ll definitely enjoy testing out all the possibilities!”

We notice some potential weather moving in and head out the Skyline Trail to see how much of it we can squeeze in.  The trail is getting better everyday as it gets more use and gets “ridden in.”  Exploring the new trail is a blast and I’m amazed by all of the new views and trail I get to experience right in my own backyard.  The trail climbs a bit before a quick descent and then some more gradual terrain.  The views are spectacular and flowers are out, though a storm seems to be moving in on us quickly.

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The trail is brand-new and it looks it.  We cruise through each section, perhaps taking less time to enjoy it than we normally would while feeling rushed by an evening storm.

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The Teton views to our Northwest are incredible, but the beauty of the Skyline Trail is that you experience a variety of aspects and views.  Looking south let’s us know it may be time to turn around.

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Before getting pelted with rain and rushing back down to the valley, we take a quick stop at a piece of trail that Andrew wanted to show me.  It was just a little part of the trail with a small rock feature, but it stuck out to Andrew as something he wanted to share.  He reflected on the rewards of trail building.

“I find riding things that I’ve helped build to be incredibly satisfying.  When I test what I’ve been working on, that direct input allows me to further improve my digging skills too.  It’s cool to know in a really intimate way what that section of earth is like.  You gain memories from the various times digging, and become intimately aware of the different parts of trails.  In a way it gives me more empathy towards our environment, and what our impact is on it- noticing the smaller parts of nature that I don’t always get to see when I’m cruising along on my bike, appreciating the root structure of plants, the composition of the soil, and the different types of rocks in various areas.”

“I would say the single best part of trail work is hearing other people talk about a section that they’ve enjoyed.  A well made turn, a fun rock garden, a little jump…these are parts of a trail, but in a much broader sense knowing that other people are enjoying themselves because of something you made is a wonderful part of life.”
And with that, it is time to turn around.  There is more of the Skyline Trail to explore, but I will have to leave it to another day.  The storm is rolling in and we turn around at full steam in attempt to beat the storm.  We certainly don’t win the race versus the storm, but have a blast descending back to Snow King anyways.  This GoPro image from Whiteford during the descent illustrates the dark light and frenetic pace as he cruises through a meadow of balsam root.
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Andrew’s tips to those interesting in digging and/or donating to the trail system:

“We had a great dig day on Skyline on July 2nd, but a crew will be working it’s way from the top of Ferrin’s Saddle towards Game Creek divide throughout the summer, so expect to see other trail workers and a small cache of tools moving along at the fresh end of things.  Keep an eye on the Friends of Pathways calendar as well as the calendar for Mountain Bike the Tetons which generally do a dig day every Monday.  If you’d like more information on this, Chris Owen, the Trails Manager for Friends of Pathways (chris@friendsofpathways.org), or Tim Farris, Trails Supervisor with Bridger-Teton National Forest (@307-739-5414) are good people to contact- just know they spend most of their days out in the forest getting things done!

For those interested in donating, Friends of Pathways is a great organization that organized the funding of the Skyline Trail project.  You can always contact them to discuss donations, but I find the website is straightforward.  We do have a plethora of awesome non-profits that our community benefits from, and a great event to look into is “Old Bill’s Fun Run” in early September, held by the Community Foundation (http://www.cfjacksonhole.org/old-bills-fun-run/).

A personal thanks from me to Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and everyone else around the country that have helped support the Skyline Trail, and other trail and pathway projects in our region.  We all benefit from safe, sustainable recreation and transportation, and I hope you can find your own ways to experience the outdoors, stay healthy, and happy.  Be mindful of others when you’re out (humans and wildlife!), greet each other with a smile, and follow the rules- please respect seasonal wildlife closures, and yield when you’re supposed to. (Hikers and bikers yield to equestrian users, bikers yield to hikers, and uphill travelers get the right of way, unless otherwise specified.)  Thanks again and see you on the trails!

– Andrew”

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Jackson Hole – Snow in July

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Snow in July? Yes it can happen in Jackson Hole. Today we woke to a fresh coat of the white stuff in the Tetons. We took a journey to the top of the Jackson Hole Aerial Tram to see what Mother Nature is up to. What we found has us dreaming of winter. Snowball fight in July anyone? Enjoy the photos.

