Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Grand Tetons to Jackson Hole

The name of these mountains proves you can say just about anything in French, no matter how juvenile or rude, and it will sound lyrical and sophisticated.

French trappers in the early 1800s are responsible for naming these mountains "Le Grand Tetons" which literally means "The Big Tits."   

The Shoshoni name for the mountains is less crude, and translates to "hoary-headed fathers." (it sounds rude though) 

The tallest mountain is over 13,700 ft high and they get higher by 5 to 10 feet after each major earthquake.  The prediction is that another major (7.5 or greater) quake is in the Tetons near future but the last was approximately 5000 years ago.  

Anyway, the drive from Yellowstone to Jackson Hole was utterly beautiful and I enjoyed two nights in the National Park campground on the Gros Ventre River. Once again my Golden Agers Pass came through for me.  At 50% off the campsite it came to $10.50 per night. Well worth it for dumping tanks, filling the fresh water tank and getting a hot shower.  That pass has saved me hundreds of dollars in entry fees and easily an equal amount on camping fees.  Ten years ago I paid $10 for that pass--what an investment! Strangely enough I keep running into seniors that have yet to purchase one.  The pass can be bought at the entrance to any National Park and applied immediately.

Jackson Hole is one of those towns that has managed to combine the true old West flavor with the newer chic touristy shops.

There is now a little something for everyone.  Occasionally the old grizzly mountain men can be seen elbowing their way through the crowds or just sitting together on a bench and chewing the fat (jerky).
 The deer and elk shed their racks once a year and grow a whole new set.  The abundance of wildlife in the area can be gauged by these arches of which there are four.... in each corner of the downtown square. 
 The semi-precious stones are so plentiful in the area that whole sides of buildings can be seen covered in these sparkly colorful gifts of nature.

It is not an authentic western town unless there is an over-abundance of stuffed stuff.

I am just glad we haven't taken to stuffing Grandpa.  Oooh, that reminds me of a very unsettling sight I encountered many years ago while visiting St. Peter's Basilica in Italy.  In a glass coffin, and on display so we could admire his serene countenance, lovely clothes and delicately embroidered slippers, lay Pope John XXIII!  Originally interred in the underground tomb....
 .".. he was brought up onto the main floor of the Basilica. That pope, who died in 1963, was moved after his 2000 beatification because so many pilgrims wanted to visit his tomb, and the grotto is in a cramped underground space."

My sentiments exactly!

I much prefer bronze stuff.

It doesn't look at you, get moldy or attract flies.

I think these guys agree.

"No, Sweetheart, I would never stuff you."

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