Pinedale on the Web
Celebrating 20 Years!
|Weather Update, Thursday, March 23, 2017, 7:30AM: Continued mixed weather through the week: rain/snow/sunshine/thunderstorms. Low elevation melting may cause high water levels in places. Daytime temps in the 40Fs, nighttime temps in the 20Fs. The mountains of western Wyoming could get 6-12 inches of fresh heavy wet snow above 8000 feet as a storm system moves through the next couple of days - travel may become difficult over South Pass. For the latest road condition reports call 511 in Wyoming or 1-888- 996-7623 or go online to www.wyoroad.info. Click on this link for more road and weather links and Pinedale area webcam views.|
Pinedale Online is Pinedale, Wyoming on the web. We give our viewers, locals and out-of-area visitors, a "slice of life" snapshot window into our world view of what is happening in Pinedale. Visit us for current local news on what is happening, photos of local events, links to area businesses and services and more. We are long-time area residents and are happy to answer questions if you are planning a visit to our area. Much of our information is by community contribution.
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Big Piney High School Robotics Team 3288 had the opportunity to participate in the Salt Lake City Regional FIRST Robotics Competition in mid-March where they placed 7th out of 48 teams. Now they are preparing to go to the Denver Regional competition.
FIRST Robotics is a program created to inspire young minds. FIRST stands for For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology. FIRST helps students have hands on experiences to teach them the importance of STEM related careers. As science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) become more prominent in the world, they—as the rising generation—must keep up.
Every year a new game is created and teams have six weeks to build a robot that will excel in the competition. This year Big Piney High School Robotics team built a robot to fit the challenge "Steamworks". With three teams on an alliance, they worked together to beat the other alliance. Five inch green balls represent fuel. The fuel is scored when it successfully enters the boiler either from the high or low goal. This creates "steam pressure" to help prepare the airship for flight. Robots retrieve and deliver gears to the airship. Two airships are in the middle of the field, one for each alliance. Two pilots are on the airship ready to pull the gears up from the robots and install them so rotors can start turning. At the end of the match ropes are deployed for the robots to climb up.
The team says they are very grateful to have the opportunities given to them and would like to thank everyone for all the support they received. "Without our wonderful sponsors we never would’ve made it this far. These sponsors include Shell, ExxonMobil, EOG Resources, Jonah Energy, Linn Energy, and Chevron," said team coach, Steve Nelson.
Click on this link for more pictures: Big Piney Robotics Team competes in Salt Lake City
Held March 20, 2017
When Dawn asked me if I'd like to do a story on the PAC Climbing Competition Monday afternoon, I eagerly accepted thinking I might get some great shots of agonized faces from the crow’s nest on top of the climbing wall.
Jason Burton, the competition organizer, just started shaking his head as soon as he saw me walk thru the door and kept on shaking it thru my story about having DNA origins to great ape silverbacks in Africa. "No, no, no," he said. "It ain't gonna happen. I can't even get up there without special training and signatures in triplicate that have to be sent to Washington, DC."
He must have sensed I was about to cry, so he offered to climb up there with his camera and get a few shots of climber faces as they fought to gain the summit.
If you look at the wall, you see all the pretty colored hand-holds. It doesn't mean a home decorator did it, it means that each color is a route up the wall. For example, you follow purple all the way from the bottom to the top if you can. You have to drop back down and start over if you step on or grab any other color. You also have to start over if you fall off the mountain.
Don't worry about falling, tho. You have a choice of a human belayer or an automatic belayer. Your buddy stays on the ground and keeps the rope tight so if you fall, you don't fall very far because he/she pulls the rope hard and stops the fall. Since you depend on your buddy, I noticed the belayers on the ground were all totally focused on the climber they were teamed with. I would be a bad belayer, I'm too sociable. I'd talk, you'd hit the dirt. The automatic belayers are sort of like seat belts. They sense a fall and jerk you to a stop pretty quick. There were about 4 or 5 different colored routes and each one had a different degree of climbing difficulty.
Cheyenne Stewart started this sport in grad school. "I chose this because it was the only sport that totally took my mind off school," she said. "It's a great workout and climbing is a mental puzzle that you have to solve by thinking several steps ahead. It is impossible to think of anything else when you do it."
Thomas Mack was busy wrapping a finger with a Popsicle stick and tape. "I smashed it yesterday," he said. "I'm rebuilding a flat head six and somehow whacked it." You might recognize Thomas driving an old blue and white VW bus with a 1937 VW emblem on the front.
Music meant to inspire good climbing was pulsing from a boom box; and athletes cheered each other on from the ground and clapped and yelled when a competitor reached the top especially after a challenging climb.
If some of the photos look a little foggy, it might be because there was a lot of talc powder in the air. They thrust their hands into little bags of the white powder as they climb to keep their hands from getting slippery from sweat. Sweaty hands means falling off the wall if you aren't careful.
