BACK FROM VACATION
Before I left for the ultra-montane serenity of the Grand Tetons, I was thinking of asking a guest blogger to carry on. When I got back, I realized you all kept the chatter going at a high pitch. Awesome! I didn't realize so many wise-guys checked in. I got huge laughs from the sniping and I didn't even mind the un-PC jokes. But then again, I've got a thick skin. I did a quick tabulation and it seems like every ethnic and racial group got its turn in the barrel. So I guess that makes it fair.
For those who wondered where I went, the answer is Wyoming. We kayaked, hiked, camped out, got rained on, sunburned, hailed on in Yellowstone, bitten by a zillion bugs, went into lakes cold enough to stop your heart, drifted down the Snake River, and had close encounters with moose, elk, marmots, bison, bald eagles, otters, ospreys, grouse and hawks. And no, we didn't witness or hear about any float-bys.
The biggest crime story in the papers the week we were there involved a streaker at the Jackson Hole demolition derby. Like Mutton Bustin' and greased pig wrestling, streaking the demo derby is some kind of annual tradition. Hey, it's Wyoming. And July is the only month when they don't get snow. This year, there was "huge" controversy when one of the streakers grabbed a fire extinguisher off the firetruck that was hosing down the dirt between demo heats. A Teton County deputy sheriff and a security guard tried to wrangle the naked guy. When it looked like nude boy was getting ready to spray the cop, the copper tased him with 50,000 volts. The crowd went nuts, booed the cop and threw beer cups and trash into the arena.
The streaker was arrested and released and could face a $750 fine for indecent exposure. A lawyer in the crowd volunteered to defend the guy for free. Chances are, that'll be the biggest crime story of the year. Nothing much happens in Wyoming compared to LA. The entire state has less than 500,000 residents. And at last count, there were 1,500 inmates behind bars in the entire prison system, and that includes juvi, half way houses, honor ranches etc. Barely enough to qualify as a decent sized single neighborhood in LA.
Vice President Dick Cheney flew into town the day after we landed. He's a resident and avid fly fisherman. A fishing guide told me that local anglers get bent out of shape when the Veep goes fishing. When he's on the river, Blackhawk choppers do security sweeps and that scares the crap out of the trout, ruining everybody's fishing.
With so much land and so few people, you'd think real estate would be a buyer's market. Think again. Raw land in "desirable" locations can go for a million per acre. A modest house in downtown Jackson will run you half a million to $600,000. Right on the corner of Cache and Broadway in Jackson, Sotheby's has a real estate office where you can look at ranch property on the Snake River that goes from 5 to 10 million dollars. Kinda makes Highland Park look like a bargain.
Gotta go. There's 143 emails I need to read and a pile of mail that needs sorting.