Wyoming, USA

A wide landscape shot of fall foiliage trees circling a river- I jump across the large river rocks. The Grand Tetons towering in the backdrop of the picture and a green roof peeks through the trees
Grand Tetons

Grand Tetons National Park, Wyoming, USA

Jackson (w)Hole lotta fun!
It’s official. It has been over a week since I should’ve began writing about Jackson. Time to test my memory. I arrived in Jackson early in the morning as requested by Scott, my friend I’d be staying with. He wanted to make sure I made it in time to go out on the boat with him and his friends. Boat?! You know I made it in time!! We stopped on the way to pick up Sasha and sloshies. Sloshies are boat drinks, just kidding, they’re alcoholic slushies. Once we had Sasha and our drinks we drove into the Grand Tetons National Park. It’s gorgeous, by the way- the mountain peaks are breathtaking.
I enjoyed the scenery as we drove but I didn’t ask to stop because we couldn’t be late for the boat. When we arrived the boat was already in the water near the pier. Brandon, the guy who owns the boat, drove toward us to pick us up. There were a few other people on the boat, too. I met Summer and her friend Mary, AHa (crazy mountain guy), Mike (an equally crazy mountain guy terrified of spiders), and Ryan. I learned on the way to the boat that Scott had recently concussed himself and messed up his shoulder- literally the day before I arrived, in a wakeboarding accident. Therefore, Scott was the designated driver.
We all sat in awe watching Brandon as he did most of the wakeboarding- he is really good! I took lots of pictures; although it was cloudy and sort of cold the mountains looked, in my opinion, perfect for a subdued backdrop to contrast his bright colored shorts and board. Overall the day got better and better. More guys and girls got in- surfing and wakeboarding. The whole experience was like a movie.
It was like I was living in an extreme sport Corona ad (or something to that idea). I thought this was all a facade you see in commercials, but now I was experiencing it first hand. It was epic. I am so happy I had a local friend here to experience this. After boating we went back to Ryan’s place- he lives with his wife and Tori. His wife, Seline, was working but Tori was home. Scott, Tori, Ryan and I played Jackbox.tv for a few hours. So much fun!
Once Tori came home we decided to grab dinner. We had thai food at Thai Me Up. Sasha met us all there as we were finishing up. Then, Sasha, Scott and I dropped by Trio for a drink. Our bartender was none other than Brandon! Haha, I didn’t even recognize him. He was ending his shift so he made us all old fashions with maraschino cherries. Then all of us went over to The Million Dollar Cowboy Bar, a big local bar with pool. The guys played pool and I watched. Eventually scott and I went back to his house and crashed.

The next day, Sunday, we did it all again!! Another boat day?! I felt so lucky. This time it was Sasha, Scott, Brandon and I… then we added Matt and his cousin from Maryland (!!)- Lindsey, Tiki, Megan and her friend (I never got her name). Tiki was Matt’s model. He is a photographer and was doing a sunglasses ad. Also Sasha works for an extreme sports video/advertisement company- he is also a photographer of some sort.
All of Scott’s friends, with ‘real jobs’, worked in a media field. If they didn’t work behind the scenes they were the subjects of the scene. It all started to make sense. He was living this lifestyle; this epic, as seen on TV life. I was so happy to have been a part of this weekend with them all. Everyone I met was super sweet. It started to rain so we came in a bit early. Scott and Brandon were working at the bowling alley that night, too- I think Scott has like 3 jobs.
I ended up taking a much needed nap when we got back to his house and when I woke up I was starving. I asked his roommates, both Emily and Aiden where I should get a bite to eat. They both agreed on The Big Hole BBQ. I went there and the Ravens:Steelers game was on. I ended up staying for the whole game, and low and behold, the bartender was from Bethesda, Maryland (!!)- a Ravens fan. I had met quite a bit of Marylanders that day.
I went back to the house and ended up watching a movie and going to bed. Monday was a day just for me. Scott had a full day of work, naturally. I finally had a chance to go to The Grand Tetons, on land, and take pictures- I had driven through so many times just catching glimpses!
I began my day with breakfast at Persephone. Then I was off to the Tetons all day. I met a few Romanians and we played in a creek near Jenny lake. The leaves were beautiful. Then I drove all around looking for where we docked the boat both days before. I was lost but discovering new places. Afterward I went on a wild moose chase- successfully!
I arrived back to town pretty late and stopped for dinner at Snake River Grill. I encountered a very rude old man (tourist) at the bar on my way out. Then I stopped at a store and rented a redbox. Aiden joined me and we watched a movie before bed. I looked at my itenerary to make sure I wasn’t missing anything important… I WAS!!

The Grand Tetons subdued in the backdrop of a ranch. 4 horses in the foreground behind a wood fence.

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA

Lower Falls waterfall, Yellowstone
Lower Falls
A geysey steaming at Yellowstone

I hadn’t originally planned to spend 3 days in The Grand Tetons, instead, I thought I’d need 3 days for Yellowstone. Scott brushed Yellowstone off and said he would never go back. Emily kinda snickered at this, like he was crazy. I told him I had to go. He said if I must, then the best thing to see is the big waterfall. Done. So, I planned to spend Tuesday and Wednesday at Yellowstone. Of course I drove through The Grand Tetons to get there… stopping on the way.
Scott was right. I wasn’t much impressed with Yellowstone. I have since this trip been back to Yellowstone and had a better experience. I did way more than the waterfall though. I will say, in my opinion, old Faithful was disappointing. I was very cold and waiting the entire hour+ and it wasn’t the best performance. I went to the Opal pool and Prismatic lake, those were my favorite landmarks of the day. I also saw many geysers.
I saved the West- northern portion of Yellowstone for Wednesday because it was on route for Montana. I had dinner at a cute Italian restaurant- Gloriettas, this time I had my own table- to avoid rude bar patrons. Then Wednesday came around and it was time to leave. Well, it was no questions I’d go through the Grand Tetons again. I went to The Grand Tetons everyday, I’m lucky it was practically in Scott’s backyard. I stopped for gas and was on my way… so I thought. I drove over 30 miles the wrong way, so overall I drove an unnecessary hour. I came back to Jackson to start over. Then I saw a store and thought I should stop for a little because I never truly spent time downtown.

hard to leave these mountains

What I thought would be a little ended up being like 2.5 hours and 4 stores later… all I found were huckleberry (yum) treats and some stickers. At this point I was going to arrive to my AirBnB super late. I decided to take the quickest route and skip Yellowstone, and sadly, The Grand Tetons. As I was driving through Idaho I started having regrets. There were 2 places I didn’t see in Yellowstone. I wanted to give Yellowstone another chance. At this point I was already like 2 hours away from Jackson, but Yellowstone is huge.
I rerouted my GPS to Yellowstone’s West entrance and we were in business. It would be an hour detour from my original route but.. not bad. When will I be back in the area?! (turns out Aug 2019). And off to Yellowstone I went. The hour detour became 4 hours because I did a lot of hiking. Eventually I left, the sun was setting, and on the way out I saw reindeer! And by reindeer I mean elk. Back to the road for a long night of driving to Montana. 

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