Shoshoni, Wyo.

2014.08.20

Silver Sage Saloon, Shoshoni, Wyo.

Shoshoni’s Main Street, however boarded up and left behind it seemed to be, had always been a stopping point on my way west. It offered up a lot of questions for an outsider, and I suppose that with each stop and stroll down the block, however brief, I felt like I understood the place a little more.

It started with the old, weathered mural of Geronimo, painted in 1979 by Bart Vroman, and continued on with old stories from colleagues about the towering shelves at Gamble’s and the legend of Yellowstone Drug and its world-famous malts and shakes.

A recent trip through Shoshoni meant another stop to photograph Geronimo under nice, early-evening light. A quick cell phone shot would do before the last 100-mile leg back to Casper.

“That’s really something, isn’t it?”

The sound of another human’s voice honestly took me by surprise me in a place I figured people had left decades ago. But then came a warm smile and an invite into the Silver Sage Saloon.

Hollis Janson runs the place, as she has for the past 14 years since her husband Keith bought it from its previous owner. Legends abound: the back room once housed a brothel; ghosts haunt the place; there must be hundreds of dollars in coins tucked between the back wall and the bar from dam workers and cowboys who would throw their spare change in the gap at the end of the night.

For a while – a few hours at least – it’s just Hollis, Keith and me in the bar. They open up about their story, from the day they met back in 1997 at the old Avalon. Hollis, with her cowboy boots and foot up on the chair, sipping scotch and water, attracted Keith’s attention and graciously accepted his offer to dance. The next year, they were married.

Stories about her time at the Evansville Police Department, his time in the Navy, his countless attempts to talk to Governor Mead about the potholes along Shoshoni’s Main Street that just won’t fix themselves, and how he’s got the secret for the meanest chokecherry wine in the state make the hours pass like minutes.

Shoshoni and the Silver Sage are home, but Hollis makes herself clear. After 14 years behind the bar she says, “You give me the money, I’ll throw you the keys and I’m walking out the door.”

Primary Elections in Casper, Wyo.

2014.08.20

Worked some general primary election coverage yesterday as well as gubernatorial candidate Dr. Taylor Haynes’ election night party for his supporters. Haynes took 32 percent of the vote, but ultimately fell to incumbent governor Matt Mead by over 20,000 votes. Also noted: When there’s a portrait of your subject’s opponent hanging in the room his campaign reserved for celebration, work it.

Wyoming Primary Elections

 

Taylor Haynes on Primary Election Night

 

Taylor Haynes on Primary Election Night

 

Taylor Haynes on Primary Election Night

 

Taylor Haynes on Primary Election Night

 

Taylor Haynes on Primary Election Night

 

Taylor Haynes on Primary Election Night

 

Taylor Haynes on Primary Election Night

 

Taylor Haynes on Primary Election Night

Casper, Wyo.

2014.07.28

Central Wyoming Rodeo - Thursday

World Champion bullfighter Dusty Tuckness, of Meeteetse, Wyo., signs an autograph for Griffen Burnham at the Central Wyoming Rodeo. Casper, Wyo. July 11, 2014.

Casper, Wyo.

2014.07.28

Casper, Wyo.

The Black Pool

2014.07.22

The Black Pool, a geothermal pool along the shore of Yellowstone Lake in the West Thumb Geyser Basin. Until an eruption and subsequent heat-up in 1991, dark green and brown microorganisms actually did color this pool black. It’s a beautiful sky-blue hue now.

Vacation

Vacation

2014.07.21

Something hit me – surprisingly, for the very first time – while Megan and I were hiking into the Winds early last week. After months of planning and weighing our options with what to do and where to go with our week off, we chose Wyoming.

There’s something beautiful in that; in living in a place where you can vacation to your own backyard and still feel like you’re worlds away, knowing there’s more to the countless number of varying landscapes within this single state’s borders than you’ll ever be able to explore.

We knocked a goal off our list and took three days and two nights to backpack into the Wind River range. The depth of these mountains is staggering and the possibilities for weeks-long backpacking trips are endless. Our trip was just barely a sliver of what the Winds have to offer, but one hell of an experience nonetheless.

From there we took two days in Yellowstone, a stark contrast from camping in the Winds where we saw just a handful of other people over three days. Car alarms, light pollution and screaming babies at the campgrounds quickly reminded us of waking up to nothing but the sound of waves lapping against the shores of alpine lakes, miles away from anyone and everyone.

We finished off the trip in Jackson with a float down the Snake River through some of the most beautiful and easily-accessible country in the state, and after a night of sleeping in a real bed for the first time all week, we made the drive back to Casper, still in disbelief that all of those wonders are just a half-day’s drive away.

Vacation

 

Vacation

 

Vacation

 

Vacation

 

Vacation

 

Vacation

 

Vacation

 

Vacation

 

Vacation

 

Vacation

 

Vacation

 

Vacation

 

vacation012

Casper, Wyo.

2014.07.10

A few favorites from last night’s second performance of the Central Wyoming Rodeo in Casper. Check out more photos and rodeo coverage at trib.com

Central Wyoming Rodeo - Wednesday

 

Central Wyoming Rodeo - Wednesday

 

Central Wyoming Rodeo - Wednesday

 

Central Wyoming Rodeo - Wednesday

 

Central Wyoming Rodeo - Wednesday

 

Central Wyoming Rodeo - Wednesday

 

Central Wyoming Rodeo - Wednesday

 

Central Wyoming Rodeo - Wednesday

Cody, Wyo.

2014.07.08

July 4, 2014, at the Cody Stampede Rodeo in Cody, Wyo. “The Rodeo Capital of the World” has hosted the professional Stampede Rodeo every summer for the past 95 years, and has held the amateur Cody Nite Rodeo every night from June 1 through August 31 for the past 76 years.

Cody Stampede Rodeo

 

Cody Stampede Rodeo

 

Cody Stampede Rodeo

 

Cody Stampede Rodeo

Casper, Wyo.

2014.07.02

Central Wyoming Fair and Rodeo

Sheila, of Austin, Texas; Barbara, of Phoenix, Ariz., and Corina, of Corpus Christi, Texas, setting up for the Central Wyoming Fair and Rodeo. Casper, Wyo. July 2, 2014.

Buffalo, Wyo.

2014.06.27

Buffalo, Wyo.

Harvey watches USA vs. Germany in the World Cup. Buffalo, Wyo. June 26, 2014.