Friday, August 30, 2013

jackson, wyoming - day 2

On the recommendation of both a work friend of mine and the front desk clerk at the Angler's Inn, we walked to the Bunnery (130 N. Cache St.) for breakfast Sunday morning, getting there right before the 8 a.m. rush for tables.  I had biscuits and gravy and crispy hash browns; H had a breakfast burrito.  Everything was very tasty but we didn't linger long over coffee as we were heading up to Grand Teton National Park.

The Grand Teton dominating the Teton Range

Our first stop was the Craig Thomas Visitor Center at the park's south entrance for a map and a quick orientation before heading north along the Teton Park Road.  We backtracked a little on the scenic one-way drive along the shore of Jennie Jenny Lake, then popped into the Jennie Jenny Lake visitor center which was quite busy.  There are some easy hikes around the lake, some of which made even easier if you pay for the shuttle boat across the lake, which cuts two miles off.  We decided to put our boots on and go clockwise all the way around the lake, an 8-ish mile jaunt.  No boat for us.

Looking at Cascade Canyon across Jenny Lake

High spot on the Jenny Lake Loop Trail

This is a nice trail, rolling up and down with mostly soft, packed-dirt footing, in and out of the trees that ring the lake.  We ended up doing 1,000 feet of climbing due to a couple of detours but the only thing strenuous is the length of the walk.  On the west side of the lake, we took a side trip up to the 200-foot Hidden Falls; they're not that hidden, as pretty much everyone getting off the shuttle boat was making the 1.2 mile RT for a viewing.  Other than around the west side boat dock, we really didn't see many people.  We did get close to three osprey perched in the dead trees in an old burn scar.  We did the 8.21 mile loop (plus waterfall) in 2:52 with an average speed of 2.9.  We haven't done many hikes over 7 miles lately and both of us had sore feet by the end of it.

At the north end of Jennie Lake

A snack and a couple of beers in the parking lot (and a sighting of a doe with still-spotted twins) cured what ailed us and we continued on up the Park Road to the northern end of Jackson Lake, stopping in to check out Leeks Marina, Jackson Lake Lodge and Coulter Bay.  There was a possible cow elk sighting (although H thinks it was just a big mule deer doe) and confirmed pronghorns and bison, but no moose.  The clouds started gathering along the Teton Range as the afternoon wore on and it did start to rain when we were exploring the Cunningham cabin historic site.  We were pretty much done with the GTNP for the day, though, so it didn't dampen our enthusiasm any.

Weather rolling in

After cleaning up at the motel, we walked to El Abuelito (385 W. Broadway) for dinner, another front desk clerk recommendation.  I had pollo en mole, tasty with a sweetish flavor and served with homemade tortillas, and H went with a burrito verde.  It wasn't the very best Mexican I've ever had but they did have very good and enormous margaritas.

Downpour on the western shore of Jackson Lake

We again swung through town on the way back, this time stopping in at the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar for a beer.  This place is a hoot, tourist trap / local joint / biker bar all wrapped up in one, with a touch of Vegas to boot.  It's been a fixture in Jackson since 1937 and the decor alone is fabulous: real silver dollars embedded in the three bars, saddles topping the bar stools, ferocious taxidermied critters and knobbled pine beams.  They don't have any beers on tap - too much of a hassle since they're extremely busy - but they did have Snake River micros in cans on hand and that suited us just fine.

Million Dollar Cowboy Bar, baby!

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