Those who hike Lobo Hill are rewarded when they face west upon arriving at the summit. The valley sprawls out and the Tetons rise abruptly out of the floor, providing a spectacular view from North to South of the Jackson and Kelly region. I, and countless others before me, have used it as a spot to sit, marvel, and take in the mountain range,
This place is more than just the view though.
Well of course it is, that much seems obvious, it’s a space in which one can exist.
But stop for a second.
How often is it that we seek out beautiful places, get the amazing photo, marvel a bit at it, and then leave? Of course this does not make the vistas and views any less spectacular or characterize humans as consistently superficial. But that vista, that view, is not what creates the beauty of a place on a deep level. The view isn’t what makes Lobo Hill special.
It’s the mama grizzly and her cubs trekking up Ditch Creek road. It’s the gentrification the community faces as a plane rumbled to life at daybreak. It’s the cow and bull moose, mere specks, moving along the sagebrush flats far below. It’s seeing the lights of Jackson and Kelly at dusk. It’s my companions lying beside me. It’s learning how to dance western swing style. It’s finally seeing all the constellations I could never quite place move across the night sky. It’s the joy of the students who visit our school. And of course it’s seeing the pink illumination of the Tetons as the sun peeks out from behind the Gros Ventres mountains.
I woke up curled up deep in my sleeping bag, listening to the silence around me. This was the first time I slept under an open sky. I savored the gentle but frigid breeze on my cheeks as I peeked out at the stars, mountains, and towns before me. I’d seen this view before, but it was the nuances that reverberated in my bones.