Top Five Destinations of Jackson, Wyoming
I think everyone can fall victim to romanticizing our firsts. A first date, a first kiss, a first crush, a first love, a first fuck, a first car, a first road trip, a first day of school or whatever, those things stick in your head. I know visions of moments, memories and mental pictures abound as I think of each of those simple phrases. I can paint Jackson, Wyoming with a couple firsts in my head, first living location that I loved, first time living in a mountain town and the first real winter I ever experienced. (Real meaning a winter that didn’t mean grey, sandy grit on doorway entry mats, school closures or heavy sticky snow, but rather snow drifts measured in multiple feet, fluffy snow powder that feels like falling on a stack of pillows and reliance on individual modes of transportation besides a car.)
I still occasionally search the job listings for Jackson and wonder about living life in a town of 10 thousand rather than one of 13 million. The tallest peak is 13 thousand feet rather than 3 thousand. Instead of low temperatures that rarely dip below 50 degrees, to go and live where the lows barely exceed 40 degrees in July. As I write those differences, my brain amazes me at how close those places rank in my head.
So, when I return to Jackson on some fall morning, whether to live or just to catch up with that long lost first love, I know I have to revisit these places and see how they rekindle the flames of my memory.
When fly fishing Flat Creek, don’t expect to pull trout after trout out of the water. It’s a test of patience. It’s a test of your dry-fly prowess, the ability to present an irresistible imitation grasshopper on the surface of a deep, clear stretch of water with no splash, no herky-jerky movements and no shadows to spook the ever-vigilant cutthroats looking skyward.
After a long day fishing (and trust me, to have a successful day, it must be a long day) hitting the first bar you see will sound like a great idea. Make it the Town Square Tavern. Check out a baseball game with playoff implications, play some shuffleboard or just reflect back on your day fishing while sipping a Snake River Lager.
You’re going to have to wake up early to do the 21-mile Paintbrush Canyon/Cascade Canyon loop trail. I remember the hike fondly as a chance to see moose, escape the crowds (at least for most of the morning) and push yourself a little more than usual. Intimate views of the Tetons await your eyes throughout the hike.
After a long hike, instead of hitting a hot tub at your hotel, hit a natural one up in the John D. Rockefeller Memorial Parkway, Huckleberry Hot Springs. Yes, you’ll have to do a little more work, but watching the sunset over the mountains while nursing a refreshing beverage makes a great way to end the day.
Of course, man cannot live on beverages alone, so refuel when you get back to Jackson with a Mountain High Pizza. It’s the first place I ever had a broccoli pizza, and I can’t wait to try their Thai Pie.
Any suggestions for things that I missed? Any additional recommendations for the area? Just let me know in the comments.
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About Jason McClain Jason is an aspiring novelist, which means there is a lot of time to put off writing and watch baseball or go fly-fishing, hiking and traveling. By "a lot of time", Jason means "procrastination."