Day 20: Jackson Hole

Jackson Hole is the same size as Cody, but is a completely different type of town. Jackson is popular both summer, because of the parks, and winter, because there are many places to ski in the mountains. This has made the town very popular with wealthy Americans who have bought vacation homes here. So the town is full of art galleries and expensive boutiques.

Thursday morning we went up to look at the skiing area behind the town. We took the Airtram, a large cable car that transports up to 100 people from Teton Village to the top of Rendezvous Mountain (10450 feet), from which there was a fabulous view of the Tetons and Jackson Hole below in the valley. There was also a delicious smell of waffles, so when we had admired the view for a while in the cool wind (it was only 64 degrees Fahrenheit up on the top of the mountain compared to 82 degrees in the valley below) we went into the little cottage, which had probably been built for skiers originally (all the outside walls were decorated with old skis anyway) and had coffee and waffles.

Then we took the Airtram back down again. But our tickets were good for a smaller cabelcar nearby which went up to a different place a little lower on the mountain, so we did a trip on that one as well.
After our second mountain trip we had become hungry ( in spite of the waffles) and the Alpenhof looked very appealing with its German/Austrian menu. So listening to Austrian folk music and the theme from the ultimate Vienna film, “The Third Man” we had jägerschnitzel and bratwurst mit sauerkraut und kartoffelsalat! (And none of it came in a burger bun!).

Then we drove back to Jackson to visit the (very) small town museum, which among other things had an exhibition on the so called “dude ranchers”, people from other places in the USA who came to Jackson and “played” cowboys:

“… I speak of ‘dudes and tourists’. There is a difference. A dude is one who comes in for weeks or months, stays at a dude ranch or something like it, dresses more like a cowhand than a cowhand does, rides horses, and in a kind of simple-minded way tries to fit into the country…
A tourist is just a tourist, absorbed in the intricacies of the Dyna-flow Drive (a 1950s transmission), buying postcards so that when he gets home he can see where he has been.”
– Donald Hough, Cocktail Hour in Jackson Hole.

After the museum we went for a walk on the Main Street to see what present day dudes and dudines buy in this town, and we were not disappointed by the selection: huge chandeliers made out of antlers from elk or moose, a stuffed bear with a price tag of $22,000 or what about this bed:

Unfortunately we didn’t have room in our suitcases for chandeliers, bears or beds, so we went back to the motel for a cool dip in the pool and some dinner instead.

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