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Turning Play into Work: How Frank Teasley Made Guiding His Career
Jackson Hole Iditarod Sled Dog Tours
A passion for the outdoors, hard work and a bit of luck led dogsled guide Frank Teasley to where he is now. The owner of Jackson Hole Iditarod Sled Dog Tours knew he never wanted a traditional job, so he forged his own path in Wyoming.
Frank didn’t just fall into guiding; it’s something he’s done his whole life. From a commercial fishing guide in Alaska to a river guide in Idaho, some might call him a modern-day mountain man.
Dog sledding piqued Frank’s interests after he saw photos of his great grandfather driving a dog team from Russia to Alaska. So, he went for it, competing in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race eight times and eventually starting his own guide service.
“I knew when I was 21 years old I was going to build my own company and my parents told me that was not possible,” Frank said. “I came to Wyoming when I was 24. I wanted to play, but I also worked my job.” His determination and hard work paid off, allowing Frank to grow from 12 dogs and a handful of clients his first season to 187 dogs and fully-booked tours today.
Frank admits he’s unique when it comes to guiding. Most guides work a few seasons to take a break from school or as a segue to a different career. But one common driving factor is a love for and knowledge of the outdoors.
“They enjoy working outside,” Frank said of his employees. “They enjoy working with the general public and working to give people experiences they haven’t had before.”
Frank views his position as more of an adventure than a job, and there’s no place he’d rather have this adventure than in Wyoming. Nearly half of Wyoming’s 62 million acres are public lands, allowing for ample breathing room and access to almost any outdoor hobby of your choosing. According to Frank, it’s unlike any place he’s ever been. Pursuing his passions in this outdoor haven was a simple decision. “Money was never the object,” Frank said, “You can’t go through life on a virtual tour. You should just get out there and do it.”
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