Some say these mountains, particularly the giant wedge of carved out sky dubbed Grand Teton, were named for a band of Sioux Indians. Others claim it was French-Canadian explorers who saw that, of all mountains, these were the only peaks beautiful enough to bear the French equivalent of “large breasts”.
The terminology is irrelevant to me. I find their silvery majesty, reflecting in their summery snow clouds on an all blue day and casting an afternoon shade like ladies tossing undergarments at a 1980’s Rod Stewart, transfixing. To drive through their valley or hike in their midst is equally inspiring.
Meanwhile in Jackson, sunny day bicycle, foot and typical car traffic plays out a Disneylandesque juxtaposition to the nearby National Park. Where surely any cloud-dwelling gods descend to Earth from the top of these Tetons, humanity has found a way to ensure every amenity of our modern day desires. From truly exceptional sushi 1000 miles from any ocean to tumbling down a tube slide in a no holds barred plastic luge resembling a sit-n-spin, the civilization around the mountains provides for a touch of nightlife after days spent exploring remote lodgepole pine forests and bison-lined yellow lines take me away scenic drives.
Later tonight our eyes will play connect the dots with stars dabbling in Milky Ways, while our fellow tourists debate whether loading up their BAC and riding a mechanical bull is preferable to an early night’s sleep in hopes of beating the morning rush to climb back into these magnificent mounds of Mother Nature.
I like to hold close the idea that Teton is a tribute to our nation’s mothers. Just as men are lured to the very same piece of the female anatomy that will eventually grow their children strong, so do we all in this family desire to remain nestled in the daytime warm and nightly soft lullaby winds of Summer in the Tetons.