Wednesday, August 28, 2013

jackson, wyoming - day 1

Our wedding anniversary was last Sunday and to celebrate we went to Jackson, Wyoming.  It's not that bad a drive from SLC in the summertime - just about 4.5 hours, although the way we went was through some canyons that I wouldn't want to do in the wintertime - so we dropped B off at the kennel at 8 a.m. Saturday morning and hit the road.  The road before Hobart, WY, is really pretty, following the Snake River's twists and turns.  We found a spot where we could get down to the river and paused for a good 45 minutes there, drinking a couple of beers and waving at the rafters and kayakers as they cued up to enter the Taco Hole.  Although the forecast for the area had not been great (afternoon thunderstorms with a 40% chance of rain), we were in the sunshine and managed to spot osprey, hawks and a bald eagle.

Snake River sunny spot

We got to Jackson proper around 1 p.m.  We checked into our motel, the Angler's Inn, but since the room wasn't quite ready, we left the truck and wandered into town to check things out.  Jackson is tiny and imminently walkable; our motel was on the northwest edge of town and only three blocks from the town center.  We stopped at the visitors' center first to buy our annual national park pass, then strolled south to town.  The place was swarming with tourists so we ducked into the Town Tavern for a couple of beers and some mediocre food.  After walking a little more, we were able to get into our room.  We unloaded and then drove out of town a bit to Jackson Hole.  Orientation: the town is Jackson; the whole valley is Jackson Hole, as is the large ski resort out of town; the village at the Jackson Hole ski resort is Teton Village.

Jackson Hole

Although pricey ($32/pp), we bought tickets for the tram ride to the top of Rendezvous Mountain, towering over the resort at 10,450 feet.  Now, this is the same height as the Supreme lift at Alta but since the JH base is at 6,311 feet, there's a 4,139 vertical rise.  Alta's base is at 8,530 feet with a vertical rise of 2,020 feet.  There's a LOT of skiing to be had at JH. We walked around for a while at the top, opting not to walk back down to the base since I had shortsightedly worn my Keens which were hardly good footwear for a 7 mile hike.  The views off the summit were just amazing, especially since the gathering clouds had not yet clustered over the summit of the Grand Teton looming out of the national park just to the north.

View of Grand Teton from Rendezvous Mtn. summit

With the weather moving in, we went back to town and walked six blocks south to the Snake River Brewery for dinner.  I had their Snake River Pale Ale and H went with Pako's IPA.  The beers are fantastic, light, full of flavor and not bitter.  The food was equally good: H had a sliced brisket sandwich with carmelized onions, cheese, bacon and horseradish sauce; I had an incredible warm beet salad, with red and golden roasted beets, grapefruit wedges, crumbled bacon, gorgonzola, candied walnuts and radish sprouts.  So tasty!

Sure wish that tram tower had a bigger base!

We took a detour back through the center of town, noticing that the tourist hordes seemed to have called it an early night.  We did too, getting back to the room around 10 p.m. to get ready for the next day.

Motel-sweet-home for the next few days

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