J is for Jackson


picture courtesy of mapquest website

Jackson is the town at the southern end of the Grand Tetons National Park in Wyoming.


credit: Shutterstock

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.

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published four books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars, Salisbury Square and Buster & Moo. In addition I have published two anthologies of short stories, Life, in a Grain of Sand and Life in a Flash. More will appear soon, including a memoir of my mother's last years. I will try and continue to blog regularly at geofflepard.com about whatever takes my fancy. I hope it does yours too. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
This entry was posted in A to Z blogging challenge, Jackson, miscellany, USA, Wyoming and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to J is for Jackson

  1. Anabel Marsh says:

    I expect you’re fond of the Paps of Jura then too?! Not been to Jackson, Grand Tetons or Yellowstone, but we’re slowly working our way round US National Parks so hope do someday.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Archaeologist says:

    You will be pleased to know that there is a term for this type of feature, a Mammiform landscape.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Autism Mom says:

    My son and I were just discussing Yellowstone and I was reassuring him that we were outside the blast zone, and upwind of the ash and pyroclastics (at least the first go-around).

    I have been to that Christmas shop in Jackson and Jackson is the location for a story about a hot tub and a moose which, if you’re interested, we can share over bacon butties in June. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I lived in Boise for years and we kept meaning to visit Yellowstone, but never got there. What gorgeous photos!

    Visiting here from the A to Z Blogging Challenge. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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  6. Norah says:

    Love the photo from Shutterstock! You’ll have to tell me how to get the caption into the photo that way. I’ve noticed Irene Waters does it too, I haven’t figured it out yet.
    i couldn’t think of Jackson without thinking of Johnny Cash’s “Jackson”. Is it one and the same? You’ve an almost been everywhere man; definitely well-travelled! Is there anywhere you haven’t been? What’s still to do on your bucket list? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • TanGental says:

      Not enough space, Nor! And it the children who are well travelled. The Vet listed out the countries she has visited and she’s only 22 – it was 45! So I’ve a ways to go!


  7. roweeee says:

    After reading your post, I’ll cross that entire region off my list and stick to mixing with deadly Australian reptiles instead. We went to Rotorua in New Zealand on our honeymoon and saw the geysers there and they were amazing and not that crowded. New Zealand was looking quite safe too until Christchurch had it’s series of earthquakes. Speaking of which, when I told Geoff about your disaster with the pond last year, he mentioned that you were lucky your backyard didn’t end up with the same kind of liquification which has caused so much damage and heartache in Christchurch.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Charli Mills says:

    Oh, Jackson of the Jackson Hole Valley. Pretty and pretty pricey. Plastic, too so it seems. I cracked up over your description of “new upholstery.” There’s way better places to visit out west beyond the tourist traps. I’ll set you up better next time you want to give it a go!

    Liked by 1 person

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