I’m always interested to hear how someone first discovered Jackson Hole. Even though we have just under 5 million visitors come to this area a year, I’d still consider it to be a ‘secret’ destination compared to most.
I came to Jackson Hole for the first time in the summer of 2012. My family had visited the previous year and insisted I go when I was allowed time off from work. My father jokes he should have never told me about it, for I could still be living not too far away from him.
I’d never even heard about Jackson Hole before my family decided to visit. When my wife and I had told our friends we were going to make the move out West to Wyoming, they assumed we’d be living on a ranch we could purchase for little to no money. I probably would have thought the same about Jackson Hole should I never have visited. Little did they know that this place acts like a little oasis from the miles of flat, uninhabited land across Wyoming. We’ve got a rich culture, a highly educated community, and unmatched outdoor amenities. And, the view of the mountains ain’t too shabby either.
But, enough about me.
Bree came to Jackson Hole for the Americorp’s program at the Teton Science School in 2011. She had to ‘google’ Jackson Hole to grasp it, as she never gave the state of Wyoming much thought. She expected to only stay here one or two years, but quickly changed her mind after she discovered all that this place has to offer.
Above all, Bree appreciated the welcoming characteristics of her coworkers and strangers alike. She described every job out here as a family-run business in the sense that everyone looks out for one another and puts others ahead of themselves. But, the ‘ah-ha!’ moment only really hit when she was out on a trail run and realized that she wanted to remain here forever. She never again thought about leaving Jackson Hole.
Now on her sixth year in the valley, Bree has deep roots within the community and makes new friends just about everyday. She works six days a week either as a personal assistant for a family or a barista at Elevated Grounds. But, make no mistake, she finds time for the backcountry. Her overloaded work schedule is just temporary as she rehabs her knee. It acts as a distraction from all the winter activities she could be doing if she was 100%.
I admire Bree. She’s had to overcome many obstacles over the past five years. And every time she surmounts that challenge, she learns new lessons and therefore comes out stronger on the other side.
I’ve had my fair share of challenges in my life, but not many that compare to the gravity of hers. I only wish I’d be able to manage whatever gets thrown at me with the same patience and poise that Bree handled and currently handles hers.
You can read more about Bree in the coming days, but in the meantime, also check out her own personal blog: www.boulderfieldsinthedark.com.