Our Move to Wyoming: A Tongue-in-Cheek Diary

 

Alsenglow

AUG 12:  Moved to our new home in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. It is so beautiful. The mountains are so majestic. Can hardly wait to see them with snow covering them. I love it here.

Bands of Light at Oxbow Bend

OCT 14: Wyoming is the most beautiful place on earth. The leaves are turning all the colors and shades of yellow, red and orange. Went for a ride through the beautiful mountains and saw some deer. They are so graceful — certainly they are the most wonderful animals on earth. This must be paradise. I love it here.

Mule Deer

NOV 11: Deer season will start soon. I can't imagine anyone wanting to kill such a gorgeous creature. Hope it will snow soon. I love it here.

John Moulton Barn

DEC 2: It snowed last night. Woke up to find everything blanketed with white. It looks like a postcard. We went outside and cleaned the snow off the steps and shoveled the driveway. We had a snowball fight (I  won). Afterwards, we built a wonderful snowman. When the snowplow came by, we had to shovel the driveway again. What a beautiful place. I love Wyoming.

Snowman

DEC 12: More snow last night. I love it. The snowplow did his trick again to the driveway. I love it here.

Mailboxes

DEC 19: More snow last night. Couldn't get out of the driveway to get to work. I am exhausted from shoveling. Stinking snowplow.

Snow

DEC 22: More of that white crap fell last night.  I've got blisters on my hands from shoveling. I think the snowplow hides around the curve and waits until I'm done shoveling the driveway. Jerk!

Daytime Shoppers

DEC 25: Merry Freaking Christmas!  More friggin' snow. If I ever get my  hands on that S.O.B. who drives that snowplow, I swear I'll kill the jerk. Don't know why they don't use more salt on the roads to melt the freaking ice and snow.

DEC 27: More white crap last night. Car won't start. I think I'm going snowblind. I can't move my toes. Haven't seen the sun in weeks. Been inside for three days except for shoveling out the driveway after that snowplow goes through every time. Can't go anywhere; car's stuck in a mountain of white stuff. The weatherman says to expect another 10" of the garbage again tonight. Do you know how many shovels full of snow 10" is?

Teton Range with Morning Clouds 

DEC 28: The freaking weatherman was wrong. We got 34" of that white crap this time. At this rate, it won't melt before August. The snowplow got stuck up the road and that jerk came to the door and asked to borrow my shovel. After I told him I had broken six shovels already shoveling all the junk he pushed into the driveway, I broke my last one over his freaking head. 

Snow Days 

JAN 4: Finally got out of the house today. Went to the store to get food  and on the way back a stupid deer ran in front of the car and I hit it. Did about $3,000 damage to the car. Those freaking beasts should be killed. Wish the hunters had killed them all last November.

JAN 12: Can't get there from here. There was an avalanche in the Snake River Canyon. It's closed. Teton Pass is closed — again. Ice jams flooded Hoback Canyon. Highway 89/191 has blown in and closed between Moose Junction and Moran Junction. The power went out for an hour yesterday. 

JAN 15: The dog got out of the house. I slipped on the ice trying to retrieve it. Tweaked my back. Had to go to the doctor. Resting now, with the aid of a few pain pills. Darla is having to shovel.    

MAY 3: Took the car to the garage in town. Would you believe the thing is rusting out from that stupid salt they put all over the road?

MAY 10: Moved back to Oklahoma. I can't imagine why anyone in his or her right mind would ever live in that god-forsaken state of Wyoming. 

Original Author: Unknown/Anonyous

A friend “faxed” us a variation of this diary not long after we moved here in 1986. You can find a lot of other versions by searching for southerner moves north joke. (Of course, many of them are quite fowl mouthed!) The version I found had Pennsylvania instead of Wyoming.