Fly Here ’16/17 Winter

Big Red at the top.

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The clouds briefly parted yesterday afternoon revealing fresh snow in the high country.


We have a saying in Jackson Hole, “if you don’t like the weather, wait ten minutes.” Summer returns tomorrow but if you are thinking about winter you can book your flights for this winter!

Also, 2016/17 winter camps are now on sale.  Book by August 31 and save! Book Now

Last evening from the top of the tram.

Last evening from the top of the tram.

The valley last night.

The valley last night.

The Grand Teton with a fresh coating last night.

The Grand Teton with a fresh coating last night.


A frosty tram door this morning.

A frosty tram door this morning.

This morning in the Tetons. Looking up Cascade Canyon.

Corbet’s Cabin will be serving lots of hot chocolate today.

A hike to Corbet’s anyone?

The wildflowers at elevation took a good hit last night.

Corbet’s Cabin – a bit wintery this morning.

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“Get Local” – Top Ten Summer Activities in Jackson Hole

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Hi everyone, I’m Eric Seymour, and I’m the guy behind the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort social media and video program. As a photographer, videographer and adventure athlete this job fits my personality perfectly. I have now lived in Jackson Hole for twelve years with my wife, professional skier, Jess McMillan.

Another day in paradise

Another day in paradise

I’m a bit different than most people at JHMR in that before moving to Jackson I worked as a pro kayaker and film maker.  But like everyone else in the marketing office, for 128 days straight, from November to April I spend most of my waking moments skiing or snowboarding or thinking about skiing or snowboarding. While winter is the time when all of us log as many powder days as possible, summer is a whole different beast with so many activities to choose from.

My weekend waterfall

My Wyoming weekend waterfall

As an avid whitewater kayaker of course running the river is going to be on my list. But there are SO many things to do in Jackson Hole. In no particular order here is my top ten list of summer activities in Jackson Hole.

Whitewater Rafting on the Snake River Canyon

The Snake River is all about fun. You get wet, run some rapids, it’s not scary (unless it’s early spring and really high), it’s beautiful and you get to hang out with friends. If you don’t have the expertise or equipment to navigate Class III rapids safely I recommend going with a guide. Check out Jackson Hole Whitewater for experienced guides and a great trip.

Team building on the Snake with the marketing department

Team building on the Snake with the marketing department

Hiking to Goodwin Lake

I love hiking in Jackson Hole. I spend a ton of time in the Tetons in the winter focusing on different ski objectives. In the summer it is time to see different sites. I also have two wonderful dogs, and dogs are not allowed to hike in GTNP. Goodwin Lake is on Forest Service land, where dogs are permitted (on voice command).  The trail is off the beaten path, has great Teton views and the wildflowers are insane in early summer.

Goodwin Lake trail wildflowers

Goodwin Lake trail wildflowers with the Grand in the distance

Fly Fishing for Snake River Fine Spotted Cutthroat

I have to admit, I like catching more than fishing. Luckily there are thousands of fish in Jackson Hole and when the conditions are right, it’s game on. You also can’t beat the views when fishing under the Tetons for our native cutthroat trout. For more info on what’s fishing well or for a guided trip check out Grand Fishing Adventures.

Here’s a sample of what we got into on a private creek that you can fish too with Grand Fishing Adventures.


Mountain Biking Cache Game Creek

I haven’t owned a new bike in ten years but when I saw a shiny new ride at Hoback Sports with 29 inch wheels I knew I needed an upgrade.  My new Santa Cruz has the same travel as my last bike and weighs twenty pounds less. It’s amazing what technology does to make a sport even more fun. Cache Game is my favorite trail in the area. The trail offers great scenery, a good climb and a ripping downhill without big jumps. Hoback Sports even rents bikes if you want to try out a new ride.  

Andrew Whiteford ripping Cache Game

Andrew Whiteford ripping Cache Game

Camping at Jackson Lake

When I want to get away from it all camping at Jackson Lake is my go to activity in Jackson Hole. The views are stunning, water refreshing and sitting on a boat truly feels like vacation.

