Canadians’ bad behavior, a cat-lover’s nightmare and gun-toting steeds

Mishaps and mayhem from around the region.

  • WYOMING Lunch on the road.

    Mark Gocke
 

WYOMING
Watch out: Video cameras can record your adventures but might also reveal you to the world as an absolute jerk. After four men from Canada left a boardwalk at Yellowstone National Park to walk out onto the clearly off-limits, ecologically fragile hot spring known as Grand Prismatic, other tourists quickly took videos of the trespassers to park rangers and also provided pictures of the guys’ recreational vehicle, reports the Jackson Hole News&Guide. In fact, the law-breakers themselves initially posted boastful selfies of their crime on their Facebook page, “High on Life SundayFundayz.” The men, all connected with the Vancouver-based clothing company High on Life, have since apologized and promised to donate up to $5,000 to the park. But if they don’t return and face the misdemeanor charges against them, they could be arrested if they try to re-enter the United States. Meanwhile, a video of a woman “petting” a bison near Old Faithful Lodge appeared on Facebook, causing one commenter to note: “I predict there will be a rash of low-flying tourists in Yellowstone this year. Good grief!”

COLORADO
Cat lovers should probably not read the following tidbit, which we discovered in one of those colorful free publications for tourists, this one called Travelhost: Four Corners Region. The Montezuma County Historical Society’s one-page offering stood out, because it featured a woman homesteader’s vivid recollections of pioneer life in the late 19th century. In a 1934 interview, Carrie Smith Dunham told local historian Anna Florence Robison how she and her husband settled “on the Dolores River,” in what is now Montezuma County in the southwestern corner of Colorado. There she became known for her needlework, trading her chokecherry jam to the Indians, who called it “coyote medicine,” for buckskin, which she turned into embroidered gloves for cowboys, at a dollar a pair. But one day, after an acquaintance named Jim Moore bought a place down the river with 50 housecats on it, she got the opportunity to sew something different. Moore bought the ranch on condition that the owner would kill all the cats he’d collected. He did so, “and Mr. Moore tanned the 50 hides and brought them to me to make a robe. I … took a great deal of pains to arrange the cat skins by size and color so that it would look as well as possible,” Dunham recalled, “but it wasn’t the sort of thing I would personally want to have about.” Later on, she learned, a tourist bought the cat-coat for $50.

ARIZONA
Huge bronze statues of three horses greet visitors to Chino Valley, Arizona, and now, thanks to a contest, they all have names associated with firepower: “Lock” is the horse facing west toward the valley, “Stock” is the one looking east toward the town of Jerome, and “Barrel” is the rearing and kicking steed that greets drivers coming from Prescott. In her essay, contest winner Mamie Timlick wrote that she always thought the statues represented the guardians of the town of 10,000. “If ever there were a more popular device to guard one’s home since this town was erected,” she said, “it was the firearm, owned and operated by cowboys in pursuit of happiness.” So far, no one seems to have mentioned the dubious hospitality of welcoming visitors at gunpoint, however metaphorically, perhaps because, as one resident put it, “Everyone’s pretty pro-firearms here,” reports the Chino Valley Review.

THE WEST
Summer is coming, and Western resorts are tweaking their tried-and-true tourist activities. Near Ten Sleep, Wyoming, for example, the Red Reflet Ranch is adding classes in roping and ranch skills to its luxury options of a heated pool, zip line and climbing wall, reports dropbox.com.

And Portland, Oregon, now has a restaurant featuring “British Colonial Cuisine,” which includes molasses cookies and sausage rolls. Willamette Week says the restaurant picked the perfect neighborhood: “North Williams is the center of the controversy around Portland’s gentrification and the pricing out of black residents. It’s almost a historical re-enactment!” Chef Sally Krantz says she doesn’t understand the backlash: “I’m just trying to make food.”

Meanwhile, near Telluride, Colorado, a boarding facility called Wash-N-Watch Dogs just wants to continue doing what it does so well. Co-owner Lane Conrad, who acts as the alpha of her temporary pack of 40, told the Telluride Daily Planet that if an animal gets aggressive, she responds swiftly: “The dog needs to understand this is not their house.” Without a trace of irony, Conrad adds that she sometimes needs to train her clients as well: “Many owners in Telluride don’t understand the idea of boundaries and rules, but they see very quickly this method does work.” Her goal, she says, is harmony between dog and owner: “What we’re all about is teaching the dog what we want so the dog can succeed, and the dog can make us happy.”

