“I don’t like October, I LOVE October,” says Lindsey Johnson, the mom of three behind the popular blog and Instagram feed, Lady in the Wild West. “Growing up in a Southern California beach town I never experienced the changing of the seasons. I’d only seen it in movies. I used to daydream that one day I’d live in a quaint, cozy town where golden leaves would blanket the streets and the air would smell of pumpkins. Now, living in Jackson, it’s no longer a daydream, but simple a day. The colors of nature are so brilliantly vibrant it’s as if the trees are on fire. It’s magic that happens overnight.”
Here are some other things that make October awesome:
Hiking, trail running and mountain biking
In October, “I capitalize on Snow King and Josie’s hikes,” says Lindsey Linton, a fifth-generation Wyomingite, photographer, and the founder of the portrait and podcast project Women in Wyoming. Todd Jones, one of the founders of Teton Gravity Research, admits October isn’t actually his favorite month. (That’d be December: “If the snow is good, the winter crowds have not shown up yet and you get lots of powder to yourself,” he says.) But he does like October. “It’s a great time to mountain bike and also head into the parks, which are super un-crowded this time of year.” And, “If we are lucky and get an early season snowfall, I like to hike Grand Targhee and get in October turns,” he says.
Meagan Murtagh, who has lived in Jackson since 2008, blogs at The Egg Out West and brought The Scout Guide to the valley in 2014, says, “I trail run a lot in the fall because it’s quiet and there’s nothing better than running on crisp fallen leaves. It’s like the whole valley is showing off and I love the solitude in nature.” Getz finds that she’s outside more in October than in the summer. “By October I’m outside more because I’m so inspired to enjoy those last beautiful warm days,” she says.
One of Murtagh’s favorite October activities is elk bugling. “I love to grab my friends and head up to Grand Teton National Park to listen to the elk bugle with a picnic. It’s such a unique and amazing wildlife experience and the first chance to whip out all of my fall layers! Where else can you experience something like this in the wild?” (Read more about elk bugling on Meagan’s blog.)
Johnson, her husband, and three sons are lucky to live north of town. “Living on the outskirts of Grand Teton National Park, this time of year the elk migrate through our neighborhood. My boys wake up before sunrise and now and then we’ll have a herd of fifty or so in our backyard! They’re so close we can see their warm breath in the air. It’s not a bad way to enjoy your morning coffee. We like to joke that they can smell my cookies.” (When not blogging, collecting cowboy boots, and marveling at elk, Johnson bakes cakes and cookies for events of all sizes.)
“Our transition between summer and winter is so short in Jackson and Wyoming in general—October is special because it is our fall moment,” Linton says. “I love the crisp morning air and palpable change of seasons and I savor the change of color around the valley before the snow flies.”
Photographer David Agnello admits, “The end of summer is a little sad—it’s hard to let go of. October, with crisp days and the changing foliage provides an amazing transition. As the end of August rolls around, I am still enjoying summer, but feeling its end. By late September and into October, I am welcoming to the change. October is an amazing gift that softens the end of summer.”