Jackson Lake underneath the Milky Way

Jackson Lake underneath the Milky Way

Trail Running at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

My favorite trails to run are right out my office door. I can strap on my running shoes and go for a quick loop on the Lower Faces or ride the tram and access the high-country. The trails at JHMR are world class and they are almost never crowded. Check out a quick video of trail running at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort with Born to Run Coach Eric Orton and ultra-runner Meredith Edwards.

Taking Sunrise or Sunset Photos in Grand Teton National Park

There is something magical about watching a sunrise or sunset in the Tetons. You can’t go wrong on locations as they are all incredible. A few of my favorites are: Kelly loop, Schwabacher’s Landing, Snake River Overlook and Oxbow Bend.

Jackson Hole Sunset

A Jackson Hole sunset will take your breath away

SUP on String Lake

String Lake is my favorite location to go stand up paddle boarding in Jackson Hole. The water is warm, compared to other lakes in the Tetons, the lake is not deep, views are spectacular and there’s something meditative about SUPing under the Tetons. You can rent boards from Teton Village Sports in Teton Village.

Stand up paddle boarding on String Lake

Stand up paddle boarding on String Lake

Whitewater Kayaking

If I’m looking to get my whitewater fix there are a ton of options. Playboating and surfing waves on the Snake are a blast, the Gros Ventre and Greys contain good Class IV fun. If I’m looking for Class V, I head to the Winds, Clarks Fork Box or downriver on the Snake in Idaho. For more info on whitewater kayaking in Jackson Hole contact Rendezvous River Sports.

Below is the Milner Mile on the Snake, considered by many as the biggest whitewater in the Continental U.S.

Milner Mile 14,000 CFS and Star Falls from Eric Seymour on Vimeo.

Ride the Tram, Hike to Cocktails on the Deck @ Piste

Riding the tram at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is a must for anyone visiting Jackson Hole. In just twelve minutes the tram whisks you over 4,000 vertical feet to the top of Rendezvous Mountain. The temperature is always cooler and seeing the Tetons from the summit of any peak is always breathtaking.

4,139 vertical feet in 12 minutes

4,139 vertical feet in 12 minutes

After arriving at the top I like to hike down to the Rendezvous Lodge at the top of the Bridger Gondola for a cold one. You pass by the infamous Corbet’s Couloir and the Headwall is usually full of wildflowers. For more info on hiking off the tram.

Skipping to Rendezvous Lodge - yes the thought of the best margarita in the valley makes you walk faster

Skipping to Rendezvous Lodge – yes the thought of the best margarita in the valley makes you walk faster

Arriving at The Deck @ Piste

Great food and drinks 3,000 feet above the valley floor

Great food and drinks 3,000 feet above the valley floor

Learn more about dining in Jackson Hole.

Cheers to a great weekend

Cheers to a great weekend

 

 

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Get Local – “The First Fourth”

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I’m Margaret Brady, and I volunteered to be your resident expert on where to be this holiday weekend. As the event manager here at JHMR, I’ve seen and planned a few Independence Days in Jackson, and the 4th has become a bit of a “busman’s holiday.” To be honest, some of my best July 4th holidays were before I was the girl who decides when to light the fireworks.

My husband and I, together and separately, have had some bang-up Fourth weekends in Jackson. For our one big summer holiday, we overdosed on mountain-town activities, the sun, and fireworks: boats on Jackson Lake, extended bike rides, holiday river floats, and camp outs with fireworks in the distance. For a few years in the 90’s, there was even a patriotic, semi-organized triathlon, complete with a 6-pack of beer subbed-in for the swimming leg. To this day, my husband’s sole claim to fame is that he never finished last in the legendary Run-Ride-Rattle.

This year’s a little different as we’re reconsidering the whole holiday, thanks to this little guy.

