Usually, I fall in love with old, old towns. Towns with weird names like San Gimignano, Mousehole and our own Mdina. They are generally places with a story to tell and many secret memories to share. And that’s what I like about them – peeling away their todays to discover their yesterdays.
But sometimes, I fall in love with sweeping landscapes; with the incomparable architecture of a Higher Power. They are locations so majestic, so seemingly unchanging that, to them, our stories are but whispers in the wind. Jenny Lake is one of those places. Framed by the Grand Tetons and ringed by enormous fir trees, it emanates an aura of serenity; a feeling, that in a transient world it was, is and will be, until the end of time.
If I were there by myself, I would have sat at the shores of that lake till the sun went down and the stars came out. I couldn’t tell you what fascinated me the most – the lofty Tetons, their reflection in the pristine waters of the lake or that glimpse of the infinite that this spot was giving me. It was all just so heart-wrenchingly beautiful; so unabashedly perfect.
Why is it called Jenny Lake, I mused, as I walked through the fir trees, startling some noisy squirrels. And who was Jenny? A few steps away I found a plaque with my answer:
“The name Jenny Lake dates back to the Hayden Expedition of 1872 when Jenny Leigh, Shoshone Indian wife of Richard "Beaver Dick" Leigh, assisted the expedition.”
A lake named after a Shoshone Indian woman in one of the most awe-inspiring locations of North America – I don’t think it could have been more appropriate. Behind me, the encroaching trees were starting to obscure my view but I managed one final glimpse of the lake and with that glimpse, that incurable, romantic part of me that is so in touch with the fantastic and the bizarre, had the distinct impression that Jenny’s spirit would always roam there, keeping watch over the lands of her ancestors. Deep in my heart I walked away with the promise that one day I would return.
Location: Jenny Lake, Grand Teton National Park, Teton County, Wyoming, USA
P.S. No, I do not think that Jenny Lake is haunted.