On Saturday, September 18, we piled into the van and drove north from Jackson Hole in search of a young couple, a pretty young woman and her fiancé. You’ve likely heard about them. We left early because rain was forecast for this area of the Grand Teton National Park, and we were given intel that the pretty young woman would be found in a remote area outside Moose, Wyoming. We left the main highway and drove off road for miles. Finally, we bounced down a winding stretch of gravel road and skidded to a stop.
A dozen vehicles and a hundred or so people were gathered among scrub brush. We could see Indian paintbrush and the jagged Tetons in the distance. Such a beautiful place, I thought. These people were waiting for one man to speak, and almost everyone was using their smartphones as cameras. We joined the crowd and waited, as well.
The young woman was nearby. I could feel it.
Then I saw her: Katie Payton in white walking arm in arm with her mom toward her groom, Dave, who was standing under the handmade wedding arch, smiling.
Katie and Dave were the prettiest couple you ever saw. And in spite of the rain, the reception was the best ever. Joy danced the night away.
This was my first trip to Wyoming. Jackson Hole is the DisneyWorld of the Rockies. Except there is no Mickey Mouse and you can drive inside the park.
“I wish I could quit you, Jackson Hole.”
“Jackson Hole, I swear…”