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News source for Wyoming co-op owners since 1954

w y o m i n g

r u r a l

e l e c t r i c

ne w s JUNE

2013 Co-op Focus:


Big Horn Rural Electric Company


18 Leading in the Cooperative

Commitment to Community


“Owned By Those We Serve�

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featurE STORIES m a g a z i ne The Wren Magazine, Wyoming rural Electric News

The official publication of the Wyoming Rural Electric Association The WREN Magazine, Wyoming Rural Electric News, volume 59, number 5, June 2013 (ISSN 1098-2876) is published monthly except for January for $12 per year by Linden Press, Inc., 2710 Thomes Avenue, Cheyenne, WY 82001. Periodicals postage paid at Cheyenne, WY (original entry office) and at additional mailing offices. Postmaster - Send address changes to: Linden Press, Inc., 223 S. Howes St., Fort Collins, CO 80521, (970) 221-3232. Include 3-digit co-op code. WREN Magazine is owned and controlled by rural electric cooperatives in the interest of the economic progress of rural areas specifically and the entire population of Wyoming and the nation generally. WREN Magazine has a total average monthly


Co-op Focus Big Horn Rural Electric Company


Big Horn REA: "Owned By Those We Serve" Rachel Girt


Leading in the Cooperative Commitment to Community

Acceptance of advertising by WREN Magazine does not imply endorsement of the product or services advertised by the publisher or Wyoming electric cooperatives. WREN Staff Publisher: Linden Press, Inc. Editor: Cara Eastwood Baldwin Board of Directors Wheatland REA, Wheatland, Bill Teter, President Wyrulec Company, Lingle, Dewey Hageman, Vice President

Carbon Power, Saratoga, Jerry Rabidue High Plains Power, Riverton, Hearley Dockham High West Energy, Pine Bluffs, Troy Freeburg Niobrara, Lusk, Andy Greer, Secretary/Treasurer Powder River Energy, Sundance, Leo Ankney Basin Electric, Bismarck - ND, Reuben Ritthaler Deseret Power, South Jordan - UT, Jud Redden Tri-State G&T, Westminster - CO, Dick Clifton Address all correspondence to WREN Magazine • 2710 Thomes Ave. • Cheyenne, WY 82001


Vet Notes Running Late, Part 2 Jessica Blake

Scott Hubbard

Co-op Spotlight The History of Big Horn REA




Merideth Sears

The Current

Enlighten Us Technology in Wyoming

Cowboy State Buzz


from our readers

What's Happening

Lower Valley Energy, Afton, Linda Schmidt

Bridger Valley Electric, Mountain View, Gary Nix

Shawn taylor


Garland Light & Power, Powell, Ike Eastman Big Horn REC, Basin, Tom Delaney

WREA Notes Colofornia


2012. WREN Magazine is delivered to rural electric member/ state of Wyoming and the nation.


Rebecca Colnar

paid circulation of 40,920 for 11 months ending in September consumers and other subscribers throughout the entire

Essays & Anecdotes

just for fun


Pen to Paper “The House on a Hill” Myre Pauls


“Distaste for Waste” Debra Brown

Puzzle Photo Rebus



Book Review Mountain Time Reviewed by Friesen Press

Phone: (307) 772-1968

Country Cooks Healthy Snacks


Just Picture It Flowers

E-mail: Subscription Rates $12 per year, Single copies $1.50 each Advertising To purchase, contact: John Birbari – Phone: 307-349-2873, E-mail: or Shirley Hawk – Phone: 307-856-9335, E-mail: Office of WREN owner: 2312 Carey Ave., Cheyenne, WY 82001 Office of WREN publisher: Linden Press, Inc., 2710 Thomes Ave., Cheyenne, WY 82001


on the cover The Big Horn Mountains lie on the eastern border of Big Horn Rural Electric Company's service territory. Big Horn REA is one of the 11 distribution co-ops represented by the Wyoming Rural Electric Association.

Learn more about Big Horn REA on page 12. Cover photo by Cara Eastwood Baldwin

wrea notes

Shawn Taylor Ex ecutiv e Dir ector


Despite testimony from Tri-State about the physical and financial limitations of being able to meet this mandate (e.g. lack of transmission and billions of dollars in costs), what goads me the most is that there were a number of folks from rural Colorado that testified about the harm that would come to them, Farewell their neighbors, small businesses, I would be remiss if I didn’t also and communities should this pass. take this opportunity to say And the response, mostly from urban good-bye to longtime WREA Office Manager Tami Romsa. legislators, was that this the bill would Tami and her family are taking a increase jobs and help the economies bold leap and moving to Belize. of rural Colorado, even though they She has worked hard on behalf of Wyoming’s rural electric just heard testimony from rural cooperatives for the past nine Coloradans that it would do the years and she will be dearly missed by me, the WREA board, opposite!

No, that is not a typo. And yes, I do know how to spell both Colorado and California. I combined them, however, because there is a growing belief, both among native Coloradans and others from across the west, that Colorado is becoming more and more like California—at least when it comes to energy policies adopted by elected officials. A Fond Normally, I just laugh and shake my head at some of the decisions made under the capitol dome in the Mile High City, but recently they adopted a bill that will have a dramatic impact on rural Colorado and the electric cooperatives that serve these areas. It also has the potential to affect some of Wyoming’s cooperatives.

and the entire co-op family. We wish her and her family nothing but the best as they take on this new adventure in their lives. Good-bye Tami, and thank you.

Senate Bill 252, when it was introduced, would have required “wholesale power providers to produce (or provide) 25 percent of their electricity from renewable energy by 2020.” It has since been amended to require 20 percent by 2020. Although no organizations were specifically named in the legislation, the only wholesale power provider in Colorado is Tri-State Generation and Transmission Cooperative, which provides power to 44 co-ops in Colorado, New Mexico, Nebraska, and Wyoming. But what bothers me almost as much as the impact it will have on rural Coloradans is the manner in which it was adopted.



JUNE 2013

So what does this have to do with Wyoming? Well, if the bill becomes law it could result in Wyoming cooperative member-owners having to help pay for this unfunded mandate. But it should also give the member-owners of any Wyoming cooperative a reason to become engaged in the Wyoming Grassroots network, so that if a similar, ill-fated piece of legislation should arrive in Cheyenne we can be sure that the voices of rural Wyoming citizens will be heard. To join this grassroots network, visit and click on the “Grassroots Participation” link. Let’s not become Wyomorado.

STICKING TO A BUDGET IS EASIER WITH MY COMPUTER TURNED OFF. M a kes sense. Less po wer equals more sa v i n g s . I ’ m s a v i n g $ 1 0 5 a y ear by shutting do wn all the way. Wha t c a n y o u d o ? Fi n d o u t h o w the little ch anges add up a t Together We S a v e . c o m .