Other Notes: Actually, we did move to Jackson in August of 1986. Actually, I hit an elk while returning from a fishing trip. The the repair bill was over $4,300. We’ve actually had to throw away three of our snow shovels this year. We bought a heavy duty snow blower a couple of years ago, which helps a lot. The town snow plow regularly leaves 24″-30″ of heavy, crusty snow in front of our driveway. Without the snow blower, I am sure we would have trashed a lot more shovels. The photo of me above was taken a few days ago while shoveling 30″-36″ of snow off the roof. And, actually, we still live here and love it!  (but after over 32 years, it’s good to get out of town once in a while)

Our Move to Wyoming: A Tongue-in-Cheek Diary

 

Alsenglow

AUG 12:  Moved to our new home in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. It is so beautiful. The mountains are so majestic. Can hardly wait to see them with snow covering them. I love it here.

Bands of Light at Oxbow Bend

OCT 14: Wyoming is the most beautiful place on earth. The leaves are turning all the colors and shades of yellow, red and orange. Went for a ride through the beautiful mountains and saw some deer. They are so graceful — certainly they are the most wonderful animals on earth. This must be paradise. I love it here.

Mule Deer

NOV 11: Deer season will start soon. I can't imagine anyone wanting to kill such a gorgeous creature. Hope it will snow soon. I love it here.

John Moulton Barn

DEC 2: It snowed last night. Woke up to find everything blanketed with white. It looks like a postcard. We went outside and cleaned the snow off the steps and shoveled the driveway. We had a snowball fight (I  won). Afterwards, we built a wonderful snowman. When the snowplow came by, we had to shovel the driveway again. What a beautiful place. I love Wyoming.

Snowman

DEC 12: More snow last night. I love it. The snowplow did his trick again to the driveway. I love it here.

Mailboxes

DEC 19: More snow last night. Couldn't get out of the driveway to get to work. I am exhausted from shoveling. Stinking snowplow.

Snow

DEC 22: More of that white crap fell last night.  I've got blisters on my hands from shoveling. I think the snowplow hides around the curve and waits until I'm done shoveling the driveway. Jerk!

Daytime Shoppers

DEC 25: Merry Freaking Christmas!  More friggin' snow. If I ever get my  hands on that S.O.B. who drives that snowplow, I swear I'll kill the jerk. Don't know why they don't use more salt on the roads to melt the freaking ice and snow.

DEC 27: More white crap last night. Car won't start. I think I'm going snowblind. I can't move my toes. Haven't seen the sun in weeks. Been inside for three days except for shoveling out the driveway after that snowplow goes through every time. Can't go anywhere; car's stuck in a mountain of white stuff. The weatherman says to expect another 10" of the garbage again tonight. Do you know how many shovels full of snow 10" is?

Teton Range with Morning Clouds 

DEC 28: The freaking weatherman was wrong. We got 34" of that white crap this time. At this rate, it won't melt before August. The snowplow got stuck up the road and that jerk came to the door and asked to borrow my shovel. After I told him I had broken six shovels already shoveling all the junk he pushed into the driveway, I broke my last one over his freaking head. 

Snow Days 

JAN 4: Finally got out of the house today. Went to the store to get food  and on the way back a stupid deer ran in front of the car and I hit it. Did about $3,000 damage to the car. Those freaking beasts should be killed. Wish the hunters had killed them all last November.

JAN 12: Can't get there from here. There was an avalanche in the Snake River Canyon. It's closed. Teton Pass is closed — again. Ice jams flooded Hoback Canyon. Highway 89/191 has blown in and closed between Moose Junction and Moran Junction. The power went out for an hour yesterday. 

JAN 15: The dog got out of the house. I slipped on the ice trying to retrieve it. Tweaked my back. Had to go to the doctor. Resting now, with the aid of a few pain pills. Darla is having to shovel.    

MAY 3: Took the car to the garage in town. Would you believe the thing is rusting out from that stupid salt they put all over the road?

MAY 10: Moved back to Oklahoma. I can't imagine why anyone in his or her right mind would ever live in that god-forsaken state of Wyoming. 

Original Author: Unknown/Anonyous

A friend “faxed” us a variation of this diary not long after we moved here in 1986. You can find a lot of other versions by searching for southerner moves north joke. (Of course, many of them are quite fowl mouthed!) The version I found had Pennsylvania instead of Wyoming.

