Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Day 114: Driggs, Bears and Huckleberries

Driggs is a town built around a cross-roads, but with houses scattered sparsely throughout the valley all around it.  For a place that's supposed to have a population of 1000 people, it has a lot of shops, but I think part of the reason is that there's a big seasonal influx.  Most of those scattered cabins are holiday homes or rented out, like ours.  A lot of the shops are for fun things like outdoor activities.

Driggs crossroads

When I went for a stroll around I found my first impression that people are pretty nice here was justified.  They also take things nice and slow.  There are places in the world where people just talk fast, but here it's the opposite.  In the bookshop, the lady broke off a conversation about bears to give me a gift pack containing some special offers and three sweets.  The local teenagers seem more concerned with vampires than bears judging by the whole shelf of vampire books on offer to them.  But in the cheese shop, the ladies broke off a conversation about bears to thank me profusely for buying cheese from them.  In the newspaper that came with our house the front page headline is about a local lady who was chased by a grizzly while riding her bike, more or less in a residential area.  Suddenly, everyone is remembering every bear story they ever knew!  Mike had told me to go to the sports shop to find out how much bear pepper spray costs.  It comes in an aerosol can with a holster for about $60, which seems like quite a lot.  It is a big year for bears around here.  There was one by the side of the road in the Tetons this weekend, and as usual, a traffic jam had formed around it and a whole crowd of people were slowly sneaking towards it with their cameras, but in a jittery sort of way, as if they were all ready to run back to their cars.

Rainbow irrigator

There is one big supermarket in Driggs which I was surprised to find stocked everything we could possibly imagine wanting, in organic and non-organic versions.  It's always kind of fun to go round the grocery stores in foreign places and see what they've got.  The big thing out here is huckleberries, which turn out to be the same as the French myrtilles.  I never knew that.  They make just about everything except tarts with them here, (even barbecue sauce) but they're expensive.  The only snag with the afternoon was having to pay for the shopping on my French card, then a phone call to the US credit card company to remind them that we are traveling!

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