When I was 20, one of my best friends and I spent the spring living outside of Jackson Hole, WY over Teton Pass, in the town of Driggs, Idaho. Driggs is an outdoor sports mecca and the views are simply spectacular. In contrast to Jackson Hole, Driggs has traditionally been a blue-collar farm town standing in the shadows of the resort community. Still, even when I was living out here 8 years ago, the landscape was changing. Ski bums and summer workers priced out of Jackson were starting to migrate across the pass. And why wouldn’t they – Grand Targhee isn’t too shabby.
Man, what can happen in 8 years! I arrived in Driggs today and I just cannot believe my eyes. The level of development going on here is nuts â€œand not in a good way. For dinner, we stopped at the Royal Wolf (an awesome restaurant/bar very popular among those in the know) but just in the back, in what used to be fields of sagebrush, construction and mounds of dirt extended as far as the eye can see. It’s an area ripe for a Walmart. Understandably much of the town is up in arms, afraid that their tiny rustic town will loose its culture and become another Aspen. They should certinally be worried.
Eight years ago, I recall being in the Tetons on Table Mountain and thinking ‘this is true wilderness’ I don’t know that I think that anymore. In fact, I find myself wondering if true Wilderness still exists in America?
***One of my favorite reads ever is a novel covering this very subject matter: The Meadow by James Galvin. I highly recommend it.