Monday, July 18, 2011

Jackson Hole Wyoming

Over the mountain and through the woods to arrive at our hotel room in Wyoming and figure out what to do there. 15 minutes after we checked in we headed out.

When we booked this hotel the guys at the front desk recommended going to one of the Chuckwagon dinners in town. It was between that and the rodeo...once Jeff realized the rodeo didn't have any rides (he was thinking of a state fair) or food or anything other than horse/bull competitions our decision was made.

We went with the Bar J Chuckwagon supper and western show and we weren't disappointed!

We did realize though that by the time we had made this decision it was 10 minutes before they were opening their gates and they were already full for the night. So fingers crossed we went down there.

I was happy that the dinners were only around $25 with a full meal, show, tax and tip included and the two younger kids were only $10.00!

While we were waiting for dinner to begin we all got to sample a dutch oven biscuit with honey  (I guess they used to make a lot of their food on the dutch oven but there are too many customers now to it's a pre-dinner teaser :)

I love that their gift shop says "no biscuits with honey in store"

Ha ha I knew why as we were dripping honey all over, the ground, ourselves and each other.

After our hands were clean we checked out the store. Taylor looked good in a cowboy hat...but I knew he would never wear it...

I'm sure they would've liked these hats but in all likelihood they would end up in the closet too ;)

Waiting, waiting, waiting for dinner.

They even had an outhouse, Ashley opened the door and this guy was using it!

Finally our food was here!

We were offered our choice of meat, baked potato, corn bread, cowboy beans, applesauce, spice cake and lemonade.

I switched and ordered the Rib Eye steak last minute after the guy at the steak pit offered samples that tasted good. Too bad my meat didn't taste anything like it...about 1/3 of it was edible :( Jacob's cheapy BBQ beef was by far the best.

They tried to made the meal somewhat cowboy authentic but they said that cowboys herded the cattle and didn't eat them like we were. (Eating their profit wouldn't be good for business).  Pretty much beans and cornbread would be what they typically ate.

It was funny people kept asking them what coffee they used. I guess it was good, we don't drink it so we didn't know what they were talking about. They mentioned it later though and said their secret was brewing it in a big pot and the coffee grounds are tied up in a tube sock, unused of course.

We still didn't get a seat inside but I think we got the better deal. It was a beautiful night and we weren't in a stuffy, crowded, hot dining room.

We even got fed first since they feed the extra outside guests before the ones in the dining hall.

We even had time to walk around their stagecoach trial before the show started.

Then when it was time for the show to start they pulled out folding chairs and put them right up front so our short family could see. (They were very nice people there).  I think we got one of the best seats in the house.

We loved their show! It was a mix of old fashion cowboy music and comedy. Family friendly jokes, silliness and fun songs. They switched it up enough that the kids (and us) never got bored.

This was "grandma"

We ended up buying one of their Cd's and listened to it while we drove on our trip. (The cousins who rode in our car later thought we were crazy with our music. Guess you had to be there ;)

Jackson hole was about 10 minutes from where we were staying. We were surprised that it was so close to ski resorts (you can see the ski resort hill in the background)

It was a small town that reminded me of the feel of Park City.

While we were in Jackson Hole we went to the local church. It was a smaller branch but the chapel was full (probably visitors like us)

After church we drove down to the end of the street (not far to the end of the road and town) to change clothes and I noticed an "Entering Elk Preserve" sign. Curious we drove a little bit and found this historic house and decided to stop before we turned back around.

There was an older couple hanging out in the house to give tours. I guess its one of the only original homestead houses in the area. The homesteaders would grow alfalfa (nothing else grows in the soil) and harvest it all. So in the winter when the elk would come to eat there would be nothing left and they would they made an elk preserve and the elk all get fed in the winter now.

There wasn't any elk to see but I guess if we would've been there 6 months later we could've taken a sled out and be in the middle of 7,500 elk.

While we were in Jackson Hole we checked out the town.

Including these...guess what this is????

Lots of Elk Antlers!! 

I was so sad when I thought these represented dead elk but then I read the sign that the elk shed these in the spring and boy scouts pick them up and sell them as a fundraiser. The Rotary club bought all these and made 4 arches over the entrances to the town square park.


Taylor met these little chipmunks that liked to eat grass and leaves. (A boy feeding them in the park gave us a heads up about them)  They were so cute and lived in holes under the sidewalks and paths.

Jeff had gone to the car and came back seeing Taylor feeding these guys..."Taylor stop they might have rabies!"  Ha ha, he could be right but I thought they were too cute to resist.

While we were in town we at the "Merry Piglets" which was a mexican place. This was on the recommendation of a couple we met in the airport (we did 2 out of 3 of their suggestions).

Originally we thought "Why do we want to eat at a Mexican place in Wyoming??"
It ended up being one of our best meals on the trip :)

Fried ice cream helped.

We found a cool art gallery in town with lots of sculptures.

Could you tell Ashley was missing Maddie???

While we were at the hotel Jeff took the kids swimming while Taylor and I went on a walk/run...

He ran....

I walked.

The scenery was absolutely gorgeous! I loved it. Green, streams everywhere, mountain vistas, warm with a bit of a breeze so it wasn't too hot. The trail was filled with people going much faster than me, mostly bike riders,  but I was happy to go slow and enjoy the surroundings.

While we were in Jackson Hole we arranged for a float trip down the snake river. We knew we couldn't do white water rafting with our whole family so this was a good compromise.

Getting geared up.

We went at 7:00 at night because there was more of a chance to see wildlife. The sun stayed up until 9:30 or so we had plenty of daylight to enjoy it.

The boats were like sitting on a big water chair. You could sit on the side to see better or you could lounge in the bottom of the boat like these guys. Jeff admitted that it was more comfortable than he thought it would be.

Here's our trusty guide...he steered us around downed trees, hidden dangers, and too shallow waters even changing course as one part of our route became blocked within that hour.


At one point we were asking him what "that sound" was. It sounded like pop corn popping under the water. It was rocks and sand that was being carried along the bottom of the river, the sound was amplified by our boat!

I know it's far away...but that's a beaver. We saw some beaver but even more the evidence of the beaver's handiwork.

The grand Teton's.

We actually saw a bald Eagle!! She was guarding her nest.

We startled a herd of elk coming down to drink...only got this blurry backside picture though.

Now the sun is setting behind the Tetons :)

This is fun but...

it starting to get chilly!!!

What a fun way to end our time here.

Tomorrow we're off to Yellowstone.

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