Monday, May 27, 2013

Stop Three On The Yellowstone Experience: Jackson, Wyoming

I know, I know.
If you have been reading this, you are probably saying, does this family EVAH make it to Yellowstone?
Patience dear reader, patience.
There has to be a build up and since this is a road trip with stops on the way, well, you should just sit back and enjoy.
In the previous post, I left you with the sort of sarcastic note that Jackson, Wyoming is home to the three liberals in Wyoming. And yes, there is some truth in that. But that is for later for getting there was as much fun as being there.
In planning this leg of the adventure, I kind of thought that Mapquest was throwing a curve out there the suggested route.
It meant going into Wyoming, back through Utah, back to Wyoming, about two miles inside Idaho and back to Wyoming. I can't actually figure out how to just put a photo of it here, so if you want to see the crazy route, here is the link. The odd thing is after mapping out other alternatives, this was the best route. It just did not sound right.
Well, we set out on Tuesday morning and before you know it, we were in Evanston, Wyoming and about to end interstate driving for nearly the next full week. We were driving up Wyoming route 89 and then it turned into Utah route 16. And we were in hardcore rural Utah at this point.
Of course Mrs. RVFTLC and I were getting hungry and the doggies need a bathroom break. And we hoped that a town would pop up we could stop in.
Then were saw Randolph, Utah.
And yes, it is a town. Really. The designation from city to town was made in 2009. And not one street light on the main drag. But there was a park and we could have lunch, the dogs could do their business and all would be well. Here is a photo of your humble blogger, Scout the Wonder dog to my right and Cashew the Little Guy on my left.
And apparently, Randolph is a big deal in Mormon lore. Oh, and this is the county seat of Rich County. The population for the whole county is 2,264. So, this is as rural as one can get in Utah.
After lunch and a a walk around the town a bit, we continued on our way to Jackson.
No more stopping. No rest till Jackson Hole!
Eventually, we made it long before dark too. However, we kept driving by our hotel for some reason. We were looking for the Quality Inn. Well, eventually, we found it. But you can see why the confusion here:
Yes, the street sign says the 49er Inn and Suites. But if you look closely at the big lighted sign on the chimney, it says Quality Inn right there. And the nice gal explained that it would cost more to change the street sign and that it maintains a certain authenticity which is a big deal in Jackson.
Now, for the three liberals in Wyoming.
Jackson is in Teton County and it was the only county in Wyoming to deliver the majority of votes in 2012 to the Dear Leader, President Obama. A lot of West Coast lefties have discovered Jackson and moved here and did change the complexion of the area.
But not completely.
At least in Jackson itself.
Sure, there are all the organic food places, organic coffee, envionazism and kind of what one would expect in say, Pasadena, California.
Yet it is also beyond proud of its very Western heritage. It is a crossroads so to speak. All seem to live quite well together. And through in skiers and snowboarders in the winter and all groups seem to get along. Not in an uneasy way but in the spirit of community. Here are some photos of Jackson itself.
So, you get the idea.
See, here it is not hokey. It is really the west. When a dude is around town in a cowboy hat he is the real deal. For while Jackson is the largest city in Western Wyoming, it is still under 10,000 in population. It is an area in which there are a lot of ranches, and ranches are where the cowboys work and live.
But this photo shows another side of Jackson. The animal side.
This is your humble blogger at the town square, also known as Antler Park. These are the antlers of the deer and elk that roam all over the nearby Grand Teton mountains and the town itself. No, these are not from hunted animals but remember that they do shed their antlers. And this is the result. There are four of these in each corner of the town square.
As I have noted, Jackson is great at maintaining the old ways with the new people. I do not know how much longer that can last, but probably longer than I think for because if nothing else, Jackson will not become some metropolis. It will be and maintain being a small town.
And that's what makes it the charming town that so many talk about.
Next stop: FINALLY, Yellowstone National Park and four days of adventure!

No comments: