Along the Ramparts of the Tetons: The Saga of Jackson Hole, by Robert B. Betts

By Robert B. Betts

The extraordinary valley of Jackson gap on the base of the hovering Teton variety has lengthy been a degree on which a notable sequence of occasions has been acted out by way of an both striking forged of characters. this is often that tale, advised with a verve and pleasure which brings the prior alive.

In those pages, the reader will witness the dramatic construction of the Tetons; the coming of the 1st people, bands of fur-clad Early Hunters who ventured into the valley a few 10,000 years in the past; the arrival and going of the later Indian tribes; and the approximately marvelous trip of John Colter, who again in 1807 is related to were the 1st white guy to have came upon his approach throughout the barren region and into Jackson Hole.

Here, too, the reader will meet the boisterous mountain males, trappers reminiscent of Jim Bridger and the previous slave, Jim Beckwourth, who roamed the Rockies whilst St. Louis used to be nonetheless a frontier village; a bit Mormon boy who ran clear of domestic and lived with the Indians prior to changing into a Pony convey rider; a most original Englishman who describes a negative tragedy that took place his Indian spouse and half-breed childrens; a glory-seeking lieutenant who led six cavalrymen on a foolhardy excursion that just about expense them their lives; and a nineteenth-century president of the U.S. who took a pack journey via Jackson gap, allegedly leaving a path of empty bottles behind.

And there's extra, a lot more--the tale of the pioneers, these hardy few who dared to settle during this excessive and inhospitable land; the tale of outlaws, a shoot-out, vigilance committees and an Indian "massacre" that embarrassed the New York Times; the tale of the deliverance of the world's biggest elk herd from the numerous perils that threatened it with extinction; and, eventually, the tale of the lengthy and indignant controversy over the renovation of the Tetons and Jackson gap as a countrywide park, a fight referred to as "one of the main awesome conservation fights of the 20 th century."

All those and nonetheless different episodes within the lengthy and colourful cavalcade of Jackson gap are woven jointly to shape a piece of Western Americana wealthy in anecdotes and pics of delightfully eccentric characters.

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Extra info for Along the Ramparts of the Tetons: The Saga of Jackson Hole, Wyoming

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The chronology of the presence in Jackson Hole of both early men and the later Indians is incomplete, to say the least, but clues in the form of artifacts they left behind are beginning to fill in some of the blanks. At Emma Matilda Lake in the northern end of the valley, an obsidian knife estimated to be 8,000 years old has been recovered, while at nearby Two Ocean Lake a quartzite projectile point of about the same age has been turned up. Also in the north, on the shore of Jackson Lake before a dam raised its water, a site was discovered where Early Hunters made camp around 8,000 years ago, probably coming down from Yellowstone in late spring or early summer to hunt mule deer and bighorn sheep and gather plants for food, then leaving before winter snows made the valley uninhabitable.

They also ostensibly left it for the summer use of the other now-familiar Indian nations of the northern Rockies who not long thereafter appeared and claimed tribal territories along a far-reaching perimeter mostly to the north and east of Jackson Hole. Surprisingly, however, instead of being visited and utilized by these various tribes, even in summer, Jackson Hole was virtually abandoned by the Indians for more than one hundred and fifty years before white men first came into the mountains. This avoidance of the valley by native Americans of any kind for such a long period of time is a relatively recent finding, and it shatters a long-standing myth which has prevailed to this day about Jackson Hole.

The glacier gradually narrows in the southern end of the valley, but before it wastes away its cold tongue twists through the Snake River Canyon and reaches into Idaho. Just eighty thousand years ago, the second glaciation, the Bull Lake, arrives. Less than half the size of the earlier ice masses, it rises in the Absaroka Range and winds its way down the Buffalo River Valley into the northern end of Jackson Hole, where it joins forces with glaciers crawling down from the many canyons of the Tetons, broadening and carving those canyons as they advance.

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