For quite some time now I have been wanting to stop by a little rock church found in Auburn Wyoming. Auburn is a little community not far from my home here in Afton Wyoming and it is a true piece of Americana as Auburn was a gateway for part of the Oregon Trail that passed through this part of Star Valley during the migration west in the mid 1800’s.
The Lander Cut Off once it was discovered helped these pioneers save 7 days in the journey heading west starting in Le Barge Wyoming making their way through true wilderness range and popping out in Smoot Wyoming just a stones throw from me here in Afton. It was Auburn where these pioneers made their was back into the mountains once they had crossed the Valley floor here on their way to Fort Hall Idaho. It may not sound like much but 7 days could make the difference between life or death back then. Remember the Donner Party? But that journey is really for another post.
No more excuses as my wife politely reminded me that in the morning the weather should be perfect for me. I woke up and she already had my very large YETI mug full of hot coffee ready for my morning’s journey. When I asked her why she was not dressed she just looked at me and said “Are you kidding me? It’s cold outside… no I will see you when you get back”. So with camera AND coffee in hand I headed out.
In Auburn there is not much as far as stores and places to shop, just a quaint little piece of Wyoming that many call home. Auburn sits on the border between Wyoming and Idaho… just inside the Wyoming line. It is here in Auburn that this beautiful rock LDS church sits.
It is said that Butch Cassidy and his gang used to winter in the Auburn area. Heavy snowfalls made Star Valley a safe place to “hole up”, as did the fact that this area was mostly settled by polygamists. Using aliases, Butch Cassidy and his partners were occasionally seen at church socials and dances held in the Old Rock Church in Auburn. Today this little rock church is used as a melodrama theater in the summer.
Recently I had the pleasure to visit with a current day elder who’s family has been in Auburn a very long time. She told me that because of the small size of the church they could not fit everyone who would attend these dances so a lottery system was developed so people could buy a ticket and when their ticket was called they would get to dance.
Because Butch Cassidy seemed to always have money it was rumored he would buy up enough tickets so he could dance all night. If people came to the area looking for him the locals where prepared to hide him or in most cases he would travel east to the Big Horn Mountains just outside Kaycee, Wyoming and not far from Sheridan Wyoming located on the east side of the Big Horns.
It is here in this place called “The Hole In The Wall” that the outlaws the likes of Butch Cassidy, Jesse James and the Sundance Kid would hole up until it was safe to move on. But this too is for another post.
On this cold Fall morning I only had one thought in mind and that was to get myself to the Gym. As the Fall days progress the daylight hours shorten it is now dark when I leave for the gym. The dark colder mornings definitely makes it harder to get motivated. If I am not awake when I leave the house I am by the time I reach my truck. Cold air does a great job of awakening you in quick step.
So like most mornings I proceeded to drag myself out of bed, started the truck to warm it up ahead of the short drive and headed out to the gym. It is important to note that my route to the gym takes me right by the newly completed Mormon Temple each morning. A beautiful building for sure but I am so used to seeing it I usually just pass on by.
I arrived at the gym, pooped out of my truck and headed on in… except this time my FOB key wasn’t working. I was also the only guy there so no one could let me in. Sometimes it happens…
I reluctantly got back into my truck thinking that I was not yet ready to head back home. It was then I looked over and saw that my camera was just sitting there staring at me. Great I thought but then I realized how dark it still was and sunrise was still an hour away so I started the short trip back home. As I passed the Mormon Temple again on my way this time I thought wow it looks great this morning all lit up… maybe I should stop and take a few pics.
I pulled a U-Turn and parked across the highway and it was then I discovered no tripod in the car. After a couple of second I decided too bad I was not going home to get it so I decided to take my pictures hand held. They came out pretty good but I will definitely have to come back and set my tripod up for some better longer exposed shots.
