Happy New Year, Everyone!


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As we start the new year out we are filled with memories of the past 12 months – the most difficult period of time in history for most of us. Hopes and prayers for better times in 2021.


© Copyright 2013 Life in the Loony Lane | June Johnston. All Rights Reserved
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Santa’s Sad Saga


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I ran into Santa recently and we had a nice chat over cookies and milk.  He was considering  new career choices and asked me what I’d do if I were him.

I quickly told him that I’d get a different job.  Well, maybe not, the way unemployment is right now, but it’d be  worth a try.  I’d at least stop having white put on my traveling suit.  Those chimneys turn it into read and soot!  I’d also stretch gift delivery time into a lot longer than one evening! It must really tire out the reindeer to travel so far in one night, and who can afford to pay overtime anyway?

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Bridges Well Built

Wayne's covered bridge

A little boy named Wayne Baker, along with a few other children, were told by one of their teachers that they “weren’t worth wasting her time on.” So she didn’t.

Eventually Wayne went to Oakland,California to find work and landed there the day before Pearl Harbor was bombed. He found work at a shipyard where he gained priceless knowledge in cutting and welding. Wayne was later drafted and after Continue reading

Flutes, Woodpeckers, and Bob


 My husband has decided that he wants to learn to play the flute.   I feel fortunate that he chose a relatively quiet instrument.  During early marriage, he decided to learn the guitar, but was too busy with work and family so gave that up.  Now in “later marriage” we’re back to learning music again.  Thank goodness he has his man cave.  I can close the door.  Maybe lock it if need be! Continue reading

Lloyd Baker, Centenarian Surveyor and Singer

IMG_9727 Lloyd Baker age 106

Born in Afton, Wyoming in 1911, he was raised on a farm south of Etna and graduated from the University of Wyoming in 1940 with a degree in civil engineering.

With very primitive tools, Lloyd performed his first survey in Cokeville, Wyoming, about 75 miles down the road from Etna, the town he settled in when he “came home.” The loop within those few miles took him from coast to coast working as a surveyor. Continue reading

Speaking of Love


February is the month when you will find the florist’s shops overflowing with roses.  Floriography was a method used by Victorians to send messages to others without uttering a word – thus the roses became symbolic of love, especially for Valentine’s Day.

There are several other flowers or plants that suggest love as well.  Lovegrass is a very beautiful perennial with ornamental, wispy plumes. Its Greek name is eragrostis:  eros meaning love and agrostis meaning grass.   It’s also used as fodder for livestock. Continue reading

Fly, Turkey, Fly!

The first Thanksgiving in this country has many variations including what was for dinner. (Hint: it wasn’t beef.) They had whatever they could get their hands on which included different kinds of birds, deer, and crops they had grown. The cornucopia, also called the horn-of-plenty, is a symbol of those crops.
The origin of the turkey as the preferred bird for the meal is also debatable but the story I like best is that in the 1950’s the Saturday Evening Post ran a Thanksgiving cover (painted by Norman Rockwell) of a family around the dinner table with a scrumptious turkey as the main dish. It caught on like wildfire!
We all strive for the perfect
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Sunday Morning Breakfast

Sunday Morning Breakfast.

I love small towns!  It’s just that simple.

We have been blessed to go to breakfast with some very special friends on Sunday mornings at Tootsie’s in Thayne, Wyoming for several years now and I am ever more aware of just what a gift that is.   They are wonderful people.

I also enjoy the camaraderie of the other breakfast guests in the restaurant.  Friends may wave at each other across the room, call out a greeting, or just smile – but it’s special.  Some may stop for a minute Continue reading

Crazy Woman Creek – The Story of a Heartbroken Woman

Twelve miles from Buffalo, Wyoming, you can step back in time and feel the presence of a woman gone mad.  Wyoming has never been an easy place to live – you have to really want to be here, but at the beginning – when this wonderful chunk of real estate was not yet a territory – things were much more difficult. 

There are a number of stories as to how the name Crazy Woman Creek, Crazy Woman Canyon, and Crazy Woman Battlefield, came to be – the name alone conjures up visions of horror

One of the most valid stories seems to be that during the era when whites traded Indians for their furs, a misunderstanding led to some Indians scalping a white man right in front of his bride (also white). Her blood-curdling cry was so horrifying that the Indians were afraid of harming her.

She, no doubt, had the same dream most of us have – a future- with her husband, children, a warm, loving home, only to have it shattered right in front of her eyes.  In a split-second, all of that was taken from her.

She wandered the hills alone the rest of her life, never finding her sanity again.  Often she was sighted and fed by various mountain men, only to disappear once more.  One kindly gentleman built her a cabin and she was eventually found dead there, apparently of starvation, years later. 

If you listen carefully, while winding your way through that hauntingly beautiful canyon, you may hear the maniacal cry of a distraught, heart-broken woman.  The wind gently whispers its sad secrets as the creek ripples through the canyon, leaving history in its droplets. Such tragedy in the shadow of the beautiful Big Horn Mountains is beyond sad.


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Our Beautiful Grey’s River


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We went road-tripping’ into the  Greys River area this past Sunday.  It is such a beautiful forest.   Lot’s of nice camping spots for tents and RVs alike.  It’s known as the river with a road beside it.

IMG_9911 Greys RIver

At Alpine, a nearby town, there is a huge, beautiful lake known as the Palisades, where the convergence of Salt River, Snake river, and Grey’s flow into it.   The gorgeous Snake River Canyon goes up to Jackson Hole on the east, and northwest the highway will take you to Idaho.

John Grey, AKA, Ignace Hatchiorauguasha, a very well educated half- Iroquois, was responsible for breaking Britain’s hold on the fur trade which led to the acquisition of the Oregon Territory for America.  The river was named after him.

IMG_9874 Flowers Greys

The Greys River is about 62 miles long and starts high up in the Wyoming Range, 45 miles south of Alpine.  It is a beautiful, rushing stream that separates the Wyoming Range from the Salt River Range on the west.  If you ever have the opportunity to camp along that river you will love it.

IMG_9905 River grasses Greys

It is considered one of the best playgrounds in the area, offering superb trout fishing, canoeing, rafting, kayaking, hiking, horseback riding, and of course, abundant deer and elk for the hunters.


IMG_9940 Greys RIver sign - Copy jpg for blog

This post shows just a few of the abundant wildflowers in the mountain valley.  What could be better than being surrounded by mountains, some about 11,000 feet, a wonderful mountain stream, and the serenity that only that scenario can provide?

IMG_9938 FLowers on the Greys

However – if I were camping in a tent, I might choose to sleep in my car, lest an unfriendly bear pays me a visit!



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