Ruffin Prevost

Ruffin Prevost is founding editor of Yellowstone Gate, an independent, online news service about Yellowstone and Grand Teton parks and their gateway communities. He lives in Cody, Wyo., where he also works as the Wyoming reporter for Reuters news service. He worked from 2005-10 as the Wyoming reporter for the Billings Gazette and has also been managing editor of WyoFile.

Recent Posts

The Bird Offers Relaxed Refuge Outside the Jackson Bubble

The Bird, south of Jackson, features an expansive back deck with abundant sunshine and sweeping views of the Snake River Range stretching to the Idaho border and beyond. (photo by Ruffin Prevost)

JACKSON, Wyo. — For those first-time customers lucky enough to stumble upon The Bird for a burger and a beer on a sunny afternoon near Jackson, the restaurant’s menu has a little friendly advice: “If you’re a fun-sucker and are uptight, unhappy, or demanding, you know, can’t even have fun on vacation…maybe try somewhere that’s more geared to your sort.”

In a tourist town overrun with hordes of often demanding and ill-mannered visitors — as well as a healthy contingent of wealthy seasonal residents full of relentless five-star expectations — The Bird stands out as a jealously guarded refuge for easy-going locals and relaxed visitors. “While you are here, just cut loose,” the menu’s advisory continues, “get raucous, tell that joke you’re not sure is appropriate, stay late and have the one drink too many and we’ll drive you home.”

And you will have to drive (or be driven), because The Bird isn’t walking distance from much of anything in Jackson. Located on U.S. Highway 89, over five miles south of Jackson’s Town Square, The Bird is tucked away in the back of a funky strip mall that lies between a heavy equipment rental yard and a small engine repair shop. Continue Reading →

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Moving Heavy Metal at High Altitude in Yellowstone

Three rotary plows operated by drivers from Yellowstone National Park work in staggered succession to clear snow from the Beartooth Highway in spring 2021. (Courtesy photo from Jacob W. Frank/National Park Service)

By Ruffin Prevost

CODY, Wyo. — For several days this spring — after Yellowstone National Park had closed to snowmobiles and snow coaches, but before it had opened to automobile traffic — road maintenance crews there were burning through 1,500 gallons of diesel fuel per day. But they were hauling nothing and not building anything. In fact, they were making no permanent changes to any roads. Continue Reading →

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Yellowstone, Grand Teton Planners Tackle Traffic

Traffic backs up at Norris Junction in Yellowstone National Park in this September 2017 file photo. Park planners are working to ease congestion here and at a handful of other especially busy spots in Yellowstone. (Courtesy photo from Jacob W. Frank/National Park Service)

By Ruffin Prevost

CODY, Wyo. — With the advent of warmer weather in Yellowstone National Park and Memorial Day approaching, tens of thousands of out-of-state visitors will be arriving to kick off the summer season. Or as park employees and locals call it: construction season. Continue Reading →

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Spring in Yellowstone ‘Beyond Expectations’

Bebe Bushra, an Instagram influencer from Texas, poses for a photo Sunday at Mud Volcano in Yellowstone National Park. (photo by Ruffin Prevost)

By Ruffin Prevost

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. — As spring slowly takes hold in Yellowstone National Park, a familiar cast of critters are emerging to claim center stage on a landscape still shedding the snow and ice of a long, cold winter. Familiar favorites like sandhill cranes and harlequin ducks have flown in from far-flung locales. But some new stars have arrived too, including baby bison, grizzly bear cubs and even a few nascent bubbling mud pots and babbling brooks that have emerged since fall. Continue Reading →

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Cody Firm Makes Parts for Space Rockets, Fighter Jets

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft and four astronauts launches in October 2022 from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. A Cody, Wyo. company makes custom parts for the Dragon spacecraft. (Courtesy photo from NASA)

By Ruffin Prevost

CODY, Wyo. — The famous Renaissance artist Michelangelo said that the “sculpture is already complete within the marble block, before I start my work. Continue Reading →

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Wyoming Tourism Leaders Hoping for ‘Normal’ Summer

Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Cam Sholly spoke Monday in Cody about how the National Park Service responded to historic floods last spring that closed parts of the park for most of the summer. (photo by Ruffin Prevost)

CODY, Wyo. — Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Cam Sholly spent much of his time Monday during an annual tourism industry luncheon in Cody covering his agency’s response to last year’s historic floods that closed entrances from two gateway communities for most of the summer. The year before, Yellowstone saw its busiest summer ever, as visitors looking to avoid the COVID-19 pandemic flocked to the great outdoors. In 2020, the park was closed to visitors for two months in the spring, as officials worked to cope with the early stages of a fast-spreading virus before vaccines were widely available and best health practices were still being debated and developed. Continue Reading →

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Independent Bookstore Caters to Cody Community

Kalyn Beasley and his mother Teresa Muhic operate Legends Bookstore, a Cody, Wyo. small business that finds success through personal connections with customers. (photo by Ruffin Prevost)

By Ruffin Prevost

CODY, Wyo. — When Legends Bookstore owner Teresa Muhic retired in 2013 from a career as a petroleum engineer and management executive in the oil industry, she was searching for a new project to help her stay busy. “I kind of poked around for about a year,” she said, while considering consulting and other options. Continue Reading →

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Wyoming Bread Doctor Shares ‘Marda’s Gift’ With Community

“Marda’s Gift,” an award-winning short documentary, focuses on the relationship between baking instructor Marda Stoliar and the Fluckiger family, including Ezdan Fluckiger, back right, Lisa Fluckiger, center, and Eleanor Fluckiger, far left. It was directed by Kate McMahon, far right, and Daria Matza, back left. (Courtesy photo from Sheila Rittenberg)

By Ruffin Prevost

Eleanor Fluckiger’s favorite items at The Bread Doctor are the peanut butter cookies, English muffins, strawberry shortcakes and pizzas, a savory treat only offered every couple of months as a lunch special. She’s not alone in her passion for pastries. Five-star reviews abound on Yelp, TripAdvisor and Google for the family-run bakery in Torrington, a town of just over 6,000 people situated on the North Platte River in southeastern Wyoming, 10 minutes from the Nebraska border. But Eleanor, 25, has an advantage over the bakery’s many enthusiastic customers. Continue Reading →

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Wyoming’s Confectionary Perfection

Tim Kellogg, who formerly competed in rodeos as a saddle bronc rider and known professionally as the Meeteetse Chocolatier, started selling chocolates in 2004 to pay for a new saddle. (Courtesy photo from Tim Kellogg)

Meeteetse Chocolatier thrills in creating new flavor combinations

CODY, Wyo. — A cowboy astride a bucking horse has been an iconic representation of Wyoming for more than a century—at least since 1921, when that silhouette first graced  uniforms for baseball players at the University of Wyoming. And chocolate has been connected to Valentine’s Day since 1861, when Richard Cadbury sold heart-shaped boxes of chocolate candies adorned with roses and Cupids. Tim Kellogg’s retail display case offers a range of chocolate truffles and other hand-crafted confections. Continue Reading →

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Taste of the Trails brings ‘pure joy’

WAPITI, Wyo. — A five-kilometer race, run or walk is a staple fundraiser for community nonprofit groups across the country. It’s relatively simple to organize, and draws a wide range of participants—some are zealous competitors, others show up mainly to support a beloved cause. But the most exotic and popular 5K fundraiser in Cody doesn’t have any running, and it isn’t a race. Instead, it features stops at several points along the course to sample treats like artichoke dip or tomato basil soup. Continue Reading →

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