Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Fire and Smoke Season in Jackson Hole and the West

I'VE MADE UP MY MIND AND AM GOING TO BE STICKING TO IT: This will be the last August I spend in Jackson Hole. I may visit for a few weeks in June or in July,  maybe.  But never again in August---not even for a few days like this year since my children are arriving today. It's just too smoky. Even though we don't have big fires currently right here in the Valley, there are tons of grass and forest fires to the west of us in Idaho, Montana and Washington.

Jackson Hole is a big geological bowl and downwind of anything on fire.  It collects air pollution like a dry sponge collects water.  Then holds onto it, like a dog with a bone. Only a good blizzard in early September will begin to knock it down and out....until the whole thing blows up and in again next year.

It goes without saying that this kind of air pollution---it's like being in a room with a dozen chain smokers---is not good for anyone's health.  But it's really detrimental to people with respiratory and heart disease.  So don't come then and save your breath and your money. When you book in advance and pay for your stay at a ranch or condo, it's very unlikely they'll give you your  money back, unless they can rebook it which is highly unlikely at the last minute.

There's also terrible traffic gridlock here every August.  I feel like I'm on the NJ Turnpike with about as many cars, SUVs, trucks, campers and bikers as I've seen anywhere.  Amazing how it's changed in the last 30 years.  The roads and infrastructure simply can't handle it all and so we have gridlock at various times of day. I shudder to think what it will be like this time next week---when I'll be almost back to Tennessee--as throngs of humanity arrive to partake of the total solar eclipse.  Most people I know, are leaving to go far away or staying put,  at home.

It may be hard to break my Jackson, Wyoming summer habit with so many friends and history here. I'll have to see them only briefly here and then in other parts of the country at other times.  But JH in  and for longer stays is soon to be in my rear view mirror

1 comment:

Robert Agard said...

I didn't know these things about Jackson Hole. I am glad you are making good decisions for yourself. God bless you!