A street corner is a street corner is a street corner. That is unless it happens to be the corner of Broadway and Cache in downtown Jackson Hole, where thanks to the internet and a webcam this corner has become a world wide web sensation. Besides the buttes in the background that are often mistaken for mountains in the comments, an antler arch perched almost dead center of the shot, and the sign with the arrow stating Teton-Yellowstone Parks this way, it could almost be anywhere USA. You’ll see cars, pedestrians and yes, red trucks (more on that later). The only difference is that at anytime there may be upwards of over 2,000 people watching and commenting from all points around the globe. The comments fire away so quickly that it’s hard to read them and watch at the same time; you pretty much have to just focus on one or the other. And the comments are never ending.
This webcam has blown up with viewership (www.youtube.com/watch?v=psfFJR3vZ78,) but it’s far from the only one streaming live in Jackson. In fact, if you go to www.seejh.com/live you can see a ton more, but for whatever reason no one, or practically no one, is watching those, even though they are more scenic. Maybe the problem is they don’t have any street traffic which for some web reason translates to viewing traffic. Other examples of webcams you’ll find here include the Elk Refuge, Mount Moran, Sleeping Indian, as well as an arial view of the whole town, but the one the internet is in love with is the one that shows the corner of Broadway and Cache.
There are some theories as why it’s become popular, but no one really knows for sure. Maybe people just want to travel virtually from the confines of their work cubicles and be pretty much anywhere than where they currently are, at work. Hey, if you can’t actually be in one of the most beautiful mountain towns in the world, you can at least travel their by wi-fi and hang out for the day and wait for something to happen, and anything presumably can or could happen, since it’s live. If nothing is happening, well you can always just narrate what you see. Everyone seems to be doing their best Howard Cosell color commentary and commenting on what happens to be unfolding. “Orange shirt” “skater” “FedEx!” “kayak”. The viewers have also become enthralled with the arch itself as if it’s a sacred artifact or something to be worshiped. A common refrain is “feed the arch” when tourists walk through it as if the arch is feasting on the souls of unsuspecting tourists. Don’t worry that isn’t really happening (as of yet). Or, maybe people think the arch is some time travel portal as they see people enter but never return. Whatever is going on, if you start looking for things you are bound to find them and red trucks are sure in abundance in Jackson to the viewers delight. It’s become a thing and everyone shouts or rather types it as quickly as they see it, “red truck!”. Nothing quite lights up the message boards like a red truck sighting. Or, maybe it’s all just an elaborate interactional drinking game and you have to drink when you see a red truck. Whatever the reason it’s become must see tv.
The locals have picked up on the fact that someone is indeed watching and the mundane act of crossing the street has turned into an opportunity for some performance art. Cops have stopped their patrol cars on late nights, gotten out and started dancing in the streets like it was a David Bowie and Mick Jagger music video from MTV back in the day, as they hammed it up and dabbed for the crowd. Local organizations, such as the Art Association of Jackson Hole, have held impromptu parades complete with banners and t-shirts touting their non-profit to unsuspecting fellow cross walkers. A slice of pizza walked by one night, presumably it escaped from a local pizzeria. A flash mob, made complete with umbrellas and synchronized dancing, delighted the online viewers and got such high praise as “the arch is pleased”. That’s the gold standard of comments right there.
If you find yourself reminiscing about your vacation out to Jackson Hole and just want to catch up, go check out the webcam. Or maybe you are counting down the days till you are actually here and want to see what the hubbub is around the square, if so go spend some quality time with your favorite street corner. Now everyday can be a Jackson Hole day. Just make sure when you are actually here and find yourself on that famed corner to look up and give a wave to all your admirers, it’s the least you can do and more importantly it will be sure to please the arch.