Tri-State Annual Meeting Approximately 400 electric cooperative representatives and industry officials attended Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association’s 61st annual meeting April 3-4 in Broomfield, Colo., where they reviewed recent activities and accomplishments, while addressing numerous issues and challenges facing the electric utility industry. Tri-State Executive Vice President and General Manager Ken Anderson noted some of the challenges before the association. “In 2013 and beyond, the electric utility industry faces an increasingly challenging regulatory landscape,” Anderson said. “Tri-State

and other electric utilities that value coal for the production of electricity continue to deal with uncertainty in regulations aimed at eliminating this affordable resource from the generation mix. Our board’s strategic direction is to take appropriate actions to protect our assets, preserve our options and enforce our membership’s right to affordable and reliable power.” Anderson stressed that Tri-State will continue to take the necessary steps to best address regulatory challenges while supporting educational outreach efforts to inform consumers about the vital role of affordable electricity.

Ken Anderson, the executive vice president and general manager of Tri-State G&T Photo by Cara Eastwood Baldwin

A Wyoming PBS documentary exploring the direct-to-market agriculture economy in Wyoming.

Sunday, June 2 at 8:15pm and Monday, June 10 at 9:30pm To learn more about FARM TO FORK and future episodes, go to

FARM TO FORK WYOMING is made possible with the generous support of the Wyoming Business Council and Zone 4 Magazine



JUNE 2013


cowboy state buzz

Wyoming First Business Flex Spex

Wyoming First is a program of the Wyoming Business Council, created to showcase the great products made throughout the state. Each month in 2013, we'll be featuring a Wyoming First business. To find out more about Flex Spex, visit

the time I had disentangled myself, we had floated through one of the best fishing sections, and I thought, There has to be a better way!” The first pair of Flex Spex reading glasses was inspired by a fishing trip frustration. “I was attempting to tie on a new fly in a hot fishing section of the river,” writes company founder Marvin Hunt on the product website. “I became completely entangled in my reading glasses strap, my sunglasses strap, and the strap on my fly bag. By


Hunt came home with a mission to design a pair of reading glasses suited for outdoor environments. The result was what he now calls Flex Spex: specially designed reading glasses with break-apart lenses that have a rubber-coated magnetic closure that forms a nose bridge. The glasses clip on to the bill of a hat or the temple

Unused Medications Wanted

Wyoming residents are asked to consider donating unused medications to help others who have trouble affording the prescription drugs and supplies they need. The Wyoming Department of Health’s Medication Donation Program supports qualified lowincome residents who are without insurance or are underinsured. Since 2007, the program has helped residents fill more than 66,000 prescriptions worth about $4.3 million.


JUNE 2013

Since the first sale, customers have used the Flex Spex glasses for a variety of hobbies and professions, ranging from hunting, camping, and fishing to arts and crafts, landscaping, and ranching. Based in Greybull, Flex Spex is a family-owned and operated company dedicated to helping Wyoming residents better enjoy their favorite activities. WREA's New website

“Simply put, our program brings together people who find they have unused medications on their hands with others who may need those very same medications,” said Natasha Gallizzi, Medication Donation Program manager and pharmacist with the Wyoming Department of Health. Residents may call 855-257-5041 toll free to see if they qualify and if the medication they need is available. “We can mail medications throughout Wyoming,” Gallizzi said.

To find out which donations are acceptable for donation and how to donate, visit


piece of many sunglasses, making them unobtrusive yet accessible.

The Wyoming Rural Electric Association’s website was recently revamped to better attract and inform internet users. Along with an updated design, the new site includes several areas of new content, including information about the history of electric cooperatives, the basics of energy generation and transmission, and current issues co-ops are facing on the state and federal level.



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Big Horn Rural Electric Company Big Horn Rural Electric Company is devoted to enhancing its members’ quality of life by providing safe, reliable, and competitively priced electricity, energy products, and other services. Serving rural members in five counties across northern Wyoming and two counties in southern Montana, the employees at Big Horn seek to perform their mission with enthusiasm, dedication, and integrity.



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Reliable, affordable electricity is vital to prosperity in the West. From small businesses and farms to large industry, we all depend on it. Every day, your local electric co-op and its power supplier, Tri-State, provide the power to grow our rural economy. At Tri-State, we’re doing our part to ensure businesses receive value for the power they use, while providing incentives through our member co-ops to help businesses manage electricity use – which helps reduce all of our costs. Learn more about where we’re headed at

Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association • P.O. Box 33695 • Denver, CO 80233 • Wholesale power supplier to 44 electric cooperatives in Colorado, New Mexico, Nebraska and Wyoming.

Big Horn REA:

Owned By Those We Serve By Rachel Girt

After having served its customers for over 75 years, Big Horn Rural Electric Company still holds true to its original slogan, found emblazoned on a 60-year-old office door: “Owned By Those We Serve.” To Jeff Umphlett, the company’s general manager, the slogan reflects why customer service remains so important to rural electric cooperatives and what sets them apart from other electric providers.

Sheila Kampbell, who handles member services, adds, “Although tools, equipment, and technology have advanced, the principles on which we were founded are just as strong today as the day we began business in 1937.”

It is a slogan that Umphlett reminds all employees of almost every chance he gets.

More Lines, More Services

According to their mission statement, Big Horn REA was created to provide power to its members at the lowest cost consistent with good business practices.

The initial concept behind Big Horn REA was planted in 1935 at a summer picnic sponsored by the County Farm Bureau and held on the Davis Ranch east of Greybull. Ranchers, farmers,

and their families in attendance listened to Big Horn County Agent K.E. Van Wagenen explain how much easier their lives would be with electricity. Almost two years later, Big Horn formally filed its Articles of Incorporation. By February 1, 1938, M.M. Roush threw the switch energizing the line and turning on the lights to 225 family farms in the Greybull Valley and Emblem Bench area. Today, Big Horn REA’s service territory includes portions of Big Horn, Washakie, Park, Johnson, and Sheridan counties in Wyoming and Big Horn and Carbon counties in Montana. The territory extends north into Montana approximately 30 miles, south of Ten Sleep about 40 miles, east to the top of the Big Horn Mountains, and west to Meeteetse. Big Horn REA has also expanded beyond just supplying electricity to farm and ranch houses to a much



JUNE 2013

What are Capital Credits? By Rebecca Colnar Because Big Horn REA operates as a cooperative, any excess margins or profits at the end of any year are allocated back to the members in the form of capital credits. The allocation to each member is based on the amount of electricity the member purchased during the year. Big Horn REA retains the capital credits as operating capital until the Board of Directors authorizes them to be paid back to the members. Capital credit check refunds can become unclaimed if the check is not cashed or if the member no longer has a deliverable address. If the refund is not claimed after two years, it is declared an unclaimed capital credit and is used to finance education scholarships, safety programs, first responder equipment, youth programs, and more. Even though unclaimed capital credits are not being returned to the members who earned them, the money is returned to the membership and surrounding communities in which Big Horn Rural Electric Company operates.

