Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Wide Open Spaces

Jackson Hole, Wyoming. About 15 years ago I was having dinner with a group of business people and one of the women said she lived in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. At that point in my life, I was completely unfamiliar with the area. Now that I've come and gone, I understand why. Stepping off a plane in Jackson Hole is like walking into the past...back when there were huge open spaces with mountains and sky every which way you looked...cattle and horses grazing alongside the road...cowboys (real ones) with weathered skin and cowboy hats on their heads passing by on the street and taking pretty girls for a twirl on the dance floor at "Cowboys" in the evenings. Yep, it was the West I had envisioned in my head from stories and television shows and movies, but never really believed existed. It still exists, and it's stunning.

I suppose winters aren't quite as comfortable with a layer of white snow always covering everything and temperatures getting to minus 49 degrees. It makes me wonder how anyone can live there year round. About 7,500 people do live there year 'round. Good grief. Ann Arbor, Michigan has over 113,000 people in their little city so Jackson Hole residents must feel like a large family.

We had a great time hiking & rafting with our friends, B&C, who you have seen here on my blog many times before. Here's Brian tickling Connie on our way up the mountain. They are so much fun to travel with:

As we were entering the area to land our raft here was Mr. Moose, waiting for us. We were told not to get too close because he could get nasty. We kept our distance.

This is a view from Grand Teton National Park. We had hiked up to "Inspiration Point," which SOME of us found a little more difficult than others to accomplish (ME...because it was like straight UP the mountain!), and then we continued hiking along a more flat terrain (suggested by our rafting guide, Andy, who gave us so many wonderful suggestions of what to do with our time in Jackson Hole. He was a college student who had come there for one semester off, and never left. We understood why.)

I have so many photos of this trip, and plan to get them on flickr as soon as as possible. Will let you know.

: )