Saturday, August 3, 2013

Wild West Part III: The Grand Tetons

Oh my dear's August and I'm just now finishing about our vacation in MAY!!! This summer has flown by! So I'll just get right to it....

Our third destination was the Grand Tetons, which is another National Park south of Yellowstone. If you even Google the term "Wyoming" pictures of these mountains will come up.  They were absolutely stunning. Again, our 1 hour drive to the Tetons turned into about 3 because we stopped so many times to take pictures.

Our home for the next 3 nights was the Heart Six/Buffalo Valley Ranch. It was a full dude ranch with horses, a cafe, and AMAZING views of the mountains.

This little cafe was 110 years old and there were even bullet holes in the door from an true old fashioned hold up!  We enjoyed many dinners and breakfasts in the cafe.  

We also spent some time sitting in these chairs reading and enjoying the view......

The view.

The next day we floated down the Snake River. We were the only ones on the tour (perhaps because it was 8 a.m. and 45 degrees) but it was so beautiful and lots of fun. Our tour guide was full of stories and info and we even spotted a bald eagle.
I realize this looks like "Prom '98 on The Snake River" but we were really just trying to hold onto each other so we wouldn't fall out of the boat.
We were pretty hungry after the float, so we took our guide's recommendation and hit up the Signal Mountain Lodge. This happened: 
Signal Mountain nachos and chili loaded baked potato. 
We drove up  Signal Mountain afterwards, which was beautiful, but cut somewhat short because there was a storm coming in....which was actually kinda neat to see...

Since the weather was kinda nasty the rest of the day, we just rode around and did some wildlife spotting. (Our float guide told J about a "secret wolf cave", so may or may not have sat in the car in the middle of a field while J played a wounded animal sound App on his phone. Unfortunately, no wolves took the bait.) 

The next morning, the clouds were low again and it was rainy and COLD!

We headed to Jenny Lake and took a ferry across the lake to a mountain where we hiked a half mile to a gorgeous water fall! 

Another half mile took us to Inspiration Point which is at 7,220 feet! It was beautiful and I was tired!

Once we got to the top, the rain really started coming down and I was getting nervous. Our float guide had JUST told us about some hikers that got caught up on a mountain in a lightning storm and all of them got struck by lightning! So as slow as I got up the mountain, I went down about 10 times as fast.  J kept telling me to slow down and calm down! Once we got down and got back across the lake we turned to look at where we had climbed and it looked like a foothill compared to the top of the actual mountains! It felt like we had hiked so far! Our week was starting to catch up with us so we headed back to the ranch to take a nap then went out for more wildlife spotting. That was actually one of my favorite parts of the trip-we left enough open time to just ride around the country. It was so relaxing. That afternoon we spotted more moose and pronghorn sheep. 

Milford the Moose

Jeremie "offroaded" it a little bit and we took the poor rental car down a dirt road where we ended up in a field of buffalo. It was amazing! They were crossing the road and headed up the mountain, but let me assure you, buffalo are NEVER in a hurry.....

Calving season had just happened...the baby buffalo were darling and full of energy!
Since the winter season had just ended in Wyoming, the buffalo were shedding their winter coats....therefore they were rubbing on trees, stumps, fence posts, anything they could to help rub it was hilarious!
Our last night in Wyoming, we headed back to Signal Mountain Lodge and ate dessert for dinner. We were a little bummed to leave, but we had so much fun recapping our trip. The last day, (on the way to the airport) we FINALLY spotted a bighorn sheep, which was one of the last things on our Wildlife Bingo card! If we hadn't seen one, we'd probably still be there. My husband is a very determined man.  

Billy the Bighorn....we found you.
Just looking at the pictures makes me want to go back NOW! This trip was such a blessing and made memories for a lifetime!!! Looking forward to many more with my honey.