Steven and I had been to Jackson Hole a few times before this road trip and had pegged it as a spot that we wanted to return to on our great loop around the country. Because of our love of the area previously (including an epic canoe camping trip at the base of the Tetons) we had even decided that it would be a good place to consider for full time living...when that time comes.
This is the quiet season for Jackson, so it was a nice time to explore the town and imagine life in this special spot. We knew that snow was a possibility, but armed with a new heater, it didn't scare us that our little hobbit house might soon be covered in snow. We planned a two week stay in Jackson Hole, and decided to dedicate a long day to visiting Yellowstone National Park during that time.
However, the night we arrived in Jackson, the fires in California raged through the town of Santa Rosa and my hometown started a 10 day fire watch that was terrifying and devastating for the beautiful county.
I lived an odd half life while we were in Jackson Hole, calling home to Santa Rosa several times a day to talk to my parents and friends about the fires and their choices to evacuate or stay in their homes. My family and friends were very lucky and are safely back in their houses after this tragic event. I will forever remember looking at the dramatic scenery of The Tetons, but holding in my prayers the street where my parents live, the park down the street where I went to summer camp, the school campus where I learned to ride a bike, and the many many homes of friends and family that were in harms way. It was a reminder of how quickly things can be lost and how important it is to value our relationships rather than our possessions. Tiny living had started to teach me that and now it felt like I was getting a crash course.
In the midst of the fire drama Steven and I got severe food poisoning and I had the pleasure of visiting the emergency room in Jackson, WY. Luckily we both recovered rather quickly, however, this town will always remind me of these dramatic events and the desire to be home, even amongst the smoke, just so that I could hug the ones I love.
Our visit to the National Park was amazing and the drive back to Jackson was gorgeous. This was the ninth national park that we visited this year and I am so grateful that we have the opportunity to see these amazing parks. Next up, Coeur d'Alene, ID!