A Landing a Day

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Victor, Driggs and Pierre’s Hole, Idaho

Posted by graywacke on November 17, 2016

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-every-four-or-five days blog), I have my computer select a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”  I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location.  To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2308; A Landing A Day blog post number 738.

untitledDan:  Today’s lat/long (43o 36.222’N, 111o 15.626’W) puts me in SE Idaho:


My local landing map puts me in the boonies, 7 miles from Victor:


StreetAtlas typically has good stream coverage in Idaho, as is the case here:


You can see that I landed in the watershed (and right next to) Red Creek, on to the North Fork Pine Ck, to Pine Ck, to the Snake R (79th hit); on to the Columbia – trust me – 162nd hit.

It’s time for my Google Earth (GE) spaceflight on into SE Idaho.  This one’s a little funky as you’ll see.  Click HERE, enjoy the trip, then hit your back button.

Looks like some interesting territory – and I certainly did landed next to Red Creek!  Here’s an oblique GE shot looking west down the Red Creek valley:


Here’s a northward-facing shot, looking out at the Big Hole Mountains:


More about the name Big Hole in a bit.  Here’s the view, zooming way back (still looking north):


See the large mountain range off to the east?  Those are the Tetons, and the valley east of the mountains is Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

So, I thought I’d head east, and look west over the Tetons towards my landing:


So, of course, I checked out Victor and Driggs.  They are pretty-much hookless.  Here’s all Wiki had to say about Victor:

Victor (pop almost 2,000) was established in 1889, and was named for George Victor Sherwood, a dedicated mail carrier who delivered the mail despite threats of Indian attacks.

The city has become a bedroom community for the nearby resort area of Jackson Hole, accessed over Teton Pass in Wyoming at 8,431 feet above sea level. The pass is accessed from Victor on State Highway 33, which continues east of the state border as Wyoming Highway 22 to Jackson.

Here’s a map showing Jackson and the road over the mountains:


And here’s a GE Street View shot (from Wyoming 22), looking east down into Jackson Hole from the pass:


And Driggs?  From Wiki:

Driggs (pop 1,700) is located in the Teton Valley [as is Victor].  The Teton Valley was discovered by John Colter in 1808, a member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804–06). It became known as Pierre’s Hole, and it hosted the well-attended 1832 Rendezvous, which was followed by the Battle of Pierre’s Hole.

And there’s my hook!  Pierre’s Hole it is.

First, a GE shot of Pierre’s Hole, along with its neighboring (but much more famous) Jackson Hole:


From Wiki:

The Teton River flows northward though the mountain meadows of Pierre’s Hole [once known as the Big Hole, thus the Big Hole Mountains] and then joins up with Bitch Creek just before it turns west and into Teton Canyon.

To mountain men, a large low-lying valley, such as this, with abundant beaver and game was called a “hole”. Mountain men preferred these areas of numerous beaver rich streams as they provided ample food and comfortable camping in addition to beaver pelts.

Pierre’s Hole was named in honor of Pierre Tivanitagon, a Hudson’s Bay Company trader said to be of Iroquois descent, who was killed in a battle with Blackfoot Indians in 1827.

Pierre’s Hole was the site of the huge Rendezvous of 1832. Hundreds of mountain men, trappers, Indians and fur company traders met to sell furs or trade for supplies. At the end of the 1832 rendezvous, an intense battle ensued known as the battle of Pierre’s Hole.

Gratuitously (and you’ll see why in a minute), here’s a little more from Wiki:

After the fur trade subsided in the 1840s, Pierre’s Hole returned to a quiet summer hunting valley for Native Americans. An Englishman named Richard ‘Beaver Dick’ Leigh came to the Teton region sometime around 1860, and frequently trapped and hunted in the Hole.

Here’s the gratuitous part:  This area seems like a middle school boy’s ideal geography:  Pierre’s Hole, Bitch Creek and Beaver Dick . . .

Back to the rendezvous (from Wiki):

A mountain man rendezvous was a yearly event held in the summer for fur trappers to gather together, sell their furs, and resupply themselves for another season of trapping. Representatives of eastern fur-trading companies would arrive with pack mules loaded with trade goods to meet the needs of the trappers for the upcoming year.

If trappers were employed by a particular company, they turned their furs, mainly beaver, over to the company representative and received their pay, less the amount used to cover what they would need for another trapping season. Profits could purchase additional goods, including whiskey, tobacco, and other luxury items. Free trappers, i.e. men not contracted with a company, could negotiate a purchase price for their accumulated furs.

In general, trappers and merchants settled into a protected valley for two to three weeks. The rendezvous would generally include recreation and entertainment, including contests, games and gambling. Most participants had a good time, swapping tall tales and drinking.

The 1832 Rendezvous included 400 mountain men, along with over 100 lodges of Indians (Nez Perce and Flatheads).  In all, the camp grounds covered over 7 square miles in the Hole.

And the battle?  A group of about a hundred trappers was traveling south in the Hole (headed for new trapping grounds north of Salt Lake), and they came across a large migratory party of Gros Ventres Indians, including women and children, traveling from one camping site to another.  A chief came forward to greet the trappers, and, for no apparent reason, he was shot dead.

From Wiki:

The murder provoked an intense battle between the Gros Ventres, with an estimated 250 warriors, and the party of American trappers aided by their Nez Perce and Flathead allies. The badly outnumbered mountain men sent riders to the rendezvous site for aid and prepared the camp for attack.

The battle raged all day with little gain on either side.  In the brief but bloody battle at least twenty-six Gros Ventres were killed, including some women and children, and perhaps a dozen traders and Flatheads.

The Gros Ventres moved on under cover of darkness, and that was that.  Was this stupid or what?  There may be a hidden story about why the Gros Ventres’ chief was murdered, but still.  Forty or so people killed for no apparent reason . .

It’s time for some GE Panoramio shots. I’ll start with this idyllic skiing shot, looking east from the Big Holes across Pierre’s Hole towards the Tetons (by Ross Mitchell):


Here’s a shot taken just north of my landing by Ross Mitchell:


I can imagine Ross coming across this beautiful view of a small mountain lake and thinking “this would be perfect if only a moose would came down to the lake for a drink.”

I’ll close with this shot of one of my watershed streams (North Fork Pine Creek) by frequent ALAD contributor, Ralph Maughan (who, of course, probably doesn’t know he’s a frequent contributor):


Great shot, Ralph.  The fence really makes it . . .

That’ll do it . . .




© 2016 A Landing A Day


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