Thursday, June 18, 2015

Chapter 13 - Jackson Hole

Thursday - June 18th:
For the first time on our trip to Oregon we elected to spend two full days and three nights at our campground here in Jackson, Wyoming rather than just our typical two nights only. Yesterday our primary focus was the Grand Teton National Park which we covered in our previous chapter.  Today our plan is to visit Teton Village noted for its excellent ski slopes, and then later, spend a little more time visiting downtown Jackson.  Cabo just loves looking through all of the fine stores in the downtown area.  Before we did either of these two things however, Kathy and I both agreed that we should drive out of Jackson on Hwy 22 and up to Teton Pass at elevation 8,431 just to make sure that the road was not too steep for our drive tomorrow hauling our trailer. We had been told by another RVer who we had run into in Casper, that he avoids this particular highway when driving his motorhome because of its steepness. Boy was he giving us good advice. There were signs warning us of the steep 10% grade before we even started up the hill and once we started our ascent we almost immediately decided that tomorrow when we were towing our travel trailer that we needed to find another route.  One good thing about the drive up to Teton Pass was that the view from the top was amazing.

We turned around at Teton Pass and headed back downhill to our first stop at Teton Village. The photograph at the right shows Kathy and Cabo at the entrance sign to Teton Village.  In the background we could clearly see the expansive ski slopes and at the base of the mountain were hundreds of condos just waiting for the next group of winter visitors.  The town was surprising busy considering the lack of snow. There were curious tourists like ourselves many of whom spent the $8.00 fee to take the tram to the top of the mountain, but there were also a large contingent of hikers as well as summer sports enthusiasts who enjoyed the thrill of paragliding.

If Kathy and I were many years younger and we were not entertaining Cabo, we without doubt would have hired a guide who would have taken us paragliding.  The gliders, and there were many of them, were in the air at least twenty minutes and considering the scenery from their lofty heights, the experience must have been breath taking. Kathy and I skied for many years prior to moving to Florida including skiing trips to Vermont, but we have to believe that the experience of skiing The Tetons would have topped them all.      

On the road leading to and from Teton Village we spotted a large herd of cattle grazing alongside the road which we felt was worthy of a photograph particularly because of the setting with the mountains in the background.

We also saw a few buffalo which we photographed but our real dream would have been to photograph a stampede of buffalo with Indians chasing them, but it was not to be.  Only these few lowly buffalo quietly eating grass in the distance.

We spent part of our afternoon visiting the downtown area of Jackson. The majority of the many stores focused their efforts on selling things to tourists from small souvenir trinket items to expensive Western clothing, expensive potteries, Indian blankets, and everything and anything else that might remind the visitor of their trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Kathy wandered through the many stores while most of the time Cabo and I just enjoyed sitting on one of the many benches watching the shoppers passing by.  The downtown was really crowded with folks some from as far away as Japan and Florida no less.

Most of the stores were centered around a very nicely landscaped park which oddly enough did not allow dogs.  Strange park.  The entrance to the park passed under a large ring of antlers. There were also statutes all over the place such as the one in this photo to the left. Obviously as a member of the male species I have no particular interest in shopping, although the western architecture of most of the buildings downtown was interesting and it was kind of fun to walk along the wooden boardwalks that passed in front of each of the buildings.

Another attraction that clearly focused on the tourist was the stage coach that for an $8.00 fee carried visitors around the shopping area on a ride that lasted no more than 15 minutes. The coach did look quite authentic and thus we took its photo.

This last photo was taken of Cowgirl Kathy and her faithful companion Cabo both sitting next to Mark Twain which is a bit strange since I doubt Mark Twain ever visited Jackson Hole. But then, who cares.

We are leaving Jackson, Wyoming tomorrow morning for Idaho Falls, Idaho and we sincerely hope that are new destination is far less crowded than our present one.  Jackson was a fun place to visit for a short period mostly because the scenery is so beautiful, but it would be no place to live.  I know . . lots of people obviously disagree and that is why real estate is hugely expensive in this town.  

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