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Tribune Staff

Coin collectors and enthusiasts itching to get their hands on the new Yellowstone National Park quarter will have a golden — or, perhaps more accurately, copper and nickel — opportunity on Thursday.

The United States Mint is scheduled to introduce the Yellowstone quarter to the nation on Thursday, June 3, at a 10:30 a.m. event inside the park.

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Skateboarder Cameron Tirrell goes airborne while performing a trick jump over his friend Adam Christiansen on Wednesday. With the close of the school year and the advance of warmer temperatures this past week, the skate park, like many other outdoor venues, was a popular hangout for Powell youth. Tribune photo by Randal Horobik

Program one of many new summer activities

The Powell Recreation District, in conjunction with the Powell school district, will sponsor an open gym at Powell High School during the summer. The program is free of charge for community members.

The open gym will run Monday through Thursday, beginning on June 1 and running through July 22.

Trio from 2009-2010 roster climb hockey's ladder

Three members of last season's Yellowstone Quake hockey roster will continue their playing careers with higher-division teams after being selected during recent hockey drafts. The Quake had one player snatched in mid-May's United States Hockey League draft while two more were picked up late last week in the North American Hockey League's entry draft.

Public invited to scale iconic Park County peak

The Nature Conservancy will host its annual Heart Mountain community hike on Saturday, June 12. The trek will begin at 9 a.m.

Hikers are asked to meet at the Heart Mountain Ranch headquarters before heading to the trailhead. Coffee and doughnuts will be provided at the ranch, but hikers should make plans to pack their own water, lunch, sunscreen and clothing for possible inclement weather.

Powell Valley Healthcare will provide extra water and granola bars halfway up the trail.

Along for the hike this year will be a variety of experts to answer questions on the various aspects of Park County's unique landmark.

Among those scheduled to attend will be experts versed in the mountain's geology, its plant and animal life and the management of the area surrounding Heart Mountain.

Hikers should prepare for a full day outdoors and a strenuous round-trip hike of approximately seven miles for those choosing to walk the trail all the way to the summit of Heart Mountain. The walk is open to anyone wanting to enjoy the outdoors and to learn about Heart Mountain. Hikers may walk as much or as little of the trail as they wish during the community event and hikers are free to proceed at whatever pace feels most comfortable to them.

No pets should be brought on the hike.

To reach the Heart Mountan Ranch headquarters, take Road 19 at Heart Mountain Relocation Camp and travel north for several miles, winding through farm ground before the road turns into Lane 13 1/2. Continue toward Heart Mountain until you hit Road 22. The ranch headquarters is the first building along Road 22.

For more information on the 2010 Heart Mountain community hike, contact the ranch office at 307-754-8446.

Summer's arrival brings more motorcyclists to Wyoming's roads. With warm temperatures and longer days, some residents will opt to leave their cars in the garage and hit the road on their motorcycles.

Wyoming drivers sharing the highway with bikers need to be cautious and aware of motorcyclists' presence. Too often, distracted drivers fail to notice an oncoming motorcyclist.

Last year, 13 people died in motorcycle crashes in Wyoming, according to the state's Department of Transportation.

Just this spring, a few vehicles have collided with motorcyclists in the Powell area. Recently, a motorcyclist in Ralston was injured after a driver didn't see him and turned into his path. Thankfully, the man riding the Harley-Davidson survived the wreck.

These crashes reiterate the need for drivers to take an extra moment to look twice for motorcyclists, especially at intersections.

For motorcyclists and drivers on the same roadways, safety is a two-way street.

All motorcyclists should wear helmets, even if Wyoming law doesn't require them to.

Wearing helmets saved 1,829 motorcyclists' lives in 2008, according to estimates from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It's simple — helmets save lives.

Northwest Wyoming's highways lead to spectacular summer sights — but motorcyclists and drivers alike must be cautious when sharing roadways to ensure everyone arrives safely at their destinations.

As stated previously, there is no such thing as a free haircut. I'll premise my proof with a few words about my opinion page photo. The conservative doo you've been seeing is misleading. After that bizarre, short-hair stage I went through, I launched “Operation Repo.”

The Tea Partiers can have their country back; I just want my hair back!

