U.S. Continental Divide

June 10

We stayed in a motel in Pinedale WY listening to the rain.  The motel was a Best Western – neat, clean and filled with an unusual combination of foreign tourists, truckers and construction workers.  The construction workers seemed to be working on the huge oil and gas projects in the area.  The tourists, like us, were on their way to or from the Yellowstone/Teton park area.  Packing up in the rain, we proceeded 70 miles to Jackson WY.  I did not take pictures because of the rain, but we ended up at the $1,000,000 Cowboy Bar in Jackson – a place recommended by Frank.  Notable are the bar stools crafted from saddles and the burled pine trim.
Gerry was very disappointed that there was no off-road riding in the rain – but the rest of us could not have been more delighted.

Jackson has grown into a significant "212" (New York area code) gentrified cowboy town with every fancy shop you can imagine, including Orvis. There were some interesting shops showing some creative woodworking using tree roots and burled logs. But the majority of the shops featured representational art of cowboys, the old west, and landscape panoramas. The cowboy art was interesting because it was either bronzes attempting to copy Remington's work or paintings that I would think would appeal more to an old fashioned cowboy than a sophisticated New York investment banker. The majority of the landscape paintings, because of the natural beauty of the region, could have easily been replaced and enhanced by another picture window.

In short, the art was “Jackson trendy” and a good example artistic arrested development.  One of the art dealers to whom I spoke said that Jackson was the fifth largest art market in the U. S. – I assume beyond New York, San Francisco, L.A. perhaps Dallas and Houston.  From the work that I saw, I find that a bit depressing.  Here is an example of a piece of Indian art that you would like in your living room.  Notice that he is not taking very much instruction from me.

We split up in Jackson with Gerry and Pete going on to Lima Idaho to hopefully reconnoiter with Joe and Steve.  Frank planned to visit a new area in Idaho where he had purchased some land.  I planned to go to Jenny Lake in the Tetons where Marge and I had our nasty honeymoon experience with a tree falling on our tent.  It was a short trip from Jackson to Jenny Lake, but when arriving, I found that they had reconstructed the road and part of the campground, so it was difficult to find the location of our camp.  For me, it was an exceedingly emotional visit.  Marge had been severely injured when a small twister tore down a tree and dropped it on our tent and car.  She was in a coma for three days and had amnesia for six months – at the same time, pregnant with Wendy.  With the exception of a couple of metal hips, the situation could not have turned out better.  There were two rangers who helped me look for the site and several others who had experience with the campground going back 40 years who helped as well.

I plan to spend some time tomorrow at Jenny Lake and then head toward Montana and the Canadian border.

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