A couple of years have past since we have written anything about two of our local favorite music artists. Abby Gershuney has stayed with us several time over the past years and has truly become family. Abby ha worked her magic at the Jackson Hole Playhouse many time over the years and is currently performing in St. George Utah at Tuacahn Center for the Arts for the 2018 summer shows.. Abby can sing, dance, act… she can do it all but when she sings she makes people like me smile.
Many of you who know us know our son Brock Jennings. Brock is another amazingly talented singer song writer and he has an amazing voice. Abby was staying with over the Christmas Holiday while she worked for the playhouse a couple of winters ago. Not sure why they do but they waited until the last day to actually lay down some tracks. Abby had to return to New York City for while.
One of the tracks they laid down was not one of their own but a cover from Nickel Creek titled “When You Come Back Down”. Although this is a rough, uncut, unfinished track I wanted to share this with all of you again. I hope you like it. If you do please let us know we would love to see these two play this summer here in Jackson Hole and maybe some other areas too.
Click on Player below to listen to “When You Come Back Down”
“When You Come Back Down” Recorded by Abby Gurshuney and Brock Jennings, Produced by Brock Jennings, Written by Nickel Creek
I have been working on a new hat for our line that represents our home here in the Yellowstone Basin and one that is kind of fun. Our new Jackson Hole Time Bison hat is finally in production after tweaking it a bit. Final colors have been chosen and the design has gone to be digitized so we can embroider the new design on our hats. The first hats to be embroidered will be the FlexFit 210 Flat Bill Skater hat and the FlexFit regular structured hat. We will also offer this design on the Otto Unstructured hats that are adjustable in the back with a Velcro Strap.
Like our other hats this hat is design, and embroidered right here in Wyoming. All of our hats are 100% Wyoming Made. The target for pricing is $32.95 for the Flat Bill hats. All of these hats will be jet black in color with the designs as close to our sample rendering here. The backs of all of the new hats will feature our Wyoming Bucking Horse and our state tagline “Forever West”. These are very high quality hats with top notch embroidery. Great for gifts! If you have ever visited Jackson Hole Wyoming, Teton National Park or Yellowstone Park you know how prominent the North American Bison is in our area. Celebrate our new hat and if you have interest in pre-ordering one reach out to me by phone (307) 690-0427 or email “email@example.com”. Let us know what you think about this new hat!
Who has not heard about the great adventure story of the Lewis and Clark Expedition? Early from 1804 – 1806, Sacajawea was an integral part of this expedition that led Meriwether Lewis and William Clark on their exploration of the American West looking for a path to the Pacific Ocean. Sacajawea and her husband Toussaint Charbonneau played an important role in the success of this expedition – an expedition that led them right through this part of the country – the great Yellowstone basin. But this post is not about their story. It is the story of the resting place of Sacajawea – a once young Shoshone Indian girl who helped change history forever. A place that can be found just a few miles Southeast from Jackson Hole.
Although Sacajawea was reported to have died in 1812 she actually lived to be a very old women as told by Shoshone oral traditions. Long after the end of the Lewis and Clark Expedition Sacajawea eventually made her way west back to the Shoshone tribes and lived out her life in the area that is now Fort Washakie, Wyoming. Anyone who has traveled to or from Lander, Wyoming has gone right through Fort Washakie which is one of two main cities on the Wind River Indian Reservation.
Fort Washakie was originally a U.S Army fort in what is now the state of Wyoming. The fort was established in 1869 and was originally named Camp Augur after General Christopher C. Augur, commander of the Department of Platte. In 1870 the camp was renamed Camp Brown in honor of Captain Frederick H. Brown who was killed in the Fetterman Massacre in 1866. 81 men under his command were killed by Lakota Sioux, Arapaho and Cheyenne warriors during what was known as Red Cloud’s War on the white man. It was renamed again in 1878 after Chief Washakie of the Shoshone tribe making the fort the only U.S military outpost named after a Native American. The fort remained a military outpost until 1909 when it was decommissioned and turned over to the Shoshone Indian Agency.
The graves of Chief Washakie and the Lewis and Clark Expedition guide Sacajawea are located on the grounds of the fort. This burial site lies within the present-day Wind River Indian Reservation. Our family has become very familiar with Fort Washakie as we travel through there several times a year to visit our daughter in Boulder Colorado. As you pass through the main intersection of Fort Washakie there is a small road sign that says “Sacajawea’s Grave Site”. We had passed this sign many times over many years but had never taken the time to stop and visit this very special place. This last trip it was different – we made the time to visit the resting place of this very important person in American History.
