|Teton Village was such a let-down I did not|
take any pictures there. This is from the tram
up Rendezvous Mountain.
Forced out of the lodge, we could have returned to the Virginian. But that seemed a failure of imagination. Been there, done that. I figured Teton Village would be worth exploring. I hadn’t done any research, but it had a nice sound to it: “Teton Village.”
Driving there, civilization certainly fell away — suddenly we were navigating a single lane dirt road cutting through the middle of a golden wood. That seemed promising. “Perhaps,” I told the boys, “we will be charmed by the Teton villagers and their rustic ways.” Okay, I didn’t really think there would be an indigenous people, wearing seal skins, demonstrating their totem pole carving techniques. But I thought maybe there would be local craft shops or something.
The moment we arrived at Teton Village I saw that coming here was a mistake — another mistake. We were at a ski resort in summer, one big, decaying 1970s lodge after another, with nothing else to recommend the place. Not rustic, but run-down, not uncrowded, but empty. There were no craft boutiques, there were hardly any stores of any kind. An abandoned bedroom community.
Our hotel had a pool with lots of chairs facing a huge parking lot as if it were the sea. Peeling paint and old dark brown stained redwood walls. In our room, a freestanding air-conditioner — an odd, unexpected device that made the place look foreign, like a hotel room in Bolivia. The boys flipped on the TV while I left to explore the town.
There was an alpine tram up Rendezvous Mountain but, given Kent’s balking at Inspiration Point, taking him up a far taller mountain did not seem wise. Beyond that, nothing, not even a decent place for dinner. There was one Italian restaurant, but it was fancy, the kind of restaurant you’d take your prom date to share a bottle of Lancers Rose. Just the idea of putting on a suit jacket was repulsive, and I couldn’t see us eating there in our hiking boots and shorts.
Thinking about dinner, I stopped in the local grocery — the Mangy Moose — that was really a glorified liquor store with a small food section. The place smelled strongly of dog — there was an Irish setter prowling the aisles. I took a long walk through the liquor section, just looking at the bottles — this would be a good night for it — then shook off the thought with an actual shiver, rather dog-like myself, like a collie shaking off water, then gathered a chunk of cheese, a loaf of bread and a salami and beat it out of there.
The boys mashed together some nourishment in front of the television. I sat at the pool, looked at the Tetons, and realized we had to get busy tomorrow. The devil makes work for idle hands.