Birthplace of Western Dude Ranch
27.08.2016 - 28.08.2016
I drove down the mountain and into town with the traffic getting heavier with every quarter mile. By the time I arrived in the town square, cars and tourists were inching along getting in each other's way.
I made my way directly to the Visitor Center to assess what I would do next. I thought I really couldn't stay in all that hubbub of the town. Perhaps I would just head on into Grand Teton Park which almost abuts the north side of the town limits
There, I learned that the northern half of Grand Teton National Park was closed due to fires. I could assume that every inch of the southern half wold be almost as crowded as the town of Jackson.
I researched on line and contacted two different lodges. Both were roughly the same price of $240 a night. Everything else was closer to $400 or a place I wouldn't want to stay.
The Alpine House Lodge was less than five blocks off the town square, but it might have been in the next county! It was peaceful with no traffic. I was probably the noisiest thing around.
I caught up with my photos and then cleaned up for dinner. I found The Kitchen just two blocks away and didn't even need to get near the town square.
I dallied so long over my dinner and drink that I missed the 7:00 PM Taize service at the historic St John's Episcopal church. I arrived just in time to hear the musicians play their last note and then pack up their instruments. I might visit one held in Denver.
I took a little walk around the lodge. Everyplace in Jackson is geared towards the tourist and being pleasing to the eye.
This used goods shop was two doors from the lodge. I think they leave everything in the yard not only because the interior is full, but hoping that someone will help themselves to what they want and clear it out. I did not see anything that I wanted.
I got on my bicycle about 6 AM the next morning to ride around town when the streets were clear. The main place to visit is the town square. Shops circle the square and continue for about two blocks in all four directions.
All I wanted to find was a Christmas shop. It seems that every tourist town has one. Not Jackson Wyoming! I did, however find a yarn shop. (She who dies with the most yarn wins.)
I was a little puzzled why they showed a cowboy on a bucking bronco to commemorate John Colter because I think he spent more time on foot than busting broncos.
Jackson has excellent museums, I visited two: Indians of the Greater Yellowstone Museum and Jackson Hole History Museum
It was here that I learned that Jackson, Wyoming has been a tourist attraction almost since it was settled. The first homesteaders were allotted 160 acres - enough for a supporting farm in the east, but barely enough to survive on here in the hole with it's 60 day growing season and not enough vegetation to feed even a few head of cattle. All settlers continued to eat wild game so they could sell every head they were able to raise. (Even today, it is estimated each head requires 40 acres!)
Yellowstone Park was founded in 1872 and the lodge started serving tourists around 1904. By 1908, ranchers in Jackson Hole started offering Dude Ranch experiences as a way to survive in the area. Therefore, Jackson (named in the late1890s) has always been a tourist town! With the first ski tow rope built on Teton Pass in the 1930s, it only became more popular.
So, now I know all about Jackson, Wyoming and Jackson Hole. I will never confuse the name of the city with the name of the valley again.