Yes, it’s early November – but signs of winter have arrived in Jackson Hole! Check out these pictures taken at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort just a few days ago. It looks like a promising ski season is headed our way!
Jackson is full of really cool people. You can easily run into pro snowboarders like Travis Rice or celebrities like Harrison Ford. In my opinion though, the coolest guy in Jackson is the bassist Bill Plummer. Lucky for Spring Creek Ranch guests, he’s easy to track down because he plays at the Granary on Friday nights.
Plummer is the sort of guy who whispers follow. Every time I see him play, someone is leaning over to me whispering, “that guy played with the Rolling Stones,” or “that guy played with the Grateful Dead.”He’s been playing jazz since his elementary school days in the 1940s and it seems like the man has played with everyone. I’ve always wanted to corner him on one of his breaks during a set at the Granary and get an in-depth conversation going. I mean, the man was in the studio with the Rolling Stones as they recorded the album “Exile on Main St.” He’s got to have some incredible stories floating just below the surface of his cool jazz persona. I always say hi. I believe I’ve even attempted some prying phrases, like, “wow, so, you’ve played with everyone!?” The thing is, they guy is just too darn cool. The idea of pushing him for information on musical greats makes me feel like a band geek.
I’ve noticed a trend in really cool people over the years. People who have absolutely fascinating lives always seem to be fully immersed in the present moment and not all that interested in spending hours reminiscing about their fascinating past. This is probably what has made them so successful. They keep moving forward, working, looking ahead and, therefore, their life is always becoming more interesting. New great things are always in the works because they don’t spend a ton of time dwelling on the past.
So, as I’m asking dopey, subtle questions, trying to get Plummer to spill his juicy stories to me, he’s just being a normal, cool guy. He’s talking about the night, the weather, the audience, and the music. He’s talking about Pam or Keith Phillips or any of his other fellow musicians on the stage that night. He’s being so fricken cool as everyone geeks out around him.
Here’s the basic scoop. Plummer has played with Willie Nelson, the Rolling Stones, the Grateful Dead, Quincy Jones and Tony Bennett. That is list is just some highlights from a long, long list. He’s studied with Mony Budwig, Herman Reinshang, the principal bassist for the New York Philharmonic, and Ravi Shankar’s school for Indian music. He was constantly learning. In between all the learning he was consistently working, something that he says was easy to do in those days. He went on the road with clarinetist Buddy DeFranco and flutist Paul Horn. He was part of the groups Hindustani Jazz Sextet, Cosmic Brotherhood, Jazz Corps, Gas Food and Lodging, Wild Rose Ramblers, and Spanky and Our Gang. He also played with Tony Bennett’s band, usually at the Coconut Grove in Los Angeles. The man was busy!
Now, he lives in Felt, Idaho and plays at the Granary where we are all lucky enough to get to hear a true music aficionado. I’m not cool enough to do it but somebody needs to sit Plummer down and get all the gritty, behind the scenes stories out of him. I’ve tried. I can’t. Please, one of you cool people, go to the Granary on Friday night and find out all the insider information for me and report back. I know there are some really good stories to be heard but I’m not cool enough to procure them.
There are two options for rafting down the Snake River and I’ve always been struck by how they epitomize the two main sides of Jackson Hole. From one perspective, Jackson is a place of peace and tranquility. This is a great place to get lost in nature. You can take a long walk down a quiet path and listen to the wind as it flutters through the aspen leaves. The striking vistas make it hard not to breathe deeply and clear your mind of everything but the stunning natural beauty of the present moment. I moved to Jackson Hole from Los Angeles and spent the first year marveling daily at how relaxing the environment is compared to city life. The people are nice, happy and friendly and they create an atmosphere that is contagious. A few days in Jackson and it’s hard not to chill out.
Not everyone comes to Jackson for relaxation though. Jackson is just as much a get away for adrenaline junkies and action addicts as those in search of peace and quiet. In the winter, there is snowmobiling, dogsledding and some of the most extreme skiing terrain in North America. In the summer, there is everything from mountain biking to paragliding. Even a trip to the rodeo will get your heart pumping. There is always a new opportunity for an epic adventure just around the corner. It’s what makes living here, in the mountains, incredibly exciting and fun, although, at times, exhausting.
The balance between these two sides of Jackson is what makes it such a magical place. You can easily experience either the leisure or thrill by taking a rafting trip down the Snake River. Visitors to Jackson frequently ask, should we do the scenic trip or whitewater rafting? To be honest, even locals contemplate the question.
Questions to Ask When Choosing Your River Experience:
Are you looking for relaxation and time to learn about local terrain, history and plants? Would you like to focus on animal sightings? Would you love an opportunity to ask your river guide some questions about the Snake River and Jackson Hole? Do you have children under the age of six? Does the thought of possibly being ejected from the raft and into the water make you shake with fear? If you are answering yes to the previous questions, you should be taking a scenic rafting trip. Click here to learn more about Float Trips on the Snake River
On the other hand, are you ready for some heart-pumping adventure with your family and friends? Are you ready to dig your paddle into the water and ride the rapids? Are you excited by the thought of getting a bit wet and maybe even getting in the river? Is it time for more action and less sight seeing? If you are nodding an enthusiastic yes, then you are ready to go whitewater rafting. Click here to learn more about Whitewater Rafting on the Snake River
Both are a great experience for totally different reasons. If you have the time, a lot of people enjoy taking both trips down the river. Each will expose you to a side of Jackson Hole that is not to be missed. And, hey, if you only have time for one you can always come back next year.
Interested in getting on the Snake River? Check out our Saddles and Paddles Package and experience a horseback ride with Teton views!
With airlines adding more direct flights to Jackson Hole, getting here is easier than ever. The major airlines have recently announced their winter schedule, making this the perfect time to start planning your winter getaway. We here in Jackson Hole are already having fun predicting the 2013/14 coming season’s snowfall. Yes, we are already gearing-up for the upcoming ski season! Join us and start getting excited for another winter of epic skiing, adventures in the snow and memories made by a warm fireplace. For those of you not living in Jackson Hole, skiing, dogsledding, snowmobiling and more winter fun is just a few short months and a plane ride away. Booking now allows you to avoid the holiday crunch time.
Your favorite airlines and frequent flyer programs all service Jackson hole, including American, Delta, Frontier, United and United Express. Direct flights are now being offered from Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, JFK, Newark, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Salt Lake City, Seattle and San Francisco. Beyond the direct flights, easy connections are also plentiful. Take advantage of the recently released flight schedules and book early for your 2013/14-winter vacation.
Post flight, Spring Creek Ranch has your travel covered. A shuttle is available to and from the airport as well as scheduled shuttles to the town of Jackson. If you would like to use the airport shuttle service, please call 800-443-6139 at least 72 hours before your scheduled arrival date.
Beat the back-to-school blues and the end of summer slump by giving yourself and the whole family a trip to look forward to that will extend the excitement of summer right through to winter. Skiing, hot cocoa and après ski nachos are only a few months away. We look forward to seeing you soon.