Photos opposite page, left to right: (courtesy of Big Horn Rural Electric Company) Board President Tom Delaney and General Manager Jeff Umphlett

Big Horn REA's office building

more diverse portfolio of customers. It currently provides electricity to irrigation services, bin dryers, oil pumping stations, bentonite facilities, and other accounts. “As Big Horn REA has grown, customer service has always been one of the most important aspects of our business, and with increasing technology comes the better ability to serve our members,” Kampbell said, explaining that the REA now communicates to its customers through several phone lines, a website, and email. “We have an outpost and linemen in the Lovell area and a shop and equipment in Ten Sleep as well as our main office and shop in Basin to provide quicker, more efficient service.” Technology has even made paying bills much easier. Kampbell explained that Big Horn is now able to offer its members many billing options, such as paying by credit card or by e-check using their online payment system. The cooperative also takes payments at several locations around its large service territory.

A nearly 60-year-old door from the first office building Big Horn constructed

The building in Basin where Big Horn spent some of its early years

Keeping it Personal One of the more important keys to handling customer service over such a breadth of territory is having wellinformed and dedicated employees, Umphlett said. Kampbell points out, “We have phones answered by knowledgeable employees both during work hours and after hours, and we have employees in the field who are willing to help and answer questions.” Although Big Horn REA has embraced technology to provide excellent service,

the company has made it a point to stick to traditional customer service values. That means customers who call in do not have to navigate through automated messages. “For fast, friendly, and efficient service, our employees still answer the phones directly during working hours,” Umphlett said. “After hours we utilize an answering service of Basin Electric— another utility that is familiar with our operations.” Customers also have a voice in Big Horn REA’s business activities by voting for local board representation. continued on page 22





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vet notes

Running Late

Part 2

B y J ess i c a B l a k e

Last month, I shared with readers a story about an October morning that has come to epitomize the beginning of my career as a vet. As a professional, of course, you strive to portray, and truly posses, a certain equanimity that will instill confidence and gain your clients’ trust. We are expected to be neat and clean, calm and collected at all times. And while some likely do achieve this state of professional glory, most of us that work with livestock find this endeavor to be noncompliant with the nature of our occupation. Being 45 minutes late to one of our

practice’s largest ranches was enough to tarnish my first impression somewhat, but showing up in a stolen truck demolished any hope of grandeur I might have had. That morning was a good lesson in humility. But it was the afternoon that really drove the point home—or, in my case, towed it home. As I mentioned last month, my misfortune quickly became the day’s running joke. When the day drew to a close, we decided to play a little game with some old Charolais cows that were the last of the herd. For each one of them I called open, my client

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promised to give me one gallon of fuel to fill my truck at the end of the day. But for every Charolais cow I called bred, one gallon of fuel was taken away. We had a good time adding up how many miles I was going to be able to make it after each Charolais left the squeeze. When the pregnancy checking was done, the hired man gave me a ride back to my truck and filled it with five gallons of fuel. I thanked him and got into my truck feeling rather good about how the day went. But when I turned the key, nothing happened. It didn’t take me long to understand that I had left the key on and now my battery was dead. The hired man’s jaw dropped. I smiled at him through the dusty windshield and hit the hood latch as the morning’s feeling of inadequacy rushed back into me. We got the truck jumped and I thanked him for what I hoped would be the last time. There was about eight miles of road between me and the highway. I started quickly on my way, reflecting and laughing out loud at the way the day had gone. Surely it was over now. continued on page 22

visit us at



JUNE 2013

Want to write for Vet Notes? We are currently looking for Wyoming vets who are willing to share their stories and insights in the 2013 issues of WREN. If you are interested, please email:


Photo Rebus

Catch O' The Day Each picture below represents a key idea or sound that, when read aloud with the other sounds in its group, will form the name of a certain type of animal. One has been done for you.

Go to page 28 for the answers.

















JUNE 2013



co-op spotlight

The history of

Big Horn REA B y S c o tt H u bb a r d

February 1, 1938 is a day forever stamped in the memories of the Big Horn County residents who were alive to experience it. Although the members of the county’s neighborhoods and communities had long anticipated that day, nothing could quite prepare them for the moment when electricity would finally shoot through their recently constructed lines, animate the filaments in their brand new light bulbs, and bring the illumination to their homes that until then could only be imagined. At 5:45pm on that first day of February, the lights came on in Big Horn County. Jonathan Davis, a 96-year old citizen of Greybull, recalls how those in his house reacted to the exciting moment: “All of a sudden, every light in the house came on. You just heard everyone scream. We were running all over the house, turning off lights and turning them back on. It was quite a deal that night. We were really tickled.” The inhabitants in Big Horn first discussed the possibility of bringing electricity to the area at the 1935

A 1963 Big Horn line crew


summer picnic of the County Farm Bureau, held in Shell. At a meeting in the Lower Shell Community Hall the next year, community members appointed committees to canvass the territory in order to register their neighbors’ opinions regarding the initiative.

The first office headquarters Big Horn constructed, completed in 1957

A nearby group had been canvassing other areas of the county at the same time, and when the Rural Electrification Administration (REA) in Washington found out, they suggested that the groups combine to form a single effort. On February 13, 1937, the REA announced that they would be giving an allotment of $82,000 to what would later become the Big Horn Rural Electric Company. The company used the money to build 82 miles of line for about 300 customers, and less than a year later they reached their goal of bringing electricity to the county. In Big Horn’s first annual report to its members, the directors proudly noted, “Direct and indirect word from Washington is to the effect that no project anywhere has been managed with less friction and more cooperation.” This acknowledgment from the federal government reflects how committed the founders of Big Horn REA were to collective investment and participation:

from the beginning, the cooperative has been more interested in growing by means of community partnership than by the efforts of a select few business professionals. When Big Horn REA constructed its first building, the slogan on the door read, “Owned By Those We Serve.” More than expressing a devotion to customer service, the statement gets to the heart of what has distinguished Big Horn from other companies throughout the past 75 years. It’s the same quality that marks the other electric cooperatives throughout our state and across our nation, and the reason why they use the term “memberowners” rather than “customers.” It’s the fact that Big Horn REA is run by community members, for the sake of community members. That’s how it’s been from the beginning, and that’s how it will always be. Scott Hubbard is the Editorial Assistant for WREN. Photos courtesy of Big Horn REA


JUNE 2013

book review

Mountain Time By Donna Coulson 2012. Publisher: Friesen Press. 240 p.

The story centers on two women, connected by prayer and a plot of land in the untamed mountains of southern Wyoming but divided by a hundred years.

Ordering information ISBN: 978-1-77097-600-9 Cost: $11.99 Publisher: Friesen Press Visit:


In 1902, mail order bride Andriette Jameson arrives at her new home, a dirt floor cabin deed in the forest of the Sierra Madre Mountains. Experiencing the height of the Grand Encampment copper boom, she strives to face each day with prayer and determination.

