Tag Archives: Wyoming

In Jackson Hole, Sleigh Bells Ring.

Feel the call of the wild at Spring Creek Ranch, WY.

Feel the call of the wild at Spring Creek Ranch, WY.

The holidays are staycation time for me. Like most people, it gives me a chance to catch up with old friends  or check out festive things happening in and around the town.  It’s like a  “time out” of sorts to indulge and maybe even be a bit lazy but when I heard about Spring Creek Ranch, I found myself wishing I could jump on a plane with a few friends tonight.

Sign me up and giddy up. (Photo: Spring Creek Ranch)

Sign me up.  (Photo: Spring Creek Ranch)

Located just 10 minutes from Jackson Hole in Wyoming, conditions are cream of the crop when it comes to skiing. As someone who learned to ski on the black ice of Vermont’s Killington Mountain, being able to glide across fine, white powder is like dreaming on a goose down mattress after chasing sleep on a hardwood floor. Any opportunity to ski in those conditions is a gift but it’s their wildlife and natural history safaris that caught my attention.

Muledeer.  (Photo:  Spring Creek Ranch)

Muledeer. (Photo: Spring Creek Ranch)

Being smack in the middle of a winter wonderland on a horse-drawn sleigh surrounded by herds of elk sounds like a plan to me. Another ride takes you over to East Gros Ventre Butte, a mountain summit with one of the most spectacular views in the country. Afterwards, you can warm up with a hot toddy or a lovely meal at The Granary and marvel at the views of the Grand Tetons. A snowshoe hike will get your cardio going a bit while you follow tracks set by local wildlife. There’s dog-sledding, tubing, and ice-skating, too. If you’re into winter sports, Spring Creek Ranch offers unique experiences to enjoy these activities and absorb the stunning and natural environment that surrounds you. They even have a photo safari led by a professional photographer. For anyone who likes to bliss out behind a camera, this one’s for you.

View from The Granary. (Photo:  Spring Creek Ranch)

View from The Granary. (Photo: Spring Creek Ranch)

People often associate the term “safari” with far off places but the truth is there are plenty of safari experiences to be had in the US. The ones Spring Creek Ranch offers are calling my name.

Named “2014’s Best Overall Resort In North America” by Ski Magazine, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort offers by far some of the best conditions on the planet for enjoying the white stuff.   If frolicking in the cold isn’t your idea of a good time, there are loads of activities in the spring and summer.  From horseback riding, to balloon rides, to white water rafting, it’s an adventure travelers dreamscape.  Even better, the airport, the only one located within a national park, has direct flights from most major cities in the US.

As I compile my list of where to go next year, it looks like this is falling within the top ten. So many places to go and so much to see.

It’s the holidays, I can dream, can’t I?

It’s Been A “Pleasure” To Serve You.

Ellen Church, 1930. (Photo credit: Upmagazine-tap.com)

Ellen Church, 1930. (Photo credit: Upmagazine-tap.com)

Yesterday, in 1930, marked the day Ellen Church made history when she became the world’s first airline stewardess to work a United Airlines flight from San Francisco to Cheyenne, Wyoming.   Her first career was as a registered nurse but Church was so thrilled by the idea of air travel that she took flight lessons.  The girl had moxie, and once she earned her wings she set her sights high by requesting a job as a pilot with Boeing Air Transport.  While that request didn’t fly, she still wanted to, so she swiftly parlayed that rejection into a savvy idea.  She offered up the suggestion to put nurses on flights to aid passengers’ fear of flying and it took off.

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United Airlines stewardesses.

Those of us who’ve been flying the friendly skies for a while can probably recall the days when airline travel was glamorous, but it didn’t start out that way for Church and her colleagues.  Back then stewardesses were more than just nurses in the sky.  They also had to help pilots push planes into the hangar, load luggage on to the plane, fuel the aircraft and screw down seats.  Then they had to work the flight.  Physically, these women had to be attractive and less than 25 years old, weigh less than 115 pounds and stand no more than 5 feet and 4 inches tall.

southwestOver the years registered nurses transitioned to an era of sexy stewardesses, and later to the equal opportunity title of flight attendants. The cost of airline travel over the last few decades has made it more affordable for folks to fly, it’s has also changed the quality of passengers.  As the size of planes has increased and more people travel, the role of the flight attendant has changed.  The glamour of air travel is gone, tickets are loaded with surcharges, and travelers can be unruly.  Flight attendants have more than their hostessing hands full these days—they’re underpaid and stressed out, their benefits have decreased, and heightened security adds another layer of responsibility to the job.
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Like flying, we often take flight attendants for granted. Ellen Church changed the lives of women when she turned her passion for flight into a career.  It seems only right to honor her this week, and the men and women who follow in her footsteps to help get us safely from point of departure to our destination.

Whether it’s for business or pleasure, the next time you fly, take a minute to look up and acknowledge the attendants who work your flight.  Be kind. Smile. Thank them for their service. The job may seem like no big thing, but anyone who works in the customer service industry knows that’s not the case.

A little gratitude goes a long way.