Day 52 (July 16) -- As I mentioned in the last post we got to Jackson, WY and had to stay on the 3rd floor of the Super 8 (no elevator). When we got to Jackson, we weren’t hungry for dinner so we decided to play our new Tripoli game. It did come with some poker chips with which to play, but it was not nearly enough. That it, it takes a minimum of 9 chips per round (typically around 12). So, we had to supplement the chips very quickly. We used all sorts of things – DS video games, Tylenol pills, drink mix pouches, Euro coins, American coins, etc. to supplement our stock. Erin and David definitely smoked the rest of us. Moritz and I lost the most tokens. After playing for a long while we decided to go get food from McDonalds.
The next morning we headed up to the Grand Tetons to hike and explore. When we first got into the park we headed to the Jenny Lake area because I read that the Hidden Falls trail would be accessible to us. So, we started out our hike around Jenny Lake, up to Hidden Falls, and then on up to Inspiration Point. As we got about ½ mile around Jenny Lake, people coming toward us told us there was a bear on the trail ahead of us. The people right ahead of us decided to turn around, rather than go by the bear. We decided to send the kids ahead (Daniel was deemed to be bear bait because he was carrying the bag that had food in it). I told Daniel he could sing, trumpet, or make any other loud noises that he wanted to while going down the trail (because you are supposed to make noises to scare the bear away). As we got close, we saw the grizzly bear off the trail to our left, not far away. We took pictures, but didn’t get too close. The bear didn’t pay much attention to us or any of the other hikers. But, it was neat to get close to the bear.
After that we didn’t have any other surprises on our hike up to Hidden Falls or Inspiration Point. On our hike back we didn’t see the bear at all. On our hike back down we decided that we should go out to eat some exotic food since this seemed the place to try bison. So, we called and made reservations at the Gun Barrel. On our way out of the park we stopped at Menor’s Ferry homestead location and saw the old Episcopal church located in the park which was absolutely beautiful. Also, we got to see a summer thunderstorm move in over the mountain -- it was stunning!
|David by Jenny Lake|
|Kids climbing rocks by Jenny Lake|
When we to the Gun Barrel Steakhouse, we had a great experience. Daniel and Moritz got the buffalo ribs and David got the mixed game grill (venison bratwurst, buffalo prime rib, and elk steak). The buffalo prime rib was wonderful! Everyone thought it was the best of all of the food. Also, we got to see lots of interesting things at this restaurant because it used to be a museum.
|By "Winchester" because that's what he was shot with|
The next day we had to get up early for our sunrise float trip. We had to be in the park before 6 am. When we first got to the Visitor’s Center we saw a coyote in the parking lot, but some of the other people there saw a moose. We had a great float down the Snake River and saw some great views of the Grand Tetons. However, we didn’t see much game, other than several bald eagles and one elk.
After the float trip we went back to the hotel, showered, and packed up the car. Then we went to the Bunnery to eat brunch. David, Erin, and I all got French Toast (but on three different types of bread). Then we started our drive up to Yellowstone.
|Another view of Hidden Falls|
|Hidden Falls Trail|
On the way up there we stopped at several of the visitor’s centers and viewpoints. After crossing over into Yellowstone’s south entrance, we stopped to see one of the waterfalls and got to see a lot of the areas that burned in the 1988 fire. Then we stopped in the West Thumb basin and saw many of the hydrothermal pools and famous features, such as fishing cone. We finally got to our campsite around 6 pm and set up our tent. This was Moritz’s introduction to camping. After we set up the campsite we went over to the Lake area and got food from the Lake Lodge cafeteria. After dinner we headed back to our campsite and set fire. Daniel and Moritz worked a long while to make the fire burn, but it took forever to get the fire going. About when the fire was going good was when we needed to go to bed. We played Pirate Fluxx (card game) that night and we had fun with the card that said that you got to draw an extra card if you talked like a pirate during your turn.
|Storm coming in|
|Storm in the Tetons|
|After the storm|
|View behind the alter|
|Erin on the Snake River|
|All of us on the Snake River Float Trip|