One hundred years later, the 21st century has dumped trouble on Hannah Harding from every direction. A solitary vacation at a cabin on an old mining claim in the wilderness seems like a great way to escape her worries. When danger arrives and she has to run for her life, Hannah learns just how far in miles and time God’s love reaches. Will God answer prayers that are a hundred years old? Review courtesy of Friesen Press

May's winner is Tobi Gresback of Riverton

Win a free copy of MOUNTAIN TIME! A book drawing is held on the 15th of every month. To enter, fill out the entry form and mail to the address below. Entries must be received by JUNE 15.

Last month’s winner is not eligible. One entry per household, please.

Please print clearly, or use a return address label. Name:________________________________________________ Phone:__________________________________ Address:________________________________________________________________________________________ Send to: Book Drawing – Mountain Time c/o WREN Magazine 2710 Thomes Avenue Cheyenne, WY 82001

Have an idea for a story in WREN? Jot it down and send it to us with your entry!

JUNE 2013



Among Big Horn Rural Electric Company’s many accomplishments, the staff of the co-op feel special pride in how they have been able to give back to the community.

Leading in the

Cooperative Commitment to Community 18


JUNE 2013

B y Rebe c c a C o l n a r

Big Horn Rural Electric Company's service territory covers a large chunk of northern Wyoming, including Ten Sleep, Basin, Greybull, Lovell, and Meeteetse. Providing scholarships, educating the youth, and donating to non-profit service organizations are just some of the ways the co-op shows its care for these communities. One of the contributions that proved to be especially rewarding was their $20,000 donation for a new sound system in 2009 for the Big Horn County Fair. A local paper published an article at the time that read, “imagine having a sound system where there is no squalling, no squeaking, no feedback and everybody in the arena can understand every word no matter where they are sitting or standing.” The co-op’s donation accomplished just that for the attendees of the fair. “Big Horn REA really does want to be involved in communities. Our board believed a new sound system would not only benefit the users at the Big Horn County Fair Arena, but would exemplify Big Horn Rural Electric Company’s commitment to community projects as a local cooperative,” noted Jeff Umphlett, the co-op’s general manager. More recently, Big Horn helped with an upgrade to the Hyart Theater in Lovell. The historic theater, built by Hyrum “Hy” Bischoff in 1950, has turquoisecolored metal lattice screen that covers a pink metal façade and its tall neon sign—a real icon. Theater management had been

using 35 mm film reels, but a $15,000 donation from the REA helped them convert to a digital format. The theater remains very popular both today and in the memories of those in the community. Many folks still cherish memories of going there as kids, showing the theater’s strong tie to Lovell and the surrounding area. On the Hyart Theater website, one fan wrote, “I can remember attending movies as a young child at the Hyart [and] being part of performances as a teenager on the stage. [Now I teach] my own children to respect, while still enjoying, the ‘diamond’ that we have available to us. The Hyart is in the heart of anyone who has ever lived in this area. It is a jewel that must not be hidden; shine it up and let everyone view it!” Thanks to the generous donation from the REA, the town is able to do so. Umphlett commented, “While focusing on member needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities. The board believed the theater donation would allow the venue to continue its service to its patrons as well as provide economic benefits to the community.” Umphlett went on to explain that the donation for the theater and almost all other donations and contributions the REA makes come from its unclaimed capital credit policy.

Another way Big Horn gives back to the communities in their service territory is through their Operation Round Up Foundation, a program established by the co-op’s Board of Directors in 1999. The Foundation gives members the opportunity to round up their bill to the next highest dollar. “For instance, if your bill was $52.73, you’d raise it to $53.00,” says Umphlett. Big Horn adds up the change and gives the money away to worthy causes in the area. To date, the Foundation has raised and distributed nearly $47,000. In addition to the community donations mentioned above, the coop has contributed money to the Shell Community Center and Volunteer Fire Department, the Deaver/Frannie Fire Department, the Big Horn County Library Foundation, and the South Big Horn County Search & Rescue. Last, but certainly not least, Big Horn gives $10,000 each year for youth scholarships and provides funding for young people to attend the annual Youth Leadership Camp and the Youth Tour in Washington D.C. Umphlett stated that the overall attitude of the company’s Board of Directors is to “give back to the community, and be recognized as a company that really cares.” Rebecca Colnar is a Sheridan-based freelance writer. JUNE 2013



pen to paper

The House on a Hill He sat alone No companions There wasn’t a soul that visited He was worn down Neglected by the seasons Once he had a family When in his prime But no more Those days were through The day they packed up

Distaste for Waste for Scott The cafeteria noise and clatter Couldn’t hide lunch lady’s laughter When the kiddies came to eat They soon lost their revelry.

And left him Not even a second glance For a while he watched

For the bread/tomato guck That the boys and girls thought yuck

Waiting for them

Was there upon their dinner trays

But then he knew

But it would likely go to waste.

They weren’t coming home Never again would they return.

In the empty milk containers The students hid the vile remainders For this fine food they threw away If swallowed down just would not stay.

But this one dish they found distressing To starving kids would be a blessing Or so the miscreants were told Their trifling ways teacher would scold.

Going out upon a limb One lad said, “Take mine to them” As a treat for the emaciated The guck was likely overrated. Myre Paul s, L aGrange, Wyo.

Debra Brown, Buffalo, Wyo.

See your name in print! We share a selection of WREN readers’ creative writing (poems, limericks, haiku, short verse, and prose) every issue as space and content allow. To be considered for publication, please include the author’s consent to be submitted, his or her mailing address, and confirmation that the work has not been published elsewhere. If you would like us to return your work, include a self-addressed, stamped envelope.



JUNE 2013

Send submissions to:

or 2710 Thomes Avenue Cheyenne, WY 82001

T h i s m on th : Healthy Snacks

country cooks

Apricot-Walnut Cereal Bars 3 cups old fashioned rolled oats 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (about 2 oz.) 3 cups unsweetened puffed-grain cereal (such as Kashi) 2 cups dried apricots, chopped

Kathy Manker, Laramie, Wyo.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 15-1/4� x 10-1/4� jellyroll-style pan with cooking spray. Spread oats and walnuts on a baking sheet with sides. Bake until fragrant and light golden (about 8 to 10 minutes). Transfer to a large bowl and add puffed cereal, dried apricots, flour, and salt.

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Stir to combine. Meanwhile, puree tofu, egg,

1/2 tsp. salt

applesauce, honey, vanilla, and lemon zest in a

12 oz. silken tofu, drained (about 1-1/3 cups)

food processor or blender until smooth. Make a

1 large egg

the tofu mixture until combined. Spread evenly

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce 1 cup honey

well in the center of the oat mixture and fold in in the prepared pan. Bake until firm in the center and golden brown (35-40 minutes). Let cool completely in pan before cutting with a sharp

1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

knife. Bars can be kept at room temperature for

2 Tbsp. grated lemon zest

5 days or can be frozen for over a month.

