At Home in the Wild

04 Jun 2018

Magnetic Pull Keeps People in Jackson

Summer 2018

Written By: Kristen Pope | Images: Krzysztof Wiktor©

If you stroll around Jackson and chat up just about anyone who’s been in the valley for at least a decade or two, chances are they will tell you it all started with a desire to live here for “one winter” or “one summer” and they somehow never left. This place has a unique pull and a magnetism which draws people in and keeps them here for a lifetime.

One of the reasons for this is its unabashed wildness. Moose freely stroll through town, mountain lions are sometimes spotted near neighborhoods, and bear spray is an essential item for any hike. With free-flowing wild rivers, wild scenery, and oftentimes wild weather, it’s no surprise wild people are enchanted by this place. This issue of JHStyle explores Jackon’s wild side, from its Wild West roots to its modern-day wild characters and the people working to preserve its wildness. The theme “Still Wild” connects past and present, exploring wildness in all forms. In this issue, we profile skier and spelunker extraordinaire “Wild Bill” Bowen, known for his annual birthday tradition of skiing the infamous S&S Couloir—including this year to celebrate his 65th birthday. We showcase the work of Tricia O’Connor, the forest supervisor responsible for managing the 3.4-million acre Bridger-Teton National Forest in Jackson’s backyard. We delve into the world of Ryan Burke, who is a substance abuse counselor by day, and an epic adventurer after-hours, taking on his own custom-designed challenges which can last over 30 hours straight. Artist Kathy Wipfler uses brush strokes to cultivate the wild, capturing Western scenes on her easel. Local outfitters help people connect with Jackson’s Western past, bringing them out beyond the range of cell phones to a world of horse packing and sleeping under the stars. Brian Coe gives us insight into the world of firefighting, sharing a harrowing close call and his daily work to keep crews ready for anything. Over in Victor, Idaho, Suzi Woodward shows her wild side at S.U.B.A., a place where people can get everything from a latte to a body piercing. Even local chefs get in on the wild action in this issue. We profile two local chefs who forage to fill their restaurants’ kitchens with morels, ramps, huckleberries, and other foods they harvest directly from the wild. This issue shares the stories of all these individuals and many others. They are the ones who make Jackson “Still Wild.”
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