Other Notes: Actually, we did move to Jackson in August of 1986. Actually, I hit an elk while returning from a fishing trip. The the repair bill was over $4,300. We’ve actually had to throw away three of our snow shovels this year. We bought a heavy duty snow blower a couple of years ago, which helps a lot. The town snow plow regularly leaves 24″-30″ of heavy, crusty snow in front of our driveway. Without the snow blower, I am sure we would have trashed a lot more shovels. The photo of me above was taken a few days ago while shoveling 30″-36″ of snow off the roof. And, actually, we still live here and love it!  (but after over 32 years, it’s good to get out of town once in a while)

In Winter’s Grip

A Collection of Frosty Photos Taken in January and the First Week of February of 2019.

Summer and Fall visitors miss out on seeing Jackson Hole and Grand Teton National Park cloaked in “white gold”. The snow we receive during the Winter months fills lakes and supply the much needed water to the streams throughout the rest of the year. Skiers flock to Jackson Hole to tackle the area’s slopes, but most of the rest of the area is relatively sleepy. Other than having the shovel snow or run the snow blower to get out of my driveway, I like January and February. Winter can be challenging, but it can also be rewarding!

Grand Landscape

It’s so nice to have the Teton Range as a backdrop. The Grand can occasionally reveal itself as a ghostly relic of days when the earth’s crust was being violently sculpted. Other times, the peaks scream for attention.

Downey Woodpecker

When you get town to it, most of the wildlife in Jackson Hole is relatively colorless. Spring songbirds are often very colorful, but other than a little red on the back of the head of a Downey or Hairy Woodpecker and maybe the orange on a Northern Flicker, winter birds are usually combinations of black, white, and gray. Most of the game animals and predators are equally bland to blend in with the environment.

Sleigh Rides

Just like in the other seasons, the best light usually happens in the morning hours. Aplpengow is common in many winter mornings. Shadows are long for much of the day and reflected light allows photographers to shoot almost all day.

Hansen Barn

Winter simplifies a scene. That’s even more apparent during years of heavy snow. Almost every landscape subject changes numerous times throughout the winter, and usually for the better! I love to go out after a fresh snow to capture the landscapes in their purest form.

Fence Row

Hoar frost forms after a night of cold, foggy conditions. I typically go out with no specific expectations, then work as though I am on a scavenger hunt. But that’s just me. I like fences, gates, barns, windmills, and about any anything I thing looks “interesting”. My Photo Tour clients usually have more of a “big game” or “predator” agenda. I understand it, of course, and would seldom stop for a shot like this with most of them.

Mormon Row Pano

Grand Teton National Park is loaded with panoramic possibilities. But then, every place is a candidate! This stitched panorama was taken with a 600mm lens, something I do regularly. A photo like this gives you a healthy dose of respect for the early settlers that eked out a living here.

Single Tree

The tree in the lower right is surrounded by fields of sagebrush and bitter brush, but you’d never know it in this photo.

Frosted Bison

Bison usually spend the Winter on the northern end of the National Elk Refuge, but the Bison Hunts have changed their behavior. The herds stay north of the Gros Ventre until after the hunt on the Refuge ends on January 31st. Another herd of around 100 stayed much farther north and will have to be herded south this year.

Triangle X Barn

Barns are always some of my favorite Winter subjects. Most of them are on private property, but visitors can still hike to the Mormon Row barns. The Shane Cabin is accessible all winter.

I don’t go to the North portion of the Park much in the Winter. Most of the wildlife will have moved south, flew away, or is hibernating. Still, I sometimes feel the urge to go there hoping to find Foxes, Coyotes, Ermine, and River Otters, but I am seldom rewarded for the effort. Instead, I fill in the time while on the search for interesting subjects (remember the scavenger hunt concept). This was taken from the road of the Chapel of the Sacred Heart along Jackson Lake. The Chapel of the Transfiguration is also accessible, but requires either snow shoes or cross country skis and about a mile hike.

Bull Moose in Sage

Some of the bull Moose still have antlers in early January. Last year, some had antlers all the way into February, but that was uncommon for this area.