Cathy's Easy Peanut Butter Bites 1/2 cup peanut butter (or almond, sunflower, or walnut butter)

El Cheapo Hummus 1 14 oz. can garbanzo beans or chickpeas

1/2 cup honey

1/2 of the juice from the can of garbanzo beans or chickpeas

3/4 cup-1 cup instant powdered milk

2 Tbsp. olive oil

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Serve with pita chips, toasted whole wheat or plain pita bread, carrots, celery, or tortilla chips. Enjoy!

1 tsp. garlic powder Mix ingredients (a fork will do fine) and roll into any size ball you prefer. For variation, proceed to roll in coconut, sunflower seeds, or chopped nuts. Refrigerate for a couple of hours until firm. You can play with this recipe. It's a nutritious, high-energy snack. WREN Staff

If desired: 1/2 tsp. salt 1/4 tsp. pepper 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes

Jean Palmer, Newcastle, Wyo.

For AUGUST, send us your favorite recipes for

Casseroles Send by OCTOBER 25 to Country Cooks: Send by June 20 to Country Cooks: OR 2710 Thomes Ave., Cheyenne, WY 82001 Please include your name, hometown, and a phone number (in case we have questions).

JUNE 2013



Running Late

Owned By Those We Serve

It wasn’t. About halfway to the highway, the truck died and the battery was dead again. I don’t know a lot about engines (that’s why I married a man who does), but I now know the value of a good alternator.

“Having a local board allows our members to have access,” Umphlett said. “From holding district meetings in the summer in various areas of our service territory, to living in the areas we serve, our board is very accessible to our membership.”

continued from page 14

Because I was worried someone from the ranch might be coming behind me on their way to town, I jumped from that truck like a jackrabbit, climbed over the fence, and ran up a hill to a big Russian olive tree. And there I hid. At least if someone did come by, they’d see the empty truck and think someone else picked me up. I just could not face them again! There are an awful lot of white spots on the Verizon Wireless coverage map for Wyoming, but by some miracle the top of that hill was red, so I called my husband Ryan for a tow home. I had pulled him off a concrete pour, and from my hideout I could tell he was mad when he arrived. So I stayed hid under the tree a little longer while he got the truck hooked up before showing myself. His chiding subsided as I tried to tell him the “whole story” through tears of both anguish and laughter.

continued from page 13

Prizing Affordable and Reliable Electricity

In 2012, Big Horn REA achieved remarkable reliability, with its customers out of power for less time than the statewide average. In fact, of the 8,760 hours available in 2012, Big Horn members received quality power for 8,757 hours. This translates to 99.97 percent service availability.

Business has been good for this REA and its customers. Nearly 47 percent of the co-op’s power sales come from five large power customers in the oil and gas and minerals sectors. Residential and commercial customers comprised another 47 percent of sales with irrigation sales making up the final 6 percent.

According to Line Superintendent Jeff Stocklin, Big Horn REA is able to achieve this impressive availability by proactive line maintenance and strict right-of-way clearing. Since 2008, Big Horn has spent approximately $1.5 million on right-of-way clearing and maintenance.

At their annual meeting in March, Big Horn celebrated a very good year with strong earnings, able to return approximately $675,000 in capital credits to its members. That is added to the $2,539,869 in capital credits the co-

The Current

Bridger Valley Annual Meeting

After serving on the BVEA board for 24 years, Betty Applequist retires. Photo by Cara Eastwood Baldwin



JUNE 2013

“We have dedicated employees who pride themselves on quick response time to outage situations,” he added. Rachel Girt is a Cheyenne-based freelance writer.

continued from page 6

While being towed the twelve miles home, I thanked the Lord for my husband. He was my knight in shining armor and I was so glad to be going home. Jessica Blake resides in Lander and is a practicing veterinarian and contributing columnist.

op has given back throughout the past 10 years.

The Bridger Valley Electric Association gathered for its annual meeting on April 27, 2013. The popular community event drew hundreds of members with a health fair and booths from a diverse array of local businesses. The co-op reflected on its 75th year of operation, and reported on its positive financial position with increasing sales. The board thanked long-serving director Betty Applequist for 24 years of service to the cooperative representing District 5 which includes the communities of Farson, Eden, and Granger.

Cowboy State Buzz continued from page 8

Artist spotlight Ann Hanson

THIS MONTH IN HISTORY The big horn county rustler • june 4, 1920 To learn more about Hanson’s work and browser her online gallery, visit You can also see some of her paintings on display at the Big Horn Gallery in Cody.

“I am partial to the subtleties in life,” says Shell-based painter Ann Hanson. “In my artwork I like to capture subtle movements—the expression on a face or that fleeting second in time before an event—which allows the viewer to come to their own conclusion as to the outcome.”

portfolio of paintings, which range from images of livestock in the field to cowboys engaged in the routines of ranch life. With realism and detail she depicts the subtleties of these Western moments—moments at once lively and at ease, caught between movement and rest.

Born in Washington but raised in rural Wyoming, Hanson is especially given to capturing those subtleties of life that reflect the West. According to her, “The ‘Wild West’ may be a thing of the past, but cowboys are alive and well here.”

Hanson has participated in several national western art shows and her work has been featured in numerous magazines. Yet preceding and undergirding any commercial success has always been creative passion and joy. “I’m having a great time doing what I love,” Hanson explains. “I feel truly blessed.”

That’s certainly the impression anyone would get when surveying Hanson’s

basin's advantages

JUNE 2013



what's happening



Alcova Community Foundation Benefit for Tom Cardwell: Come raise money for Tom Cardwell, who is battling cancer. The event will include a BBQ supper, cowboy poet and entertainer Andy Nelson, and a raffle. 4p-9p, $10 for dinner and the entertainment, $10 per raffle ticket or 3 for $25, info kayeich@ (Key Eichorn)

Legion Post “Military Mondays”: A meal served at the American Legion Post followed by an auction and raffle of donated items. Proceeds support organizations that help veterans and their families. Starts at 6p, American Legion Post 6, 2001 E. Lincolnway, info 605-890-2120 (Sherry Dahl)

Third Mondays

June 29

Atlantic City

Second Saturdays Scotch Sampling at Six: Hors d’oeuvres and five half-ounce pours of single malt Scotch whisky. No reservations required for tastings, 6p-9p, $25, Miner’s Delight Inn Bed and Breakfast, 290 Atlantic City Rd., info 307-332-0248

The Chugwater Historical Group: We have varied presentations on Wyoming history. 7p, Chugwater Community Center, 311 2nd St., info 307-422-3509 (Ruth Vaughn)

Clearmont Story Time: Grades K-4. 4:30p, free, Clearmont Branch Library, 1240 Front St., info 307-758-4331

July 4

Independence Day Parade and Fireworks: Sand Creek Trading Post, 5879 Old U.S. 14, info (Scott Jarvis)