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It’s Max’s first Fourth. He’s about 7 months old, so this year we won’t be throwing him in a raft, on a parade float, or even picnicking too hard. (Though a half-day in a golf cart may be socially acceptable…?) We’ll be planning the holiday with a whole new, possibly corny, squeaky-clean family theme. But that’s what makes America great, right? Whatever happens, Max will see his first world-class fireworks display, or possibly two, bedtimes be damned.


Here are my suggestions for our favorite hot-weather holiday weekend, with some tips mixed in to make it go smoothly and keep everyone cool.

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Silver Car Auction in Teton Village

Even if you aren’t a bidder, swing by the Silver Auction after a trip up the tram. Everybody loves to check out the classic cars, you know, just to make sure there’s nothing you can’t live without. The auction starts at 1pm on Saturday and Sunday. Or you can just check out the cars on the way to lunch on the deck at the Mangy Moose. If you’re there Sunday, you can roll into the music and fireworks festivities at the Village that afternoon.

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July 3 in Teton Village

Teton Village celebrates the holiday twice, on July 3rd and 4th, to make sure you get your fill. That means two of the best fireworks shows you’ll ever see, with music both nights to get the party started. On Sunday, we’ll kick it off with bluegrass from Telluride with SxSW veterans Head for the Hills, starting at 7pm, followed by fireworks at 10pm. Then you can brace yourself for the real holiday…

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Parade and Pancake Breakfast

I never grew up with parades but thanks to Jackson, I’m a convert. It’s a picture-perfect small town parade, but I do have some suggestions for getting in and out quickly before it gets too hot. Take the free town shuttle, or park on the North or West sides of town. Come on the early side if you can and catch the Lions Club Street Breakfast on the Town Square. ($10 for adults, $5 kids ages 4-8, and free for little ones!) Before the parade starts at 10:30, get over to Glenwood Street near Snow King Ave, which is the best spot to watch – the street is narrowest and the parade happens right away. Then get out of there, find yourself a sprinkler and a nap to gear up for the festivities.

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July 4th in Teton Village

The Commons features music all afternoon, with no shortage of variety. If you have kids make sure to bring a swimsuit and a towel, because they’ll inevitably end up in the pop-jet fountain. If you stake out a spot early, there’s room for a blanket and a picnic too. The Jazz Foundation of JH starts playing at 4pm. The Grand Teton Music Festival’s famous ‘Music in the Hole’ will be broadcast outdoors on the Commons from inside the Festival Hall from 6-7:30. Finally, Calle Mambo will take the stage at 8, with high energy Latin music so you can dance ‘til the fireworks start at 10.

MA-3

Have a great time and stay safe!

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Get Local: Finding New Flavors at Piste Mountain Bistro

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Last summer I took the time to write a few blogs about my foray into trail running with Born to Run coach, Eric Orton. And while I am loving the journey from this training, all that running certainly builds up an appetite!

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I’ll be honest, I love to eat, cook, drink and be merry. This summer, I am adding a little flavor to our Get Local series by highlighting some of my favorite restaurants, dishes, farmer’s market finds and other local tips to eating around Jackson Hole.  To kick it all off, I rounded up a few friends and we earned our dinner at the new Piste Mountain Bistro with a hike from the Tram to Rendezvous Lodge at the top of the Bridger Gondola.

Selfie with Dishing

That’s right, we road the Aerial Tram up to the top, and then hiked the 2.5 miles down to an awaiting culinary experience at Piste Mountain Bistro. The Cirque trail connecting the two lifts is beautiful and well marked. It is steep in certain spots, and at this point in early summer, there are a few patches of lingering snow. Nothing these ladies couldn’t handle if the end game was delicious food and drinks!

Cody view

We made it to the restaurant and scored a table with an incredible view and a nice breeze.

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Jackson Hole Mountain Resort Executive Chef Wes Hamilton stopped by to explain the new menu, and I have to say it was hard to pick a favorite dish. The best part about the summer menu is all the plates are intended to be shared and they are made with as much local produce as possible. Chef Wes has always been a champion of this “Locavore” style of menu during his tenure at JHMR.

wes and ali

All the menu items we tried (there were a lot!) were fantastic, and we all agreed that the burrata, gnocchi, chicken legs were musts for anyone heading to Piste (and yes, we did taste all the delectable deserts too, and you should save some room).  In addition to the food, we were blown away by the creative cocktail menu and the great weekly wine deals.  PS – this week’s wine special was to die for!