Fort Washakie is about a 2 1/2 hour drive from Jackson Hole. A beautiful drive that takes you over Togwotee Pass, through the town of Dubois and across the Wind River Reservation. Just short of Lander Wyoming is Fort Washakie. I need to tell you that please do not expect something on the grandeur of the National Park Monuments we are all used to. Fort Washakie is a humble place that belongs now to the Shoshone and Arapaho tribes. The poverty you will experience on this majestic reservation is shocking and to be truthful something for all to be ashamed about.
Peyton, Brock, Brynn and I have visited several Powwows on this reservation and I can truthfully say these were some of the best days we have had in Wyoming. The Shoshone people are very inviting and I suggest that anyone who is in the area think about visiting one of their Powwows if you can. On this day though we stopped and made our way west of the main intersection, past the Powwow Grounds and along the west side of the Wind River (actual river) for several miles until we came to a very small, unassuming sign that simply says “Sacajawea Cemetery”. As you enter this very humble place two things stand out. No trees or shrubs landscape this place and the close proximity of each grave. Some graves date back to the mid 1800’s and all the way to the present.
I have to tell you that if you are a lover of history you need to visit this place. To stand at the foot of Sacajawea’s gravesite, her son Jean-Baptiste Charbonneau and her sisters son Bazil is quite an experience. This place, this humble grave site, this troubled reservation of the Shoshone people gives one a reason to pause and think… think about those who help lay the path before us, a path that had led to this day that my family stood at the foot of what was once a young Shoshone Indian woman who made an everlasting contribution to our American History.
We woke up again this morning to another beautiful fall day here in the Yellowstone basin! But this morning unlike many of the ones over the past few weeks was really cold. As we pulled from our driveway this morning on our way to drop Brynn off at school the temp gauge was reading 28 degrees. By the time we got across the Snake River it was 25 degrees and even colder north of town.
The Snake River looked pretty cool as there was steam coming off of the water and for that to happen the air temp must be colder than the water. Trust me, the Snake River is not something to wade in this time of year as the water temperatures have dropped quite a bit. Anyway we dropped Brynn off and headed to the coffee shop and then north of town again.
Now forgive us as our camera was acting up this morning but I think you will enjoy our little adventure. We were alone this morning and the animals were right next to our truck at every turn. We took our time and sat and watched the three moose in the pics for quite some time. They were eating the sage next to the road and for the most part ignored us. Been then they decided to check us out and we rolled away as they headed to us. Very cool!
All in all we saw antelope, buffalo, moose, geese and most certainly some spectacular views of the valley. On this morning we passed through Kelly, Wyoming, past the entrance to the Gros Ventre canyon, over to Antelope flats and Mormon Row and then home again. Another great way to share a cup of java!
A few years back my son Brock and I took a day trip to Bozeman Montana to meet some very dear friends from the Rocky Boy Indian Reservation located in Montana. Donovan Sr, is an Assiniboine Elder who trained me how to make traditional Native American Pipes, (but that is for another blog post) and Uncle Loren. The short version is we met Donovan Sr. and Uncle Loren (we call him “Uncs”) to pick up some sacred pipe stone and a couple of new pipes, just completed by Donovan Sr., to take back to Jackson Hole to be photographed. We also picked up some pipe stone for ourselves as well as exchange some pipe stems, ideas, and friendship! The day in Bozeman ended in what we call a “Good Trade” day.
Our trip started early on a Saturday morning, leaving Jackson Hole at around 8:00am. After getting our coffee and a couple of bagels we hit the road. When traveling through this part of the country, which is sooo amazing and in a single round trip of about 450 miles one can experience everything the Rockies has to throw at you. The weather this Fall day was awesome, skies were clear blue and the sun was shining bright, and the temperature was perfect when we left town. There are a couple of ways you can make your way to Bozeman from Jackson, one through Yellowstone Park’s south entrance or head through Idaho, back into Montana, north through the very northwest corner of the park and finally past Big Sky Montana as you make your way down the Gallatin River into Bozeman.
From Jackson to Bozeman is about 214 miles (one way) over some of the most beautiful roads you can travel. We chose to head west over Teton Pass and into Idaho, then north along the west side of the Teton Range. You first travel through beautiful rolling hills where much of the russet potatoes are grown in Idaho, not to mention double row barley (which Anheuser Bush buys for their beer) and after you make a turn east in Ashton Idaho you eventually end up in West Yellowstone.
