it all started about four years ago,
with this guy right here.
yes. that free spirit hiding in the brush.
for years we had been stopping in at the yellowstone t-shirt company and making quality hebgen lake t-shirts and laughing at the hideous tourist shirts that we deemed 'wildlife tees'. you know, the ones with the tacky animal designs that just scream i am awkward? we loved finding the worst ones and joking about getting them. we never did. then one day the aforementioned character showed up wearing one. it was a classic wolf tee, probably from the D.I., and he actually made it... cool.
we were inspired. we decided it was time to get wildlife tees of our own and it was going to be all of us or none of us. then we could all wear them together and pretend to be an awkward group of tourists and really just be all around awesome. so we made our way to the yellowstone t-shirt co and literally spent hours agonizing over which design we wanted. i can honestly say that in the end a shirt literally spoke, or called to each of us and we all ended up with the perfect shirts (and miraculously all had plaid shorts that matched) so we set off in our wildlife tees for some amazing adventures.
that first year, 2007, our shirts got plenty of wear and tear, and by the next summer we were all seriously ready for more. we weren't the only ones. by the end of the summer several family members and a select group of 'wildlife ready' friends has received tees in the mail and had joined this hodge-podge of a club.
summer 2008 i arrived first with the playmill cast and immediately headed over to the t-shirt co. to scout out the new designs. i picked out a shirt for my new best friend mindy and sent it her way (don't worry, i later got a matching one)
then i began to encourage the rest of the playmill cast to get wildlife tees as well. although only a few jumped on the bandwagon, those who did made quite a statement.
when my family arrived i think our first stop was the t-shirt co. we all needed new shirts so we could have a little wildlife variety. more wildlife tees were bought and shipped around the country. wildlife tees began to be in high demand. i think the yellowstone t-shirt company started getting more business then it ever had before. i sent one off to my missionary friend in florida, and family and friends alike received joyous packages full of wildlife love.
we wore wildlife with pride. we loved wildlife. and so did (almost) everyone else. all of the sudden just wearing our wildlife tees wasn't enough. we wanted our tees to have more purpose. we wanted to feel united. it was time to start having wildlife days. i decided to take on the role of head wildlifer and would send a text out to my fellow wildlifers when it was time for a wildlife day. on these days we would all wear our shirts with pride and feel that wild connection uniting us all together. we started howling. though we all lived in different states and in different places, wildlife gave us a reason to do something together.
wildlife was worn at school.
wherever or whatever we were doing, on wildlife days we repped our wildlife, even if it just meant we wore wildlife socks. soon enough another year had passed by and the number of people that i had to text for each wildlife day was getting a little out of control. the facebook group 'the Call of the Wild' was born. it was officially a club. wildlife became the real deal and even more people joined up in the cause. i started to meet people who already wore and loved wildlife, like my future roommate katie golding. we all began sharing our tees so more could participate. some friends of mine saw me wearing the same wildlife tee twice within three days time and wanted to know the story. they came up with the idea that wildlife days should be connected with the full moon, and a brilliant idea that was. wildlife days were held on full moons, during finals week, or any time that a little extra boost of wildlife power was needed.
summer time rolled around yet again and i headed up to west with the playmill cast of 2010. this time i was determined to get the whole cast on board the wildlife train. some were easier than others. annalyse, who i am all about, was on the train before i even asked her to be.
shelby mae joined up and even had all of her friends wearing wildlife too
before long, the whole cast was all wildlife-d out. awes.
it was a summer of wildlife. a summer of wake surfing. a summer of music videos.
and it was so great.
my twentieth birthday was a wildlife extravaganza.
by now everyone had wildlife and was proud to wear it. even my grandparents! our little group on facebook had about 50 members. wildlife days were national events. (as in people all over the nation were howling with pride). more people were requesting wildlife tees. we placed special orders almost weekly. summer ended and a seriously wildlife year continued.
wildlife united roommates
wildlife connected best friends forever
wildlife became a ward-wide frenzy. after allred 11 (my apartment) introduced ourselves as four wildlife-loving gals and even threw in a little howl, people in the ward wanted to be a part. we surprised all kinds of ward friends with wildlife treats, always delivered by blade.
wildlife kept me connected as i headed off on a parisian adventure and i even found a wildlife soul sister in france.
now i am back in provo and i have declared today a wildlife day. tonight is the full moon. though not every full moon is a wildlife day, it is always a quality time to rep wildlife with pride. the facebook group has 71 members. 71 doesn't even begin to describe the web of people that are called, texted or notified when its time for wildlife. 71 doesn't even begin to describe the number of lives changed. we claim that wildlife really will change your life. it's doofy, but it does. it has changed ours. i can sit here typing this and know that my family in california is proudly wearing wildife. i know my best friend in south africa is repping it as she heads to elephant sanctuaries. i know allred 11 girls are wearing. and it unites us. if i see someone in a wildlife tee, i howl, and they'll howl back. it's a big deal. it's a real deal. i declare wildlife days, but everyone is created equally wild. it has been four years of wild times, and everytime i put on my shirt, i put on the spirit of the wild with it. it's freeing. it's uniting. it is a tangible power. it might have started as a joke four years ago, but it has become very real. we take our wildlife seriously. i think i can say this for all of us, we love wildlife.
so join us. stop at D.I., come to west yellowstone, place a special order.
listen to the call of the wild.
it will change your life.
a few more worthwhile pictures.
what does wildlife mean to you?