After the first couple weeks of working at WordenGroup Public Relations’ Denver office, Darla asked me if I wanted to travel to Jackson Hole, Wyoming and help her out with a big annual Jackson Hole travel event, the International Pedigree Stage Stop Sled Dog Race (IPSSSDR), the largest sled dog race in the lower 48 states. Having never witnessed even a small sled dog race in my entire life, I was more than excited and eagerly accepted the offer.
Since Salt Lake City is only a few hours from Jackson, I have always driven there rather than flown, so I was taken aback by how striking the descent into Jackson was. The snow-covered Tetons soared in the distance and provided an excellent welcome to my three-week stay in Jackson.
Skiing at the Jackson Hole Ski Resort
My first weekend in Jackson was spent helping out in the WordenGroup Jackson Hole office by putting together prizes and gift bags for everyone involved with the sled dog race. The gift bags consisted of items donated from Pedigree and M&M’s.
IPSSSDR gift bags dontated from Pedigree and M&M’s
The race finally arrived and my duty was to survey the spectators waiting in line to receive prizes at the Pedigree gift tent. The purpose of the survey was to find out how many spectators represented each state and country around the world. Surprisingly, a majority of the bystanders were from Brazil and Australia, enjoying the Wyoming ski season.
Start line of the race
Once the race started, my job, along with WordenGroup’s Katie-Chloe Stock, was to count the crowd gathered around the racetrack. With the use of the iPhone Clicker Tally Counter application, we were able to count around 3,500 people.
Working with the IPSSSDR allowed me to realize how much time, effort, and work goes into planning an event especially one as large as 3,500 people (not to mention over 200 dogs to take care of).
After the IPSSSDR had left Jackson to start its stage stop course across Wyoming (plus a bit of Montana, Idaho and my home state of Utah), I had the opportunity to intern at the National Museum of Wildlife Art. Each morning I would catch the bus at the Aspens, dreading the walk to the bus stop because I always managed to run into a moose. (I am personally terrified of moose and prefer to keep my distance.) After surviving the walk to the bus stop and avoiding any potentially dangerous collisions, I would ride into town where I would meet Emma Zanetti, the museum’s Assistant Director of Marketing, who proved to be an amazing supervisor.
Moose sculpture at the National Museum of Wildlife Art
As an intern/volunteer, I shadowed Emma and helped out with various projects, including updating the NMWA’s Pinterest account and adding pictures. I also helped with creating a social media National Geographic give-away contest.
Being able to work at the NMWA sparked my interest for wildlife photography and art. The people I worked with were understanding, caring, and welcoming, which provided the perfect environment for any new intern.
My final week in Jackson was spent researching information for Ward + Blake Architects. My task was to find Western images taken in the early 1900s, and the Jackson Hole Historical Society had just what I was looking for. The photographs I was sent to find, consisted of the Teton Range, the Snake River, various log structures, barns, and many other classic Western photographs. I filtered 100 photographs from the thousands that I had been viewing into six categories. The images will be used for a new book that Ward + Blake is publishing. Something that I didn’t know about Jackson before sifting through old photographs was that the original Wort Hotel had previously burned down. The hotel was rebuilt with a few modern touches but one would never know that the original structure had been destroyed.