Ongoing Cody Country Art League Gallery: 9a-5p Mon-Fri, 836 Sheridan Ave., info 307-5873597

Big Piney Tuesdays

Story Hour: Ages 0-5 yrs., 10:30a, free, Big Piney Branch Library, 106 S. Fish St., info 307-276-3515


Thursdays Bluegrass Jam Session: Local musicians play bluegrass, western, and folk. 6:30p, free, Occidental Saloon, 10 N. Main, info 307684-0451

Centennial June 15

Centennial Valley Fire Department Open House: Annual open house and fundraiser. Support your local volunteers! Free food, pig roast, and more. Raffle and silent auction with hundreds of items donated by area merchants and individuals. Catch a ride on a fire truck, too. 12p-3p, free, Centennial Fire Station, 4 North Fork Rd., info 307-745-4852 (Nancy Taft)

July 6-7 Centennial Valley Art Show and Sale: View a variety of artwork from area artisans, displayed in the historic Engen barn on the grounds of the Nici Self Historical Museum. A portion of each sale supports the museum. 9a-6p Sat, 9a-4p Sun, free, 2734 Hwy 130, info 307-745-9322 (Arlene Gregory). Artists can register at


Third Mondays





JUNE 2013

Third Sundays The Wyoming Fiddler Assoc District #2 Jam at Cassie’s Supper Club: Old time country/ western music played with fiddles backed up with guitars, mandolins, etc. 1p-4p, 214 Yellowstone Ave., info 307-754-2687 (Jerry)

Dubois June 15

Swedish Smorgasbord: 5p and 6p, ticketed event, Headwaters Center, info 307-4552556 (Chamber) Ultimate Miniature Bullriding: 1p, info 307349-6400 or

June 15-16 Don Scheer Memorial Pack Horse Races: Races, kids’ games, and other activities are planned for a fun-filled weekend. Starts at 10a both days, Dubois Town Park, info 307455-2006 (Diane)

June 29 Wyoming/Nebraska 6-man Football Shoot Out: 1p, Dubois High School Football Field, info 307-455-2556 (Chamber)

July 3 National Bighorn Sheep Center’s 20th Anniversary: Free bratwurst lunch and activities for children and adults. Starts at 11a, lunch at 12p, 907 W. Ramshorn, info 307455-3429 (Suzan Moulton)

July 4 Independence Day Celebration: Including a parade, duck race, and fireworks. Western parade includes cowboys, cowgirls, motor bikes, mountain bikes, and more! 2p, free, info 307-455-2556 or www.duboiswyoming. com

Fridays Every Friday Night Rodeo: From mid-June to mid-August, 8p, $7, Clarence Allison Memorial Arena, Hwy. 26, info 307-455-2556, 307-4552752, or

Encampment Ongoing

Grand Encampment Museum: Open daily 8a-6p, all admission by donation, 807 Barnett, info 307-327-5308 (Museum)

Fort Washakie June 21-23

54th Eastern Shoshone Indian Days and Powwow & Rodeo: Wind River Indian Reservation, Old Wind River Hwy. Rd., info 307-332-3532, 307-332-4932, or

Gillette Ongoing

Ava Community Art Center: Wide variety of programs and classes for youth and adults. 509 W. 2nd St., info 307-682-9133 or www. Campbell Co. Public Library: Wide variety of programs and classes for youth and adults. 2101 S. 4-J Rd., info 307-682-3223 or www.

Greybull June 24-26

Geoscience Educational Workshop: Three days of fun learning with instructors Dr. E. Kvale and K. Sowder GSIP. Theme: Jurassic Park CSI. $250 (includes lunches, handbook, and refreshments), info www.bbgeoscience. org,, 307-765-2259

July 6-8 Geoscience Educational Workshop: Three days of fun learning with instructors Dr. M Brett-Surman and Dr. C. Hotton. Theme: Dinosaurs and Life in the Mesozoic. $250 (includes lunches, handbook, and refreshments), info, cliff@, 307-765-2259


Ongoing Hulett Museum and Art Gallery: The museum seeks to inspire, educate, and enrich by collecting and preserving both prehistoric and historic artifacts. 8a-4p Mon-Fri, free, 115 Hwy. 24, info 307-467-5292

Jay Em


Ongoing Tours of Historic Jay Em on the Rawhide: U.S. Hwy 85 between Lusk and Lingle. Tour seven buildings, learn local history. May thru Sept by appointment, info 307-735-4364 (Marjorie Sanborn) or 307-322-2839 (Hazell Mudgett)

Lander June 15 Poposia Anglers Annual Banquet: Museum of the American West, 1445 Main St., info 307-335-8778 or

July 3-4 Pioneer Days Rodeo: The world’s oldest paid rodeo. 6:30p, $3-$7, 2 Rodeo Dr., info www.

Pioneer Museum: Open year-round, TuesSat. 10a-4p, free, 1443 Main St., 307-3323373

Laramie June 15

Big Laramie Valley Cancer Benefit: Come for dinner and an auction. Doors open at 6p, dinner at 6:15p, auction at 7p, Harmony School, 20 Lewis Rd., info 307-745-9521 (Ruth)

119th Pioneer Days 4th of July Parade: 30th annual Lander Half Marathon, walkers 6a, runners 6:30a (pre-register by calling 307332-0480). Buffalo BBQ in City Park at 12p, costs vary, info 307-332-3892,, or

July 5 Lander Community Center Benefit Concert: Country music star Diffie to headline. $35, Lander Valley High School Band Shell, info

July 6 Old-Time Barn Dance: Everyone Welcome! Music of the American West. 7p, $10 advance, $12 at the door, Museum of the American West, 1445 Main St., info 307-3358778 or www.museumoftheamericanwest. com

Story Time for Preschoolers: 10:30a, Uinta County Library, 322 W. 2nd St., info 307-7823161, on Facebook, or at www.uintalibrary. org

Newcastle June 10 Kingdom Rock Community Vacation Bible 307-746-2777 (Stephanie)

Celebrate Recovery: A Christ-centered 12-steps program that has given hope and victory to thousands nationwide. 6p-9p, $3.00 suggested meal donation, White Water Christian Church, 1575 N. 4th St., Ste. 107


June 28 Warm Summer Night: Live music, a buffet, and a cash bar. 5:30p-10p, tickets $15, Country Club, info 307-746-2739 (Susan Love)

June 29

Story Time for Preschoolers: 10:30a, Uinta County Library, 129 South Franklin Street, info 307-787-6556, on Facebook, or at www.

Medicine Bow

A Touch of Wyoming: Mingle with authors and artists and listen to live music. 11a-3p, free, Main St.

