By on July 21, 2015

Living large with less

It might seem somewhat ironic that Jackson Hole is the home base for a “simplification” and “downsizing” movement focused on “tiny homes.” The valley’s current housing woes have been brought on, in part, by billionaires and millionaires out-buying and out-building each other for the biggest trophy home in the American West.

But in acknowledging a minimalist movement, Jamie Mackay’s manufacturing company has been garnering national attention for its luxury mini-homes with high-end features. Starting at $82,000 a pop, the “BMW of the tiny house movement,” as Mackay calls them, boast stainless steel kitchen appliances, porches, gas fireplaces, multi-jet walk-in showers and possible LEED-certification status.

Wheelhaus, the manufacturing company Mackay launched, has received mention in Country’s Best Cabins magazine and most recently in Forbes Life. Campers can check out and check in at the “caboose” model at Fireside Resort on Teton Village Road. Mackay has 23 total Wheelhaus cabins on the property in eight different models. Guests enjoy pet friendly accommodations with gas fireplaces, European goose down duvets, flat screen TVs and WiFi. And, should you choose to purchase a Wheelhaus unit later down the road, the company will cover the cost of your vacation.

Q Roadhouse chef Matty Melehes displays his culinary prowess on Food Network’s ‘Chopped Grill Masters.’  Vote for him in the fan poll at (Photo: David Lang)

Q Roadhouse chef Matty Melehes displays his culinary prowess on Food Network’s ‘Chopped Grill Masters.’ Vote for him in the fan poll at (Photo: David Lang)

Q griller on the tube

Is that Matty Melehes on TV? That’s what Food Network viewers were asking themselves Tuesday night when they spotted the Q Roadhouse chef on “Chopped Grill Masters.” Q planned to do the debut up right with a huge projector screen in the main dining room to view the show while patrons gulp down Bombay Sapphire martinis.

The show is a five-episode cooking contest hosted by Tim Allen. Contestants compete for $50,000 by grilling up grub quickly and skillfully.

Buffalo Bill burial questioned

Buffalo Bill wanted to be buried in Wyoming but he wasn’t. Or was he?

A story in the Los Angeles Times cast doubt on the funeral and burial of the famous western showman that took place in 1917 in Colorado. Steve Friesen, director of the Buffalo Bill Museum, was interviewed by Times reporter John M. Glionna. His research looked into the conspiracy theory that Denver officials bribed relatives of Bill Cody in order to finagle a burial atop Lookout Mountain near Golden, Colo. Further rumors say a band of Wyoming faithfuls snuck into the Colorado funeral home, replaced Cody’s body with a look-a-like and brought Bill’s remains to Cedar Mountain, which is just outside the town of Cody that the western icon founded.

Friesen isn’t buying it.

“People in Cody have too much time on their hands,” Friesen, a Cody biographer and researcher said. “I’m glad they have cable TV up there. I don’t want to burn any bridges, at least not all at the same time.”

Some diehard fans of Buffalo Bill say if Cody isn’t in Wyoming, they want him here.

“Good luck — he’s encased in concrete,” Friesen quipped. “They’re going to have to make a heck of a lot of noise. And we’ll be here to take care of them.”

STDs on the rise in Wyoming

Wyoming Department of Health officials say the state is experiencing an alarming outbreak of gonorrhea. The number of cases reported in Wyoming so far this year (61) is double the number reported at the same time last year.

The outbreak seems to be fueled by the transient workforce of the oil patch and coal mining areas in the Cowboy State. Natrona County leads the way with 13 reported cases. Laramie County went from six to 12 cases; Fremont County from one to six cases; and Carbon County from zero to four cases.

Teton County placed fourth for the number of gonorrhea and HIV cases, 6th for cases of syphilis, 15th for chlamydia, 11th for Hepatitis B and 20th for Hep C.

Wyoming: Please don’t go

Many in Teton County are moving away due to the housing shortage and that’s only part of the problem that plagues statewide declines in citizenship. The governor’s office has noticed and launched a campaign to lure workers to Wyoming.

“We’ve got to make sure that we have the workers of tomorrow,” Governor Matt Mead said in an interview with The New York Times. Seeking to fill open jobs in fields including nursing and teaching, state officials initiated an Internet-based recruitment program called Wyoming Grown.

Young Wyomingites leaving the state are encouraged to sign onto the program’s website. They later receive a personal letter from Mead urging them to reconsider.

“It’s the personal touch that Wyoming can provide,” Mead said. “I didn’t want to just say, ‘We’re kind of interested in you coming back.’ I wanted to say, ‘I’m the chief executive of the state — I personally want you to come back.’”

Running down under

The Brisbane Courier Mail ran a story by Rob McFarland on Jackson Hole’s Eric Orton. Orton’s coaching of Born to Run author Christopher McDougall has led to the runner’s popularity.

Orton, 49, has since established the Mountain Running Academy in Jackson, offering running camps and private training sessions for experienced runners of all abilities, according to the Australian newspaper. The Mail’s Rob McFarland ran with Orton up Rendezvous Mountain.

“While I gasp for breath, Orton chats away like he’s doing nothing more strenuous than playing backgammon,” McFarland wrote.

Orton has polished off the 11-kilometer climb in an impressive one hour and 35 minutes.

About Jake Nichols

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