Hitchhiking to Jackson, Part 3: Getting to Jackson and Skiing

I woke up early in Salt Lake on the couch, well rested from the previous day of skiing and drinking, ready to hit the road and get to Jackson Hole. It had been a good long trip so far, Texas to Vegas and then up to Salt Lake for the few days of good times.

Cameron's friend Abbey cooked up some sausages before we hit the road, I made a big sign that said "Jackson" with an awkward smiley face below. We dropped Cameron off at work, Abbey was headed to Park City and took me as far as the turn off at Kimball Junction, the start of one of the easier going hitchhiking days I've had.

In just a few minutes a woman named Marty picked me up, telling stories of some shaman who'd been staying with her, teaching her about meditation and different diets. She dropped me off up the way a bit, from there I was picked up by the second vehicle to pass, sort of a big pick up truck for hauling snow mobiles, and snow mobiles were one of this guy's passions. He took me all the way to Evanston, the next major junction that lead off I-80 to the road that lead up to Jackson.

I walked through town, once on the outskirts a bit I was picked up by a young guy named Blake, he was heading all the way up to Alpine, a good long distance. He was doing some drilling out in North Dakota, a 2 weeks on, 2 weeks off kinda job, but Alpine was his home town. We talked for a ways, then he cranked some heavy rock music for most of the trip.

He dropped me off at a gas station I'd been dropped off at the last time I came to Jackson, and just like the last time, I got picked up almost instantly. The guy who picked me up was more or less on his way to his buddy's ranch where he'd help break in a bull, he'd done a bit of bull riding before. He had plans to soon move to the Seychelle Islands, which he described like a paradise of beautiful women and beaches.

He dropped me off pretty close to Jackson by the Swinging Bridge. I was picked up quickly, yet again, by a chef who was currently unemployed. He said he used to be a chef at the Snake River Brewery, so I fittingly chose that as a spot to be dropped off at. I gave my family a call and let them know I'd made it to town, my step dad was on his way to town anyhow to take my little brother to a doctors appointment of some kind.

I went into the brewery and grabbed myself a pint, always the best thing after a day of hitchhiking. As I was finishing up, my uncle came in, he lives just a few blocks away. We caught up over some more beer and wings, then soon enough my step dad, sister and brother showed up. We all headed upstairs for dinner, my aunt and two cousins came shortly after as well.

It was mardi gras, so the jambalaya was a fitting feast. Waiters came over adorned us with beads, I pulled some beads from pack as well, hungover from New Orleans. We went over to my aunt and uncle's house after the meal and they outfitted me with some ski gear to borrow for the few days I'd be there, I was good to go.

We spent the next few days skiing, Jackson's a great mountain and I loved every minute of it. The days usually ended with a trip to the hot tub and some sort of great meal - sushi one night, the brewery again another night. The last night, after a full day of skiing with my aunt and cousin as well, my legs were about shot. I enjoyed one last night of the hot tub talking with my little brother for a while, then got some sleep.

It had been a great trip in Jackson and a nice journey up from New Orleans. Now my thoughts were in Sacramento for beer week, but the first stop would be Boise, I'd begin hitchhiking in the morning.