(Internet access has become sporadic at best so I’ll make keeping up with posts a priority. But we are about to enter Canada so it’s only getting to get harder to find internet access. I may or may not answer any comments. Just know they are important to me and I would if I could.)
In today’s post we’ll have more photos from Grand Tetons National Park. Nearly all of them have one focus and that’s the big, gorgeous Teton mountain range. Mostly they are the same, just the foreground changes. You may think that makes the Tetons a one-trick-pony like some of the other National Parks. A prime example of a one-trick National Park is Bryce Canyon. All it has is that one canyon with the fantastic hodos in it. They are amazing, and worth the trip to see them, but that’s all there is in the Park.
So you may be thinking, “Sure, those are beautiful mountains, but is that all there is?” No sir-ee, my friend, there is a lot more to do than look at the mountains—although that’s plenty by itself! Here’s what else the Grand Tetons National Park has to offer:
- Some of the best wildlife viewing and photography in the country, bar none.
- World class fly-fishing and rod-and-reel fishing.
- Outstanding kayaking and rafting; both white-water and scenic trips.
- Unbeatable hiking and backpacking.
- Superlative mountaineering and climbing.
- Spectacular wildflower displays in season.
- Gorgeous fall colors in season.
- A rich history of the Native Americans and Mountain Men in the area to study.
- It’s only 30 miles to the incredible geology of Yellowstone National Park.
- Only 25 miles to Jackson, Wyoming, a town vibrating with youth, energy and passion for adventure.
- The night life of Jackson, WY.
If I’ve gotten your interest aroused in the Grand Tetons, but you don’t know how you can afford the trip, let me show you a way. I learned this all from Scott (the manager of the RV park we stayed at for a week) who has been coming here for the last seven summers, so he knows the area well. The town of Jackson, WY has about 10,000 year-around residents, but every summer they hire 15,000 seasonal employees to serve the massive influx of tourists into the area. According to the laws of supply and demand that kind of miss-match makes it an employee’s market and they can demand high-wages—and they do!
Judy and I spent a day in Jackson shopping and exploring and one thing that stood out to me was that every store we went in had a “Help Wanted” sign out front. I asked Scott about that and he said that, yes, nobody could get enough help and because of that they all had to pay very high wages. For example, Scott has a friend whose daughter has been coming with him to the Tetons for many years, and when she turned 17, like most teenagers, she wanted to get a job. So she applied to the Wendy’s in town and they hired her for $10 an hour. Bear in mind she was a teenager and had no work experience but they were so desperate for help that they had to pay top wages. She’s been going back since then and now she is making $12 an hour at Wendy’s as a very young person.
Plus, many of the jobs are in the tourism industry, so not only will you make high wages (usually starting at $10 an hour) but you will get tips as well. For example, he said that he knew many people who drove the shuttle vans for the rafting companies and were good with people, and that many of them made as much in tips as they did in wages; that means they were making about $20 an hour. We’re talking about the van drivers, not the rafting guides—I’m sure they made even more.
Your next thought might be, “Well, the cost of housing must eat up all the high wages.” No, that’s the best part of it, you can disperse camp just outside of town for free all summer! The city must have worked out an agreement with the Forest Service because they turn a blind-eye to the seasonal workers and they are allowed to camp about 10 miles from Jackson without being hassled about the 14 day limit. Imagine making $10 an hour all summer and not paying a penny for rent! Then imagine being in one of the most beautiful places in the world on your days off all summer! Sounds like vandweller heaven to me!
So as you look at these photos, remember, there is no reason you can’t come here and take them yourself! The season is just starting; it’s not too late to come even this year.