Schwabachers Landing Grand Teton National Park
As you travel along the Snake river in the Grand Teton National Park you will arrive at a famous scenic spot called Schwabacher’s landing. It is a beautiful place as you can see. The spot is famous for several reasons, one of the most intriguing being there is almost no history regarding who this Schwabacher was, what he was doing there and why the ‘landing’ was named after him.
Well, we can fix that. I have from several unimpeachable sources at least one, if not more, accurate although completely unsubstantiated stories, regarding this Mr. Schwabacher. He wasn’t the sterling character you’ve come to know and love from seeing his ‘landing’ on countless calendars and post cards and coffee mugs etc., nope he was a man of dubious but questionable qualities. He was a heavy drinker, he smoked cigars in the presence of ladies, he would spit in the river whenever he felt like it whether he was upstream from camp or not, he used rude language, he was unkind to animals and small children, and he didn’t attend church unless there was that service where they give wine to the faithful and then he left right after the wine was served. Now days he would probably be a politician.
His personal hygiene would become the topic of conversation whenever he was near other people or even in the same county as other people, and the general consensus was that he didn’t have any. Personal hygiene that is, and when you put him on a small boat with several other less than fastidious people, the fact that it would be mentioned at all must have indicated that an incredible aroma wafted off this gentleman that we cannot delve into here it being close to lunch time. It must have been epic if even these hardy souls who lived off the land and ate things we couldn’t look at let alone consume and whose olfactory senses must have been stifled by their own unsavory living conditions to the point that they could tolerate odors that would gag a normal man’s hiney, felt moved to complain. Mr. Schwabacher’s odoriferous presence must have had a prodigious effect. So much so that they beached, or in mariner parlance, landed, their boat and unceremoniously threw him onto the shore to save themselves, being sorely afraid that they would otherwise all be overcome and die. Hence the name Schwabacher’s Landing.
I tend to believe this story, having visited Schwabacher’s Landing myself and I personally noticed several areas on the bank where the very stones were burned black in the shape of a man lying on the ground and there are trees next to the water that haven’t grown their leaves back yet and this is like ninety years later. History does not relate what Mr. Schwabacher’s fate was. It was rumored that he could walk anywhere in this country in perfect safety because even the grizzlies wouldn’t eat him and grizzlies will eat anything. This may not be the story the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce wanted to hear, but you can’t pick and choose history. If that’s the way it is, well then that’s the way it is. Sorry.
Fortunately Nature has her way of recovering from these types of events and she has admirably in the case of Schwabacher’s Landing, it being gorgeous and hardly oderific at all. If you get a chance, visit it, and if you feel the need you can hang one of those little tree shaped things that make the air smell nice on the bushes just in case.