Dear Jackson Hole,
It might not have been love at first sight, but it was definitely lust. When my friend Autumn and I rolled into your quiet little town at the base of the Grand Tetons on that dark August night, we were so happy to see you.
You impressed us right away with a locally brewed beer in your famed Million Dollar Cowboy bar and then by introducing us to some of your friends at the pizza/beer shack down the street. You behaved yourself though, and we went home alone, like good girls should.
When we saw how gorgeous you are in the daylight, that lust quickly turned into love. You showed us the best of Grand Teton National Park in your backyard, from the jagged peaks to the forested valleys…
From the crystal blue lakes reached only by foot, to the beauty of its wildflowers on a beautiful spring day…
From the pronghorn grazing lazily in the green plains, to a black bear munching berries on the side of the road, staring a large group of curious tourists in the eye, and posing (see featured photo).
But your natural beauty isn’t all you offered us, dear Jackson Hole. You are so much more, and this first date just kept going. You drove us blindly to Teton Village, checked us into a rustic mountain lodge (otherwise known as Grand Teton Hostel), and promptly informed us that it was happy hour on top of the mountain, AND that the lift ticket was on you.
We climbed in the gondola, mouths agape, and knew we were in for a night to remember.
At the top, we ordered half –priced wine from a friendly bartender and sat on the edge of a cliff, overlooking the breathtaking scenery below. This might have been the moment where lust morphed into love.
In fact, I’m pretty sure it was, for if you can show me this good of a time in summer, I can only imagine the adventures to come in winter…
But the night was still young.
Back down the hill, we found dinner and more alcohol at the Mangy Moose bar. As we dined, a solo female guitarist sang country ballads on the stage and the young, friendly, international workers that we encountered everywhere in your lodges, hotels, restaurants and bars kept us eagerly entertained with good conversation about their home countries, cultures and stories.
I’m not embarrassed to say I fell in love on the first date, Jackson Hole. I know it will be hard to top such an amazingly romantic night (even if Autumn was a third wheel), but I sure hope you’ll ask me on a second, perhaps when the snow flurries begin to scatter magic on the ground and gravity can pull us down your mountain on a slick board. We’ll meet in the lodge for a beer or hot toddy served with a gorgeous, international smile, and then we can do it all over again.
Hey, a girl can dream.
With love and fond memories,
Jessica (and probably Autumn, too)
Jackson Hole & The Tetons with Love & Photos