Grand Teton National Park, Idaho, Idaho-Wyoming trip, Montana, National Parks and Monuments, National Wildlife Refuges, Wyoming, Yellowstone National Park

Saturday: Yellowstone to Soda Springs, Idaho

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park

^^^The inlaid wooden map that gives the Map Room in Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel its name. The Carolinas were very much on my mind.

Saturday was another day of perfect weather. We left Mammoth Hot Springs Terrace behind and drove north to Gardiner, Montana, for coffee and breakfast at the Two Bit Saloon and to fill the gas tank, since Montana gas was cheaper. Then we drove south on the same road we had been on the day before, except we kept going at Yellowstone Falls through the Hayden Valley. Trumpeter swans swam in the river below us.

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park

We stopped at the general store at Yellowstone Lake for coffee, ice cream, and a hot dog. This is a HUGE lake. A lot of this area is still coming back from the big fires several years ago. We decided we didn’t have time to see Grand Prismatic Spring and the West Thumb Geyser Basin. Too bad, but that’s a reason to come back. 🙂

Yellowstone National Park

20180915_141808

A quick stop at Lewis Falls and down John D. Rockefeller Memorial Highway through Grand Teton National Park again. This time I saw the beginning of a wildfire in a canyon that turned major after we left. I think it is called the Roosevelt Fire. We listened to KHOL community radio from Jackson Hole and a New Wave program that was great for the drive.

20180915_143208

20180915_143714

20180915_150820

We stopped at the National Wildlife Art Museum to see the sculptures and I bought a beautiful coffee mug with an aspen design in the gift shop there.

20180915_160859

20180915_163820

We drove through Jackson and south on Hwy 89, along the Snake River Canyon where we had rafted on Tuesday. Near Etna, we decided to take Hwy 34, a back road through the Caribou-Targhee National Forest and past Gray’s Lake National Wildlife Refuge. I’m so glad that we did because it was absolutely lovely. It also was a part of the Oregon Trail, as many of these older roads seem to be.

20180915_183312

20180915_183719

20180915_185320

20180915_190442

20180915_190558

In Soda Springs, Idaho, we were hungry and tired. We ate at a restaurant that I won’t name, because I don’t recommend it, and settled down in our room at the Caribou Lodge, an older hotel/lodge that was very inexpensive and comfortable and clean and had friendly staff. I recommend it if you don’t need air conditioning. I find these old hotels charming and I wish that more of them had survived here on the East Coast.

critters, Grand Teton National Park, Idaho, Idaho-Wyoming trip, National Parks and Monuments, Wyoming

Grand Teton National Park and the Teton Valley

20180910_113439

^^^Overlooking Jackson Hole from the Teton Pass

20180912_101729

^^^The view of the Tetons from the “other” side in Driggs, Idaho, near our AirBNB.

We didn’t really have an agenda on Monday so we went looking for a late breakfast and ended up eating at Barrels and Bins, a natural foods grocery in Driggs, which reminded me of the old Deep Roots Market that I miss so much. It was privately owned but it had that co-op vibe. Then we looked at the museum at the geotourism center and crossed the street to The Local Galleria, where Sandy bought me a sweater that I wore a lot on the rest of the trip. We wished that we could go to their painting class that night because it sounded like fun, but we couldn’t make it. I always meant to stop in Victor, a smaller little funky town on the way to Jackson, but we never made the time for it. Either the stores were closed or we were tired.

Other good spots to eat breakfast in Driggs: Rise, and Yeti’s Post.

(It seems to me that Driggs, Idaho could benefit from the presence of a weaver from North Carolina each summer, ya think? Yeah.)

20180910_154249

20180915_165112

20180910_211154

Another reason why I’ll never be a cowgirl – the seats at the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar in Jackson are real saddles. Fun, but not good on elderly hips. Also, my horseback riding abilities were proved to be lacking in Girl Scouts.

Sandy loves to shop so we spent a good part of the day going in and out of shops and galleries in Jackson. I bought him a hat but he later decided he didn’t want to wear it so I happily snatched it away for my own use, since my hair was driving me nuts.

Then we drove up through Grand Teton National Park. We did not hike any but we made lots of stops. It was hazy throughout our trip in this park so for the most part I couldn’t get the quality photos I’d have liked, but on the other hand, that finally made me put the camera down for much of it. A good thing. The Tetons are impressive because they stick up suddenly from the valley like a row of jagged teeth, with rivers and lakes at their feet. The grand scale of it means it is best experienced in person. We didn’t see any wildlife in this park other than a mother mule doe and her two fawns. I guess somebody forgot to tell the elk about the National Elk Wildlife Refuge!

20180910_175609

20180910_145822

20180910_150540

20180910_151726

20180910_173759

20180910_164643

20180910_164830

^^^Click to view the video and turn up the audio.

The next day we went whitewater rafting with Barker-Ewing Whitewater on the Snake River. I didn’t use a camera all day, a refreshing change in perspective. The rapids were class 2-3 so it was a fun ride without being scary, and the weather could not have been more perfect. I was accommodated in not being able to paddle, but we were put in the smaller raft anyway – yay! An osprey circled above our heads and we saw an otter very briefly.

After rafting, we ate stew and I drank the local brew at Snake River Brewery in Jackson. Many of the meat dishes out there contained bison or elk, which worked great for me. I don’t get a chance to eat venison much any more.

Something seems to compel me to caress every moose statue I see. Maybe I had a crush on Bullwinkle as a kid, or maybe I’m just weird. We did not see any live moose on our trip. I hear that these sightings are increasingly scarce.

20180910_164527

20180910_204454

On Wednesday morning, we said goodbye to the good people of Driggs, Idaho and headed north to Yellowstone National Park via West Yellowstone, Montana.