For those who are not familiar with Yellowstone Park, there are 4 entrances to the park. Jackson Hole to the south, Gardiner at the north, the east entrance which leads to Cody, Wyoming and the west entrance which is West Yellowstone (it’s a town). Some of you may be familiar with West Yellowstone as some of the premier fly fishing rivers in the world are in the area. The Madison river, the Firehole, Henry’s Fork, the Buffalo, the Gallatin and many more. This is truly Lewis and Clark country.
From West Yellowstone you head north toward Bozeman and you travel though the very northwest part of Yellowstone Park and you quickly pass over the Madison River eventually picking up and following the Gallatin river all the way into Bozemen. One important note here is that you pass right through a part of the park that suffered from the big fire in 1988. It is awesome to see how nature has recovered. You pass Big Sky Montana Ski Resort and other beautiful scenery. This is one of the most beautiful stretches of road to drive at any time of the year.
Once in Bozemen we had our little pow wow with friends, stopped at a few stores and headed home. When we left Bozeman the clouds had started to gather. The weather from Jackson to Bozeman had been perfect! Clear skies, very dry roads, an easy drive. But things were about to change. We headed back up the Gallatin to West Yellowstone. This part of the trip is about 90 miles. As we pulled into West Yellowstone, Brock said “Dad why don’t we go home through the park”. I said sure let’s do it. It is important to note that this is about 4:45pm MST and it is getting darker. It is important because this is animal hour in the park.
We entered the park and headed towards the Old Faithful Geyser basin. This part of the trip from West Yellowstone to home in Jackson is about 130 miles. This is when things started to change. We first ran head on into a male buffalo that decided my truck was bigger than he was. So he mosied off the road and into the pasture that sat along the Madison river. He was the first of hundreds we were to run into this day of travels through the park. And on top of it, it was starting to rain. I quickly looked at my temperature gauge and saw that the temp has dropped drastically to 38 degrees. This was important because at 38 degrees and below it will start to snow if the conditions are right.
As we got closer to Old Faithful we saw elk, and big herds of buffalo and we drove along the banks of the Madison River, simply awesome. By the time we got to Old Faithful Geyser Basin the temperature was down to 36 and still raining. And it was now getting pretty dark. Clouded skis and looking even darker towards Jackson. Along this stretch of the road you travel along the banks of the Firehole river for part of the way and it gets it name from all the thermal activity that it passes through. An amazing sight to see in its own right.
This is an beautiful part of the park and we tried to take some pictures before the light got too low. Almost everywhere you look you see geysers, fumaroles, steam, hot pools, bubbling mud, trees, animals, – awesome! We decided to pull over to take a short break and just take in this beautiful valley. But we did not stay long as the temperature continued to drop and I said to Brock we are about to get snowed on. But the ferocity of the change was not expected.
We headed south towards home and as we got down the road about 5 miles the temp dropped to around 32 and I said to Brock here it comes. And come it did! It did not flurry a bit or start real light – it just started snowing. Now in this part of the country you will cross the Continental Divide many times. And we were heading for one of those crossings at an elevation of 8391 feet above sea level. One other thing to note here – the park was void of people as it was close to closing so we were basically on our own.
The snowflakes started to increase in size and the volume at which they fell was speeding up. The road quickly disappeared and became totally white. The snow was accumulating at a rate that I estimated at over an 1-2 inches per hour maybe even more at times. We put the truck into four-wheel drive as we were not going anywhere without it. Our speed dropped to about 25 miles per hour and we are crawling our way through Yellowstone park in the middle of a snow storm all alone. When we left Jackson it was sunny and clear. In Bozeman it was starting to cloud up but still relatively warm. West Yellowstone it started to rain and now we were surrounded in white.
Our final stop before it got real dark and we made the final trek home was the pass where we cross over the Continental Divide. We stopped and took this last picture here. We got out of our truck and it was completely quite. Snow was falling straight down and you could hear it hit the trees, your clothing, the truck. It was coming down so thick that it would fall right into your mouth. If you have never experienced the complete quite of the forest and to see snow falling straight down and building up in front of your eyes you have missed one of heaven’s real treats!!
The light faded fast and Brock and I decided that if we did not get moving we may be spending the night here as the snow was already over a foot deep on the road. We slowly made our way to the south entrance of the park and as the roads started to clear we made our way home to Jackson. You actually leave Yellowstone Park and then make your way through parts of Teton National Park before you get into the Jackson area.
This was an amazing day for Brock and I – we spent it together as father and son, we shared lunch with friends and they we got to see God’s hand on our Mother Earth. We were kissed by her this day and left with a memory I shall never forget! WE WERE TRULY BLESSED THIS DAY!