Food shot

Bottom line: make the trek to dinner at Piste via the Tram or Gondola (ticket or pass required during the day), or take the free gondola ride starting at 4:30 pm nightly. It’s definitely one of the most special spots to dine in Jackson Hole.

deckblog

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Free Trams, Always Better Than a Tie

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Fathers-Day-Jackson-Hole-walking
Let’s face it – I have never been a huge supporter of Father’s Day. It’s not that I don’t feel the need to celebrate my father, it’s more that I’ve never been good at remembering to mark the day. This, inevitably, makes me feel like a bad son, which in turn makes me hate the whole Father’s Day concept (sorry Dad, it’s not you , it’s me). However, as a newly anointed member of the club of men who anxiously await a new colorful tie or coffee mug the 3rd Sunday of every June, I think my opinion is starting to change when it comes to this Hallmark Holiday. I understand that there’s hypocrisy involved here, but maybe the reality is that dads need a little recognition for a year’s worth of thankless deeds, which is why I was genuinely excited to learn about the Father’s Day activities and deals going on in Teton Village this weekend.

Fathers-Day-Jackson-Hole-flowers
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is offering a free tram ride and a drink to fathers this Sunday. This is perfect for me on so many levels. As a parent of two kids under the age of 2 I am always looking for fun activities that can get the gang out of the house. What could be better than a tram ride? Kids love huge pieces of machinery that take you to the top of mountains where they can eat waffles.  I guess I just love anything that can keep them occupied for large chunks of time. Would you prefer to read Green Eggs and Ham for the 100th time, or have a huge, flying red box whisk you away to an awesome view and the waffle of your choice? Seems like an easy decision. To make this sweet deal even sweeter, JHMR has decided to offer a free drink at any of the dining locations at the top of the Bridger Gondola. There’s no better remedy for a long day of a seemingly endless stream of toddler emotions than happy hour at The Deck @ Piste with a happy family.

Last, but certainly not least, the good folks at JHMR are offering free access to the downhill bike park for kids 17 and under as part of “Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day,” which  includes complimentary bike rentals at JH Sports and Teton Village Sports. It doesn’t help me and my two-under-two-diaper-maggedon dilemma, but it’s an amazing offer for families with older kids.
So join me this Sunday in Teton Village and thanks to JHMR for thinking about all of us fathers. We appreciate the recognition because a tram ride is always favorable to a patterned tie.

For more details on this weekends events please visit our events calendar.

Check in next week for my post about setting a new Strava route in Teton Village to challenge the crazy mountain biker inside all of you.

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Get Local – Horseback Riding in Jackson Hole

Avery and Festis head out for the trail
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Hello, I’m Julie Calder from the JHMR/JHRL Sales and Marketing team and I love horses. This is a serious understatement since I’ve spent most of my life hanging out in barns and riding horses. Growing up in the suburbs of Boston, I took my first riding lesson at age four on a horse named Taxi and never looked back. My parents realized quickly that I had been bitten by the horse bug and despite their efforts, it wasn’t going away. I attended summer camps, took weekly riding lessons, and eventually competed regularly in hunter-jumper competitions around the East Coast throughout my teenage and college years. It makes sense that I moved to Jackson, WY, in 1997, an area discovered and founded by horsemen and ranchers. My first days in Jackson Hole were a quick-study in western riders and riding: rodeos, trail rides, and pack trips. The cowboy style was foreign to me and I wondered how I could find a partnership with horses in Wyoming. Happily, one afternoon, by accident, I discovered a ranch where I could fit in and unpacked my English boots.

