Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Day 12: Howdy Stranger

We got married in a fever, hotter than a pepper sprout.
We've been talkin' 'bout Jackson ever since the fire went out.
I'm goin' to Jackson, I'm gonna mess around.
Yeah, I'm goin' to Jackson. Look out Jackson town.

"Jackson", by Jerry Leiber and Billy Wheeler

Yesterday morning we left Idaho Falls to get to Jackson. Good-bye Idaho. Hello - for the first time - Wyoming.

Honor our GPS had us take a scenic route through the Targhee National Forest.

It is an absolutely beautiful place with high hills and massive fir trees. I kept saying how gorgeous it was. LK kept agreeing but then would add, "I just have the idea we're going to turn a corner and go Wow!"

Meaning she thought it was lovely, but she was on this trip for the special effects not just beautiful forests.

Part of the journey involved a very steep climb up a mountain to reach the Teton Pass. That's where you finally start to see the valley below. And in case you're not quite sure what you're looking at, the good folks at Jackson Hole have given you a pretty big clue:

(And just what is it about the tourism folks at these western places that they think it's cute to make believe that folks in the Old West all talked like Yosemite Sam? We've seen Deadwood. We know what they really said to strangers.)

It was midday when we arrived at Jackson and were lucky that our hotel room was available. By the time we'd checked in and put our stuff in the room, we were faced with two choices - a quick trip to check out the Grand Teton National Park or a couple of hours checking out Jackson.

Lunch and shopping won, since we didn't want to have to hurry our visit to the Grand Tetons. That will come tomorrow.

I must say that Jackson is very different from the last few places we have visited. There are some people who perhaps could most politely be called unique. "Friggin' weird" is the other way to describe some of them.

We saw a guy in shorts, a shirt and a cowboy hat. Oh yes, and a silk cravat. Which he carefully removed and folded before eating his lunch. Think of a cross between an Alpine yodeller and a ranch hand.

We saw dozens of bikies and bikie babes in their leathers. That's not so odd, but I had to keep looking at them because some of them were so old I'm still not absolutely sure they were really wearing leather.

And, yes, we saw a woman in a pink outfit wheeling a baby stroller down the street with her twins in it. That's them in the picture. When I asked her if I could take a picture, she said sure, but cautioned me that her girls were pretty sleepy right now. I guess that's what the sign was talking about when it called Jackson the "last of the Old West."

And so now I sit alone in our room since my wife has left me. Left me to go shopping, of course. After lunch she graciously offered to let me go back to the room while she checked out more shops. In other words, she knew I would be a huge grumbling millstone around her neck and would much prefer that I just leave her the hell alone. I am a little concerned, though, because as I left she said that I had better play online poker and win big today.

So shuffle up and deal.

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