I watched Tilly Bennett stop climbing from time to time and strike an artistic pose. It looked to me like she was just stopping to admire the climb. "I was stopping to rest," she said. "You are right, tho. The first time I saw this sport I watched a man climb and I thought he looked like a dancer just dancing up the wall. I wanted to do that. I am seeking an intuitive way to climb where my hands, feet and body move together in a fluid dance. The more ways one can hold or press, the more fluid one can become."
I expected to see a lot of small, monkey sized people at the competition, but there were gorilla and chimpanzee sized folks too. It didn't seem to matter, everyone attacked their routes and became successful over the course of the four hour competition.
The top three finishers were Kole Stewart in 1st, his wife Cheyenne Stewart in 2nd and Jenn Burton in 3rd. There were cash prizes and a whole lot of other prizes donated by the Great Outdoors Shop.
I saw Britney leaving the PAC in her exercise clothes this morning and asked if the competition had taxed her. "Oh yes," she said. "My quads are really sore, but so are my fingers and the balls of my feet. But I feel great."
One last thing before I go, there are quite a few shots of Cheyenne, because she was so darn good. Look at all those different positions she is in as she climbs that wall. There must be a lot to learn by just studying her work.
Thanks to everyone for helping me understand this sport. Thank you very much Dawn Ballou at Pinedale Online for hiring me to do this community story. Please let me know if I need to correct anything in the story. You may take low rez photos from this story for personal use, just credit the photographer, please. Hi rez images are for sale. firstname.lastname@example.org
Click on this link for more pictures: PAC Climbing Competition
Bureau of Land Management
The Bureau of Land Management Pinedale Field Office has closed BLM’s Chapel Canyon Road where it meets Reardon Draw Road (Sublette County Road 139), approximately 7 miles off Highway 189, due to flooding. Additionally, to the southwest, Chapel Canyon Road is closed at the junction with Yellow Point Road. Out of safety concerns, the BLM respectfully asks the public to honor the closure. Chapel Canyon Road has collapsed in multiple sections.
Road closure signs will be posted at both ends of Chapel Canyon Road. At this time, there is no alternative route to access Chapel Canyon Road. The Pinedale Field Office will advise the public when a repair timeline has been determined.
For more information, contact BLM Law Enforcement Ranger Cody Martin at 307-367-5384.
Click on this link for more pictures: Chapel Canyon Road washout
Wolf News Roundup 3/20/2017 (posted 3/20/17)
Silent Auction and Live Dessert Auction Fundraiser held March 18, 2017
Daniel, Wyoming’s 150 residents live scattered in among the willows, meadows and the multitude of little streams that branch off the Green River as it hits this wide spot on each side of the two-lane road we call highway 189.
I parked my pickup in front of the restored 1920 Daniel Schoolhouse where the Chili Cook-off was being held, but a boy’s laughter, a goat’s bleating and a dog’s barking caught my attention. Off to my left, Daniel Shon Lee and his four-footed friends were running back and forth next to the ancient log cabin they call home. I walked over to introduce myself and get a picture if I could and discovered I knew Daniel, his Mom and one dog, but not Mr. Lee, two more dogs and all dozen goats. Fortuitously, I arrived at baby goat feeding time and Mrs. Lee had put some baby goat formula into a Best Damn Apple Beer bottle with a nipple on it. It sure was fun trying to take a picture or two you all would enjoy.
I found a shy cowboy and talked him into posing on the front steps of the schoolhouse because I thought it would be cool. "You can just call me Black Hat," he said when I asked him his name.
Inside, there were 13 red chilis and 7 green chilis ready to be judged by Brandi, Doug, Mike and Jim. A little leprechaun named Abigail Pinkerton happily posed in front of her crockpot of Red Irish Chili. "It was easy," she said. "I only had to pour in cans, add salt, pepper and salsa."
Joseph and Mary said hi again, because I’d met them earlier in the day at Ridley’s buying ingredients for their chili submission. They had told me they had gotten the idea at noon and the judging was to start at 5:00 pm. But here they were ready. I tried to get close for a sniff of their pot, but Bettina Sparrowe who was acting as Chili Cop chased me away. On my honor not to talk to the judges, she let me back in to the Crockpot Corral to take a few close up photos of the judges at work. Doug wouldn’t smile for a photo so I figured him as a Hanging Judge. But Brandi smiled at me sweetly and I plumb forgot my promise to Bettina and I moved in a little closer without even meaning to. That’s when Bettina threw me out for good.
I was working my way thru the crowd looking for a good photo when someone stuck out their foot and tripped me. It was little Daisy and that’s how I met her Mom Jana Early. "I got up at 6:00 am this morning and put it in the crockpot to work," she said. "I’d roasted green chilis, tomatillos, garlic and onions earlier."
Next table over sat Charley and Elsa Engler. "We got the idea about 10:00 am and I talked Elsa into entering," said Charley. "She’s got a little Mexican in her so it might be a little spicy."
