Caren Ware's Blog

November 24, 2014

HORSING AROUND

Filed under: Uncategorized — Caren Ware @ 11:40 am

There are many ranches throughout the Teton Valley. And many more heading out toward Pinedale or past Moran. All within a beautiful hour’s drive. But right in Wilson, only 20 minutes from Jackson is the Snake River Ranch that herds over 4,000 cattle. The ranch hands are true American cowboys and cowgirls, headed up by the Putman Family. They brand, rope, ride, and are one of our nation’s best barrel racers and rodeo steer ropers. And they came up with an experience of a lifetime, Introduction to Rodeo. http://www.introductiontorodeo.com/. It is a chance to drive onto a real working ranch and saddle up. But not on any ole trail horse. On an athletic, trained 1500 pound plus animal. The Putmans and ranch hands make a morning or afternoon of teaching to rope, herd steers, and race barrels. It is a privileges to just be with professionals who live their craft and give tourists a try. Just the setting of grass, flowers, trees, the Snake River running by, and the Tetons as the back drop is refreshing. Jamie, the owner, is a pleasure of solid instruction and useful sharing. And ELMO, the muscle ripped quarter horse I got to ride. Well, love at first sight! I loved this opportunity so much, I signed my college son up, flew other girlfriends up to try, and got Mark Bradley to use that smooth flowing golf swing to rope some steers. I got all A plus reports from them for this rare opportunity to play cowboy for the day. My son and his cousin were entertained by the cute cowgirl that about broke their fingers in a gripped handshake when introducing. Surprising the experience of being on a trained horse, doing something so uniquely American. I think the twangIMG_5401

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john of The Wild West is in all us.

November 23, 2014

My Spring as Concierge at SPRING CREEK Ranch in Jackson, Wyoming

Before, during, and after Africa I made sure I had ‘those” resumes out. I heard so often that I ought to get a “real” job. I was chosen to interview for many recreation management positions, but knew three things: I was older than the hiring age they sought, I was an entrepreneur and feared as having too much experience in the private business sector, and I was used to running my own company and working for myself. The job search reminded be of Dallas airport when it got shut down in an electrical storm. It took through the next day to get the thousands of stranded passengers onto other flights and missed connections. People by the hundreds ran from counter to counter trying to get on lists for the few seats left. I had no idea how many people were queuing for jobs…any job despite the education and back ground experience. And trying to interview and be chosen in the pile of hundreds and hundreds of applications was…well, like Dallas Airport after an electrical storm. So while I took the time to soak in what I was going to do with all my projects, I took this coveted job as a concierge at a priceless piece of property with the billion dollar view, Spring Creek Ranch. I would be designing and booking people’s grandest experiences; a ‘to do’ list while vacationing in the Tetons and Yellowstone. I would do so while pulling together the scripts, journals, pictures, and projects of “FINDING FIT”, starting up an event production company, an adventure travel company, and putting in motion the non profit agency to help the needs I saw in my travels. Now, there is a lot of “to do’s”!!!

My good appetite for adventure was perfect for devoting to finding out what super things one could discover DOING in this Wyoming region. I found many fascinating things. Paragliding for one. Since the Tetons are a slip fault mountain range, there are no foothills. This is what makes them so awe posing and dynamic. They stand erect from the valley floor. They are perfect for thermal updrafts and perfect for paragliding. The guides take the guests by tram to the top of Jackson Hole Ski Resort at near 11,000 feet. They tether tandem for a jump, fluff out the chutes, run a short distance until the wind just lift all three, the guide, the guest, and the paraglide kite.

I ordered a girlfriend from So California to come test out these activities with me. Her great response.  In a heartbeat.  She arrived a few days later. If she could do these in her high heeled boots and tiny physique, than any of our guests could. Thank you, girlfriend, for being so game. Paragliding ended up being a surreal and pleasant surprise. It is not one hundred mile an hour winds in your face and terrifying free falls of parachute jumping. It is placid swirling and ebbing high in the sky with the sound of the flapping strings and the ruffling ballooning of the kite. Soaring! Peaceful. Until the pilot thinks to thrill you with an upside down 360 degrees. I was impressed with the athleticism and caliber of the guides that loved this sport of kiting. They seemed fit, enthused, very knowledgeable  , yet easy going. Patient to wait out the proper weather and winds. http://www.jhparagliding.com/IMAG0447 - Copy IMAG0449 - Copy IMAG0453 - Copy IMAG0455 IMAG0461 IMAG0463 IMAG0467 IMAG0468 Paragliding requires pretty much the same training as being a pilot of an airplane. They call them ‘pilots’ and the ‘pilots’ I met in Jackson impressed me as masters of their craft.

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