Heard around the West
WYOMING Residents of a
golf course community near Grand Teton National Park are
distressed about a hunter killing a bull moose in their midst. The
animal, which sported a huge set of antlers, had been a regular
visitor to the Teton Pines neighborhood, wandering from one
backyard to another. This time it was accompanied by a cow moose,
which bolted after the shooting and broke her leg, and two calves,
one of which was killed trying to cross a highway. "The moose have
been here long before we were," a saddened resident told the
Jackson Hole News&Guide;. "I got nothing but
joy from seeing them." Some letters to the editor were vitriolic,
with one person calling what the hunter did "as sporting as
shooting a horse in a pasture." Residents have begun lobbying the
state to revise the boundaries of hunting areas that now include
developments like theirs.
The San Juan Horseshoe,whose
motto varies from "Four More Wars" to "A clever
smokescreen of half-truths, bumbling and weak conjecture," has been
spoofing western Colorado’s people and practices since 1977.
Its hunting issue is always a hoot, and the latest, criticizing
runaway elk ramps as unfair to road hunters, and offering taxidermy
advice to low-income deer and elk, is one of their best. Resort
workers might get a painful laugh from the ad from a purported
mini-storage company: It offered a two-bedroom rental with a
black-and-white painting of an open window for $600. Alarming news
was also reported from the resort town of Crested Butte: There are
now "more realtors than dogs."
WYOMING A family stranded on a snowy,
11,400-foot mountain near Rawlins, Wyo., blamed a
guidebook for their predicament. The book’s offense? It rated
the peak as an "easy to moderate" four-hour trek. "That was our
first mistake," said Marla Lancaster, 29, who began climbing with
her husband and the couple’s 4-year-old son, who rode in a
backpack, along with a family friend from Texas and two dogs.
Lancaster does not explain why the climbers — arriving at the
summit at 5 p.m. — failed to turn back once they hit
knee-deep snow. But all ended reasonably well, reports The
Associated Press. Lancaster’s husband, Gary, hiked down and
brought up reinforcements to help the family off the mountain.
COLORADO A 4.5
billion-year-old meteorite smashed into a couple’s
pasture in Berthoud, Colo., Oct. 5. The event
wouldn’t be that unusual except that the family saw it happen
— they saw something flash across the sky with a whooshing
noise and then plunge to the earth. Megan and John Whiteis and
their son Casper, 19, located the 2-pound meteorite in a crater
just 25 minutes later. Scott Palo, a University of Colorado
assistant aerospace professor, called the fast find "thrilling."
"(The meteor) is like a time machine," he told the AP. John Whiteis
said his life had turned "crazy" since the arrival of the space
debris, what with ringing phones and requests for interviews about
the drop-in. The meteorite will be made available to some
researchers, Whiteis added, though selling the celebrity rock "is
out of the question."
Washington state is persnickety when it comes to
pumpkins grown for sport. Judges of this year’s
giant pumpkin contest in Puyallup, Wash., disqualified Joel
Holland’s massive 1,127-pounder because "it had a half-inch
split," reports Capital Press. The next heaviest
gourd was Jack Van Kooten’s 958-pounder, still the largest
winning pumpkin ever.
Everything you’ve ever heard about the wild and
crazy Burning Man Festival in the western desert of
Nevada can’t be true. But Dennis Hinkamp’s experience
really happened: He was the victim of a hit-and-run with a clown.
Hinkamp, a resident of Logan, Utah, who writes a column in the
Herald Journal, was riding his bike among 35,000
other revelers — hoping to escape the crowd — when a
tall clown knocked him off his bicycle. Then, adding insult to the
injury, the clown took off on Hinkamp’s bike. Hinkamp
describes his trip by John Deere tractor to a makeshift emergency
room, where "some paramedic in a pirate costume takes my blood
pressure." Things got stranger when a policemen arrived and asked
Hinkamp to describe his attacker. "’Well, he was a clown
about 6 foot, 180," said Hinkamp. "What kind of clown was it?" came
the next question. Hinkamp thought for a moment: "A really bad
one?" The clown-inflicted injuries were nothing to laugh about.
Hinkamp suffered a broken left elbow that now has 13 surgical
screws holding it together.
Betsy Marston is
editor of Writers on the Range, a service of High Country
News in Paonia, Colorado. Tips of Western oddities are
always appreciated and often shared in the column, Heard around the