bring back the beach!

By Jim Stanford on March 22, 2010

Comments: 26 Comments

The Wilson Beach near the height of its popularity. A SPET proposal envisions a public park at the site, connected to the pathway bridge.

In the summer of 2001, I was learning to roll a kayak on the Snake River while the Green Knoll Fire raged south of Wilson. A friend and I were at the Wilson Bridge, where gravel excavation had created a new eddy.

As he sat in a chair on the bank reading a book and I paddled around the eddy, helicopters buzzed overhead ferrying buckets of water from the river to fight the fire. The air was thick with smoke, and ash was landing on the water.

It was like a scene out of Apocalypse Now. We laughed at the words of Robert Duvall: “If I say it’s safe to surf this beach, it’s safe to surf this beach!”

Over the next few summers, the “Wilson Beach,” as it became known, grew into one of the most popular recreation spots in Teton County. By 2005, the site reached its zenith as Redneck Riviera, with pickup trucks backed to the water’s edge for tailgating and a group of Georgia girls floating on an air mattress.

Alas, high water eventually filled in the swimming hole, and the river shifted eastward. The Georgia girls moved away. A community treasure was lost.

Now there’s an opportunity to bring back the beach, better than ever, as Teton County is considering a public park at the site.

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Posted under County Government, Economy, Environment, Politics, Sports, Town Government

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regs, charges weighed in wake of B.C. avalanche

By Jim Stanford on March 16, 2010

Comments: 4 Comments

Slide path and debris on "Turbo Hill," as this part of the mountain is known.

An avalanche that killed two and nearly wiped out 200 snowmobilers west of Revelstoke, British Columbia, last weekend has prompted calls for closing the backcountry in times of high danger.

Royal Canadian Mounties also are investigating whether to press charges against event organizer “Ozone” Dave Clark of Calgary, who allegedly pressed ahead with the informal snowmobile competition called the Big Iron Shootout despite repeated avalanche warnings.

A crowd of sledheads had gathered for the Shootout on Boulder Mountain when high-marking ‘bilers triggered the massive slide. A wall of snow plowed into the crowd and sent spectators and sleds tumbling hundreds of feet. The pile of debris measured up to 15 feet deep, and the slide ran 1,100 feet in all.

Thirty-one people were injured, and the search and rescue effort cost an estimated $1 million.

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Posted under Crime, Deaths, Environment, Sports

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let’s spend all of Wyoming’s trust funds on … a really big gun

By Jim Stanford on February 23, 2010

Comments: 9 Comments

Wyoming legislator in Cheyenne.

Maybe it’s the water in Cheyenne, or a surge of Republican testosterone.

But there’s something about the Wyoming legislative session that turns otherwise rational, reasonable men into a pack of chest-bumping bro’s trying to out-redneck each other.

This year the aggressive posturing has reached a near-absurd low. First, the governor moved to effectively squash wind power in Wyoming.

Then came a slew of bills railing against the federal government, stopping just short of secession. Five bills challenging federal authority have passed the House, including one that would further sanctify the Cowboy State’s central obsession: guns.

Rep. Keith Gingery, R-Jackson, talks of a “palpable anger” toward the federal government from Wyoming residents.

What are they so angry about?

Oh, yeah: We elected a black Democrat president.

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Posted under Humor, Politics, Republican Party, Wyoming Legislature

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Valentine’s Day at the Cutter Races

By Jim Stanford on February 21, 2009

Comments: 8 Comments

Our new video correspondent, Christie Koriakin, spent Valentine’s Day at the Shriners Club Cutter Races, documenting the characters around the Melody Ranch horse track.

Her feature is still in production, but in the meantime, Christie stitched together a montage of the many amorous invitations she received from the cowboys.

Ladies, if you feel like you missed out, take heart: Hill Climb weekend is only a month away!

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Posted under Holidays, Humor, Sports, Wyoming

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radical women disrupt tranquility of Hill Climb

By Favio Snimp on March 28, 2008

Comments: 1 Comment

Jackson police respond to threatControversy erupted at the 33rd World Championship Snowmobile Hill Climb late Thursday as event organizers were ambushed by last-minute entries of hybrid snowmobiles.

The four-woman team from California-Amazon Technical School, calling themselves “Team Al Gore Rhythm,” arrived unannounced in a Toyota Prius towing two experimental sleds which they claimed burned an alternative fuel.

Jennifer Flynn, the team captain, said, “We’ve been working on a recyclables-based technology we call pre-apocalyptic craptacular fusion. Using a mixture of sea water, pulverized No. 1 plastic and shredded coated-print stock — we use Victoria’s Secret catalogs because we love the irony — we have created a 55-pound engine that delivers nearly pure energy. The gimbal-mounted flywheel acts as a gyroscopic stabilizer, too.”

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Posted under Environment, Humor

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