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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Jackson Hole Days 3-4

We knew that we wanted to spend some time in Teton National Park.  I really had no idea how big it is, we talked to people who spent a full week in the park and felt like there was still so much to see.  After talking to several people we decided to spend the day we had exploring Jenny Lake.  The back entrance of the park was just a few miles from where we were staying and from the minute we entered, we encountered a stream of amazing views.  The mountains are impressive from far away, but up close quite spectacular - there are no foothills, they just rise up directly, making them seem so much more rugged.

Before making it to the lake we ran into the visitor's center.  In general, I love visitor's centers.  I love the displays, the tours, all the information that is so easily accessible and of course, the gift shop.  Apparently there are at least three other visitor's centers in the park.  I'm not sure about the rest, but the one we stopped at was pretty amazing.  It appeared to be quite new and was absolutely beautiful.  They had a movie that was about 25 minutes long and super interesting.  The displays were really great - very informative and interactive.  We could have spent so much more time there but decided that we should get going and actually see the park.

 We had been told that you can hike all the way around Jenny Lake and several people suggested we do that.  The full hike, about 7 miles, seemed like a much better idea earlier in the week.  Once we arrived at the lake we checked out our options and decided to do a "cheater" version.  Essentially, hike around about 1/3 of the lake, do the side hike to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point, and then take the ferry back across the lake.  There were a few little hiccups to the hike - the first that Erika and I didn't change from sandals into good shoes, big mistake.  We also really struggled to keep track of one another - I think we all ended up seeing what we hoped to see, but we also spent a lot of time looking for each other.  The lake was seriously breathtaking and completely made up for any struggles to get to the views.

Tim's parents and sister told us that one of their favorite things to do in Jackson Hole is to go to the dinner/entertainment at the Bar J. Chuckwagon.  I wasn't sure what to expect, but the description on their web site describes it best :  "From early in the 1800’s cowboys rode the western range. On the cattle drive, every long, hard day in the saddle was followed by an evening meal, tall tales and music around the chuckwagon.  Originated on a working cattle ranch, the Bar J Chuckwagon takes you back to the spirit of the old west with a relaxing atmosphere,  rib stickin’ meal and authentic cowboy entertainment.   The Bar J Wranglers will entertain the entire family as they take you down memory trail with songs, stories, comedy, yodeling, fiddling and more!  Experience an evening you'll never forget at the Bar J Chuckwagon."  The night was really fun, we were definitely glad that we made the effort to go, despite our already long day. 

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