By Robert B. Betts
The superb valley of Jackson gap on the base of the hovering Teton variety has lengthy been a level on which a extraordinary sequence of occasions has been acted out by way of an both notable forged of characters. this is often that tale, instructed with a verve and pleasure which brings the previous alive. In those pages, the reader will witness the dramatic construction of the Tetons; the arriving of the 1st people, bands of fur-clad Early Hunters who ventured into the valley a few 10,000 years in the past; the arrival and going of the later Indian tribes; and the approximately marvelous trip of John Colter, who again in 1807 is expounded to were the 1st white guy to have came across his manner throughout the barren region and into Jackson gap.
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Additional info for Along the Ramparts of the Tetons: The Saga of Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Elizabeth R. Brownell, who has assembled and maintained the files of the Teton County Chapter of the Wyoming State Historical Society, and who kindly took the time to read the original manuscript and set me straight on a number of my "facts"; W. C. "Slim" Lawrence, who shared his endless knowledge of and enthusiasm for Jackson Hole's history with me; Dr. Gary Wright, Department of Anthropology, State University of New York at Albany, who most considerately allowed me to read his excellent work on the early peoples of Jackson Hole while it was still in manuscript form; Almer Nelson, former manager of the National Elk Refuge for more than thirty years, who went over the chapter on the elk herd; Conrad Schwiering, eminent artist of the Tetons and the West, who atjust the right moment said just the right thing to rekindle my then almost extinguished interest; Joan Morcerf, who tirelessly and always with a smile typed revision after revision, giving more of her time than I had any right to ask; and my friend and business colleague John Peace and his son Bill, both of whom understood what I was trying to do and cheered me on in the belief that the job undertaken would somehow, someday turn into a book.
Pitting their not meager skills of survival against both the animals and elements of what was then truly the New World, the Early Hunters, as they are called, made their way into the region surrounding Jackson Hole by an early date. Across the Tetons, near American Falls in Idaho, bones of a bison belonging to a longextinct species have been discovered under conditions suggesting that it may have been hunted down by men as far back as 30,000 years ago. Even closer to Jackson Hole, a cave in the Absaroka Range near what is now Yellowstone National Park was occupied by humans off and on for 9,000 years, with its many strata yielding weapons which gradually advanced from primitive stone points for spears to skillfully chipped arrowheads.
In less than three minutes, one of the largest landslides ever recorded took place as fifty million cubic yards of shale, sandstone and limestone roared into the canyon and dashed four hundred feet up the other side, damming the river and creating a lake where none had been beforea displacement of earth so large and so swift that if the Panama Canal had been excavated at the same rate it would have been completed in under an hour. * Jackson Hole, the valley itself, is about sixty miles long and of irregular width, varying from six to twelve miles, and there are * Not long after the landslide, a Gros Ventre Indian living on a reservation was shown a photograph of it, and not only did he recognize Sheep Mountain, but he also gave an unusual explanation as to why the slide had taken place.