Notes on a Square State

I’ve driven through Wyoming a time or two — always on interstate highways, always with destinations in other states.  I can’t say it’s my favorite state — more something that I feel like I should like for its openness, but I can’t get past the sparse population, and worse, the lack of restrooms.

That pretty much changed last weekend when I went to Jackson for the first time…  I know it’s kind of like the Aspen of Wyoming, but it was really a truly gorgeous — I can see why people would want to live there (but they do pay a lot for it).  We made it up to the Tetons, and I’m going to have to go back to see Yellowstone.  I could almost imagine living there, until I hear about real estate prices and think about the hours and hours between Jackson and a major airport.  There’s some art, and some culture, but the division of town occupants seems a little strange.  There are locals, tourists, and second-homers.  Having grown up in a place with a little of that, I kind of don’t like it.  I don’t mind tourists — it comes with living in an amazing-yet-accessible place.  But I’m not so into the second-homers.  I think they can drive locals away because of the inflated housing costs.  They don’t want to be a part of your community because they are already part of their own.  And they complain that it’s not like Dallas or Houston, that your grocery store doesn’t carry x, y, and z.  To the second-homers (and somewhat the tourists), locals become just one aspect of the quaintness of the place.  It’s annoying.

In short, I won’t be moving to Jackson anytime soon.  And it’s not just because of the $1.5 million, 3-bedroom homes.   I will be returning eventually, to hang out with the geothermal wonders of Yellowstone and maybe do some hiking around the parks…  Here are some pictures (note that it was a little hazy due to forest fires):

Park Entrance

(entrance to Grand Teton National Park)

 Jenny Lake

(Jenny Lake (I think))

 String Lake

(String Lake (I think))

bug

(not fish food today…)

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