I grew up in southeast Idaho which is in close proximity to Jackson Hole, Wy and Grand Teton National Park. When I was a kid (I am going bald and my back is causing me problems so I get to say that now), we would visit “the park” 5 or more times a year.
Now I have to laugh with sadness as I drive through the places where I spent my childhood recreation. Land values in the area are beyond absurd. I know this because as we drove through Tetonia and Driggs this last weekend I saw real estate signs bearing the name of Sotheby’s. This is amusing to me because I associate Sotheby’s with expensive art painted by eclectic dead guys, rare books and the fine and over priced things in life. During our drive I saw the name attached to run down gas stations with busted windows and rusting junk in the side lot. Another place bore a rusted sign swaying in the breeze reminiscent of an Alfred Hitchcock film. Until a few years ago you couldn’t have paid someone to take over these places. They are run down and filled with junk, but now they are listed along side the crown jewels. We could never figure out how dry farmers – guys that plant crops and pray the rain will come – could survive. There are some large dry farms in the Teton Valley. I heard a rumor that a 3,000 acre one just sold for 18 million bucks. I am sure the developer has high hopes for golf courses and large cabins. He will probably succeed, but the land is crap. It’s the place people tried to farm as a last resort and now it is becoming a resort. These aren’t tree covered mountains. This land is some farmer’s field that just happens to have a line of site to the Teton range. I feel so stupid for not buying land there.