I grew up on an island in Maine where being on the water was second nature, and I tell people that Jackson Hole is the only place I will live that isn’t on a coast. When I moved to Jackson with 14 dollars, three surfboards, and a dog, it was supposed to be a short visit. Eight years later, here I am, living in Wilson with my girlfriend Jen, our son Jackie, and that same dog. I work as a landscape contractor and the perks are simple: I’m outside and active, I work for myself, and the job is seasonal, which allows me to ski all winter and squeeze in a couple surf trips.
Sure, Jackson is known for its vertical drop and annual snowfall, but what makes it truly unique is the people in the tramline. As the artery of North American skiing, the Jackson Hole tramline brings together some of the best skiers in the world at any given time. The conversations, the intensity, and “the stoke” are daily reminders that there is no other place like Jackson. Period.
For the past few years I have been working with the Teton Adaptive Sports and the Special Olympics. Both are amazing organizations that bring together athletes that have the love and passion that I have come to expect from Jackson. The Special Olympics are the highlight of my winter. I love getting to see the athletes improve and form bonds with one another—it reminds of why I started skiing in the first place.
Recently I became a father. It’s been important for both me and Jen to try and maintain a thread of hedonism as we dive into parenthood. For the past few months, we have managed to juggle Jack around enough to ski most days and still get our work done. Jack has fun with it as well. Not every kid gets to grow up in a JHMR parking lot and have his diaper changed on a ski tuning bench!
As much as I would like my son, Jack, to stay a baby, I am anxiously awaiting a lifelong skiing, surfing, and climbing partner. They say it takes a village to raise a child, and I am sure I could not have picked a better place and a better group of people to help me do so.