Is also something of a tourist destination as it turns out. I know what many of you are saying – it’s July/August – what the hell are you expecting in these places? And you’re right. I’ll shut up. In a minute. I’m turning into a curmudgeon before your eyes. Enjoy the ride. (By the way, as a former resident of a tourist town, Key West, FL, for years, I think I’m entitled to a little criticism of the tourist infrastructure. Hell, I contributed to it.)
Jackson, WY, home to Jackson Hole ski resort pictured here, is situated at the southern end of the Grand Teton National Park. The resort seems a bit high-falutin’ ($60 youth hostel? Hello??) but was beautiful from a distance. Lots of horse farms down here and beautiful sun and blue sky to soak in.
The town itself is southeast of the resort. A lively place, it’s something of a shiny, expensive, touristy version of the old West. The streets have the same feel as they probably did 100 years ago (except for the pavement and parking meters). Most of the shops have old style store fronts but now sell all sorts of western-themed ‘stuff’ – from chaps to t-shirts, old west photos and tons of other junk that either makes you fat, look stupid or just empty your wallet unnecessarily.
At one of the corners of the town square (marked by huge piles of antlers – like 12′ high piles of antlers), sits the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar.
The place is covered in western paraphernalia including horse saddles for seats at the bar (which felt a bit silly to sit in come to think of it..) and a stuffed bear that was allegedly killed by a man with his bear er.. bare hands. And teeth. With his hand stuffed down the bear’s throat, he apparently locked his jaws onto the bear’s jugular vein and held on for the ride ’til it died. That’s a necklace bauble worth wearing in my book.
Anyway.. the bartender totally played the part. With his cowboy paunch, facial hair, straight off the ranch dirty/weathered look, western style snap shirt and leather vest, he had me thinking I was in the real deal. Until I heard him tell some tourists that he was from Berkeley. California. Berkeley!! I love this country.