Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Rainbow over Antelope Flats

Somewhere over the rainbow way up high

There’s a land that I heard of once in a lullaby

 Somewhere over the rainbow skies are blue

And the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.

Our last evening in the Tetons, we were driving back from Jackson after running some last-minute errands.   I had to return a book to the Teton County Library, and Jim needed to drop off some used engine oil to a well-drilling outfit in town who uses it for heating their shop.

The sky was turbulent – storm clouds interspersed with blue sky and it was magical.  We drove through a rain cloud near Antelope Flats and to our right was the most amazing double rainbow – and me without any cameras in the truck!  It almost seemed symbolic that this appeared on our last day.

I was reminded of one of our favorite songs – Somewhere Over the Rainbow –  from Wizard of Oz – as sung by one of my favorite artists, Eva Cassidy.  Her rendition of this classic tune is moving to say the least.  We are still chasing our dreams, and even though there are good times, and not-so-good times – I still have no desire to trade my life right now for anything else.  Occasionally, those darn flying monkeys appear to try and dampen my spirits and take me hostage (that part of the movie always scared the living daylights out of me) but, somehow, I fight them off and prevail just as Dorothy did!

Yes – I still have a long way to go to make this work financially, but I’m determined to figure out a way.  This past summer has been an incredible experience on many levels – albeit, not profitable!

REFLECTIONS FROM THE SUMMER

We discovered that we still love the Tetons, even though it’s been 36 years since we were last here.  And that we thoroughly enjoyed our summer here exploring this beautiful landscape.

We realized that we really do not love the town of Jackson, though.  Too posh, and expensive for our taste.  The western Idaho-side of the Tetons is much more to our liking – quieter and less pretentious.  We did like some specific things in Jackson – the Snake River Brewery offered incredible food and good local brew, and the innovative Vertical Harvest greenhouse knocked our socks off.

We have a clearer idea of what workamping positions we PREFER – and that we differ on this to some extent!  Which is okay.  Last year, we worked for the same company, but our jobs were different.  We did not work directly with each other all day long.  This year we worked together, and while we do love each other, we discovered that working together all day, every day is a bit much at times!  We simply need our days off to coincide.  Lessons learned!  Would we work together again – yes – but we’d prefer to find positions that are more agreeable to our interests if it still works to have our days off together.

Jim learned that he is certainly not enamored with the retail world!  I do believe that he survived the summer by enjoying the comradery of the construction crews who were on site at Jenny Lake doing restoration work on the buildings and grounds.  On mornings when we opened the store, after Jim had the coffee brewing, he would wander outside, and yell over the fence – “coffee’s on!”  We gave the construction folks free, unlimited coffee – and they really appreciated this.  He made some friends with these kindred souls, and may even have a possibility of working with them next summer.

While the retail aspect of the work could be repetitive at times, the thing we both enjoyed most was talking with the people who visited the store.  I am, of course, all about information (being a former librarian) and I loved interacting with folks and helping them make the most of their stay in the Tetons.  (Even though, technically, this was not my job – I took ownership of this!)  Jim loved this part of the job as well – especially if his efforts helped someone out – i.e. the bike touring guy who rode in late one evening, and thought the campground was full – but Jim let him know that there was a special section just for hikers and bikers that always had room.  Jim was also the recycling guru – constantly vigilant with regards to how visitors were disposing of their bottles and cans.  And, he was relentless in his effort to educate the public  on this subject!

We do believe that working at the Jenny Lake Store was indeed the best place to be within this company – with the best folks working there – thanks John and Sharon, Rick and Gloria, Mike and Tammy, Bill and Sandy, and Willie and Irene.  Ask me in person why I feel this way 😊

We learned there are other opportunities for employment here in the Tetons, with better living accommodations – which we may explore in the future.  Please note:  We were not unhappy where we were – just gained the knowledge that it can be better.

We also realize a need to make some purposeful decisions regarding finances and physical property, and our experience this summer reinforced what we knew going into the job in the Tetons – it was not enough compensation given our present circumstances.  We knew this, and accepted that we would not come out ahead this summer.  But, it was our sacrifice for wanting to be here for the summer.

BEST OF TIMES

There are so many memories that stand out for me.  A pictorial essay of my summer in the Tetons is the most appropriate way for me to convey my feelings about the momentous Summer of 2017.  I will try to post photos that I have not already shared in previous blog postings – but there may be some overlap!  And this is just the tip of the iceberg!!

The Wildlife

Eagle 1
Did my best with my trusty old Canon!
Flat Creek Trumpeter Swan
Trumpeter Swans on Flat Creek
Pelican at Cattlemans Crossing
White pelicans at Oxbow Bend – love this bird!!
cropped-grizzly-and-cubs.jpg
Who can forget this incredible shot of the mama Grizz with her cubs!
Elk Herd at Willow Flats
Elk herd at Willow Flats one early morning on our way to work

Our Hikes 

Cascade Canyon

Garnet Canyon

Lake Solitude

Visits with Friends

Chelsea Crew at Jenny Lake

Chelsea crew at Jenny Lake 2
Oddly enough, the stars aligned and we were lucky to entertain several friends from Chelsea whose visits coincided!  Our hike around the perimeter of Jenny Lake 🙂

Driggs Family Visit

Kayaking

Jackson Lake

Oxbow Bend

Jenny Lake

Solar Eclipse

Oh – those Sunsets!

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