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The homesickness Kali Fajardo-Anstine feels when she’s away from the Mountain West isn’t just a pang of nostalgia or a twang of the heartstrings.

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A trope exists in writing — almost a stereotype — that characters and stories appear to the author, inexplicable in their origin. The vision of the muse visiting an unsuspecting authorial vessel dates back to the Greeks, to the roots of Western storytelling, if not further.

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Flex your muscles

Ready to get down and dirty?

Jackson’s annual Ultimate Towner Obstacle Course — an event that bears a striking resemblance to the ever-popular Tough Mudder races, albeit sans electrocution — is returning Sunday. Mud is sure to fly and injuries will hopefully be minimal as Teton County’s hardos crawl through mud, climb over walls, swing from ropes and clamber over other obstacles as they compete in the fast class or the fun class.

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Birds are chirping, elk are following the snow north into the park and it seems like every pile of melting snow is disgorging yet another old plastic water bottle.

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If snow flurries in May leave you longing desperately for a different way to get outside, do not despair. The snow on bike trails is melted and the season for spring biking has finally begun.

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Wheel and deal for bikes

Whether or not you got out last weekend for the 20th Annual Grand Teton No Motor, now’s the time to dig your bike out of storage and trade it in for a newer (to you) model. Bike shops on both sides of Teton Pass are opening their doors for their spring bike swaps.

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All around the long-frozen state of Wyoming the mercury is rising, the birds are singing and people are wandering the aisles of hardware stores looking at stuff and mumbling to themselves.

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Since women first called out Harvey Weinstein in October 2017 for his careerlong history of sexual harassment, the #MeToo movement has had far-reaching effects well beyond Hollywood. On Monday the global conversation will continue at Teton County Library.

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Train Robbers are comin’

Some train robbers are coming to Jackson, but no need to guard your valuables.

They’re just members of the Americana-country band Tylor and the Train Robbers. The Boise, Idaho-based group will be in town for a two-night stint at the Silver Dollar Bar and Grill, where it will play 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday shows, with no cover charge.

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After a historic number of women candidates ran for office in 2018, people and organizations across the country are working to maintain that momentum.

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Otters on the march

No, these aren’t your average river-dwelling mammals. The Otters, the two-person band consisting of drummer Zach Zimmerman (a founding member of Sneaky Pete and the Secret Weapons) and guitarist and vocalist Jay Alm (a do-it-yourself songwriter who’s toured across the country), may find themselves on the river every once in a while come summer, but they’re definitely human. They’re also playing two shows in the next week before taking a break of an unknown length.

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Unleash your inner Alex

“Jeopardy” hounds unite. The Young Professionals of the Tetons and the Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum are teaming up tonight to host a one-night-only Jackson-themed trivia showdown at the museum.

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Ski like a gaper

Let those goggles drop and bare your forehead to the sky. Gaper Day returns Monday to Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and, if you’re out on the mountain, there’s always a chance you’ll see ski patrol chasing a naked skier down Grand. Stay safe out there — remember to take the bus or make one of your friends a designated driver for the ride home. Lifts are open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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Though not yet endangered, the polar bears of the rapidly warming Arctic are on the vulnerable list. To save the species, the time to act is now. But polar bears aren’t the only ones affected by global warming, experts warn.

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‘I Can Ski Forever’ is coming

Tickets for Andrew Munz’s fourth iteration of “I Can Ski Forever” are now on sale at PinkGarterTheatre.com. If you missed the first three, “I Can Ski Forever 4” is an original comedy about all the things we love to love and love to gripe about in Jackson.

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For wildlife enthusiasts, visiting the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is akin to going back in time. Populations of megafauna, once abundant before European colonization, still roam the region’s complex of public wildlands.

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Tonight: 2018 in focus

Join the News&Guide at 6:30 tonight at the National Museum of Wildlife Art for our first ever Photos of the Year event. News&Guide photographers will share the best photos of 2018. The event is free to attend, and attendance earns you a free raffle ticket to win one of three News&Guide prints.

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Update, 9:45 a.m. Friday: Saturday U has been canceled, according to a message sent by Central Wyoming College-Jackson Director Susan Durfee Friday morning.

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Wort to host comedians

Comedy is far from something Jackson is known for, but for Nick Staron it’s the reason he lives here.

Staron is a founding member of local improv troupe The Laff Staff. After a brief stint in Chicago, where he performed at Second City and the Laugh Factory, he decided Jackson was the place to put down his roots.