The valley is Jackson Hole. The town is Jackson. Both are named not for the guy on the twenty dollar bill, but for fur trapper Davey Jackson, one of the first Americans of European descent to winter in the valley at the edge of the mountains that for ten thousand years were called Teewinot—many pinnacles—by the Shoshone tribe.
French trappers came along and named them Tetons, or tits, translated to English vernacular. There’s a pattern here. Two prominent hills above Saint Charles, Missouri, were named les mammelles—the mammaries—by early French fur traders. Mon Dieu. Jackson likes cowboys and whiskey and antlers. I like Jackson. And Tetons.
From the valley of Jackson Hole, a salad bar for bison, we climbed Teton Pass into Idaho where golden fields of wheat framed the Tetons, their heavy ripe grains waving at us rhythmically in the wind.
Share this Post