September 18, 2012

Wild West Adventures: Part 2

Our most fun day in Jackson Hole was Trea's birthday. We got up early and headed into Grand Teton National Park for a three-hour scenic float trip down the Snake River. We didn't expect that driving to the river would be half the fun, but on the way, we spotted a black bear up in a tree having a snack (which I didn't get a good photo of) and we saw a mama and baby moose!

They were so pretty, trotting in the early morning sunshine. This is my favorite shot -- a moose silhouette through the aspens.

The weather there was chilly in the morning and warm in the afternoon, so we were bundled up for our river ride.

The views were unbelievable. (Have I mentioned Wyoming is pretty?) Some of my favorite memories from our trip are ones that were so gorgeous that I couldn't pick up my camera to snap a photo because I was too taken aback by the perfection of it all. When we were drifting down the river under a clear blue sky, aiming directly at the highest Teton peak and a bald eagle took flight very close to us and soared down the river in front of the mountains, everyone in the boat sighed quietly, "Wow..." Trea said, "Take a picture!" But I was too busy just taking it all in.

Later, we drove down Teton Park Road -- a winding highway through the park that brings you about as close as you can get by car to the Tetons. I wish I had a dollar for every time we said, "Wow, look at that!"

We had lunch at Jenny Lake Lodge, and this is the ultimate destination for us to stay someday. The lodge is surrounded by little cabins, and you're about a stone's throw away from the Tetons. This place is peaceful and remote, and the views are so lovely that you feel like you should whisper... maybe so you don't break the spell or disturb the perfection. I don't know why, but as we walked the grounds of the lodge while we waited for our reservation time, I noticed we were not using our outside voices, even though I have never felt more outside.

We got a table for two right by the window looking out onto the mountains. It took us forever to order because we couldn't stop staring outside.

I couldn't capture the whole scene because of the lighting and window screen and I'm not a photographer, but it looked pretty much like this.

Borrowed from the kind folks at Jenny Lake Lodge
After a delicious lunch, we of course had to see Jenny Lake. Man, it does not disappoint. I cannot wait to go back so we can hike here! We didn't have time for the famous Jenny Lake waterfall hike on this trip, but we definitely will next time.

We headed back to Teton Village, and just about every time we drove anywhere, we saw bison. Lots of them! They were so fun to watch.

Next, we rode the (free!) Bridger Gondola up Rendezvous Mountain for happy hour on The Deck. It's more than 9,000 feet up, and the ride was as much fun as the destination. At one point, I looked down below us and saw a moose on the side of the mountain!

We were some of the first to arrive when The Deck opened, so we got a table right on the edge of the cliff. So. Gorgeous.

For dinner, we ate at Couloir, a fabulous restaurant above The Deck. We had some fantastic food and got to keep admiring the view until the sun went down.

Next stop -- Yellowstone!

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