There simply are not words as to how fast this summer has gone. In the Rocky Mountain Region such as the Yellowstone Basin our summers are fairly short. Fall comes quickly and it is just about here. The leaves are starting to change and in just a week or two we will be in full blown Fall colors. A great time for pictures and I do not plan to miss this Fall like last. The picture above was one of my favorite from the Fall of 2012. This was taken at Black Tail Ponds and I am traveling up there every couple of days to make sure I get some good pics this year.
Just after Fall comes our long heavy winters and with winter comes some of the animals we see only for a few months each year. Below is a shot I took during the winter of 2012 – 2013. The big horn sheep are amazing to watch and this guy was one of my favorite. They will be arriving very soon and this winter I plan to take advantage of the opportunities to bring you some really cool shots. Enjoy…
Many of you know Teton Marketing because of the Native American Flutes they handcraft right here in Jackson Hole. Teton Marketing is growing and adding new products all the time. Recently they released their first hat that was primarily a hat to help spread the word about the company. Now they add a new hat that should appeal to everyone who lives or visits Jackson Hole.
High Altitude Designs from Teton Marketing is a new line of active wear clothing that people can use every day living here in Jackson Hole and beyond. Watch for the introduction of clothing, hats and more as they introduce them throughout the summer. Each clothing item will be branded with the Teton Marketing logo and appropriate taglines. All logos and taglines will be embroidered for a clean tasteful look. Teton Marketing hopes that you will enjoy each addition as they come available. The current Teton Marketing hats come from the Otto Collection and they are adjustable to fit any head. There are now offer three versions of the hats, all three versions feature variations of the Teton Marketing Logo, the website address, the Wyoming Bucking horse, the state name “Wyoming”, “Forever West” and of coarse “Jackson Hole”on the back of the cap. All of the current caps are jet black in color. These are very nice hats and all logos are embroidered, not silk screened. Each hat is $23.99 plus shipping. They are planning to add several more hat designs for those of you who love Jackson Hole Wyoming as much as they do. You can Get your Teton Marketing hat today at www.tetonmarketing.com.
About Their Logo
Inspired by the place they live. The Teton Range is truly one of the most inspiring mountain range in the world. Most people equate the Grand Tetons with Jackson Hole. Their Logo for Teton Marketing is their vision of what they see everyday. Like many of their flute fetishes that tend to be more whimsical, their logo falls comfortably in line with them. They tried to find a balance between a literal view of the range and their whimsical view. We think they accomplished this. Visit their website to see other products offered from Teton Marketing…
Jackson Hole Wyoming is truly an amazing place to visit, live and work. Most people when they think about visiting Jackson Hole will tell you that they think about the majesty of the Teton Mountain Range, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone Park, the wildlife plus all of the amazing thermal activity found just north of town. Whitewater rafting, hiking, tram rides, fishing and of course eating at one of the many fine eateries Jackson has to offer. Truthfully Jackson Hole Wyoming is a magical place for those who love the outdoors and appreciate the finest that God has to offer.
For those of you seeking a little taste of the old west while visiting Jackson Hole, set aside an evening and go to the Jackson Hole Rodeo. This is a truly an evening event worth spending time with your family. This is the real deal folks – for more than 100+ years the Jackson Hole Rodeo has been an integral part of Jackson Hole and the old west. For 2+ hours the Wilson family (5th generations Jackson Hole) will entertain you with brave young men who attempt to master the backs of bulls and broncs, while mostly the girls take to the backs of their quickest horse for a shot at being the fastest around the barrels.
If you have never been to a real rodeo you are in for a treat. A real piece of Americana that will not only make you proud to be an American but the Jackson Hole Rodeo will keep you on the edge of your seat for the entire evening. But the real story that I find at the rodeo is not the spectacle that takes place within the arena but what takes place behind the bucking chutes. Boys and men of all ages getting prepared to take their shot at making the 8 second ride into glory. And I mean all ages! There are boys as young as 4 years old getting their first rides all the way up to men in their late 40’s. And that alone is amazing to me as this is really a young mans sport.
Bravery comes in many forms but make no mistake, it takes a man with an incredible constitution to climb on the back of one of these very large and dangerous animals. Behind the chutes you will find these brave young men going through all kinds of rituals as they get ready for their rides. Some are jumping up and down trying to shake off their fears, others practice their ride by sitting on their bronc saddles while they lay on the floorboards of the chute area. Others walk around talking to themselves as if they are trying to convince one half of their other personality everything is ok while the other half is telling them NOT TO GO. These men, and I mean men, come from long distances and they pay a handsome fee to ride and compete for the best score. Most of them are clearly friends that come from the many ranches around the states of Idaho, Montana and of coarse, Wyoming.
