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…
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.
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.