Road Trip Jackson Hole and Rawlins Research

Research for the Next Rawlins Novel

Cowboy at Jackson Hole Airport

Let me explain: With the first Rawlins novel now only days from being published (I will announce it soon with a special blog post.), it is time to begin research for the next book. I will begin writing “Rawlins, Into Montana” sometime this winter. Heaven only knows when I will finish it, but the next couple of my blog posts will relate primarily to the trip my wife and I took out to Wyoming and Montana the last week of September. Although the research was important, we spent most of our time taking photos and traveling through some of the most beautiful country in the world–the Wyoming and Montana Rocky Mountains. After flying into Jackson Hole, we rented a 4-Runner and began our trip in the Grand Teton National Park.

Besides the grand vistas, wildlife is one of the primary attractions for both the Teton and Yellowstone Parks, and we saw more than our share, including a rare sighting of wolves in the Teton Park. The only downside was I didn’t have my camera ready when the wolves appeared, and they disappeared in a flash. We did get photos of practically everything else we saw and will show some of those pictures here in the next few blog posts.

As you view the photos, especially those of the larger animals you may think me foolhardy because they seem to be taken from very close, but not to worry. I use a telephoto lens. These are wild animals and have no doubt, Teton and Yellowstone are not petting zoos.

Mule Deer, Gros Ventre Valley

As a writer, I try to imagine how this land and its wildlife must have appeared to Rawlins and his little family as they traveled through these mountain valleys over a hundred and fifty years ago. It’s awe-inspiring even in this day and age, especially when you see things with big teeth or long horns. Next time, if I am not announcing the publication of the first Rawlins novel, I will post more photos, including some of a grizzly on the Shoshone River.

Big Bear near Moose Junction, Teton National Park

Jenny Lake

























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Rawlings: Historical Fiction and Western Book

Bear Sighting in Desoto County

Photos of Goldfinch Sunflower Seed Heist

Thieves Caught In The Act!

I was out back shooting some butterfly photos this morning when I noticed a great deal of suspicious activity over in the garden. Something was in the sunflowers. Easing that way with the camera, I found two American Goldfinches literally stuffing themselves with sunflower seeds. Their bellies were swollen, and their cheeks were loaded with the loot.


Caught in the Act!

The Thief’s Surprise is Evident as He Realizes he is on Camera.

Goldfinch Thief Passing the Loot to an Accomplice

Camera Surveillance Catches Thief looking back at the Crime Scene





























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What Writers do when they are bored

The Nature of Things in Mississippi

Big Time Casino Winner

Huge Jack-Pot—Big Time Casino Winner

I am sick and tired of you non-believers—you folks who bob your eyebrows and smile when I tell you that I won big at the casino. Yes, I hear it constantly. Other people who get the same reactions tell me how they go to the casino and win all the time, yet you skeptics don’t believe them. Well, I fixed it. I am providing proof. Yes, I saved my winning tickets and took photos of them, just so I could show you, skeptics. Brent Maverick ain’t got nothin’ on this gambler. I go and dominate those one-armed bandits. I go and I take home winnings every time.

Not only that, they know me by name. I’m special down at the casino I am addressed as “Mister” and they cater to my every whim. I get personalized letters from them, and they give me greasy fried chicken, greasy fried shrimp, flavorless boiled crab-legs, leather-like pizza, over-cooked prime rib, paper-thin steaks, and so many other culinary debacles that I can’t describe them all—AND IT IS ALL FEE!!

No, that isn’t a typo. There is a small fee. All I have to do is put my plastic card in their machine and shove thirty, forty or fifty dollars into the one-armed bandit and I am mailed a ticket to receive all that wonderful food. Heck fire! There was even a poor gal in a too-tight tutu bringing me free liquor while I was doing it. ‘course, if I didn’t tip her, I got only one drink.

SO…this Mississippi gambler showed the Casino. Yes, I did. They can build those huge gambling palaces and pay all those employees with all you loser’s money. Me, I’m a winner. I can put fifty bucks in each machine, but at the end of the night, I win a ticket. And here are the tickets to prove it. By the way: anybody know the difference between a cashout voucher and a cashout ticket? Just thinkin’ I oughta know ‘for I go to collect my winnings.

You may also enjoy: Book One of My Southern Fiction Series: Tallahatchie