Friday, December 6, 2013


It’s about eighty miles from here to Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  Usually in the winter this trip takes a little longer than the usual hour and a half because of snow over Teton Pass, elevation, 8,431 ft (2,570 m).  But when we went a week ago the snow was late in coming.

 DH and I had been talkin’ ‘bout Jackson for a while. We needed a break from the same ‘ol so we got in my Subaru and headed for Wyoming.

 Accommodations are reasonable there in late November since it’s between tourist season and ski season. But this also means there’s not a lot going on.

  But they were lighting the Christmas lights that night so we gathered with the crowd waiting for the arrival of Santa, the countdown and the official throwing of the switch to light up the town square.

 The antler arches which decorate the four corners of the square are the iconic symbol of the town.

Each arch is made out of thousands of pounds of elk antlers collected by boy scouts from the Elk Refuge.

 Bull elk shed their antlers each spring so no animals were harmed in the making of the arches.

 After the main event DH and I wandered off to do a little window shopping in this town still working to hold on to its image of the Old West.

 Instead of sidewalks, there are boardwalks.  There are also a lot of beards, boots and big dogs.

 Speaking of antlers, the stores have them.  Just in case you want a chandelier, wine rack, gun rack, or hunting knife made out of antlers, this is the place to shop.  You can also find lots of fancy fine furs with movie star prices.  I don’t think those fashions can make the same claim as the antlers about the safety of animals.

 Here we see a Jackson Hole Christmas tree decorated with cutesy moose and bear ornaments.  And, yes, that is a dead, stuffed bobcat keeping guard.

Here is another piece of taxidermy; a big, bad, black wolf rug draped over a chair made out of rustic tree limbs.

Rocking chairs for your hunting lodge made from chunks of twisted branches. The prices were up there with oil paintings by master artists.

 Frontier clothes to make any city slicker look just like Davy Crockett.

Of course every western tourist town has plenty of boots to take home.

 Boots for the ladies in all kinds of candy colors.

 Even though there wasn’t any snow, there were still plenty of snow boots to wear to the ski hill.

Yes hats.  I always like to take photos of the hats.

 Some of these straw hats already had that broken in, sweaty look so you won’t look like a dude when you wear one.  (Yeah, right.)

 Head gear for the skiers but not much in the way of color selection.

Since the only snow on the Jackson Hole side of the Tetons was thin and being made by machines we went to the west side to visit Grand Targhee resort.  The visitors to these ski hills were there less to be seen and more for serious skiing. Plus the lift tickets were less.

 Real powder snow from heaven.

Since we visited last week, a big storm dropped another foot or so of snow.  

Hey, Byron, the runs are deep and fast.  Think about that while you soak up the sun and sand in California.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


Yes, it was DARK.  It was 6:30 a.m. in December so of course it was DARK.  But it was also quiet, too quiet.  I looked out the upper window and saw MORE DARK.  Maybe everyone in the whole town had decided to turn off all their lights and stay in bed until sunrise. Or not.  It seems all the electricity had stopped flowing through all the wires to everything.
 The temperature was WAY below zero at minus 9F.  That’s about minus 23C for all you metric people.  It was not only DARK it was COLD and getting colder.  The good news--I was on my way to burn off some butter on my treadmill and now how had an excellent excuse to sandbag the idea.

I woke up DH when I went scrabbling around for candles.  He turned on one of his fifty flashlights, grumbled and mumbled; got dressed, put on his arctic gear and went out for firewood.

 I found a radio with batteries and learned the power was out all over the southeast side of the state. 

Soon news sources were reporting 50,000 customers of Rocky Mountain Power were in the cold and dark because of a failure at one of the substations.  Schools were closed.  Warming centers were designated.

 The power stayed off until two in the afternoon.  Our fireplace kept us warm.  We have a gas stove so we were able to cook things, but I got out of doing laundry, got some Christmas decorations up and never did get back to that treadmill.
(And I'm betting since this all happened in Idaho it won't make the national news.)

Sunday, December 1, 2013


Some of the injudicious people in my family---Wait.  That’s pretty much all of us.  So, some of those lacking in judgment who also like to run—which is redundant—signed up for the Thanksgiving Day Race to Feed the Hungry

Okay, helping out the hungry is a pretty good idea.  It’s the running around in very large circles early in the morning in temperatures well below freezing that seems a little rash.

About the only ones crazier were the ill-advised who froze to the ground waiting for the racers to return from said run.  That would be me and DH.

To warm up the pre-race crowd a local television announcer called up some of the teams to show off their costumes. 

My peeples doing such a good job at their turkey dance that they were featured on the evening news.

 Getting a family rate on the entry fee, plus hats made by the daughter and daughter-in-law brought everybody out. Not to mention burning those calories would rationalize a second piece of pie later in the day.

 They’re off!  Runners, joggers and walkers took on a 5k and 10k course.

Hundreds of people…

…and their dogs, raised thousands of dollars and got to party at the same time.

In almost no time at all Blackhart Three came zooming back from the 5k.

His sister was right behind him.

Blackhart Two went by so fast I didn’t get a photo of his face.

Then Bobert shot by on his way to finish the 10k.

Followed by Greasylightning and Blackhart Four.

More family teams in all kinds of costumes went by.

Then Beavis …

…and CindyLouWho came in way under her estimated time.  Cold weather has a way of kicking up the hustle.

Two more sisters—wearing their matching turkey hats--were next.

Families of all ages and sizes were participating.

Group hugs helped shake off the freezing air.

Here come the walkers and strollers.  Yay! 

All were greeted at the finish line by The Official Turkey, who escaped the oven, and some of his friends.

Run is done!  Bring on the Feast!