Truth be told, we didn't really get to see enough of the above sorts of views, never getting a chance to go into either Teton or Yellowstone National Parks. Even if we had, for the first time ever, I accidentally erased almost all of the pictures on my camera in an attempt to catch one of a young bull moose on our drive into town one morning from a nearby campsite. Whoops.
There still was time enough to catch a few pics of fiber related things:
From the nosebleed section where we sat at the fashion show: Navajo-style, naturally dyed silk/wool shawls, and, if you can consider leather a fiber, well, then there was plenty of it: cow hides, beaver cowboy hats, and just about any other kind of furs, as well. We had a secret contest going amongst the two of us on the lookout for the gaudiest pair of cowboy boots but as it was, they turned out to be serious and beautiful works of art, while most folks didn't wear cowboy boots of course and, if they did, then they were subdued ones.
There was a bit of gallery hopping in our spare time, an hors d'ouevres night for the conference/show's contributing artists at the National Museum of Wildlife Art, the fashion show, and more. Mostly though, our mornings through evenings were filled with this sort of view, inside the Western Design Conference itself:
Off to the upper right, is the the mortise and tenon timber-framed bed that C put into the show, made of reclaimed timbers and metal with aluminum accents. A terrible shot, I know but I'll get a better pic of it soon. Our families just wanted some pictures from the show and this was the best of them.
There was a fair share of turquoise, silver, antlers, and woodworking, of course, with a handful of rhinestones thrown in there. One thing for certain, though, is that EACH and EVERY thing in that room was a piece of fine craftsmanship. It was incredibly inspiring and exhausting all at the same time, being there all day and trying to take it all in. The more traditional western kind of design isn't necessarily my thing, but I was truly won over by the quality of what I saw there, leaving me with a very new appreciation for it all. Just thinking about the energy that each person put into being there, that went into their work itself, into their ideas and expectations and hopes, into getting there, into setting up, into being there day after day, into breaking it all down, into packing it all up, into returning home, I'd find myself, at the end of some of the days, having a hard time settling into sleep, all wound up in all that crazy, amazing energy...and that's just the people within those four walls. Going beyond that, it would get unbearably overwhelming, impossible to grasp. That's when I'd force myself off to sleep, only to get up and do it all over again the next day.
Fortunately, we had a dry and snug truck with futon, featherbed, down comforter and pillows to collapse into each night. We're not much for hotels and motels, only when absolutely necessary. In the midst of a town where the median house price is well over 1,000,000 dollars, somehow living out of our car and cleansing ourselves in the river helped to keep it all a little more real, and rather than paying $125+ per night for a room, we payed a grand total of $7.50 for the one night we stayed in a campsite with a fee. Can't beat it, anyway you look at it.
All in all, the best parts were the extraordinarily talented and terribly nice people we met, the camping together, and the catching up with a few friends we hadn't seen in much too long. Oh, and the fresh bagels and coffee each morning in Jackson or nearby Wilson.