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There are many reasons why I love Jackson Wyoming.The first is that though it sees a ton of people coming through the area each year, it never feels like a tourist town.  (Okay, so maybe it feels a little like a tourist town when you’re standing around town square.  But who stands around town square when there are rapids to run?)  The second is that even on dreary rainy days, I still feel like I dropped in on an oil painting.  I may or may not have told the guide I was training with yesterday that I felt like I was in the movie The Notebook.  (I know… I’m a sap.  But how he cued the pelicans to fly overhead just as our group was going by is beyond me.)   The third reason that I love Jackson is that you find family here.

One of my evenings this past week was spent in town square with a random assortment of people playing musical instruments (my instrument was a pair of tap shoes).   A father and his daughter were lingering nearby listening to us when suddenly I recognized them.  They went down on our scenic trip the day before.  They quickly recognized some of us as Dave Hansen-ites.  As it turns out the daughter, Laci, was a fiddle player.  And to top it off they had her fiddle in their car.  So little Laci, who just celebrated her sixth birthday, whipped out Bile Them Cabbage Down with her dad accompanying on guitar.  (Dad just learned guitar this year.)  Laci continued to play for us for another half hour.

Yesterday they swung by the office to say goodbye and we invited them to join some of us for one last musical hoorah up at the Hootenanny.  For those of you unfamiliar with Jackson Hole’s Hootenanny, it is an open mic night that has been going on for twenty years every night at Dornan’s in Moose, Wyoming.  Apparently, the event has even been dropped in on by Dylan and the likes.  Sure enough Laci and her family showed up at the Hoot and favored us with some more fantastic fiddling.  Looking around the crowd-spotting friends old and new-I couldn’t help but feel for the first time since leaving Pennsylvania that this was home.