By Bill Sniffin on Mon 07/22/2013 08:43am
We have all seen these huge tour buses cruising around the state this summer.
Apparently they are a big target for wildlife, according to Craig Alvod, a driver for LeBus. Twice this summer his windshield has been totaled out by golden eagles!
He was telling me this while admiring a stuffed golden at the Sinks Canyon Visitor Center in the state park just outside of Lander.
He says when one of them hits your windshield, you really know it. They make a huge mess. He said he was able to limp to nearby towns after both instances but was stunned to have it happen twice in the same year.
• And speaking of stuffed animals, the Sinks center was hosting a big event to raise money so they can do a full mount of a stuffed mountain sheep called Bam-Bam.
Bam-Bam is famous with images of him on YouTube attacking the bumpers of various cars. In one memorable scene, the small ram kept crashing into the chrome bumper of Toyota 4Runner so often the driver turned tail and hustled out of there.
The ram was part of a big herd of bighorn sheep that had been transplanted some years ago. The experiment failed and Bam-Bam was the last survivor.
Now they are seeking donations to help preserve this critter forever at the visitor’s center.
• Farther up in the Wind River Mountains, a real tragedy occurred about a month ago when Randy Udall, 61, was found dead after doing a solo hike.
Headlines in Wyoming read: “Hiker found dead in mountains,” but there was more to the story.
Udall was a well-known member of the ubiquitous family that has dominated politics in the West for generations. He was the son of former Arizona Senator Morris Udall and his uncle was Stewart Udall, a former Secretary of the Interior. His brother Mark is a U. S. Senator from Colorado and his cousin is U. S. Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico.
Randy Udall was a man well known for his own accomplishments rather than an accident of birth. WyoFile’s Dustin Bleizeffer had this to say about the man he knew from watching him in action:
“I first met Randy several years ago while on fellowship in southwest Wyoming. He was telling stories to a couple of reporters at the back of the bus after what had already been a long day, and soon others crowded around to listen in. Randy drew us in like a magnet.
“He easily painted a picture of a single landscape and how it connected to larger ecosystems, transposed human developments on top of that and traced political contours running through the system. In the end he created a tapestry that clarified rather than blurred the details of our complex natural and social environment.
“His great talent was connecting people to landscapes and convincing them that they have the power to counter political forces that help shape the land. Some people say this was his pedigree as part of the Udall clan.”
• And then there was this weird 911 call over in Riverton involving an “exorcism.”
Undersheriff Ryan Lee said the Fremont County 911 Center received a call from a resident on Firethorn Lane north reporting:
“A female subject was possessed by a poltergeist and had stopped breathing after she was sprayed with Holy Water. Other occupants of the home then attempted to perform an exorcism, which caused the female to go into cardiac arrest.
“Upon arrival the female subject was breathing. She was taken to the hospital in stable condition when she arrived. Occupants of the residence said a demon had been breaking windows and dishes and biting them for two days. They asked a deputy to look into the matter.
“The deputy was unable to substantiate any criminal activity or that anyone had been bitten. The woman was identified as a 31-year-old Riverton resident.”
• I read of review written by a local funny guy John Applegate about a popular musical movie that went like this (made me laugh out loud):
“I watched some obscure foreign film called "Les Miserables" this Sunday afternoon. I was bored. The movie started and Wolverine was singing his guts out.
“Then Catwoman started crying and singing too. It was all very moving.
“So Wolverine was on the run from the Gladiator because Cat-woman had a baby at Borat's house but then she wanted Wolverine to care for her. Then other stuff happened and everyone died. Very strange movie!”
Check out Bill Sniffin’s columns at www.billsniffin.com. He is a longtime Wyoming journalist from Lander who has written four books. His most recent book is “Wyoming’s 7 Greatest Natural Wonders” which is available at www.wyomingwonders.com.