Jackson Hole is always a good time
Jackson Hole, Wyoming was my destination this blue skied morning, beautiful scenery and family in the area was my motivation. I got a phone call from Anthony saying he'd found me a ride part of the way from a guy headed to Yellowstone. Unsure if the ride would come through or not, I headed for the freeway on foot to appease the beautiful day. I said my goodbyes to Kate and Candice, she had an increasingly familiar reluctant smile on her face, as if I'd forgot to say or do something.
I started thumbing by the freeway, another hitchhiker came by who was headed in the opposite direction saying he was having a hell of a time getting out of town. I told him about a spot a couple miles east where I'd gotten out once before headed the way he was going.
My phone buzzed in my pocket before any cars stopped, it was Andrew, the guy Anthony had told me was headed north. He was ready to go, I abandoned my hitchhiking spot and met him at the gas station up the road. We picked up Anthony on the way.
Anthony got dropped off about an hour up the road, he was headed to Logan. Andrew drove me all the way up to Idaho Falls where we parted ways and I got to hitchhiking, much closer to Jackson now. A guy picked me up with slick black hair, his wife in the passenger seat and two babies strapped into car seats in the back with me. He drove me across town to a much better spot.
A little walking and thumbing, then a Mexican guy picked me up with two girls in the back, perhaps his wife and daughter, they didn't talk much other than to translate the occasional word he couldn't say in english. We talked the whole to the junction, two roads that both lead to Jackson.
I stood just before the split, it was a great looking day. A guy in the parking lot nearby came walking over to ask where I was going and offered me a ride that would get me closer. I rode in the back next to another car seated baby, a girl was driving and he rode shotgun and we headed for the Alpine. They were a cool couple of folks, telling me about camping they did in the area. He was also going to jail, I didn't ask what for, but it was some sort of program where he only went on weekends and was then released during the week.
They dropped me off in a nice spot near a gas station as far as they were going, soon enough a car full of people stopped in the road and waived me over, "You don't mind sitting in the trunk, do you?", they laughed and I crammed into the trunk of the station wagon type car. There were five of them, sort of camp counselors all about my age. They'd been in town a couple weeks having a good time and the kids were finally getting into town the next day for the summer.
We laughed the ride away to Hoback Junction, they were planning one more good night before camp started. They dropped me off and my next ride wasn't far behind, a pickup truck with a raft in tow, two guys originally from Montana driving. They were headed into Jackson and said they could give me a lift to the village road. We made one stop at the grocery store where they loaded up on supplies for a barbecue they were going to.
One of the guys had started working at a nuclear power plant and told me as much as he could about it in the time we were driving. He liked it, saying it was the direction the country should go in terms of power. A couple times he cited that someone riding on a plane is exposed to more radiation then he'll ever be working at the plant.
A sunny sky rain shower picked up when he dropped me off, I only had 7 miles to go. I was picked up quickly before the rain even had time to get me too wet, a nice couple who lived just down the road. To my right I saw the biggest rainbow I've ever seen, so big in fact that it had a mirror reflection above it, what they told me was called a "double rainbow", the name made sense.
The man dropped his wife off and then took me the extra few miles to Teton Village where my mom and sister were staying. I made my way up to the room and got a hug from my very happy mother, I went to the balcony to show them the rainbow, but it had disappeared.
We immediately walked down the hill for some food at the Mangy Moose, a Lagunitas IPA and some buffalo meatloaf hit the spot perfect as I caught up with the family. I picked up a six pack of Little Sumpin' Ale, having a couple before calling it a night, sleeping on a bed in a room by myself for a change of pace.
We went into town the next day, I got a new pair of jeans to replace my increasingly torn up pair, holes around the knees and thighs, the bottom part of the right leg mostly missing from getting shredded riding bikes, the bulk of which had occurred during "Tour de Laramie" a month or so back.
We enjoyed cheeseburgers at Billy's in the town square after that, we heard stories of bank robbery in town, a guy had apparently escaped in a silver camero. We headed back to the Village to relax for a bit, took a short hike up the mountain, then relaxed some more at the place before heading out to dinner.
We met up with my aunt and uncle at an italian place just down the road. It was great to catch up with them a bit, they both have a lot of energy and spirit about them no doubt derived from living in Jackson Hole. The mountains are beautiful in every direction, the snake river flows through offering opportunity for good times and the winter brings some of the best skiing conditions you could ask for.
With my stomach filled to capacity, we headed back to the village. I talked with my mom for a while and my sister wandered the village. Soon enough I was the only one awake, enjoying a couple more beers from my six pack before calling it a night. The next day would bring the beginning of a trek southbound towards the grand canyon. The trip to Jackson was a short one, but as always, a good one.