Oh, the joys of beginning a new year. Joining a gym, filing taxes, and realizing just how much you overspent on Christmas. But with the new year also comes a refreshingly blank slate—the promise of 12 new months that could be filled with life-changing opportunities, new faces and friends, and exhilarating travels near and far. As for me, I begin 2015 in a very different place—quite literally—than I was this time last year.
In mountain years, they are the picture of youth. Some ten million years ago, as the Rocky Mountains approached their 60 millionth birthday, the Earth’s crust began to stretch along the Teton fault in modern-day Wyoming. As the crust quaked and ruptured, the land east of the fault collapsed to form the valley of Jackson Hole. But west of the fault the land rose skyward, eventually forming a new range of mountains to tower over the sunken basin.