Thursday, November 17, 2011

Jackson aka Jackson Hole Wyoming

The town of Jackson is small, under 9000 people, and tall, over 6000 feet above sea level. The adjective we decided best describes it's historical center, most of which dates form the first three decades of the 20th century, is cute. As in West Yellowstone, log structures mix with traditional "Wild West" architecture. Most of the sidewalks in the central district, many of them wood, are protected from the weather by the eaves and balconies of the buildings that line them. On each of the corner entrances of the town square is a large arch constructed of the antlers shed each spring by the local population of elk. An annual event in Jackson is an auction  of these antlers, collected by enterprising Boy Scouts, from the nearby elk preserve. A war memorial, topped with a statue of a cowboy on a horse, rearing up, front legs in the air, stands in the center of the square. The cowboy and the rearing horse seems to be a trademark of Jackson as it can be seen in several different incarnations throughout the town.

At one point, we get an old meets new moment when we see a long, lean man in traditional cowboy hat and boots, jeans and a sheepskin jacket, standing under the antler arch talking on his smart phone.

Among the sites of note in the historic district is St John's Episcopal Church. Constructed in 1915, it, like several other buildings in the town, is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. As you explore the small historic district you see many buildings bearing plaques giving recognition by the town for renovations of structures over 50 years old. St John's is a small log structure. Inside, sunlight is filtered through diamond pane and new and original stained glass windows,. The warmth of the natural log walls and the soft light give the diminutive sanctuary an atmosphere of peace and serenity.

Our accomadations are in the "Cowboy Village Resort", a name that manages to sound butch and gay at the same time. It's logo is a cowboy, in full regalia, hat, boots and wide chaps, a cowboy queens fantasy man! It is a development of log cabins set side by side on the outside and in the center of a circular drive. It reminds me of a 1950"s era motor court.Our cabin is clean, compact but adequate, with a certain rustic charm. A small alcove contains a mini refridgerator/freezer, 2 burner stove and kitchen sink. The up to date bathroom contains a small window, which, unfortunately, looks directly into the cabin next door. Out the front door, from under the wide porch that runs along the front of the cabin, there is a view of one of the small hills that surround the town. It's chair lifts and ski runs are visible awaiting the snow and skiers which will arrive in droves later in the season. The sound of rain showers on the roof create a soothing white noise as we lie staring up at the large logs which support it.

The resorts anemnities include an indoor pool and hot tub, and a fitness center. Magpies flit through the trees and potted petunias hang from the eaves and lampposts still in full blossom even this late in the year.  

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