i blog. sort of.

i blog. sort of.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Jackson's cemetery

old stone, Jackson cemetery
Even before I jumped from the silver Tundra I could hear them--ravens, cawing from perches high in the pines.  The trees dot the hillside in a patternless scatter, growing thicker as the hill climbs to meet forest.  From the undergrowth, the sounds of chuckers rise to mingle with the raven's chilling cries.

I immediately thought of Poe.

Jackson's cemetery is like none I've seen.  Overgrown, and with headstones planted during the wild west, it invites exploration.  Most of its residents are laid to rest within defined plots outlined by stone or brick or old rod-iron fencing.  And the plots don't disappoint; most have an eerie, human-length hump of weed covered dirt rising from their center.

a plot among the pines
 There are many old ranchers buried in the cemetery, and many who fought during World War I and II.  You can't step three feet in any direction without meeting up with a headstone or burial plot, but the cemetery doesn't feel creepy.  Something about the uniqueness of each grave invites attention; the owner's personality and style seem to hang in the air.  And the day I visited was perfect: an awesome mix of pleasant shade and sun and autumn grass. 

a tombstone sculpture
The cemetery reflects one of the things I love most about Jackson Hole: it's intriguing blend of beautiful land, unique residents and art.  Jackson proper is terribly touristy, yes, but it sits in perhaps the most beautiful valley in the world.  The Tetons border the west and a broad elk preserve skirts the east.  Driving between the two will take you from Jackson to the east entrance of Yellowstone and along the way, there are buffalo, elk, moose, deer and the occasional bear.

a cemetery resident's view--distant Tetons on the horizon
The cemetery is no stranger to wildlife, as the various forms of *ahem* scat and pellets will attest.  Though I wouldn't want to wander about the place at night (the unpredictable plots would have their way with you, for sure), Jackson's cemetery was well worth the visit--especially on a warm sunny day in October.

cemetery residents, resting in peace

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