Pavillion June 22 Fremont County Youth Rodeo Association:


info 307-349-6400 or

Medicine Bow Museum: Hours & days may vary. 10a-5p Mon-Sat, 1p-4p Sun, donations appreciated, 405 Lincoln Hwy., info 307379-2383

Pine Bluffs

Moorcroft Ongoing

West Texas Trail Museum: History of the 1800’s largest cattle-shipping point on the Texas Trail. 9a-5p Mon-Fri, free, 100 E. Weston, open year-round, info 307-7569300

Featured Event June 22

Mondays & Thursdays

School: First United Methodist Church, info


Mondays & Thursdays

July 4

Mountain View

Tuesdays Bingo: New players welcome. 7p, 25¢ per card, 14 games, recreation meeting room, 217 W. 3rd St., info 307-245-3301

Thursdays Preschool – Fun for Kids!: Stories, fingerplays, songs, and crafts. 10a-11a, Pine Bluffs Branch Library, 110 E. 2nd St.

3rd Annual

Tractor/Truck Rally Meeteetse

Come for some bluegrass music, games, food, vendors, and more! The rally will begin at 8:00am and end at 5:00pm. For more information, call Terry Gordon at 307-250-3225 or the Meeteetse Visitor Center at 307-868-2454.

JUNE 2013



what's happening




Museum of the Mountain Man: Summer

Crook County Museum: 9a-5p Mon-Fri, free, Crook County Courthouse basement, 309 E. Cleveland St., info 307-283-3666

hours 9a-5p every day, $5 adults, $4 senior citizens, $3 children 6-12 years old, 700 E.

Third Thursdays

Hennick, info 307-367-4101

Lunch Bunch Book Discussion Group: New members always welcome. 11a-12p, free, Crook County Public Library, 414 Main St., info 307-283-1006 (Jill Mackey)

Riverton July 3

Powwow Dancers: 7p, 1838 Rendezvous Site, E. Monroe Ave., info 307-856-0706 or

July 3-7 1838 Mountain Man Rendezvous: Opening ceremony July 3. Free, E. Monroe and Smith St., info 307-856-7306, info@1838rendezvous. com, or

Ongoing Wind River Heritage Center: Mountain man and fur-trapping museum. Through December, 10a-4p Tue-Sat, 1075 S. Federal Blvd., info 307-856-0706

Fridays Storytime At The Library: Stories and fun for toddlers and preschoolers. Sept-May, 11a, free, Crook County Public Library, 414 Main St., info 307-283-1006 (Bonnie)

Thermopolis June 15-16

Hot Spot Car Rally: Featuring Ted Spatol poker run, parade of cars, no-host BBQ, food vendors and beer garden, live band, and more! Hot Springs State Park, Washakie Shelter, info 307-864-3192 (Thermopolis Chamber of Commerce)

June 20-23

Tuesdays Northern Arapaho Experience: Traditional tepees and Northern Arapaho dancing. June through August, 6p, free, Wind River Casino, 10269 Hwy 789, info 307-856-3964 or www.

Sundance June 14-16

Wyoming State Historical Society Annual Trek: Hosted by the Crook County Museum and the Crook County Historical Society, the trek will go throughout Crook County and will include tours, talks, and wonderful meals. Register by going to www.wyshs. org, e-mailing, or calling 307-322-3014

June 28 Mt. Moriah Cemetery Walk: Sponsored by Crook County Library. 7p, free, Mt. Moriah Cemetery, info 307-283-1006 (Jill Mackey)

Thermopolis Cowboy Rendezvous PRCA Rodeo, Pack Horse Race and Centennial Celebration: Pack Horse race Thur at 7p, free. PRCA Rodeo performances Fri and Sat 7p. Sat Centennial Celebration festivities include free breakfast, parade, music in the park, buffalo BBQ. Info

Torrington Mondays

Rotary Club of Torrington: Weekly meeting. 12p, Cottonwood Country Club, Golf Course Road & West 15th Ave., info 307-532-4138 (Ken) TBI/PTSD Bridges to Healing: Find hope beyond the battlefield and bridges to start the healing process. This group will help you find spiritual healing and peace, and is open to all those affected by TBI/PTSD (not just military). 5:30p-6:30p, Henry Bible Church, 1592 Yorick Ave., info 307-834-0111 (Mark)

To submit an event… Send complete information for next issue’s events by june 5! Please remember that events from the 10th of the current month to the 10th of the next month are included in each issue. Also, please be sure to include the date, title, description, time, cost, location, address, and contact information for each event. Each month we select an event for our Featured Event listing. These events have regional appeal and must be submitted with high-resolution photos.



JUNE 2013

Riverside Church Youth/Young Adult Program: Ages 5-25. 6p, 615 Main St., 307532-3141

Second Wednesdays Alzheimer’s and Dementia Support Group: Brought to you by Michele Ogburn, Patient Services Senior Manager at Goshen Care Center, and Dr. Royce Fitts. 1p, free, chapel at Torrington Community Hospital, 2000 Campbell Dr., info 307-534-7039 (Michele)

Thursdays TOPS (Taking Off Pounds Sensibly): 8a-10a, Senior Friendship Center, 216 E. 19th Ave., info 307-334-3358 (Dana Williams) or 307532-0728 (Judy Stellpflug)

Upton June 16

Inyan Kara Riders Enduro: $65 for participants (due by June 14), free for spectators, 610 Poplar St. at UHS, info 307-468-2840, more info on website and facebook

June 22 Bikers for Brains Poker Run and BBQ: Sign up at Cowboy Bar from 11a-12p, $25 per hand, 820 U.S. Hwy 16, info 307-746-8767 (Jackie Zorn)

June 29 Inyan Kara Bowhunters 12th Annual Jim Todd Memorial Shoot: Outdoor range. Registration at 8a, shooting at 9a, archers can register anytime but scores need to be turned in by 3p, 2579 Hwy. 116N, info 307660-4891 (Nicki Toth)

Wheatland Last Tuesdays

Platte County Historical Society: Programs featuring topics about Wyoming’s history. Sept-May, 7p, free, Platte County Public Library, 904 9th St., info 307-322-4237


Wednesdays Children’s Story Time: 11a, free, Wright LIbrary, 305 Wright Blvd., info 307-464-0500

Questions and Submissions: Email: call: 307-772-1968 write: 2710 Thomes Ave., Cheyenne, WY 82001

just picture it

J une’ s Them e : Flowers A sunflower from last summer

August: In the Mountains Deadline: July 5

Jessica House, Lyman, Wyo.

September: Hobbies Deadline: August 5 October: Costumes Deadline: September 5

Wildflowers on our ranch in Robertson Julie Vercimak, Robertson, Wyo.

To be considered for publication, please include high-quality digital files* or an original we can scan, as well as details about the artwork, the artist’s name, and co-op. Ideas include painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, woodwork, embroidery, and more! Remember, no body art, adult themes, or inappropriate subject matter will be printed.

*Use the highest quality setting on your camera, or save digital artwork as a .jpg or .tif file with at least 300 dpi resolution. Don’t use Kodak Easy Share®.

Send digital files* to Mail prints to Just Picture It, c/o WREN Magazine, 2710 Thomes Ave., Cheyenne, WY 82001. If you would like us to return your work, please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope.

