THEM ON US: Tourons on tape

By on June 4, 2013

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – It’s that time of year again: The birds are singing in the trees, fish are biting, and the bison are goring. The Casper Star-Tribune ran the nearly obligatory “Things stupid people do in national parks” piece the other day. Actually titled “Stupid Tourist: 10 Things not to do in Yellowstone,” the story is simply a series of top-ten “Youtubed” dumb moments in wildlife encounters.

Watching the reckless behavior of some people around animals five times bigger than themselves, possessing sharp horns, teeth, claws, antlers, etc. is just astounding. Probably, the rest of America would view these “vacation movies” as hilarious bits of comedy, but locals or anyone with a brain in their head can only watch with absolute horror as the wrecks predictably unfold.

060513themonus1Design firm draws up decoration

Good on ya, Ward + Blake Architects. The local design firm has managed to feast during the post-2008 famine that dried up new construction and demand for architects. Their hard work and innovative designs have not gone unnoticed, either.

Ward + Blake was named “Architect of the Year” by International Design Awards (IDA). EarthWall2, (pictured here on left), a residence in Squirrel, Idaho, won a Gold IDA award for New Residential Building. Ward + Blake also took home silver in the Institutional category for their work on Teton County Children’s Learning Center, (pictured at right).

Ward + Blake principals Tom Ward and Mitch Blake were in attendance at the May IDA gala in Los Angeles to receive the awards.

Here’s a quarter …

Eagle-eyed residents on Spring Gulch Road spotted a tractor-trailer and tour bus with “Travis Tritt” painted on the side. Yep, he was here. The country music star played a private concert for a corporate group at Jackson Land and Cattle. He was fantastic, by the way.

Dunn after griz attack in 1994. (KSL News 5 frame grab)

Dunn after griz attack in 1994. (KSL News 5 frame grab)

Ironman has iron will

In true Ironman tradition, Michael Dunn just won’t quit.

Dunn, a Salt Lake resident, was jogging a trail in Grand Teton National Park back on the morning of August 14, 1994.

“Out of nowhere (came) the loudest, most terrifying scream I’ve ever heard,” Dunn recalled to KSL’s News 5. Dunn was pounced upon by a full-grown grizzly bear that began mauling Dunn pretty badly. “I thought this was it. I was going to die on a running trail and never see my family.”

It was the first griz attack in the history of GTNP. Dunn took 300 stitches from the incident. Eighteen months and three surgeries later he was back on his feet and training for the Boston Marathon, which he ran. Twice. But Dunn had one more item on his bucket list: the Kona Ironman World Championship Triathlon.

While training for the 2010 qualifier in St. George, Utah in 2010, Dunn was again knocked down, struck from behind by a vehicle while cycling. He suffered a broken collarbone. Now, Dunn needs our help. We owe him for the whole bear thing.

Ironman sponsors are holding an Internet contest that could allow Dunn to finally achieve his dream of participating. Eight lucky contestants will earn a spot if their inspirational 90-second video receives enough votes. Dunn’s son produced and posted one for his dad. To watch the video and vote, visit

travis walkerPaint it forward

Travis Walker had a piece of art returned to him after it had gone missing three years ago. Walker tweeted a photo of the long-lost painting complete with the handwritten note that read: “This painting was recently passed down to me. Please return to rightful owner. Sorry for any misunderstanding.”

About Jake Nichols

You must be logged in to post a comment Login