Bettina got on the loud speaker and announced the winners of the chili contest. Joseph and Mary won for the best red chili and Jana Early won for the best green chili. When the overall winner was announced, Joseph and Mary jumped to their feet and gave each other high-10’s. They were so amazed. When I had bumped into them at the grocery around noon they had joked about winning and of course I thought it would be a perfect story. So, what made their chili the winner? "15 spices from Ethiopia," said Joseph. "We’ve thought about entering this contest for years," said Mary. "We usually have to order the spices online for the chili and other dishes we make at home."
I was the last in line for food as usual (which is why I usually get to eat for free), so when I got to the winning red and green chili crocks they had been scraped almost clean. I used a teaspoon to get in the corners and I got enough to know why they had won. Totally new taste sensations, in my opinion. I also tried the elk chili Jeff made, the hot chili Elsa made and of course had to try the Irish Red that Abigail made…all delicious. I tried some more but can’t remember because…beer. Everyone is so nice to photographers in these parts.
Doggone Dave Stephens knows how to auction off pies. $180 for a pie? There were dozens of pies and cakes and other pastry-like looking items that Dave worked so hard, he had to take off his hat every once in a while and wipe his brow. One lady was working her Copenhagen can getting it ready for a pinch, as hard as Dave was working the room. Dave kept thinking she was bidding so they kept up an entertaining back and forth till they figured it out and she finally gave up and bought a pie.
All the money raised goes to maintain the historic schoolhouse so even if it is hard to imagine a pie being worth $180 bucks, the schoolhouse sure is.
A big thanks to Dawn Ballou at Pinedale Online for hiring me to create this historic photographic document. I hope someone in a hundred years reads it and gets a flavor of our community…and maybe a chuckle.
The low rez images off this site may be used for personal purposes. High resolution images may be purchased. email@example.com
Click on this link for more pictures: Aniel Daniel Chili Cook-off Number 35
Wyoming Department of Transportation
Road update, Saturday, March 18, 2017, 5:40PM: US 26/89-Snake River Canyon Road between Alpine and Hoback Junction has reoopened. Please drive with care. Road may be closed at any time by WYDOT should conditions worsen. Road damage being caused by saturated subsoils. Geologists are closely monitoring the status.
Road update, Friday, March 17, 2017, 8:33PM: US 26/89-Snake River Canyon Road - is CLOSED between Alpine and Hoback Junction due to road damage. The Wyoming Department of Transportation is cautiously monitoring movement on the highway about 2 miles south of Hoback Junction. Maintenance crews have noticed large fissures as wide as 4 inches and as deep as 2 feet in the pavement in the Deer Creek Landside Mitigation area near milepost 139. Estimated opening time after noon March 18. For more information on closures and weather conditions, please visit www.wyoroad.info or see this news release.
The Wyoming Department of Transportation is cautiously monitoring movement on US 26-89 through the Snake River Canyon about 2 miles south of Hoback Junction.
Maintenance crews have noticed large fissures as wide as 4 inches and as deep as 2 feet in the pavement in the Deer Creek Landside Mitigation area near milepost 139.
WYDOT Maintenance Foreman Bruce Daigle said the movement is being caused by saturated material under the pavement, due to the unusually high amounts of precipitation the area received through the winter.
"The water underneath the road is causing saturated material to move," Daigle said.
WYDOT geologists have been on site and will continue to measure and monitor the movement of the road.
"It’s definitely moving, the guardrail is sinking too. We are watching very closely," Daigle said.
The section of movement is in the northbound lanes, roughly 100 feet long and 30 feet wide. The Snake River Canyon currently remains open, but is currently under a falling rock advisory.
WYDOT is advising travelers to use extreme caution when traveling through this area and to be prepared for what could become an extended closure. WYDOT will not hesitate to close the canyon if conditions deteriorate and become unsafe for the traveling public.
"If the roadway fails, we will have to immediately initiate a full closure until it dries out a little. Then we will immediately go to work determining how to best go about opening the canyon. It could be an extended period of time," Daigle said.
WYDOT crews are already mobilizing equipment and crews in anticipation of the failure and have already put together a plan for a temporary detour around the shoulder to maintain two-way traffic, if possible.
WYDOT is recommending residents and commuters take note of the situation and be prepared for any possible temporary or extended closure. Motorists should allow ample time to reach their destinations and obey all advisories and closures.
WYDOT would like to remind drivers to slow down when driving in adverse conditions, be alert and cautious of roadside workers and obey all traffic control devices. For more information on closures and weather conditions, please visit WYDOT's 511 Travel Information web page.
For more information concerning WYDOT activities, contact Stephanie Harsha, public involvement specialist, WYDOT District 3, (307) 352-3065.
Pre-Flooding advisory – be prepared (posted 3/17/17)
Water to be released from Willow Lake (posted 3/16/17)
Tickets on sale now
Pinedale High School will present the musical "Bye Bye Birdie" on Friday and Saturday, March 24 & 25th at 7:00PM in the Pinedale Auditorium. Tickets are $5/seat. Tickets can be purchased at the high school front office, NAPA, Office Outlet in Pinedale, or from any cast member.