Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Jackson Hole & Yellowstone {Days 3 and 4}

And the trip continues... If you missed Days 1 and 2 of the trip you can read about it here.

We saw lots of wildlife this trip, and Monday was no exception. This little beast wanted to hang out with us in the backyard. That's right he was just outside our screen door.

Shortly after our wildlife spotting, we headed into the town of Jackson to go whitewater rafting. We arrived at the office, put on some wet suits and booties and then loaded into the company's bus to drive down to the Snake River.

The eight of us, everyone except Graham, got into the raft with our paddles and floated down the river. The rapids were only a class 2 or 3, so they were not too bad at all. It was the fifth time I've gone river rafting, so it wasn't especially scary or exciting. However, it was loads of fun when my Uncle Brent fell out of the raft. He started drifting away from us for quite some time, but luckily he was rescued by my dad a little after we were halfway through that series of rapids. The best part is the photographers snapped pictures of the whole ordeal, but we haven't ordered them yet, so I can't show you.

Anyways, we drove back to our rental in Teton Village and ate lunch super late before heading back into town for a covered wagon ride, which included a barbeque dinner and a show at Bar T 5. I enjoyed the wagon ride guided by two horses, Smith and Weston.

Shortly after arriving at our destination, we chowed down on our dinner and sipped on our hot chocolate as they delivered blankets to keep us warm both for the show and for the wagon ride down.

We watched four musicians perform. There was a great fiddler, but the other three performers were just so so. By far the best part of the whole show was when they called up my cousin Sarah up to be a part of it! She was pulled up for having beautiful eyes, which the obnoxious mountain man happened to fall in love with. He then preceded to awfully serenade her, give her a fake daisy, and marry her. She was such a good sport about it. I envy her for that because I would have just ran away and hid. Ha! She did get a consolation prize of a free T-shirt at the gift shop for "volunteering" though. Overall, the evening was such a neat experience and one of my favorite parts of the trip.

The next day on Tuesday we woke up and drove to the Jenny Lake boat dock where we caught a ride to a trailhead on the other side of the lake.

Our first leg of the hike was just 0.5 miles to a waterfall called Hidden Falls. It was nice to have a feature so close to the trailhead for hikers not looking for a challenge.

 Next, we walked another 0.4 miles uphill along rocky terrain to a lookout called Inspiration Point, which overlooked the entire lake.

A little ways after Inspiration Point we stopped to eat lunch in a nice meadow. My mom, Graham, and my younger cousin, Becca turned back at this point, while my dad, Kyle, Aunt Jill, cousin Sarah, and myself trudged on. Graham wanted to continue on, but we wanted to quicken our pace, so we had her turn back. Nonetheless, we were all so incredibly impressed by her seventy something year old hiking abilities. Props to her!

Shortly after we parted ways, it started raining. But, we powered through and stopped for snacks at the fork. On our way back, we took a little break at a mini beach along the river. It was nice to dip our feet in because the freezing temperature numbed the pain. After what seemed like an eternity we finally made it back to the boat dock after 9 miles. The kicker was we had to wait for two boats to fill up and leave before we got on the third boat. 

After hiking for about 6.5 hours, we finally made it back to good ole Donavon and met up with our other three family members, who had been waiting for us for an hour and forty five minutes. The cold weather actually made the whole day bearable.

Exhausted, we went back to our rental and painfully walked across the street to dinner in Teton Village at the Mangy Moose. It was the perfect spot for us to fill our tummies and rest our little feet. And let me tell you, we had an awesome waitress, who let twenty year old Sarah order off of the kids menu and let me basically order food that wasn't on  the menu. Yes, I admit I can often be a pain in the butt, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

And, lastly, five us played an intense game of Spoons before calling it a night, and of course I dominated everyone and was crowned the champion! Woohoo!

I will continue recapping our trip, so come back on Friday to find out how Days 5 & 6 of our trip went.

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