Star Valley Homestead

A few times a year, I go down the Snake River Canyon in search of Mountain Goats. If I don’t find them, I switch “hats” from wildlife mode to landscape mode and continue south into Star Valley. There are chances to see Foxes, Coyotes, Deer, Eagles and a variety of other raptors. I watch for them as I cover the area in search of interesting old barns and homesteads.

Mountain Goats

Mountain Goats seldom come down during heavy snow years, at least until after the first few avalanches clean out workable path. There have been a few sightings in January, but it’s not dependable. I heard about a Barn Owl near Afton, and caught this group on my way down.

Swans in Foggy Pond

Jackson Hole hosts a fairly large number of Trumpeter Swans in the Winter. When Flat Creek is open, you can almost always find a few. This pair was photographed in the warm waters at the Kelly Warm Springs.

Grand Landscape

There are still a few sections of the old buck rail fences in Grand Teton National Park, but they have been systematically either removing them permanently or replacing them with more “wildlife friendly, fencing. For people that don’t care for manmade objects, it would have been easy to crop this photo just below the spring creek snaking its way through the scene.

Running Bison

Bison normally seem to lumber around the valley—just grazing. Occasionally, they burst into action!

Snow Banks

You just don’t see anything like this in the summer! Abstracts like this are actually common in areas of heavy snow.

Snow Flakes

I photographed this in my back yard. When I only have a few minutes or need to stay close to home for a Fed-Ex delivery, I can usually find a few subjects. Birds come to my feeders and welcome the hand-outs.

Bull Elk

Not all Elk move to the National Elk Refuge during the Winter. Some hang around the edges and in private areas along the Snake River. I photographed this nice Bull Elk along Spring Gulch Road.

Resting Bighorn

Bighorns are usually in the rut in December on the National Elk Refuge, but show rut like activity throughout much of January. Aside from the large numbers of Elk on the Refuge, Bighorns are some of the most dependable large game animals during the Winter months. They are often seen very close to the road.

Lucas Barn

Some subjects can look rather plain at times of the year, then look wonderful under a blanket of fresh snow.

Owl and Moon

I photographed this Great Horned Owl with two exposures: one with the owl in focus, and then another a few seconds later with the moon in focus. The two captures were then stacked in Photoshop. The photos on this page were almost all processed in NIK Silver Efex Pro. When I clicked on the red icon, this image jumped off the page! I the old days of Photoshop, I would have used the “Channel Mixer”.

Star Valley Barns

This is another old homestead photographed in Star Valley while driving around looking for Barn Owls.

Bison and Grand

I’d love to include the Tetons with my Moose photos in the Fall, but they are not always in prime zones for doing that. With three feet of snow covering the sagebrush, these two Bison bulls stand out beautifully. I had to trudge through some deep snow to get to a workable angle for this photo.

Bull Elk

Through much of the year, I use a tripod for most of my shots. During the Winter months, many of the photos are taken from the cab of my truck, with the lens resting on a bean bag. The animals are seldom moving too fast, so slow shutter speeds are tolerable, and especially so with the new vibration reduction features on the newer lenses.

Great Horned Owl with Prize

Shutter speeds of 1/1600th second are possible in the Winter because of the bright environment. Many of the photos are taken at +1 to +2 EV.

Sleeping Indian

Photos on this page could entice you to visit the area during one of our “non-prime” months like January and February. If you do come out and would like to go on a One-On-One Photo Tour, keep me in mind. The tours help me pay the bills and keep this site active.

Winter Posts:

Click this link to view a variety of previous posts related to a Winter Visit to Jackson Hole! The link below is also very popular.

If I Had Only One Winter Day in the Tetons:

Best of the Tetons Photo Tours

I offer year round photo tours in Grand Teton National Park and winter tours in the National Elk Refuge. A winter trip offers opportunities you won’t find in the other three seasons! Book now! Click the image for additional information.

Client Comments: “As a published and passionate photographer, I recognized Michael Jackson’s extraordinary skills as a photographer. Today I learned more about composition and creative technical ideas than I ever could have imagined.” G.S., Jackson Hole