Jackson is the town at the southern end of the Grand Tetons National Park in Wyoming.
It appeals to the schoolboy in me that you translate Grand Tetons as Large Breasts. A bit like finding villages in Dorset named after the River Piddle. Cue sniggers. These pointy mountains ring the park which, in one sense is something of a disappointment after the gaudy spectacle that is Yellowstone but, on the other, it is more real, with softer tones, accessible and thus a pleasant diversion from the scurry to catch a geyser or form a line to spend an hour breathing in nature’s farts and the chance to see a bath sized pool of sticky clay go ‘bloop’.
We – the Textiliste, the lawyer, the Vet-Baker and me – spent one summer holidays cruising around this time-bomb ending our stay with three days in Jackson. We took in a Rodeo, experienced our first bespoke Christmas decoration shop that was doing thriving business in August – and bought our coolest tree decoration here – a Hell’s Santa, Jack Nicolson-like astride his Harley. We strutted our stuff along the wooden boardwalk and saw our first elk. It was overpriced, touristy to the power ‘N’, where ‘N’ is effing enormous and great fun.
Great fun? Because the summer residents were a sort of enhanced group of octogenarians, more plastic than people who did not care that the thousands they had spent on their new upholstery made them look like the puppets the Andersens rejected for the original Thunderbirds as too unreal.
We spotted an enormous eagle, we learnt, belatedly perhaps, that we were sitting on the most enormous volcano and we experienced the tedium that is Salt Lake City airport on our way back to Blighty (why do they serve cinnamon with everything?).
I can heartily recommend Yellowstone and I can give you a thumbs up for Jackson too. If you’ve not been, put it on your bucket list before the little darling blows itself to smithereens and ends once and for all the debate whether the US is or is not a fading superpower. If that thing goes you’ll be hard pressed to fit ‘fade’ into any sentence describing its aftermath.