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Trip Report Brief trip to Grand Tetons and Yellowstone

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Well, I just returned from a 4 day trip to Wyoming. I was staying with my gf at Snowking Resort in Jackson - she was attending a conference. Snowking is a dated property and I wasn't all that impressed overall. The lobby and breakfast room area are impressive, as are the views, but that is about it. The thing that turned me off was the lack of hot water and no water pressure whatsoever. I had to have the shower on full hot and it was still lukewarm. I can't imagine taking a lukewarm shower there in the winter when you really need hot water. However, the price was right (free) since her company was paying, so I can't complain too much.

Grand Tetons:

The first morning, I had the breakfast buffet at Snowking (which by the way is very good) and then headed out. The weather was absolutely beautiful, so I put the top down on my convertible.

I head straight north into Grand Teton National Park and went to the Visitor's Center. Stopped there and got maps/information. From there I headed north on Teton Park Road with the top down - full unimpeded views of the Tetons.

I stopped at the various overlooks. I must admit the views are quite fantastic. Now, I've seen mountains at least as high as the Tetons (been to Switzerland and other mountainous places), but the Grand Tetons were unique in that a flat green valley floor filled with sagebrush and grass let to an abrupt mountain range. If you look at other places in the mountains, like Denver, there are usually foothills so the effect is not as dramatic as the Grand Tetons.

So I stopped at each overlook for a couple of pics, then headed onto the Jenny Lake Visitor's Center. For some reason the parking lot was chock full of cars, I circled the lot for over 30 mins to no avail - decided to go to the Jenny Lake one way drive. I took that and stopped at the Jenny Lake overlook - very impressive.

From there I went back to the Jenny Lake Visitor's Center, determined to find a parking spot this time. This time I managed to after around 15 minutes. I noticed some storm clouds billowing (happens quite a bit in the summer I hear) so I decided to park with the top up - this ended up being a very wise move.

I bought some lunch and some gifts at the gift shop, then took the boat ride across Jenny Lake to the hike up to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point. About half way up to the Falls there was a great flat rock with a view of the rapids that I stopped and had lunch - a view fit for a king!

I then hiked up to the Falls and then Inspiration Point. Inspiration Point reminded me of views of Lake Tahoe. After some photos I needed to head back, there was still lots to be seen.

On the boat ride back, the sky opened up. Now I've seen and felt thunderstorms in Louisiana, where I grew up, which are nothing to be messed with, but generally a summer thunderstorm is somewhat of a relief in the oppressive heat/humidity of Louisiana. In Wyoming, a thunderstorm turns summer into winter within seconds. It was 85 degrees when I first arrived at the Lake Jenny Visitor's center, but the temp dropped 30 degrees on the boat ride. Of course, I was unprepared without sweaters and coats because I just didn't fathom what could have happened (although I did have them in the car, I hadn't thought about bringing them when it was 85 and sunny earlier). Even though I was under the shelter of the boat, the water was coming in sideways and I was getting soaked. I ended up ducking down behind the seat for some protection.

I got back to my car and decided to leave the top up and warm up a bit for a while. The sky stayed overcast for another 2 hours and then cleared up again. North of Lake Jenny, I was dismayed to find out that Signal Mountain Road was closed due to it being resurfaced. Then, I ran into a traffic jam that took 30-45 minutes off my schedule around Jackson Lake Junction.

Along Highway 191 bison were freely roaming and I got a few great photos, one I got a little too close and a bison gave me a look that said I better not get any closer so I didn't. It was getting later so I needed to head back. I had left Jackson around 9 AM and returned by 5:30 PM to meet my gf for dinner.

We decided to head to Teton Village for dinner. I wanted to catch the aerial tramway but that stops at 6:30 and we just missed it. We ended up having dinner at an Italian restaurant, sitting on the patio. I had a pasta dish with wild boar - figured I'd try something local to the area and it was great.

The only other thing I wished I'd seen was Phelps Lake - I'd like to have done the hike up to Phelps lake. Also, maybe Mormon Row but overall I feel I got a good feel for the Tetons.

Next Day: Yellowstone

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