Thoughts Thoughts

Jackson Part 2

I’m home now. Re-entry into the ‘atmosphere’ of Connecticut is always difficult for me. It’s late at night. We had a long day of travel. It’s hot, humid and raining here. It was warm, sunny and dry in Wyoming today. The first few days there we had some pretty funky weather; it was cool to cold, drizzling one minute and sunny the next, often windy and quite cloudy. However, the last two days have been the summer weather that I am used to. You awaken to crystal blue skies and bright sunshine. The kind of weather that makes you want to jump out of bed in the morning.

I had a lovely time there. In total we had 4 full days and 2 partial days. One of those full days was spent getting the boys off to camp. It was nice spending the time with Lorraine, who was a friend, but we hadn’t spent too much time together before. We certainly know each other a whole lot better, and I thought we co-habitated pretty well. It didn’t bother her when I stayed up until 1:30 a.m. most nights puttering around with q project or baking something, and it didn’t bother me a bit when she headed off to bed to read around 10:00 most nights. I did put her to work one night pitting cherries and shredding a roast for pulled BBQ, but other than that I pretty much left her alone. Without a family to feed, I got to cook whatever I felt like. I made a delicious nectarine frangipane tart, a roast that was wrapped in tightly in heavy butcher paper and cooked at a very low temperature for 12 hours that came out perfect. I had lorraine shred that up and poured barbecue sauce over it. We had BBQ beef sandwiches on the plane today, and the rest I froze for our next trip out there in July. I also made some really easy fresh cherry turnovers that were crazy delicious. I threw together some hummus for the plane last night as well, and Lorraine said I should start selling that at Free Range Friday’s it was so good.

I had fun showing her the sights in and around Jackson, and she was patient with me running errands and visiting friends and horses. I did, finally, go riding on Tuesday. Although we’d visited her several times before then, it great to get Jive saddled up and see how her leg was after the terrible injury she’d sustained this winter. I didn’t work her hard, but there wasn’t any lameness much to my relief.

The wildlife cooperated for the most part, with several moose sightings, a few elk, lots of bison, trumpeter swans and lots of beautiful birds. No bear though.

As we were heading out to visit Kelly and Mormon Row there was a crowd of people just past the visitors center and elk refuge on the highway. I pulled over and right there on the side of the road was a pretty good sized adolescent bull moose. What was great about it was he was behind a fence, and there was a viewing deck that allowed us to get so close you could practically reach out and touch him.

As part-time tour guide I took Lorraine to see the town of Kelly. While we were there I showed her the old Teton Valley Ranch Camp property. There was a terrific herd of longhorn cows in Kelly and a lot of them had young calfs. We spent a lot of time there admiring and photographing them. She loved mormon Row and it’s spectacular scenery. We hiked up to Phelp’s Lake yesterday after I went riding. It was a lovely time of day to hike there, with the evening light sparkling off of the rushing river.

The old Teton Valley Ranch Camp property in Kelly

Have you ever seen a cow with such an attitude in her expression? She's practically swaggering she's got to much attitude. Of course if I had horns like that I guess I'd swagger too.

The river on our hike to Phelp's Lake

And we ate at places like Nora’s Fish Creek Inn in Wilson and The Sweetwater Cafe in Jackson. Mandatory eating spots for any visitor.

As always, I feel the tug like a Push-Me-Pull-You in a Dr. Doolittle book; it’s wonderful to see the horses and ride and it always makes me realize how much I miss it when I can’t be there, but my animals at home miss me and are never cared for quite as well as when I am there.

It was a great trip and a very much needed break after the crazy hectic time the end-of-school-year always seems to be. I feel like I’ve re-charged my battery a bit now and am ready to tackle summer. And I come home feeling like I’ve made a new good friend, which is always a nice feeling.


  1. It’s great to know you are back. Missed you! Jive looks wonderful and I can only imagine how “at home” you felt back in her saddle. Sign me up for hummus and I just love that horned cow pic. Nice to know you are home safely. Did Kiki and Grace look big after being away?

  2. I found your blog a few days ago. It’s such a pleasure to meet a kindred spirit (I’m a scanner too). Although I grew up on the North Shore of Chicago and always rode English style, my heart now lives in the west. I’m in Idaho and love every mountain range, glacier lake and stream. Once Saddlebags is up and running I’ll be on my way! Come visit Bentley and me sometime soon.

    Susan and Bentley

    • Hi Susan, How nice to have a new kindred spirit. How far away are you from Jackson there in Idaho? I’ll be back out there in about 3 weeks and am always looking for someone to trail ride with. Is Bentley a man, dog or horse?

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