It’s hot out there, and for me that’s a good thing. I love the summer in Jackson Hole – the green that turns to brown as this short sweet season progresses. The light, the breeze, the afternoon thunder storms rolling in over the mountains, flowers wild and planted, high mountain passes free of snow, the Snake and Hoback Rivers muddy and raging in June, calming to clear and lazy in August. Early mornings and late evenings. Huckleberries, mosquitoes, traffic.
Well, mosquitoes and traffic not so much, but they come with the territory, don’t they? Mosquitoes, as annoying as they are in the high country, deserve to live here at least as much as we do. After all they, like the grizzlies and the wolves, were here long before us. This doesn’t stop me from bringing my little bottle of 100% DEET with me when I venture into the mountains to keep them away, but they are part of the plentitude of nature that we are so blessed with here in our little corner of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. I try really hard not to complain about them too much. Sometimes I fail.
Traffic. Now that’s another story, and we’ve all got ours. Mine is fifty minutes from the church to the Aspens, including the thirty it took to get to the stoplight at Highway 22. My mantra as I crawl down Broadway is “Patience, Tolerance, Acceptance”, all of which grow thinner as the summer grows fatter.
I’ve spent forty summers, falls, winters, and springs here in the Hole, and every summer I have to remind myself that the tourists deserve to be here every bit as much as I do. I live here because it is a beautiful, if challenging, place to live. And people don’t flock here because it’s an ugly place.
Welcome the outsider – it’s Biblical. So, sisters and brothers, let’s bear that in mind as we are stuck behind that RV that can’t seem to make up its mind which way to turn, even though the left-hand turn is prohibited. Breathe. Let’s keep our cool as the summer grows hotter. Enjoy this incredible season and don’t forget to wear sunscreen.