It’s almost time to celebrate my fellow servers. We’ve made it through the worst of it anyway. Summer is officially over. Labor day just passed, which in a tourist-centric town, means a lot of vacationers have gone back to work or school.
For starters the RV’s and motorcyclists have passed through leaving Jackson Hole in their dust. Traffic downtown will subside and with that the congested sidewalks and pedestrian walkways will free up. Window shoppers in shiny new bedazzled cowboy hats and boots wearing new pink Jackson Hole t-shirts have loaded up their cars and gone home. And my friends who choose to drive to work will be able to park downtown once again.
We no longer need to bear painful witness to sulky teenagers on family vacations being rude to their parents during dinner. The kids are back in school, the crayons & kid menu’s can be put away. The newlyweds and empty nesters can enjoy a bottle of wine with their meal and go relatively undisturbed.
This is Jackson Hole’s version of heaven. The weather is still nice enough for us to enjoy our little town and the whole region feels like it’s ours again. We can all take a deep breath and ride our bicycles knowing we won’t get hit by a gaper going straight on Cache & Broadway (when it’s clearly a right turn only lane)!
Even better, the trails are ours again! We can finally reclaim Hidden Falls, Inspiration Point, String Lake, Shadow Mountain and all the other incredible spots that we forfeited use of when the tourists arrived so that they could enjoy our wonderful Grand Teton National Park and see for themselves what our mountain town is all about.
I love when the familiar faces start coming back to dine with us. This time of year the locals can return to their favotite restaurants and enjoy their ‘regular’ status for the few off season months we have before the snow starts and the winter tourists arrive.
The tourists who do visit in the Fall months get to enjoy a less hectic, quieter, more civilized dining experience in our establishments. And we, the servers, get to remember why we chose our jobs in the first place. We get to talk about our menu’s in greater depth with patrons who care enough to ask questions. We can finally suggest wine pairings based on characteristics and not solely price point. The chef can take the easy-sell-chicken dish of the menu and try out better, more creative ideas.
Not only do we bid farewell to the tourists but also to the ninty-day wonders who leave us in August. You either love them or you hate them but the 90DW’s help run the show here in Jackson. They fill positions we badly need covered. They buy sweet new summer gear and clothing then dump it all off at Browse n’ Buy on their way out of town for us to grab up. They know all too well that their shiny new, big city jobs won’t be giving them anywhere to wear their Patagonia fleece to or any excuse to be setting up camp in that lightweight backpacking tent in the near future. Goodbye 90DW’s…I was you once but I smartened up and realized that this is actually the best life for me. For a large percentage of you this is only goodbye for now, you’ll wise up and we’ll meet again.
So servers, take back the town this Fall! Drop down a shift. Go out to dinner with friends and take advantage of restaurant deals. Hike, climb or camp something new. Take in the last few Jackson Hole Farmers Markets and run in Old Bill’s Fun Run next week. Float down the river one last time. This is the time of year to remind ourselves why we moved here in the first place and get out and do the things that keep us here.
I’m planning on enjoying this Fall and hope you do too. Please feel free to share whatever activities you’ve been holding out on enjoying until the fall months arrived here in Jackson.