Friday, January 19, 2018

jackson hole

The past few days were some of the best days of my life. I drove up to Jackson Hole, Wyoming slightly hungover, tired and alone in the car for 4.5 hours. I cruised out of Utah and up into Wyoming wearing a beanie, a pair of Aviators and blasting my 70’s music. It was a beautiful drive for the most part but a good chunk of the time I drove through thick fog. Still, I enjoyed every minute of it. Long drives always bring clarity into my life.

The time went by so fast that I almost forgot I was in friggin’ Wyoming! I had the most fun all by myself. Yup, that’s right, all by myself. I spontaneously decided to book a trip up to Jackson last weekend 2 days before I left. I didn’t tell my parents I was going until I got here. I hate to make them worry. It’s been a wild ride of a few days. I have met so many different kinds of people. I actually met someone on the chairlift who owns a home back in Lake George. Small world, huh? I actually met quite a few East Coasters while I was here. Like Park City, Jackson also seems to be a “transplant” city (meaning, people from all over). In Park City, I’m considered a transplant from New York. 

The snow at Jackson was better than Utah’s right now. The skiing was really incredible. I got on fourth gondola my first morning. I was going for “first chair” but a handful of people beat me to the punch. Dang it! I was still up there early enough that I got first tracks on a few runs. It brings me a lot of weird joy to have my ski tracks be the first in freshly groomed corduroy or powder when it’s there. I’m sure a lot of skiers/boarders out there would agree with me. 

I ate lunch and had a beer at an outdoor restaurant at the base of my hotel. My waiter went to pour me a glass of water and realized as he poured that it had frozen inside of the glass liter. I couldn’t stop laughing. He couldn’t stop laughing. Those are some of my favorite moments in life: laughing out loud with a complete stranger. 

Tuesday after skiing, I came back up to my room and got ready before heading into the actual town of Jackson. It was almost a throwback in time—country cozy is a good way to describe it. Many people told me to check out the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar, so I went in and had myself a seat…on a horse saddle! Their barstools are horse saddles. How cool is that? I asked for what a local Jackson would order: beer and a shot of whiskey. So, a shot of whiskey and a beer it was. It’s been a HOT minute since I took a shot of whiskey, but it went down easy like a Sunday morning.

I ended up sitting in the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar for almost 2 hours (talking, not drinking—ha!) I met some really incredible people. You know those moments in your life when you think to yourself, this is exactly where I’m suppose to be? That was me on the saddle that night. One of the many people I met that night, Bob, was a 70 year old man on a hunting trip with his buddies from Wisconsin. He was very flattering (lol) and gave me some insight into his life. I also got to know the bartender from Minnesota who was a little older than me, and a man named Scott, who is also ski bumming, but was probably in his later 50’s. I met many people that night, but those 3 conversations stood out to me the most. I’ll elaborate on one of them in a future post. 

I finally had to lie and tell the man I was talking to that I had dinner reservations. If not, I would have sat in the bar for another hour talking! I bundled up with my hat and mittens and walked around the town of Jackson. There were so many cute restaurants. I kept thinking, I can’t wait to come back here again someday with someone I love. I did a little shopping—more souvenir-type things: a mug, a hat, a shot glass. I also found a fuzzy sweater at a Jackson boutique.

I left the next day feeling so refreshed. It’s incredible what a 3 day, 2 night mini-getaway can do for you. I felt like I had been gone for a week. I drove home on a different route thinking about my life and how I’m so happy to be where I am—because it’s right where I need to be. 

Until next time, Jackson Hole. 

Keep on keepin’ on—
XX, Laura 

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