Wyoming Cowgirl – Jessie Allen
- May 29, 2018
- Tiffany Schwenke
All Wyoming Cowgirls have their own story. They come in all shapes and sizes. Yet, they have many similar characteristics such as a genuine sincerity, love for the outdoors, and a heartfelt respect for animals. Jessie Allen is a Wyoming Cowgirl who represented what a Wyoming Cowgirl is and stands for on a national stage.
Jessie Allen is a Wyoming Cowgirl who shines from within. Everyone can see she is super model material, but what makes her special is how she shares her love for the outdoors and animals with many. Jessie Allen inspires people to be more active; to be in nature and to soak in all the fine qualities of the wilderness that can only be truly appreciated by being there.
I recently asked Jessie to tell us about her life as a Wyoming Cowgirl…
My parents started a wilderness guest ranch and outfitting business outside of Lander in 1973. Throughout 45 years in business, my family built all the cabins and raised our herd of 90 horses. The highest guest ranch in the state, we are located off the grid at 9200 feet in the Wind River Mountains. No electricity, no cell service, no Wi-Fi… Just how we like it!
I have spent every summer of my life on the ranch. When I was a little mountain girl, I would spend each day riding my horses bareback down to the creek to swim, fish, pick raspberries and build forts. You could always find me with a dirt mustache, bruised knees, pine needles stuck in my messy blonde hair, and a huge smile on my face. I was an explorer. My horses and dogs were my babysitters and best friends. At the age of 13, I took more responsibility and starting guiding pack trips. This lifestyle taught me independence, courage, and resilience from a young age.
Now I am taking over the business from my parents. Along with managing the ranch and leading a crew of 15 employees, I still guide pack trips for fly fishermen and rock climbers, lead women’s yoga pack trips, and guide bow and rifle hunters on wilderness elk, mule deer, and antelope hunts in the fall. As a single 28 year old entrepreneur it can be tricky to balance the managerial responsibilities with guiding trips, but I love it. I thrive in constant movement and challenge. Leading by example, my goal is to maintain a hard-working, cohesive, happy crew.
My parents taught me to never stand around with my hands in my pockets – at the ranch and in life. There’s always a job that needs to be done, just look around. If you are unhappy with something, pull your hands out of your pockets and make a difference. With this mentality instilled in me at a young age I’ve never been one to sit for long. Along with my commitment to the ranch, I also thrive in exploring personal growth in other areas of life during our off season.
My year of leadership as Wyoming State FFA secretary in 2008 – 2009 inspired me to later compete for Miss Wyoming 2014. I won the title, then competed at Miss America 2015. As Miss Wyoming, I spent the year traveling all over our state to speak in schools and various community events. My platform was Explore Nature’s Playground, “encouraging an active outdoor lifestyle for our youth.”
A few other key learning experiences in my life have been working for Congressman Cynthia Lummis in Washington DC for 6 months, traveling solo to Thailand to train as a yoga teacher for 2 months, traveling solo through New Zealand to volunteer on farms for 4 months, becoming a NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School) instructor, and leading 30-day wilderness hiking courses. Most recently I spent two months working for a sled dog kennel in Alaska as a handler for the Yukon Quest and Iditarod, both 1000 mile dog sled races. These are all experiences that tossed me wildly out of my comfort zone. I mentioned these adventures not to brag, but to display what I believe to be an explorer mindset – living a life with wide eyes, an eager mind, and always open to new opportunities for learning and growth.
Wyoming ranch life taught me to keep my hands out of my pockets; to build a positive, productive and proactive life. You can find me in the Wind River Mountains in May through October. I will probably have a dirt mustache, pine needles in my hair and a smile on my face.
Jessie Allen was kind enough to share a story she wrote about one of her guided hunts and I am including it in a following post for you to read too! I know everyone who reads this will enjoy it and appreciate who Jessie Allen is as a Wyoming Cowgirl even more after seeing a piece of her world from her unique perspective… check back with Cavvy Savvy to read her story….
About Tiffany Schwenke
My family has been ranching and raising horses for over 100 years. We raise, train, and market AQHA horses at North Four Mile Creek Horse Ranch. We produce the annual event WYO WILD RIDE RANCH RODEO. I am a wife and a mother to 3 amazing...