News of Riverton, Lander and Fremont County, Wyoming, from the Ranger's award winning journalists.
May 28, 2013 - By Steven R. Peck
Memorial Day was a lovely one across Fremont County, bringing the sort of weather that runs counter to a recent trend of cold, wet Memorial Days. Remember a couple of years ago when it snowed -- hard -- on Memorial Day morning?
No matter the weather, the occasion has its own beauty in concept and spirit. And a well-planned, well-maintained cemetery is beautiful in any condition. That point was repeated for the record again Monday at Mountain View Cemetery in Riverton.
The weekend brought the peak of graduation season in Fremont County. Some schools had commenced their graduates a bit earlier, and there is still a school or two to go, but most of them staged their ceremonies to coincide with Memorial Day weekend.
Ranger staffers fanned out across Fremont County with cameras and notebooks -- both electronic and conventional -- to record the scene. Look for graduation coverage through the week.
There was welcome news from Great Lakes Airlines CEO Chuck Howell last week. He announced that two of the airline's three daily flights from Riverton Regional Airport to Denver would be on the larger of the two aircraft flown by Great Lakes -- the Embraer Brasilia 120.
We'll still get the smaller Beechcraft 1900 on one flight per day. The Beech is a reliable and efficient aircraft, but there is no question that the flight experience in general is better with the larger plane because of its roomier accommodations, including a restroom and fight attendant, and its faster flying speed and higher cruising altitude. That makes for faster, smoother flights to Denver and back.
It is hoped that establishing the Brasilia as the primary carrier to and from Riverton Regional will improve passenger boardings, which aren't at the level that either Great Lakes or airport officials would like.
That's not the only step planned by Great Lakes to achieve better service to its customer community, but from the consumer point of view, it will be the most obvious one.
Great Lakes has vowed to improve. Let's hold them to it. Meanwhile, Fremont County remains fortunate to have commercial air service, and the following adage still applies: Use it or lose it.
Long walk up
We imagine readers got a kick out of Ranger intern Andrea Novotny's story about a Scottish bicycle rider attempting to pedal nearly 5,000 miles from San Francisco to New York City, with stop-offs in both the United States and Canada along the way.
There are some people in our community who can relate first-hand to long-distance cycling, but for most of us it is the stuff of fanciful imagination.
What we imagine is long stretches of flat ground in wide-open spaces, and in good weather. What we don't imagine is something going wrong.
Lest any of us think this might be easy, reconsider the story of Wreford Stewart, the rider who was picked up by a Riverton resident on Togwotee Pass as he struggled with that uphill portion of the trip a few days ago, hampered by a sore knee.
By "struggled," we don't simply mean the pedaling was hard. By the time the compassionate motorist came by, Wreford Stewart wasn't pedaling at all. He was on foot, pushing his bicycle up the 9,658-foot mountain pass.
Think about that for a moment. "Dedication" is one word that comes to mind. Readers might have another word for it, or words. At last report, the Scotsman was healed up and back in the saddle. Happy pedaling -- and walking -- friend.
Here's to a good week.