That photo was taken several months after I had shaved my head for a short film role, but hair-nostalgia soon got the best of me and my trusted, long-time stylist, Monica. Tiring from fruitless attempts to dissuade me, she said if I was determined to reclaim my life-long shaggy look, I might as well go all the way with one long length instead of a return to the ghost town of Mulletville.

She clearly thought me imbecilic (I've been called worse!) for not staying with the short look she swore made me look 10 years younger, but trimmed me up and wished me Godspeed.

After 12 school years of Beatle bangs followed by 35 years of mullets of varying degrees, I was in quest of the Holy Grail: the ponytail. For more than a year I've been inching toward it, often wearing the Bret Michaels headband to compliment the thinning front, while the sides and back kissed my shoulders and flirted with my back. My hair was longer than ever before and only months from gold.

And then one Saturday evening in March, a common group of friends again razzed my lengthening locks — particularly the sides, where the headband indentation accentuated the distinctive “poofiness.” I've had that thick, two-tiered side hair since my teens when I came to Cody and baseball teammate Dave Beemer called me “Ponderosa Pine.”

But I was totally at peace with it. My future ponytail was a work-in-progress, and soon I'd be past that in-between stage Monica warned me about. They continued the derisive critique though, and one gal, (we'll just call her Phoebe) uttered that fateful offer: “Hey, I'm cutting his (her boyfriend, who we'll call Chandler) hair tomorrow. Let me ‘trim' yours too; we'll all have a little wine, order a pizza and have a haircut party.”

The five of them were united, with Chandler promising if I just let her thin the sides, he'd quit calling me “Mushroom Head.”

They threw around that word, “free” haircut, and the deceptive, “… not one bit shorter; just not as bulky.” Finally when I heard the seductive, “It will probably look even longer once it's thinned out,” I acquiesced.

The next day as I watched Phoebe trim Chandler's simple-to-cut, Beaver Cleaver hair, I tried to back out. Again she insisted my precious length wouldn't be tampered with, so when Chandler vacated the chair, I walked to it like a lamb to the shearing.

She began gently, but soon those scissors sounded like swords flailing through the air, hair clumps landing heavily on my shoulders. I jokingly feigned panic, but when I glanced around and saw the fading smiles and widening eyes, I sensed life as I knew it had just changed.

Then I really freaked out when Phoebe stopped, studied my head and actually offered the scissors to Jen and Linda with, “Hey, if anyone else wants to cut some, I won't be offended.” WHAT? Three people you never want to hear that from are a dentist, urologist and anyone trimming your hair!

An ashen Jen — almost as if feeling pressured — slowly took the scissors and a few quick snips of her own.

Long story (and hair) short, I looked into Chandler's bathroom mirror and saw something resembling my mullets of old … except this one a really bad mullet. I gasped but stifled a scream, sparing my good friend Phoebe's well-intentioned feelings. After all, cutting hair isn't her regular job and she never claimed to have a degree in long-hair restoration.

I said as little as possible, but when I ran into friends Scott and DeAnna on my home, they howled with a pitiful delight. The first thing DeAnna was a dear to point out was “The right side is over an inch shorter than the left.”

Free haircut, my keester! After weeks of hysteria from nearly everyone I knew, and an awkward chance encounter with Monica, I allowed another stylist I'd met to take a stab. She warned me there was no salvaging what length remained, but I made her try. After a $15 re-trim, it didn't look much better — only shorter. My ponytail dream had ended.

Next week I'll return to Monica and beg her forgiveness for straying. I know we'll have to start over, but if she agrees to take me back, I promise I'll never again look for it free on the streets when I can pay for it from a real pro!

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Bill Dobbs of Deaver waits for the smoke to clear after branding one of his calves last weekend. The weather cooperated long enough to get the calves branded before the next rainfall moved in. Tribune photo by Carla Wensky

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Cooperation between Park County's two hospitals was the focus of a presentation about West Park's capital facilities tax proposal at Powell Valley Hospital on Monday.

“We rely on each other,” Doug McMillan, West Park's chief executive officer, told Powell Hospital District board members. “We already support each other.”

The 2010-11 school year at Northwest College promises to be one of adapting to change.

With the likelihood of another significant increase in student enrollment next year, the college is facing the need to adapt and do more with less.

That applies not only to budgetary constraints, but also to changes in faculty and staff.

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