Julie and Lismore competing in Colorado

Julie and Lismore competing in Colorado

“All horses deserve, at least once in their lives, to be loved by a little girl.” (–Author Unknown)

“All horses deserve, at least once in their lives, to be loved by a little girl.” (–Author Unknown)

One afternoon, 13 years ago, I was biking down Fish Creek Road in Wilson, WY and I passed the Flying W Stables. Colorful jumps, logs, and banks in a large grassy field caught my eye. I knew these were my people and this was my place. Flying W is where I eventually introduced my two daughters, Avery and Hannah, to riding. The Flying W Stables offers a professional and fun English equestrian operation for locals in the heart of cowboy country. Since founders, Wendy and Wanda Webb, are great granddaughters of a homesteading family, western tradition runs deep in their Wyoming ways. The girls and I not only take riding lessons and compete under the instruction of Heather Haubrich, our onsite teacher and coach, but we also enjoy trail riding on adjacent trails in the National Forest. This experience has introduced me to an activity that every horse-loving visitor should experience when visiting Jackson Hole-trail riding in the mountains.

Avery Calder taking a riding lesson from Heather Haubrich at the Flying W

Avery Calder taking a riding lesson from Heather Haubrich at the Flying W

Avery trail riding from the Flying W

Avery trail riding from the Flying W

A few weeks ago, our JHMR Sales and marketing team was lucky enough to go on a mountain trail ride with Mill Iron Ranch. My seven-year old daughter Avery was thrilled when I told her that she could skip school for the afternoon to come with us. We arrived at Mill Iron Ranch, just north of Hoback Junction, on a spectacular spring day and immediately felt the history and tradition of this 160-acre working ranch. We met at the corral and prior to heading out, Sadee Wheeldon, a 5th generation Wyoming Rancher and our guide, briefed us about how we would spend our afternoon. We would ride on mountain trails for two hours and gain 2000 feet in elevation for some “pretty nice views,” she said. In fact, “this ride is rated as the most scenic horseback ride in the country,” chimed in Kim, Sadee’s mother. Avery and I looked at each other with wide eyes. “Wow,” we thought, “This was going to be good.”

 

Sadie Wheeldon, Our guide and 5th generation at the Mill Iron Ranch

Sadee Wheeldon, Our guide and 5th generation at the Mill Iron Ranch

7 year old Avery Calder

7 year old Avery Calder

Avery and Festis head out for the trail

Avery and Festis head out for the trail

Sadee and her cowboy wranglers matched us up with horses, stout yet fit quarter/draft crosses, and tacked our mounts with western saddles and bridles. We started out of the corral and headed up a trail, meandering through quaking aspen trees and colorful wildflowers. Sadee knows her ranch and these trails like the back of her hand. For an hour we climbed up a hill to the summit to discover a view more than “pretty nice.” Wide-open and wild, the vista was stunning. Many of our team members, who have lived in Jackson for years, could not believe the views. Avery, who thought that this adventure was not only better than the math class she had missed, commented that this was “the coolest ride of her life!”

Julie and Avery checking out the Teton views

Julie and Avery checking out the Teton views

JHMR Sales and Marketing at the Mill Iron Ranch

JHMR Sales and Marketing at the Mill Iron Ranch

As we headed down the hill we continued to enjoy the scenery and history of the ranch. Beautiful original ranch buildings at the base of the trail welcomed us to the end of the ride and signaled to the horses to pick up their pace as they approached the corrals back at Mill Iron Ranch. Everyone was smiling and agreed that this was indeed one of the most scenic trail rides in the country. The horses were fit, healthy and happy, and the wranglers, charismatic, funny, and helpful. We had various experience levels in our group, but the Mill Iron team made our trip easy and comfortable for everyone. The day was perfect. We were only disappointed that we hadn’t booked the ranch’s evening ride with a BBQ and live music, a Mill Iron tradition.

The ride

The ride

Bill Lewkowitz, Director of Business Development for JHMR and another horse lover on our team

Bill Lewkowitz, Director of Business Development for JHMR and another horse lover on our team

If you are looking for a great local activity in Jackson Hole, make reservations for your vacation rental at Jackson Hole Resort Lodging and book a trail ride with Mill Iron Ranch. If you too are a transplant or have the English riding bug, bring your horse to the Flying W Stables in Wilson. Or, if you have never seen a rodeo, visit the JH Rodeo every Wednesday and Saturday night. Horse lovers can find their fix and families can experience a ride with mountain and Teton views not found in other places. I feel lucky to ride here in Jackson Hole and I hope you too can get out there on the trail. Maybe I will see you out there, as I drove home from our ride I found myself humming, “Happy Trails to you, until we meet again!”

