Sep 25, 2014

Love Hurts (Fatally) For Two Wyoming Moose

Yesterday this amorous bull chased his ladyfriend through Jackson Hole's Gros Venture campground again. Mostly blinded by an eye infection, she stumbled over a picnic table and broke her leg on a fire ring, leading rangers to euthanize her.

Some reports have blamed wildlife watchers and photographers. But having witnessed a similar love romp ten days ago, I agree with Jackson Hole Wildlife Safari's owner Jason Williams. He wrote: "The big factors here are the rut, her disability and man-made obstacles. Though a tragic accident, I don’t see much that could have been avoided, except for shutting down the campsite and removing grates and tables."

Check out his full account, images and videos here.

Sep 18, 2014

Stargaze With A Singing Astronaut

"Travelgirl Magazine" let me make bad science puns in its autumn issue!

Power down and look up this autumn, as the Dark Sky Festival returns to Jasper, Alberta, from October 17–26th.

The Canadian Rockies cradle one of the world’s largest dark sky preserves there. Peaks, ice fields and stunning lakes—often turquoise from glacial melt-water—also earned UNESCO protection 30 years ago. Now the region’s turning up its star wattage, as Colonel Chris Hadfield joins the festival line up.

The first Canadian to float freely outside the atmosphere, Hadfield spent almost five months captaining the largest spaceship ever built, the International Space Station. He shared the journey with a million Twitter followers, and his fame supernova-ed last year when he played himself offstage with a zero-gravity cover of David Bowie's Space Oddity.

Hadfield will strike a chord again in Jasper, giving the keynote speech (backed by his band, The Free Radicals). Other highlights include an outdoor symphony, deep-sky telescopes and a partial solar eclipse. After the gala, stroll—or take a carriage ride—to Pyramid Island. Trails, marked by scarlet votive candles, form a red carpet for astronomers. But nothing outshines the event’s star turn: constellations reflected on the tranquil waters of western Canada. —Amanda Castleman

Sep 14, 2014

Cutting Our Teeth On Wyoming Whitewater

I ran my first Class II+ rapids in Jackson Hole today. As soon as the raft hit the first Snake River rapid, a little girl popped a molar. Talk about the best tooth-fairy tale ever!

An autumn rapids trip with Jackson Hole Whitewater.  Image copyright

Sep 13, 2014

Racking Up The Merit Points In Wyoming

Four antler arches frame Jackson's town square. Image copyright

Boy Scouts get to collect racks in Jackson, WY – seriously! – while prepping for the world's only public elk-antler auction (75% of the proceeds go to the National Elk Refuge just outside town, with 25% for the kids).

Sep 12, 2014

To Find The West, I Flew East to Jackson Hole

The fringe of 2014's last supermoon over Jackson, WY. Image copyright

Sep 8, 2014

Bold Pinots And Big-Hearted Oregon Peeps

The Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum. Image copyright

So long, Willamette Valley. We'll miss your cooking chops, nuanced red wines and the abundance of good-hearted people willing to help pushstart our VW.

Sep 6, 2014

Celebrating My Fella In Sunny Oregon

Landscape architect Hoichi Kurisu's Japanese gardens at Saffron Fields Winery's 10-month-old tasting room. Image copyright
I got to explore my favorite wine country and toast my partner Doug this weekend, while covering the Bounty Of Yamhill County fundraiser: the very best kind of multi-tasking!