Jackson fans savor World Cup thrills

By Jim Stanford on July 17, 2014

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Photographs by Wyatt Roscoe; for more, see his blog, Immaculate Chaos.

Story by Miller Resor

World_Cup_Roscoe_1

It ain’t easy to sum up the World Cup. I’ve been back from Brazil for almost two weeks, and piecing together the confluence of soccer fans from six continents and a million perspectives amid the beauty and the chaos of Brazil has made it difficult to write about.

Now that it’s over, I can say smart money was on Germany all along, Brazil never looked that good, and I wish an American (North, South or Central) team had won.

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looking back on 1988 Yellowstone fires

By Jim Stanford on August 25, 2013

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A bull elk surveys a burned area.

Twenty-five years ago this week, the Yellowstone fires hit their peak. Nearly 800,000 acres, or 36 percent of the park, burned that summer in a series of blazes, some caused by humans and others by storms. Winds of up to 80 mph fanned the flames, creating a conflagration beyond control.

Aug. 20, 1988, was dubbed “Black Saturday,” when the fires doubled in size, consuming more acres than all other fires in the park’s history combined.

Last year, when the Little Horsethief Fire burned up the back of Snow King and east Jackson was under an evacuation advisory, residents got a taste of fear. But watching those flames lick at the ridge above Cache Creek pales in comparison to firsthand accounts of the Yellowstone blazes.

The late Theo Meiners landed on one of the firefighting support crews in the summer of 1988 and kept a journal of his experiences. Focus Productions published excerpts in Jackson Hole Skier magazine that winter and has re-posted them for the 25th anniversary. The short essay is worth a read.

Of the Mink Creek Fire in the Teton Wilderness, Meiners wrote:

By mid-July winds had whipped this conflagration into gargantuan proportions; a column of smoke rose to over 30,000 feet, visible from Salt Lake City. The Black Rock Ranger Station became a base camp city of 1,200 firefighters. There was every kind of helicopter imaginable. Cargo planes and bombers were everywhere. The FAA even sent out flight controllers. This was war.

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know you the river near to Moose

By Jim Stanford on August 14, 2013

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View below Deadman’s Bar on Sunday evening. Click to enlarge.

Know you the river near to Grez,
A river deep and clear?
Among the lilies all the way,
That ancient river runs to-day
From snowy weir to weir.

Old as the Rhine of great renown,
She hurries clear and fast,
She runs amain by field and town
From south to north, from up to down,
To present on from past.

The love I hold was borne by her;
And now, though far away,
My lonely spirit hears the stir
Of water round the starling spur
Beside the bridge at Grez.

So may that love forever hold
In life an equal pace;
So may that love grow never old,
But, clear and pure and fountain-cold,
Go on from grace to grace.

— “Know You the River Near to Grez,” by Robert Louis Stevenson

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June winds make for dramatic skies

By Jim Stanford on June 23, 2013

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The June 12 thunderstorm generated a flurry of stunning images, as well as marble- to golf ball-sized hail. Click to enlarge.

This morning on the Snake.

June has been a breezy month, as anyone pushing boats down the Snake River can attest. Even mornings and evenings, typically the calmest times of day, have been brisk.

The upside is the skies have been turned into works of art, with cirrus clouds framing the Tetons and spectacular formations kindling the imagination. Last Sunday, Father’s Day, a chorus of dancers seemed to glide above the peaks, while today a flourish poured forth from the Grand like a trumpet blast.

The June 12 hailstorm produced the most dramatic photographs, like the one above shot by Chris Owen atop Snow King Mountain. He was doing some trail work for the Bridger-Teton National Forest and just dodged the storm. Sarah Tollison captured a similarly apocalyptic image from her office at DeFazio Law. Meteorologist Jim Woodmencey has a roundup of photos on his blog.

It has been fun the past few weeks to follow the #jacksonhole hashtag on Instagram and watch as shooters like Tristan Greszko and Sue Cedarholm capture different vantage points of the sky. The hailstorm made for particularly compelling crowd-sourced reporting.

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out of hibernation

By Jim Stanford on May 17, 2013

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Grizzlies 399, 610 and their cubs look as cute as teddy bears in the thousands of photos park visitors have taken of them in recent years. They have their own Facebook pages and bumper stickers.

Yet they are meat-eating predators, a reality we often overlook. This video, best watched in full screen, ought to keep a few tourists from approaching too close.

Thank you to all of you for loyally checking this site in the last few weeks, thinking perhaps today might be the day something new replaces the April snow story. As I explained earlier in a comment, I was out of town (for Jazz Fest), then returned to an onslaught of budget meetings and Lodging Overlay discussions. Also, we have begun running the river at Barker-Ewing Scenic Trips.

Male griz at Oxbow this spring.

To top it off, a faulty plugin caused this site to crash (for me, if not you), preventing the posting of anything new when I did have time. At 2 a.m. today, after much consultation with the hosting service, I finally resolved the problem.

Like a hungry bruin emerging from the den, I’m ready to sink my teeth into writing again. Thanks for your patience and input. Here’s to much excitement in the coming weeks!

(Photo by Greg Winston; video via Deadspin)

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