We check out of the Old Faithful Inn, with an aim of seeing the Great Prismatic Spring ahead of the crowd. It is a good theory. But it is still early and cold – so much steam is rising from the springs that they aren’t visible.
We get up at 5am, creeping out in the chill and darkness in hopes of seeing animals before the day gets too hot.
We are nearly alone on the roads, inching toward West Thumb. We stop a few times, signs of elk having been through in the past but none so far this morning.
But when we stop at Grant Village for coffee and start back out, two females pass beside and in front of us in the quiet of the morning. Continue reading “In which we start dark and early”
On our way out of town we pick up some essentials. Windex wipes for the car windows. Ice. Wine.
You know, basic stuff that the pioneers would have needed as well.
We head north through the Grand Tetons again – the only way to get from here to there, stopping to see some of what we missed yesterday. The Craig Thomas Visitor Center. The Signal Mountain Summit. Continue reading “In which we make our way to Yellowstone”
I wake in the dark and silent world of…
Oh, wait. I have earplugs in.
Still dark, not silent but very quiet.
Dad is up already, and in the next room getting himself ready to find coffee and a paper. 6:15am.
We signed up for 8am breakfast but by 7:30 we are all in the main house, sipping coffee and easing into the morning.
After a delicious if oversized breakfast (none of us finishes), we head out to see the Grand Tetons.
Which comes from the name the French explorers gave it originally: the Three Breasts.
The mountains are beautiful and majestic and not at all reminiscent of breasts. I suspect those explorers had not seen a woman in a while.
The Shoshone called it something that had more to do with many pinnacles. Far more apt.
We see a beaver dam, pronghorn and bison in the distance, as we loop from Jackson to Moran Junction to Lake Jackson, to Lake Jenny and down to Moose Junction.
Then we meet our group for a Snake River scenic float tour with Triangle X. Our captain is John, and the strong winds today mean he has to fight every minute we are on the river to keep us where we should be.
He works hard but we have it easy, watching the river and the mountains, hoping for a glimpse of moose (not today) or eagles (several soaring overhead).
After our float tour we head back to Huff House for showers before we head out for the BarJ Chuckwagon.
I briefly misplace Dad (really he went to run an errand and I worried like a crazy person for No Reason Whatsoever) but then we settle in for a cowboy dinner and show.
After dinner it was a short hop back to the Inn to settle in and…
We are all very ready for bed.
Dad moves first. He’s up and headed downstairs for coffee. Girls, it’s 9:15. I’m going to go get coffee, he whispers to mom and I, as he heads to the door, pausing to make sure he has a room key. I hand him one phone so he can reach us, and look at the clock on the other. It’s 7:15, I tell him. He’s forgotten that he didn’t get a chance to change his watch.
Still, he’d be up early at home too. And we might as well get up and going. There’s ground to cover today.
We’re headed up to Jackson Hole, WY. First step: back to the SLC airport to get our rental car. Then a stop to pick up the essentials we didn’t pack. A cooler. Water. Odds and ends forgotten.
We start up Rt 15 and miss our turn to 91, requiring a brief backtrack. We could go via 15, but the point is not to get there fast; it’s to see the country. So we sidetrack over through the mountains – when they’re remarked on, I remember that the stone formations that look like walls built into the mountain are called rimrock – to the pretty town of Logan and then pause, briefly changing so I can drive and Dad can look, Mom opting to take the back seat.
Winding along the Logan river, beautiful country. Up to Bear Lake Overlook. Gorgeous aquablue water on this beautiful day.
We stop in Garden City, right down by the lake, for the requisite raspberry shake. They just had their raspberry festival a few weeks ago, good timing. It turns out one of the best raspberry shakes in the area is at the Chevron food mart.
Well worth it.
We continue north through mountain valleys and little towns (including the aforementioned Paris, Idaho), past hoodoos, with the Salt River winding along with us.
And eventually, we meander into Jackson. We’re staying for two nights at the Huff House Inn and Cabins, in the Mount Moran cabin. Walkable to the center of Jackson Hole with its famous antler arches and Cowboy bar (with the saddle stools).
We stop in for dinner at Local, right on the town square, then pop into the occasional shop on our way back to the Inn. Which is lovely. And we settle in and get arranged and …
Well I can’t tell you any more than that. Because I went straight to sleep.
## IRL: happy birthday, Fred. Miss ya.
My week leading up to departure – Fine. Just long. The days trying to clear my desk, pulling all-nighters to not hand off too much to my team – Fine. Just long. The connecting flight to Denver, the layover at DEN, the trek to a bed in the small hours in Salt Lake City. All: Fine. Just long.
It’s a theme. But eventually we all fall into bed, and eventually settle enough to sleep.
Fine. Not quite long enough.
But away we go!
That is a direct quote from the most upbeat person ever. It’s not just me – travel IS often the worst part of traveling!
It’s our last day so we ease into the morning then go check out and have a kukui lei farewell ceremony from the hotel. Continue reading ““Planes are stupid””