One final thought… I was not immediately sure what else I was missing and it was then I realized I had NO COFFEE with me. This made this journey a bit more of a challenge but I assure you my next picture event at the LDS Temple will include a tripod and very LARGE cup of fresh hot coffee…
Currently I have been working on Two 1 inch bore flutes crafted from Old Growth Port Orford Cedar. This particular flute is just about done other than final finish choices and some tweaking on the tuning. Which on this flute is tuned to “D” @ 432 Hz.
I really cannot get enough Port Orford Cedar as it is one of my favorite woods to craft flutes from. This one has a very pleasing deeper voice giving it a soothing melody. The totem rails are crafted from river reclaimed Sapodilla as it the Totem or Fetish itself. Once again this flute will feature my signature whimsical mustang. This time I am crafting it out of the same Sapodilla the totem rails are made from. This should be a stunning yet eloquent flute.
Currently I have this flute finished with a Satin/Semi-Gloss finish but more than likely it will end up with a high gloss finish. Although this is a fairly large flute the finger holes are positioned with comfort in mind. This flute like all of our flutes will ship with a protective bag as this recent completed flute did.
The price point has not been set and there is still time to add adornments such as hanging horse hair, feathers or even an inlaid cabochon. Port Orford Cedar is almost impossible to get anymore… this is a very nice wind instrument just about ready for a home.
If you are interested reach out to me via email @ Sales@JacksonHoleTim.com or call or text (307) 690-0427.
Just finished this Orange Acrylic painted flute hand crafted from Alaskan Yellow Cedar. Tuned to the Key of F# @440 Hz this flute has a wonderful tone.
Maple Totem rails and my whimsical Mustang Fetish crafted from a piece of Port Orford Cedar. Black Wyoming Black hand cut Bison lace and shipped in it’s protective bag. All in all a really nice flute project!
Earlier this year I started on a new journey of flute making. For so many years I have focused on the aesthetics of the natural wood and how it finishes as God’s eye intended. To this day most of the flutes I craft are in this vein.
Last September I decided built a flute for the 2018 Western Design Conference held each year in Jackson Hole Wyoming that was different than I had done in past shows. This flute was the first flute I painted a color and in this case I chose high gloss black. I loved it so much I decided to build another one just like it only with a 7/8″ bore flute while this one featured a 1″ bore.
Black Flute Sound Sample
Flutes like the one shown here have a lot of man hours in them and thus typically a much higher price point. This flute found a home in Nashville Tennessee early this summer. I have since built several others one in Red and another in Gun Metal Blue. But the flute I am working on now shown at the top of this post is for a customer in Texas who was a Texas Longhorn fan. However the color this time for me was inspired by a 1972 Orange and White Chevy pickup truck.
Big Red Sound Sample
This new orange flute features the same design as the others in that the totem rails are crafted from Maple and the whimsical mustang fetish is crafted of either Maple or Port Orford Cedar. The flute itself is made from Old Growth Alaskan Yellow Cedar which produces a very nice sounding flute. Listen to the samples of the others provided and here how nice these flutes sound. The 7/8″ bore makes this a very nice sized flute in your hands.
My goal with these new flutes is to make available a very nice flute at a price point that is affordable and yet a bit different. Of coarse we can bling them up but I think this new line of flutes offers something most artists seek and that is “Simple Elegance”
As we move through our Spring months here in Wyoming, like much of the country we have been experiencing unusual Spring weather even for us. Lots of rain, snow, thunder storms and just kind of miserable weather. This morning however was different. Woke up early and looked outside to see a beautiful warm sunny morning. About time I said to myself…
Without hesitation I grabbed a cup of coffee and went for a morning walk. My favorite walk is just over 3 miles round trip and basically it just takes me down our main road that leads to our home. Just a beautiful morning for a walk. The temperature was a very nice 50 degrees, lots of sun, just perfect.