A pasque flower in the Snowy Range west of Laramie James Fisher, Cheyenne, Wyo.

Some lovely blooms from our family’s field of sainfoin Chandra Barnard, Powell, Wyo.

JUNE 2013




1. Equipment

7. Wanted

13. Help Wanted

2. For Sale

8. Crafts

14. Dogs

3. Horses

9. Opportunities

15. Employment Sought

4. Livestock

10. Miscellaneous

16. Building Supplies

5. Poultry

11. Business Consulting

17. Travel & Recreation

6. Real Estate

12. For Rent

18. Health

2. for sale

7. wanted

Five Thomas Kinkade Canvas Lithographs. Call 307-851-1280 for information. NEW & USED COAL STOKERS, parts, service & advice. Available for most makes. Thanks. 307-754-3757. SHAVER HOT WATER WOOD OUTDOOR FURNACES. Aermotor Windmills and parts, cylinders, pipe, rod, submersible pumps, motors, control boxes, Hastings 12 ga. bottomless stock tanks and more. Herren Bros., Box 187, Harrison NE. 1-308-668-2582.

WE PAY CASH FOR mineral & oil/ gas interests producing & nonproducing. 800-733- 8122.

SADDLE PADS – Handmade using Wyoming wool. $175. 307-4553065.

OLD Gasoline pumps, globes and

signs. Collector only. Will offer fair market value. Please call Jeff Wandler, 307-680-8647, jwandler@

then type in: cowboysgallery


WANT TO PURCHASE MINERALS & other oil/gas interests. Send details to: PO Box 13557, Denver, CO 80201.

10. miscellaneous

3. horses

Elk Ivory Jewelry Gem Stone Jewelry Wyoming Jewelry

cbm wells converted into water

17. travel & vacation Kauai vacation rental, 2 bdrm,

wells. Drill out Cement. Clean.

full kitchen. Minutes from beach-

Perforate & Develop. Starting at

es. $600 per week. 808-245-6500;

$5400.00. Call Ron at (307) 680-8528.; kauaiweddings. com.

6. real estate water wells: test Hole – $10.00/ A-frame home on lake Guernsey, 3 bedroom, 2 bath, garage, $290,000, 303-503-4007.

Foot, Ream & Set Casing $15.00/Foot.

Kona, Hawaii, Paradise Villa

All Materials - Cost +20%. Call Ron

condo located on the 18th fairway

at (307) 680-8528.

of Kona Country Club with sweeping ocean views; 3bdr, 2ba, Specials. (503)




1. Red snapper

6. Barracuda

11. Tuna

Go to homepage for video tour.

2. Crappie

7. Perch

12. Piranha

Semi-private and private rental.

3. Molly

8. Tilapia

13. Orange roughy

$175 and up. Devil’s Tower, WY.

4. Cutthroat

9. Mackerel

14. Sturgeon

5. Rainbow

10. Sea bass

15. Pike


JUNE 2013

Call Neil for details. 307-391-0208.

enlighten us

Technology in Wyoming: Like Oil and Water

B y M e r i det h S e a r s

Recently, both the cellular phone and the personal computer (PC) celebrated the 30th anniversary of their invention. That was a fast 30 years. And it dragged me kicking and screaming into the “computer” age. I never really wanted a cell phone, but my kids insisted that I “needed” one. Now they complain that I never answer it. Well it’s hard to answer the dadgum thing when we don’t have cell service where our house sits on the ranch. “It’s not like I’m itchin’ to go climb Cloud

Peak so I can answer you,” I tell them. “Call the landline. It works—always. Leave me a message on the answering machine. I'll remember to check it sometime during the week.” Which brings me to the question: What weird robotic humanoid invented these new cell phones, anyway? It must have thin sticks for fingers. If you try to dial on a smart phone or tablet, you will always press three numbers simultaneously and it will never bring up the one you actually wanted. Same

with the new flip phones; the keys are so tiny you always get more than you bargained for! When I wanted to be constantly frustrated, I got a dog. Forget this “cell” convenience. This I can live without. I am keeping my trusty old landline. Forever. Now, I see that both Google and Microsoft are in competition to develop the automated driver-less car. Oh yeah, I really trust the products from both these companies. continued on page 30

JUNE 2013



Enlighten us continued from page 29 Google recently sent me an email that they were dropping their Google Reader product because less than 556,000 people were using it. I can see it now: I’m out in the boonies, miles from nowhere and across the Holographic Screen on the windshield of my new automated car I get the message, “Google regrets to inform you that we are dropping your driverless service in 10 seconds because

usage has just fallen below 5 billion users. 10, 9, 8…” And there I will sit for no one knows how long, most likely without food or a sleeping bag until 5 billion people decide to go somewhere in their Google Car. Which leaves option two: the Microsoft Driver-less Automatic Car—the same Microsoft that brought us the Windows Operating Systems through the years. The same Windows operating systems that slowly choke to death on their own guts. Now I'm driving out in the boondocks when suddenly the dreaded (but aptly named) Blue Screen of Death appears on that Holographic windshield, the car comes to an immediate screeching halt, and I am hurled through said Blue Screen (windshield) to my death! But the prospect of Google dropping my service or Microsoft hurling me through the windshield doesn’t worry me as much as the fact that they seem to think they can use GPS to drive these cars! I have a GPS unit that plugs into the car’s lighter socket. We call ours Martha Stewart. I really don't know why we named it Martha, but it probably has something do with the annoying computerized voice that knows it is always right.

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JUNE 2013

The unit works reasonably well for urban or city locations. But try to use it in the backwoods in Wyoming? Forget about it. It can’t recognize a county road but will tell you to take a decadesold cow trail. Recently, I thought it could locate a friend’s ranch in Bear River country.

First it took us down the wrong county road to a dead end where it directed us to take a right turn, which ended up being someone’s hayfield! Granted, that would have gotten us to the right county road several hay fields and BLM allotments later, but I really don’t think our friend's neighbors would have appreciated our unorthodox approach to locating the proper address. Of course, after we refused Martha’s instructions, it immediately began screaming “Make A Legal U-Turn!” After twenty minutes, I recognize she is as hopelessly lost as I now am and so I turn her off. The next step is to find someone to ask for directions. Sometimes that can take a day or two. Maybe I’m being a little rough on technology. After all, Wyoming has a population of slightly over 500,000, and only a mere 15% of us at any given time are walking uphill in sagebrush screaming into a cell phone, “CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?” I am confident that using GPS in Wyoming to drive our cars will work just like our cell phones, so I plan on stocking my driver-less car's trunk with refreshments. When 15% of us wind up 12.5 miles to the south and west of Independence Rock on a cow trail where nobody wanted to be, we’ll hold a small celebration. Whoever finishes their drink first has to go find a cell signal. Merideth Sears is an Edgerton-based freelance writer.


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WREN June 2013  
WREN June 2013