The Dillon Doublejack

The Dillon Doublejack, a newspaper founded by Grant Jones did not last long, 1902-1904 and the town itself disappeared by 1907.  Not much of a story there except that Jones was quite a western character and helps the legend of his paper live on to modern times.

Jones did all he could to advertise mining jobs in Wyoming, especially in and around the nearest large town, Encampment. However, most of the responses he got were from people more interested in hunting than in hard rock mining. Jones grew so frustrated that he invented and wrote about new animals hoping to change hunters into miners.

The  Blackboar may have been the most deadly of his fictional game animals. This vicious beast had four legs, short ones on its left and long ones on its right. These purportedly were so the animal could walk level along the side of a mountain. The only way to catch it was by turning it around which caused it to tumble down the mountain.

Hunters could also pursue the Cogly Woo a six legged animal with a tail like a sharp drill bit. With hunters in hot pursuit the Cogly Woo simply stops, spins faster and faster and disappears into the ground.

My personal favorite of Grant Jones fictitious Wyoming big game animals is the One-Eyed Screaming Aemu, (his spelling, may have been trying for Emu) a giant, Sesame Street big bird like creature. When cornered it stops looks in scorn at the hunters and with a vile sounding gulp swallows itself. Ouch!
This is what the hunters really wanted to find

Sadly Jones, who was an 1897 graduate of Northwestern, died before his thirtieth birthday. He had started as a promising news man in Chicago, but drinking and drug abuse shortened both his career and his life. His death was attributed to a combination of alcohol and morphine.

If any readers are wondering about double jack drilling, it is a method where two men work together, one man holds and turns a large bit after each blow while his partner swings a large sledgehammer driving the bit deeper and deeper. (I have seen it in a few old time black and white movies)
No photos of the Dillon or Encampment, Wyoming area, so I will settle for this one of Laramie Peak

Wyoming's Worst Fire

Fires are a big part of the news this time of year. The past few days our air has been filled with smoke, and we are hundreds of miles from the wildfires.
Smoke filled sunset this evening
Brings back sad memories of 2012 when a wildfire got within a mile and a half of our home. I feel for those who are going through the devastation of fire this summer and pray that rains will come.
Moon rising last summer over area devastated by 2012 fire

The Backwater forest fire, near Cody in 1937 was the most devastating in Wyoming fire History. Not in acres burned, but in loss of life.The fire was started by a lightning strike on August 18. When the fire quickly turned three days later firefighters were trapped, killing 15 and injuring an additional 38.

In my recent book on the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) I mentioned that during the CCC period in America fires were taken care of more efficiently than at any time before or since by the tremendous labor of the men of the CCC.  It is a sad reflection remembering that of the 15 who gave their lives fighting that fire, 12 were members of the CCC, all but one from the camp at Tensleep Wyoming.

Fires can happen anywhere and for most of the year – I hope we all are doing whatever we can to stop manmade fires.

Today In Wyoming History


Jim Bridger and his Uncle the President

So much about Jim Bridger remains a mystery. He was orphaned at age 13 and apprenticed by a relative to a blacksmith. Early historians often noted the relative as a well-meaning one. More recently some believe that there was some money coming to the well-meaning, relative and that may have been what made him so well-meaning.
Not much is known of Bridger’s parents other than their dying young and the fact that throughout his life Bridger insisted his mother was President Tyler’s sister. He went on to say that she was disowned after marrying his uneducated father.

Bridger hated the labor in the blacksmith shop but worked hard at it anyway. He had enjoyed his previous job working with riverboats on the wharf. Of course, that gave him a chance to jaw with river men and trappers. Those were the rugged men he liked and were all about what he would become.

A man we think we know so much about, but maybe we really only know but what he wanted us to know.

Afraid I don't look much like a Mountain Man - trapper, but my friends look good

A Wyoming Morning

Early morning - not really - hike in Guernsey State Park today. Nothing like living in Wyoming, getting up to the cool air and going out on an adventure. Well, it's an adventure when you are well-seasoned citizens like we are.

Wyoming - the best place to live.
Saw this young lady as we were leaving the park this morning
View from Black Canyon Trail
Early summer rains have kept the sunflowers growing

Wyoming Trivia Questions

1. Which came first The University of Wyoming or the State of Wyoming?
2. With all of the recent news about disease in wild rabbits - Wyoming has three types of rabbits - name them.

Answers below

1.University      2.  Jackrabbit, Cottontail and Snowshoe

4 Season Wyoming

It happens every year. August rolls around and it is too hot. Not for me, but people all around are complaining. “I’m ready for fall,” is one of the most heard comments this time of year.
The problem is that we live in a true four season area - if fall comes early, winter cannot be far behind. A few skiers might be anxious for winter and snow, but most of us can wait. I like the heat, enjoy sipping Ice Tea on the deck in the shade, now that’s livin’.
The all-time record high for Wyoming I the summer is 116 degrees, now that’s hot. Much cooler here our all-time high is a mere 115. And about cold, Wyoming’s all-time low is -66 degrees. Here, where I live, the low is a banana beltish, -46 degrees.
A touch of snow last winter

We live in a high plains desert climate here with not much rain (a bit over13 inches a year), but not much snow either, (only 16 inches a year). Together that only adds up to about 15 total inches of moisture a year. Dry but low humidity and not much wind makes for comfortable living most of the year.
Grandkids walking in the summer sunshine

I enjoy the four seasons we have here. In winter, we have mild spells when it is quite nice outside. I have managed to play golf in 35 of the last 36 months and the month I skipped others did get out.
When it’s summer, I love it, when it is fall, I love it, when it is spring, I love it and when it is winter – well it’s cold outside.
Spring wind on the water at Guernsey State Park

4 seasons – couldn’t live without them!

Longmire and Other Wyoming Movies

Looks like Wyoming will not have to wait much longer for football or Longmire, both are coming this fall. Longmire will be here in early September with ten new episodes. Not sure I understand the concept of Netflix yet, all episodes will be available that same first day. I remember waiting for so many shows for the next week to bring a new story. Maybe I will just watch one episode each week for ten weeks – no probably not.

Although Longmire is popular in Wyoming, many wish it could actually be filmed here. Most will not notice, but those of us who live here do. New Mexico has a lot in common, scenery wise, with Wyoming, but not everything. But we do love our Wyoming authors, especially Craig Johnson the Longmire creator, and C. J. Box the bestselling author of Wyoming mystery novels.

Quite a few westerns have been filmed in Wyoming over the years but Hollywood tells us that our unpredictable weather and predictable short summer making filming difficult. Never the less a few good ones have been filmed here. 1953 seems to have been a good year when both, Shane and The Big Sky were filmed. The Mountain Men, filmed in 1980 is another notable Wyoming western.


Photos From Around Here

Thought I might post a few of my favorite photos from the last three month's. Actually to lazy and too hot to attempt to write anything. All photos are from my Eastern Wyoming neck of the woods.

Remains of ancient man
Lots of Pelicans
Cow Moose
The Horns are bigger and no velvet by now
A Goose out for a walk?
Osprey's are pretty cool looking
Monarch of the plains for more than a 1,000 years
Nice view
Think I will walk the other direction
Part of Rocky Mountain National Park horse and mule herd at Fort Laramie
These guys are fast - really fast