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Trip Report Comments on our recent trip to the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone

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We just returned from a trip to the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone. This is mid Sept. School is in session so there are fewer tourists on the road. We started in Jackson. This is a town that has been ruined by wall to wall T-shirt shops selling the most amazing junk, passing for souviners I've ever seen. Think of the town as a cross between Las Vegas and towns in Alaska when the cruise ships dock and all the thousands of passengers hit the streets. We stayed in the north part of Jackson in a beautiful hotel called The Rustic Inn. Our cabin was on the river. It has a small deck with chairs for reading. The room was spacious and clean. Free wi-fi and a big flat screen TV. Great free breakfast.
Travel into the Grand Tetons was easy from this hotel. We saw several Moose, and two bears fattening themselves up for the winter. You drive through these lovely parks, and all of a sudden you'll see people on the road and cars stopped. That usually means "ANIMAL".

Next we went into Yellowstone. There are not enough words to tell you how lovely and special this National park is. Its so well explained and so easy to visit. We stayed at the Lake Lodge, which is down the road from the Lake Hotel on Yellowstone Lake. The cabins were clean, basic. There is no TV, cell phone or internet service in the park...except in a few areas where you can pick up a signal. Since we also run a small business, it was a bit of a challenge to keep in touch with home base and take care of problems as they arose. There are a few areas in the park where you can find a cell phone signal.
The worst thing about the entire park is the quality of the food. Its really so bad, and that's not necessary. We had two dinners and a breakfast at the beautiful Yellowstone Lake Hotel. The food was very good. Not that much more expensive than what the other restaurants in the park charge, but so much better. If Xantera (who have a monopoly on National park services, from room reservations to restaurant control) can run a quality hotel and restaurant in one location, they should be able to run it in all locations. Its really a shame that tourists, and foreign tourists, have to eat such poor quality food. Canned string beans in steam trays when fresh veggies are easily available. No salad bar, few fresh fruits, and yet beautiful peaches were easily available outside the park. What they serve in all the restaurants in the park is the cheapest food they can throw out there, and the prices are not any bargain. Coffee is weak and tasteless. Once again, the cheapest quality they can find. If one hotel dining room has a "daily special" of chili, they will all have the same "special".......from a can!! I don't know what anyone can do about it, except pass the word on to others, and write the hotels and Xantera, and even possibly the White House to express how "old fashion" this food is, what poor quality it is and how it reflects badly on American cooking as a whole. If I seem to go on about the food, its because one has to eat, and there are NO CHOICES for something healthy and good, except for the restaurant at the Yellowstone Lake Hotel.....and that requires reservations and is for obvious reasons packed.
But if you want to see animals be prepared......we saw Elk, Buffalo, Bears, Moose, Wolves, Prong Horned Antelope, deer, and bears........all without having to leave our car. It was tryly amazing. There were so many European and Asian tourists that we saw who were thrilled to see these animals and geological sites......as were we, and all those around us. This beautiful National Park is a gem, and makes us proud as American's to have preserved it.

Just outside the East entrance to the park is the town of Cody. There is an amazing complex of museums here... one on the plains Indians, a fire arms museum, a Buffalo Bill museum, a natural history museum and a fantastic art museum. Don't miss it. You can easily spend a day here, and kids will love it too.

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