Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Yellowstone Trip Days 1 - 2

In 2010, Dan and I went to Yellowstone with a big group. It was a wonderful time! Unfortunately, I only documented the first 3 days, and have since long forgotten the many details and hilarious stories that I usually like to write about.

My parents, and family friends are planning their Yellowstone trips and have asked me to share my experiences and insights with them recently. Since I started digging up some of those old resources, I thought I might as well post some photos and the itinerary, in case anyone else was curious. But I don't want to overwhelm, so I will break it down into a couple of posts.

I'm going to share each day's planned activities in bold font, and then let you know what we actually did in italic font, and then share some pictures. Hope that works out for you visually.

Day 1: Thursday July 8th, 2010 :Leave Bradley:

12:55 p.m. American Airlines Flight 357 to Dallas (lands 3:45 p.m.)
4:55 p.m. A.A. Flight 2307 to Fly Into Jackson Hole (lands 6:40 p.m.)
Hotel: Motel 6, 600 South Highway 89, Jackson WY 83001  (307) 733-1620

This is pretty much what we did. It was uneventful, except for landing in Jackson and taking in the beautiful views. We also couldn't get dinner at a real restaurant in Jackson, because everything was closed at like 7:00 p.m. So we ate Wendy's... yum.

Day 2: Friday July 9th, 2010 : Grand Tetons all Day

Drive from Jackson into Scenic Grand Tetons NP: (41 minutes from Motel 6 in Jackson to Jenny Lake Visitor’s Center)

Drive up to Jackson Lake Lodge for lunch: Lunch Menu

Dinner: Leek’s Marina & Pizzeria: Menu, followed by Nachos and blackberry margaritas in Deadman’s Bar (at lodge)

9:00 p.m. Signal Mountain Campfire Program (topics posted in visitor’s center)

On Day 2, we stopped at the Ranger Center where a nice bearded ranger told us that our Jenny Lake hike would be a short one, so we should also check out Ampitheatre Lake, where we might still have to trudge through a little snow to get there.
He lied.
We took the boat trip across Jenny Lake, which was fantastic and beautiful - and started hiking to Hidden Falls. Here's a fun fact for you: it's really hidden. You reach a point where you think you are there, but you're not! Keep going! Then we continued to Inspiration Point - which was the most beautiful vista with plenty of gorgeous scenes along the way. Some in our group complained that I was trying to kill them with all of the hiking... but I think the photos speak for themselves. As we started hiking back down, we realized that it was far more than the "short hike" that the sketchy bearded ranger had described. We missed lunch at Jackson Lake Lodge because the hike took soo long. After we had a lunch in the cafeteria at the Lodge, we did a little driving around to check out some of the local viewpoints.
When we finally found our way to Signal Mountain Lodge and our cabins, I was very happy to find such nice accomodations in such a beautiful setting. Some in our group took a (very cold) swim in the lake while Dan and I did some additional hiking. It was a very beautiful hike around the lake where I took some of the best photos of the trip (stormy weather adds to the drama of the photos). Instead of going to Leek's for dinner, we ate at Deadman's Bar. The margaritas were epic, but the nachos were just ok.  It was a pretty late dinner, so we missed the campfire talk, but as I mentioned, the margaritas were well worth it.

mother-in-law hiking to Inspiration Point... not happy with me here.

Inspiration Point

walking to the dock to take a nice little boat ride

JD's furry little friend

Me and Dan at Inspiration Point

the ants go marching 1 by 1...

This really caught my attention: 2 trees, side by side, one lives and one dies...

Boat launch area on Jenny Lake

hiking still!

scenic pull out

gorgeous scenery in a church parking lot

one of my favorite photos from the hike at the Signal Mountain Lodge

Jenny Lake

de-boating at Jenny Lake

NOT Hidden Falls, keep going!

THIS is Hidden Falls!

 A wonderful and exhausting first real day!

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