Jackson on a Tuesday evening in March

Never will you see a more compelling cross-section of culture than in a Jackson, WY bar, mid-week in late March. Tourists in heels and trending wardrobes, local affluent ranchers in wool hats and scuffed boots, young plaid-shirted-skinny-jean-wearing twenty-something’s share the dance floor with retired travelers and women in heels and leopard-print, two-stepping with cowboy hats and pearl snap shirts.

Bluegrass music streams from the stage. An old drum set advertises “One Ton Pig” in peeling vinyl on the bass drum. The band sounds like a mix between Reckless Kelley and Chris Knight with a solid Irish foundation. Every band member wears a plaid shirt and either a flat-brimmed ball cap or squats, thick-framed glasses. The walls of the bar are adorned with bordello style paintings of “the Woman in Red” and bronze statues of pin-up style women in varying stages of undress, participating in activities from fishing to skiing to bathing in a galvanized livestock trough, and glisten under the display lights on shelves.

The bar at The Wort Hotel is inlaid with 2032 uncirculated 1921 silver dollars.
Wyoming Whiskey and Koltiska (both local favorites in the state that’s been described as a “small town with long streets”). Waiters scurry to and fro with martinis and antelope Gyros, cheese plates and elk sliders, Coors Light and Snake River microbrew.

Outside, the snow that melted in the spring sunshine is freezing as temperatures dive below freezing. Snow bunnies eagerly await tomorrow’s snow storm, while ranchers calving their herds curse the freezing temperatures and pray for fair weather. As for me, I pray for clear roads and the arrival of Sandhill cranes to announce the coming of spring.


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