Friday, August 9, 2013

A luminary sighting in the Tetons

Team Diegel – including Ma Ginnny – arrived in the Tetons last night for a few days of recreation.  The ever-gracious Drew Hardesty again offered up his cabin, that has the official Best Porch View In The World:
Few better places to enjoy a coupla cups o' tea....

On the way up last night we saw a copy of the Jackson Hole Daily News, which had as it’s headline that Sally Jewell was in town discussing the prospect of a federal purchase of private land inholdings within Grand Teton National Park that are being proposed as high-end home developments.  The article is here:

I of course was excited when Sally Jewell was nominated as the Secretary of Interior; a former petroleum engineer turned financier turned the CEO of REI – and a kayaker! – as her nomination was an overdue acknowledgement of the clout that the outdoor industry  - including enthusiastic participants - has as a counter to the resource extraction industries.  And this was an example of her coming down on what I consider to be the right side of an issue that could have broader implications on the West’s federal lands.  And interesting that she’s doing so in the backyard of Wyoming’s newest luminary resident, Lynn Cheney – Dick’s non-lesbian and arch-conservative daughter – who recently moved to WY to take on their already-quite-conservative senator (ala UT’s supremely embarassing putzhead Mike Lee). 

So this morning as I snozed (or maybe doozed) on Drew’s porch as the first rays of light were hitting the summit of Teewinot there was a bit of activity of cars rolling in and out of the driveway heading into the rangers’ cabin area and people piling out of the various cars.  In addition to the gratuitous buttoned-down, gun-toting ranger and a handful of other folks was a lean, 50-something woman who was fairly clearly leading the charge, and when she saw me she marched over to the porch, stuck out her hand, and said “Hi. I’m Sally Jewell.” To which I responded “I know!”  and, at the risk of sounding too cheeky, I quickly added “we are all really excited to having you represent us in Washington.”  She was getting out for a quick hike up to a nice lake before she had to catch a flight  - hopefully to another national park! – and had gotten a good entourage of folks to join her. 

We chatted briefly and I told her I was in the outdoor footwear biz, and was given a good lesson in the power of perception by powerful people when – totally without looking down – said “how can you be in the footwear business with your toes that hammered!”  A very good question! My mind reeled with the many western land issues that I felt like I should use the opportunity to remind her of, and I also thought I should tell her that Drew Hardesty deserves yet another medal of honor for leaving his awesome cabin to us for use for a few days, but then she was off  - just as a drizzle was starting to fall – to get a good morning march done in one of “her” – our! – best national parks before blasting back to Washington to help defend them. 

Last week at the OR show I had the good fortune to also be introduced to Sally McCoy, who is the CEO of Camelbak and is of similar ilk to Sally Jewell .  I think it’s fairly safe to say that these two women have been the Grande Dammes of the outdoor business, and it’s nice to meet them both and get a personal sense of their well-known integrity, intelligence, and enthusiasm and know that it’s getting appreciated on an important scale. 

And of course there was yet another female luminary lurking on said excellent porch:
Ma Diegel with one of her erstwhile handlers
Two of her handlers are planning a one-day blast up the Grand on Sunday with the venerable Jeff Wogoman, much to the madam's chagrin, but it'll at least give her something tangible to worry about for most of a day.....

And speaking of the Tetons, here is Jason's account  - with better pics than mine - of our run almost-around the Tetons of a few weeks ago:

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