This site is a collection of updates and stories relating to Signal Mountain Lodge, feel free to join the conversation.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Who says there's no culture in Wyoming?

At SML, we endeavor to give our employees as many opportunities as possible to experience all of the fun and excitement that this amazing part of the country has to offer. This includes outdoor adventures like hikes and float trips as well as cultural events in the Jackson Hole community. No event exemplifies this latter category better than the Grand Teton Music Festival. Now in its 51st season, the festival brings top classical musicians from all over the United States and Canada, some for just a few days or weeks at a time, to create incredible, world class performances in the shadow of the Tetons.

The festival presents full scale orchestral performances on the weekends and chamber music concerts on Tuesdays and Thursdays. On Wednesdays, "Spotlight Concerts" showcase ecclectic acts from a vareity of genres from bluegrass to Gypsy jazz, to Brazilian guitar music. The Tuesday night chamber concerts are especially unique, in part because they are free, but also because the program is tied together by a lively informational talk on everything from the lives of particular composers, to instrument mechanics, to the contemporary critical reception of certain pieces.

Last night, a group of 15 SML employees attended the "Inside the Music" concert entitled Problem Child, featuring pieces by Mozart, Cage, Vaughn Williams, and Martin. The show managed to be emotionally moving as well as intellectually edifying and we'd just like to give an online shout-out to the Grand Teton Music Festival, congratulating them on another amazing season and thanking them for making high art available to those with limited means : ) We'd like to encourage anyone reading the blog whose considering attending a GTMF performance, DO IT.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Adventures on the Snake River

There are definitely perks to being part of the Forever Resorts family. Our recent acquisition of a gently used 15 passenger van has enabled us to extend off-property activities to more employees than ever before and we have been taking full advantage of it! On Tuesday, 7/17, a lucky group of SML staff members had the opportunity to go whitewater rafting with our sister company, Mad River. Our adventure began at the Mad River headquarters in Jackson. A bright green, propane fuled bus drove us about 30 minutes to the put in in the Sanke River Canyon. We donned sunscreen and life jackets and listened to a few words about safety, and then we were off!

Since most of the spring melt water has dissapated and the river is no longer running high, Mad River is using smaller rafts to make their whitewater trips more thrilling. I can say from experience that the ride on an 8 passenger raft is much more exciting than that of an 18 passenger one. Our guides, Jimmy and Ben, were very knowledgeable and made us feel confident and safe while still making sure that everyone got thoroughly soaked. (Jimmy managed to throw all but one of his passengers into the river at the same time!) The eight mile trip took just under two hours and we arrived at the pull out soggy but elated.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Things are heating up at SML

Unusually warm and dry weather has given way to tinder-dry conditions throughout the Bridger Teton National Forest (and most of the Mountain West, actually). 2012 brought us the driest June in over 60 years! July has blown in with significantly more precipitation, but it all comes in the form of thunderstorms, bringing lightning to ignite the parched forest. Hundreds of thousands of acres of beetle-killed trees only exacerbate the situation, increasing exponentially the amount of hazardous fuels. At present, two major fires are burning in the BT: the Fontenelle fire, at over 64,000 acres is south of Jackson near the towns of Afton and Big Piney. The Bear Cub fire is closer to home, but smaller--a smouldering 6,420 acres up on Togwotee Pass.
Of course, wildfire is part of the forest's natural life cycle of destruction and renewal. Did you know that lodgepole pine cones only open to release their seeds when heated to around 180 degrees F?
At SML, we remain content to follow the news updates of the fires, try to limit outdoor activity on particularly smokey days, and give thanks daily to be surrounded on two sides by water.

For the latest information about fires throughout the region (including some incredible pics of the Fontenelle Fire!) visit www.inciweb.org
A recent stormy July evening