Tips and photos of Western oddities are appreciated and often shared in this column. Write [email protected] or tag photos #heardaroundthewest on Instagram.

High Country News Classifieds
  • MANAGER PERMACULTURE LANDSCAPE CONTRACTOR
    Permaculture / Landscape Company Manager / Site Lead Red Ant Works, Inc. - 20+ year landscape construction and horticultural care company seeks manager and site...
  • CANYONLANDS FIELD INSTITUTE
    Field seminars for adults in natural and human history of the Colorado Plateau with lodge, river trip and base camp options. Small groups, guest experts.
  • COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER
    San Juan Citizens Alliance is looking for a passionate, dynamic, organized, and technology-savvy communications professional to help grow our membership and presence in the Four...
  • ENERGY AND CLIMATE PROGRAM ASSOCIATE
    San Juan Citizens Alliance seeks an Energy and Climate Program Associate to focus on public outreach, education and organizing to advance campaigns to mitigate climate...
  • REAL ESTATE SPECIALIST
    This position provides professional real estate services and is responsible for managing and completing real estate projects utilizing a project management database that is designed...
  • WILDFIRE MITIGATION SPECIALIST
    The Wildfire Mitigation Specialist is responsible for delivering wildfire risk mitigation information, recommendations and programmatic resources to wildland urban interface homeowners, community members and partners....
  • DEVELOPMENT POSITIONS
    Thorne Nature Experience is hiring for a Development Director and Senior Individual Giving Manager. Individuals will work collaboratively with Thorne's Executive Director to develop and...
  • SENIOR PROGRAM MANAGER, LANDSCAPE CONSERVATION & ENERGY
    The National Parks Conservation Association, a 100-year-old nonprofit advocacy organization and the nation's leading voice for national parks seeks a Senior Program Manager, Landscape Conservation...
  • BACKCOUNTRY AND FRONTCOUNTRY STEWARDSHIP CREW MEMBERS
    The San Juan Mountains Association (SJMA) is hiring a crew of ambassadors to work in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service to educate visitors on...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NATURAL HISTORY INSTITUTE
    The Executive Director is the chief executive officer of the Natural History Institute (NHI). The Executive Director has broad authority to lead and manage the...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AT FRIENDS OF CEDAR MESA
    - The Land, History, and People of the Bears Ears Region - The Bears Ears and Cedar Mesa region is one of the most beautiful,...
  • SENIOR DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATE
    Greater Yellowstone Coalition seeks a Senior Development Associate to coordinate the organization's individual giving program. The position description is available at http://greateryellowstone.org/careers Please email a...
  • TRAIL CREW TECHNICAL ADVISORS
    SEEKING TALENTED TRAIL CREWLEADERS The Pacific Crest Trail Association, headquartered in Sacramento, California ,is dedicated to protecting, preserving and promoting the Pacific Crest National Scenic...
  • ENDANGERED SPECIES POLICY ADVOCATE
    Are you a Guardian for wildlife, great and small, across the West? WildEarth Guardians (Guardians) seeks a full-time Endangered Species Policy Advocate (Advocate) for the...
  • WESTERN NATIVE SEED
    Native plant seeds for the Western US. Trees, shrubs, grasses, wildflowers and regional mixes. Call or email for free price list. 719-942-3935. [email protected] or visit...
  • ASSOCIATE PROGRAM MANAGER - GRANTS & CONTRACTS
    ORGANIZATION BACKGROUND Parks California is an ambitious new organization working to ensure that our state's parks thrive. From redwood groves and desert springs to lighthouses...
  • WILDLANDS ATTORNEY- SOUTHERN UTAH WILDERNESS ALLIANCE
    Immediate Opening-Wildlands Attorney The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA) has an immediate opening for a full-time Wildlands Attorney. Interested applicants should email a cover letter,...
  • STREAM RESTORATION PROJECT MANAGER
    The Clark Fork Coalition seeks a Stream Restoration Project Manager to develop and manage a suite of restoration projects near Missoula, MT. The Stream Restoration...
  • THE LAND DESK: A PUBLIC LANDS NEWSLETTER
    Western lands and communities--in context--delivered to your inbox 3x/week. From award-winning journalist and HCN contributor Jonathan P. Thompson. $6/month; $60/year.
  • CONSERVATIONIST? IRRIGABLE LAND?
    Stellar seed-saving NGO is available to serious partner. Package must include financial support. Details: http://seeds.ojaidigital.net.