The point of this whole trip, as you may know, was to celebrate our 20th anniversary. When Bob and I married in '96, I had some money saved up and wanted to take a real honeymoon. I asked Bob to choose between mountains and ocean, and he chose mountains. So I booked us flights and rooms and a car to/in Jackson, Wyoming. We spent 10 days up there, I think, and went up to Yellowstone and Grand Teton parks, as well as to Mesa Falls in Idaho and out and about Jackson Hole. So, while Yellowstone was our "destination" this time, we really wanted to get down to Jackson.
A few days before we entered the park, a fellow traveler informed us at breakfast that the park was on fire. There were fires just north of Roosevelt-Tower, near the West entrance, and in the Grand Teton park between the South entrance and Jackson. The South entrance was closed our first 3 days in the park, but on the 31st, the day we had planned to go to Jackson, it opened. >big grin<
Grand Teton National Park is basically a path from Yellowstone to Jackson, and there are 2 roads that run parallel the length of it. One is a highway and the other is a park road. We took the park road, and took a detour off of it to reach the summit of a hill with a good view of Jackson Hole (the name of the valley where the town of Jackson is located). We had a snack/early lunch up there. We also stopped at a "village" on Jenny Lake.
While in GTNP we noticed a management difference from Yellowstone. There were signs along the road in advance of each parking area, side road, or point of interest. Seeing what a help these small signs were, we really wished they were around in Yellowstone as well. The Tetons are amazing. A person could just stand and stare and wonder for quite a while. We all would love to spend significant time up there to camp and explore. We did see fires in a couple of places, and evidence of recent fires right across the main road. We spotted a herd of elk a great way off, and a couple of firefighter camps.
|Chapel and Tetons|
In Jackson we visited the new visitor center, which had clean "composting" bathrooms (we used to call it an outhouse) and a more or less interactive map, but no brochures to take with you. Thinking about it, it's fine and good to reduce paper waste and trash in the town this way, but maybe there should have been a free download for smartphones, to keep people from getting lost after they walk away from the building.
We made it all the way around the square. Then we indulged - we ate a late lunch at the Silver Dollar Grill at the Wort hotel. Burgers were in the $15 range. Some had bison and some had elk, and we each tasted the other. It surprised me to find the bison tasted more gamey than the elk did. The service was excellent - our server even brought some entertainment by giving all the children a coloring page and telling them it was a contest. A few minutes later he took a quick glance around, declared Cedwryck the winner and brought him a "Shirley Temple." When we left we realized they were already closed for the afternoon.
When we started out from the hotel, a couple of "old ladies" crossed the street in front of us and said hi. Then one lady saw William, I think, and commented on how handsome he was. As she realized the whole group was ours she started to make a remark about how they were all good-looking, but interrupted herself when she saw Cedwryck. "Oh! Oh! - That one!" she said, and was in danger of swooning. Cedwryck still blushes when I mention it.
|Elk horns on the square in Jackson|
After some shopping and photographing, we went for a drive. We saw the hotel Bob and I had stayed in for the bulk of our time, and the nicer one we moved to for the last night. The big fancy Best Western has been turned into an Albertson's grocery store. We got more groceries there, and then went to a city park for a picnic supper. (We ate a lot that day!) No, I remember! We had ice cream at the park, for dessert from the lunch.
Considering the rather lengthy drive down from the cabins, we decided not to stay in town for the evening gunfight. We simply forgot to go down the side street along the elk refuge where Bob and I had often walked on our honeymoon.
Took the park road again through the Grand Teton Park, hoping to spot a moose or something, but didn't really see anything. Stopped again at the lake to try for more pictures and souvenirs. It was dark by the time we got back to the cabins, and I had to pack up for the next day we were to leave.