THEM ON US: 2.12.14

By on February 11, 2014
Jamaican Bobsled team trains in Evanston

Jamaican Bobsled team trains in Evanston Photo STAR-TRIBUNE

A dry future
Longtime editor for Powder Magazine, Porter Fox landed a sweet opinion piece in The New York Times Sunday Review. Titled “The End of Snow?” the article had to baffle most New Yorkers who’ve had their share of battles with the white stuff, but the author of Deep: The Story of Skiing and the Future of Snow has been connecting climate change with diminishing snow depths for years now.

“I was floored by how much snow had already disappeared from the planet, not to mention how much was predicted to melt in my lifetime,” Fox wrote in the piece published February 7. Fox added that 88 percent of American ski resorts now use artificial snowmaking to help them through a winter season.

Fox moved to Jackson Hole after graduating college in Vermont. He wrote briefly for the Jackson Hole News before landing his gig at Powder. He now lives in Brooklyn.

Cool Wyoming runnings
If an Olympic bobsled team from Jamaica doesn’t sound unlikely enough, how about adding the fact that the ragtag bunch of sledders train in Wyoming?

An in-depth story in the Star-Tribune confirmed what we already knew to be rumor: That the Jamaican national bobsleigh team trains in Evanston, Wyo. The team debuted at the Winter Olympics in 1992, prompting the 1993 movie Cool Runnings. Leading into the games at Salt Lake in 2002, we heard the tobogganing Rastas were training in Wyoming.

Here’s how it all got started. Paul Skog, an Evanston attorney who is known to wear a multicolored Rastafarian hat on occasion, learned that a bobsled track was to open in Park City in 1997 ahead of the Salt Lake games. He thought Evanston, only 75 miles to the north, would make for a great training facility headquarters and would help put the small Wyoming city on the map. So he called Jamaica.

After a few phone calls and emails, Skog had nine Jamaicans training in Evanston in 1999. The team ended up finishing in the middle of the pack in 2002. They failed to qualify for the 2006 and 2010 games.

Fast forward to the winter games in Sochi. The Jamaican bobsled team is headed back to the Winter Olympics and once again trained in Evanston where team captain Winston Watts has made his home for the past 15 years. Incidentally, the team arrived in Russia last week ahead of their lost luggage, which turned up a day after their arrival.

Justin and Tod Pervus in Driving Blind Photo Driving blind

Justin and Tod Pervus in Driving Blind Photo Driving blind

Blind ambition
What would you do if you knew you were going blind? If you had a limited amount of time to see what you could before you could see nothing more, where would you go?

Brothers Tod and Justin Pervus planned to gain a world of vision before losing their eyesight to a rare disorder known as Choroideremia, recording their 13,000-mile journey across America in a documentary called Driving Blind. The film (drivingblindfilm.com) has garnered positive reviews at more than a dozen film festival screenings.

Already more than $50,000 has been raised for the Choroideremia Research Foundation. The brothers travelled in and around Jackson Hole, including a stop at Idaho’s infamous Spud Drive-In.

Scotch on the rocks
Planet Jackson Hole writer Kelsey Dayton took us along on a dusty ride in search of a whiskey tasting in the quasi-ghost town of Atlantic City. The opening sentence sucked us in. We’ve all been there.

“I started to get nervous when the gas light came on,” Dayton began, describing her trek to Miner’s Delight, a one-room cabin bar that opens just twice a month for rare single-malt Scotch tastings. “We weren’t exactly lost. We could have reversed direction on the dirt road we’d been driving on for more than a half-tank of gas, but I doubted that we’d make it out of the sagebrush sea before the fumes ran out.”

Dayton made it and the rest is her story, which appeared in the Washington Post Travel section last weekend. It tells the delightful tale of Bob Townsend, who bought the bed-and-breakfast inn in the middle of nowhere Wyoming.


About Jake Nichols

Jake is a work in progress.

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