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“The essential joy of being with a horse is that it brings us in contact with rare elements of grace, beauty, spirit and freedom.” (-Author Unknown)

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“Get Local” – Disc Golf

Andrew drives with a putter on hole 18.
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There is so much to do in a Jackson Hole summer! So I’m here to tell you why you should add DISC GOLF to your list. (The photo above is me.)

Let me start out by saying, I LOVE DISC GOLF. Growing up in Ohio playing many sports, I found a passion for disc golf late in high school. I loved playing ball golf, but green’s fees limited how much I could play. Therefore, disc golf was a natural fit – it’s free to play, can be played solo or with a group, it’s outside, and great exercise.

Putting practice makes perfect.

Putting practice makes perfect.


I founded a course in my hometown of Pickerington, OH, as well in my college of Ada, OH. So naturally once moving to Jackson about 10 years ago, I still had a drive for the sport. Being out West, there were so many other outdoor adventures and exploring that took precedence. Disc golf took the backburner in Teton County (as I feel it does for many), until early last summer 2015 when the Jackson Hole Disc Golf Club completely redesigned the course.  After years of pushing for a course expansion and re-design, we finally raised enough money to fund the remaining 8 baskets to make a complete 18 hole course. Bridger Teton National Forest approved our re-design, and the grounds crew at JHMR helped install and maintain the course.

Dan Gulley is a course regular, playing daily on his lunch break.

Dan Gulley is a course regular, playing daily on his lunch break.


If my excitement for the sport doesn’t convince you to play, maybe some of the reasons below will:

•It only takes 1-1.5 hours to play 18 holes
•It’s outside. Chances for wildlife spotting are high
•It’s “hiking with a purpose
•It brings out some inner competitiveness
•Play alone or with a large group of friends
•It’s FREE
•As a beginner, throwing skills get exponentially better after the first several rounds
•Who doesn’t like throwing frisbees?!
•The sport can be super casual or super serious
•It’s great exercise – especially in Teton Village (you gain close to 500 vertical feet)
•And of course – IT’S GREAT FUN!

DJ gets his flick down.


The disc golf course in Teton Village has been around since the early 2000s. At the beginning of the 2015 summer, the Jackson Hole Disc Golf Club completely re-designed the course, creating a more diversified 18 hole course. The course has short 150′ holes, long downhill 550′ holes, tight shots through trees, and wide open holes. The new course starts on the access road from the Cody Lot towards the Ropes Course, just looker’s right of tram tower 1. Holes 1-4 are a good warm up for the lengthier holes as you start climbing Lower Tramline and Gros Ventre. Several of the holes, including 5, 9, 11, and 12 aren’t very long distance-wise, but gain 75+ feet of elevation, adding a challenge to your throwing arm.

Kevin is another daily player, crushing his hole 15 downhill drive.

Kevin is another daily player, crushing his hole 15 downhill drive.

Jess sports a new bag and discs from Jackson Hole Sports.


As the summer progresses, the course will be seeing some improvements. Permanent metal tee signs will be installed in the next week or so.  Tee pads will be flattened, and hopefully, rubber tee pads will be placed to help foot traction on the drive.  Trash cans and recycling bins are in great central locations near hole 8 and 14. Tall grass will be mowed and weed-wacked to cut down on lost discs.

Jackson Hole Sports got a new selection of discs a few weeks ago, including creative stamps from Innova and Dynamic Discs.

Jackson Hole Sports got a new selection of discs a few weeks ago, including creative stamps from Innova and Dynamic Discs.


For any questions or more information, please refer to our webpage at www.jacksonhole.com/disc-golf.html.
Regular updates can be found on our Facebook page and cool disc golf photos can be found on our Instagram account.

Oh, and don’t miss our weekly Doubles Tournament – WEDNESDAYS AT 6PM. Meet at hole #2 basket.