As you mingle behind the chutes and fade into the background you can watch these men prepare themselves both physically and mentally for their next ride. You can see the grit and determination, the desire, hunger, fear, concerns, the focus they seek preparing themselves for their upcoming turn in the chutes. They pat each other on the back, high fives, words of encouragement, a nervous chuckle and for some just a simple stare into the eyes of one of their close friends looking for that simple smirk of encouragement and support. There is only constant support for those who are about to ride. No, behind these chutes is no place for a weak man.
Contrary to what many might think, these brave souls come in all shapes and sizes. young men with boyish faces, men with that expected cowboy look, men with scars, casts, slings, limps all giving testimony to earlier events. Many of them ride at least twice a week at this rodeo alone. When you are privileged to be part of this behind the chutes environment you gain a new respect for todays cowboys. They are a breath of fresh air in my opinion as they give testimony and carry on in the tradition of the old west and those men who came before them.
Yes I say – go to the rodeo and I promise you that you will enjoy an event that will leave you with a certain sense pride that only comes with being an American. The rodeo arena is an exciting place to watch all this unfold. A place where America’s truly most original sport was born and 8 seconds of sheer terror takes place right in front of your eyes. Watch with amazement as each young man climbs onto the back of their bull, their bronc, their ride that will surely come. For these men who ride, ride for both themselves as much as they ride for your entertainment. To do this comes only with a passion that is ingrained in the cowboy tradition that still lives on today right here in Jackson Hole Wyoming. These young men and women come to this event with the strong need to participate in this American sport. And yes courage and honor exist right here behind the bucking chutes of American Rodeo.
Wow, hard to believe it is February, 2013 already. I know I keep saying this but time is flying by as they say. After several days of winter weather the sky’s opened up this morning and gave us clear blue sky’s, well with a few clouds floating around. It was 9 degrees at the coffee shop but something makes you seem a lot warmer when you see good ol Mr. Sun.
One more stop at the DOG (Down On Glen) for one of Jackson’s premier breakfast burritos and off we go. Today’s destination was Oxbow Bend and Jackson Lake in Grand Teton National Park. The pictures above are a very typical morning here in the valley. You never know what will catch your eye when you cruise along. The truck in the pictures is our first brand new Ford F350 which we will be using this spring when we kick off our new Private Party Tours that we will be offering through our website www.tetonmarketing.com. If you are visiting Jackson this summer consider letting us take you out and see some of the things we are blessed to experience every day. More on this in future posts.
The temperatures this morning in Grand Teton National Park was hovering around a comfortable 10 degrees. I say comfortable because there was zero wind and the sun was beaming down bright upon us. Winter in the park can offer some really spectacular vistas and wildlife opportunities for your camera. We had the place to ourselves. We could stop on the road and pretty much do what ever we wanted. We saw several moose but they did not want to cooperate and pose for us. Nothing like a cup of hot coffee and some really spectacular scenery start your day out right. Enjoy…
Hard to believe that January, 2013 is in its last week already. The past three weeks here in the Yellowstone Basin and Jackson Hole have been cold. Some of the temperatures in the Moran Junction area were recorded as low as -38 degrees earlier this week. In Jackson the temperatures have been below zero almost every day. The high temps for the day if lucky have been just above zero.
That seems to be changing now as the cold temps are moving to the east. I laugh at the news reports when they say the low is going to be in the low 20’s. The good thing about these cold days is that they are created by a high pressure area and the sky’s are generally clear and blue. I have been out almost every morning looking for something special to shoot with my camera and it has been slim pickins as they say.
This morning I traveled north of town with Peyton after stopping for our morning cup of coffee and a blueberry scone. The sky was absolutely clear – devoid of morning haze and such. On mornings such as these the skyline that is behind the Teton Range to the west is usually a dark blue that helps perfectly highlight the shape of these magnificent peaks.
The pictures above are all taken this morning all within 10 minutes of each other. Each picture was taken from a different location on HWY 89 which is the road to Yellowstone. If you look closely you will see how the views of the Teton change. The first picture was taken from Antelope Flats area just north of Dornan’s. The second was above Schwabachers Landing, the third from Glacial Turnout and the fourth from the Ansel Adams turnout. Enjoy…