As I made the turn out of my driveway and down to the corner the main road is pretty much a straight shot south. On both sides of the road are farms with much of them dedicated to cattle and hay. This road, Allred Road sits almost squarely in the middle of Star Valley on the Afton end. We are completely surround by mountain ranges. This time of year is simply… well green.
As usual I ran out of coffee fairly quick but the morning air was heavenly and the views spectacular. Truly blessed to live in this part of Wyoming. I have my favorite spot to make my turn around which is this fence line you see here.
I headed back home already thinking about my next cup of hot coffee. As I make my way back and turn onto our street I can see my home and being the coffee freak I seem to be I headed straight for my kitchen. Another beautiful start to another Authentic Wyoming day.
This is another moment in time captured this past Fall here in the Yellowstone Basin. On this morning Peyton and I traveled to Jackson Hole Wyoming to pickup our morning coffee before heading out to this beautiful spot. Located on the Gros Ventre River east of Kelly Wyoming this drainage is one of my favorite places to spend time and just be still.
Just east of this spot on the river is where the huge landslide happened in the early 1900’s that created the two Slide Lakes that are now part of this amazing landscape. The Gros Ventre was one of the original trails into the valley that the trappers used to hunt and trap this beautiful place. The Teton are visible most of the way down this drainage and one can see for miles.
This little bend in the river is a very nice place to sit and sip on some Morning Coffee and reflect on the beauty that is the result of the ultimate artist, God himself. Enjoy a snapshot in time and share with me the quite serenity of this place knows as the Gros Ventre River. Enjoy….
I have just ordered some 16×24 Metal prints of this big boy. This image was capture in the summer of 2017 north of Jackson Hole Wyoming in the Antelope Flats area. Part of the Yellowstone herd comes south each summer to hang out in this awesome spot that sits basically within or right next to Teton National Park, north of Jackson Hole Wyoming.
This image can be reproduced in pretty much any size but I really like the the 16×24 vertical presentation. Not too big and not too small. If a more contemporary look is your desire hang directly on your wall. If you are looking for a more traditional fits to you space maybe add a nice frame. Available now.
I have started shaping a new flute crafted from Old Growth Alaskan Yellow Cedar that will be painted Acrylic Black just like the image in the header of this post. This flute however will be about 22 inches in length and because of it’s 7/8″ bore it will more than likely be in the F or G range.
The Totem will be a Mustang and the Totem Rails will be crafted from American Maple just like it’s big brother. This Alaskan Yellow Cedar flute like the Big Red one finished earlier this year will be a sister flute to it. All of my painted flutes are finished on the inside as the outside so that there is consistency throughout.
Price point for this finished flute will be the same as the red flute at $285.00 plus shipping. If you have interest in this flute call or Text (307) 690-0427 or email me @ firstname.lastname@example.org.
From time to time I come across a flute project I did for someone else and as I look back on it I get excited about how the flute came out. One of my favorite woods to work with is Port Orford Cedar which is not easy to get anymore. But I do have some stashed away for special occasions.
This flute was made for a client in the Cave Creek Arizona area and I really liked how it turned out. The customer wanted to have a flute that voiced an “A” @ 440Hz. As most of you know I live in the Yellowstone Basin here in Wyoming so our altitude and weather patterns are quite a bit different than the desert region of Arizona. Building a flute in Wyoming and shipping to Arizona and hitting the mark for tuning is always a challenge. All in all I think I was able to get pretty close.
What I like about this flute is the simple elegance it embraced and the mix of the Sapodilla Totem Rails, Cutting Edge inlay and the Maple Mustang fetish it was a really eye appealing flute when finished. Easy to play and sounded wonderful. We recorded the sound clip here in Wyoming after it was finished so check out the voice of this flute in the clip below.
Commissioned projects are always fun yet stressful to do. This flute project was one I really enjoyed. I would love to work on another project like this one again for a new customer. Maybe that customer is you? Let me know what you think of this flute in the comments below. If you would like to explore a flute for you similar reach out to me.