See you on the course!

Here’s a scorecard if you don’t know the layout.

Save this scorecard and map to navigate the course.

Save this scorecard and map to navigate the course. Click for high resolution PDF.

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“Get Local” – An Insider’s Guide to Summer in Jackson Hole

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For 128 days straight, from November to April all we spend most of our waking moments skiing or snowboarding or thinking about skiing or snowboarding. “Coming for a winter and staying for a summer” is a common theme in ski towns, and here at JHMR, the Marketing and Sales team is no exception. We are a hard working, hard playing bunch, and while winter is the time when we all log as much vertical feet as possible while sliding in the snow, summer is a whole other beast with so many different activities from which to choose. From hiking to biking, fishing to kayaking, running to climbing and everything in between, this crew takes full advantage outside and even during office hours in Teton Village.

This summer we’re  going to take turns sharing our favorite Jackson Hole summer adventures, events and more. The goal of this special inside look at summer in Jackson Hole is to be equal parts fun and motivation to get you out on an adventurous experience of your own.  So stayed tuned to our weekly blog post we are calling “Get Local.”


Our “Get Local” summer series kicks off with a member of our ‘digital dungeon’ here on the JHMR Marketing team, DJ Johnson.

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Dreaming big. Perhaps a bit of foreshadowing for the author.

I share a common “problem” with many folks here in Jackson Hole. With every additional summer or winter here comes the opportunity to explore more terrain and activities. Whether it’s a raft, a cruiser bike, a new fly rod, or new hiking boots, you simply cannot live in a town so focused on enjoying the outdoors without always having that next toy purchase on the brain. This spring was no different, and as I hung up the skis and boards and began unpacking the summer gear, I already knew what this summers prize jewel was going to be – a new mountain bike!

I am by no means a bike geek or expert and for the most part my experience with bikes is riding them and leaving the technical know how to my local bike shop techs. That’s when I knew I had to pay a visit to the best bike shop in Jackson, Hoback Sports. In addition to a crew of knowledgeable staff, Hoback Sports offers an amazing selection of bikes. It didn’t take long for Hoback employee Tom Athey to get my eyes on a comparison set of bikes that were directly in my wheelhouse for my style of riding.

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Examining the different types of suspension.

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Upon further investigation, Tom and DJ narrowing the selections down.

To start off Tom asked, “what type of trails do you see yourself riding in the future?” When I first began mountain biking years ago, I rode strictly cross country trails. I then took a stab at downhill biking and got the proper bike to enjoy all that Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and Teton Pass have to offer. Three years and a few bumps and bruises later, I’ve decided that moving forward I am shifting my focus back to being a more cross country-style rider. We talked over frame size, wheel size, and how much suspension I would need. After letting Tom know where I wanted to take my riding, he offered his opinion on what bikes might fit me best.

As I looked over the Specialized Stump Jumper, Santa Cruz Bronson, and Santa Cruz 5010, I knew all 3 would be a great fit.

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Never buy something without test riding it first…

Then it was time to get down to business. What’s my price point? How much suspension do I want? What size frame is appropriate? What color is the freshest?

After some internal deliberation, I was able to narrow down my selection to the Bronson and 5010, both Santa Cruz rides. In the end, I stuck to my guns and chose the Santa Cruz 5010 for a multitude of reasons. My riding style was the most important aspect and the 5010 goes up just as well as it comes down, which really made the final decision easy.

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The Lower Faces Loop is in.

If you’re looking for a new mountain bike this summer, in short, here are my recommended questions to consider:

  • What’s my riding style going to be?
  • How much suspension will I need?
  • What wheel size is appropriate?
  • What size frame fits me best?
  • How much am I looking to spend?
  • What color will have you looking fresh when you hit the trail?

Once I got my hands on this beautiful Santa Cruz 5010, there was no time to waste as I had to get ‘er out on the brown pow. Aside from higher elevations still holding snow, valley trails are mostly dry and we found the Lower Faces Loop here in Teton Village to be prime.

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Get out there and ride folks!

Cheers-

DJ

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