Into the Mountains

On Tuesday we headed out to Grand Teton National Park. We are staying in Victor, ID, which is about 45 minutes from Jackson Hole, Wyoming, which is at the south tip of the GTNP. In between Jackson and Victor are a bunch of mountains, so we had to go over one of the more difficult mountain passes that I’ve seen – it’s about a 10% grade the whole way up and the car has to work pretty hard to get up. Jackson is very much a tourist town – especially with it’s themed building code – all of the buildings are made to look like an old west town. Supposedly many hollywood types like to vacation in Jackson – though I’m not sure why it’s a pretty ordinary town. From what I’ve read most native Wyoming residents think of Jackson as a joke and definitely not the real Wyoming. We stopped in at Jackson for a short time to see the few sights that we wanted to see and buy a couple souvenirs, then we headed out to GTNP.

It’s about 5 miles between Jackson and the entrance to the park and along the way there are lots of shops and the gas prices spike. One of the more comical places, at least in concept – I don’t know since we didn’t stop in – is the National Museum of Wildlife Art. Now I know that some people reading this are thinking why is that comical. I don’t know exactly, but I do find it somewhat funny that we can create a museum that is completely wildlife art – even more comical is that the current show is the wildlife art of Jackson Pollack.

Nonetheless, as you drive the road to GTNP it’s a pretty bland ordinary mountain road with green mountains on either side of you – it’s pretty, but nothing special. Then you go around a corner and over a hill and the Grand Tetons emerge and you’re struck in awe. Seriously, when I first saw them I couldn’t take my eyes off of them – they’re really that spectacular. We entered the park and had a picnic lunch by a river in the shadow of the Tetons. Then we headed for the Jenny Lake area. When we got there we rented a two person kayak and headed out on the lake to relax and get some really great pictures of the Tetons. The thing about kayaks is that unless your paddle is set up correctly and you’re very good at paddling, you’re going to end up wet – at least some part of you. We got done our little jaunt in the kayak to discover that one half of our shorts were soaked while the other half was completely dry, which made for an interesting sensation, but it was fine.

After that we drove some more – saw a single deer which was the total of our wildlife sightings at the park. We took a few more pictures then headed back home. We stopped off at a place called Bubba’s BBQ. It’s a typical western BBQ place with picnic tables for tables and a limited menu – basically ribs or chicken with some sides, though they do offer a few other things for those not so inclined to eat with their hands. I ordered a combo plate of spare ribs and chicken and Jen got a chicken plate – that was actually half a chicken it was pretty cool. It was good eatin’, if you’re into ribs or BBQ chicken and you find yourself in Jackson you should definitely stop in at Bubba’s. With full stomachs we headed home, back over the pass, to enjoy a restful evening.

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