Sheldon and I have both been working hard this summer and staying busy. We were excited for Memorial Day to come around so that we could take advantage of a day off to play together. We had talked about going to a national park this summer, and decided to see the Grand Tetons. We packed our bags with some snacks and cameras, and brought along Sheldon’s brother Nathan for the day.
To get there we drove through Soda Springs to get to the Idaho/Wyoming border then north to Jackson Hole. It was about a 3 hour drive from Grace, Idaho. It was a beautiful scenic drive through the mountains and green hillsides, we even saw a family of 10 large moose running alongside the highway. SO COOL, I was too slow to snap a picture of it though. I was impressed by Sheldon’s navigation skills to get us there and back, thankfully we didn’t have any bad traffic or car troubles. Even though it was Memorial Day, we were pleasantly surprised at the crowd control in the park. There were a lot of people there, but the crowd was not overwhelming by any means.
Our first destination: Grand Teton National Park. Around 10 years ago I went with my family to Yellowstone and the Tetons, and I’ve always remembered how pretty is was. Now that I live in Idaho we are closer than ever, and I knew that I wanted to take Sheldon back. Pictures really don’t do this place justice, the mountain range is so large and so beautiful it just takes your breath away. Park fees are $30 a car, but if you bundle it with Yellowstone they’ll cut you a deal. Honestly though, best money I’ve spent in awhile. National parks are seriously the best, especially on pretty days!
Once we got into the park we headed right for Jenny Lake to hike around a little bit. We had planned several different hikes; but because the park had just opened for the season, a few places were closed so we had to change our plans. We were a little bummed because the whole trail around the lake is about 7 miles and includes pretty waterfalls, but because of construction and a previous avalanche we could only hike 2 miles or so. Jenny Lake was very blue and reflected the mountains nicely, it was an easy little scenic trail we did.
When we finished up at Jenny lake we drove further into the park to find a place to eat our lunch. when looking for a picnic table was unsuccessful, we decided to eat our packed lunch on Jackson Lake Dam. This was one of the best views of the Tetons that we saw all day! There were quite a few fishermen and kids playing on the rocky shore. A perfect place to sit in the sun and eat. After a little while we got back on the road to continue our adventure.
Next stop, Colter Bay. I remember that this was my favorite place when I came to this park with my family back then. Without any communication, Sheldon did exactly what I did several years ago, he began to gather flat smooth rocks and started to skip them on the calm bay water. We spent awhile on the shore here just taking it all in before heading back.
We didn’t stay in the park very long, but it was enough time to enjoy the great outdoors. On our way out of the park we had to stop in Jackson Hole to enjoy the little tourist town. We started at Snow King Ski Resort and took the ski lift to the top. We went down the alpine slides so Sheldon could relive some of his teenage memories. It is basically a just a long slide that you take down the hill on a simple sled. It can get going pretty fast, but you do have a hand break to slow you down a bit. It was fun. Sheldon and Nathan totally raced down it, but I went down very slowly to enjoy the view.
Once back down from the slopes we wondered around Jackson. There was some delicious ice cream at Moo’s; I got chocolate toffee crunch with caramel, and Sheldon got their famous huckleberry flavor. MMMmmm! We walked around the little gift shops for a little bit. Then we had to take the classic picture at the antler arches of corse! There is a local elk refuge not far from the entrance to the Teton park and that is where the antlers were collected from to make these famous giant arches.
Surprisingly enough we still had a little energy in our system after everything that we did. So on our way home we decided to drive by the new LDS Star Valley, WY Temple in Afton. It was only about 30 miles outside of our trip so we decided, why not check it out? I’ll say it was one tiny temple, but in a really pretty green hillside location. (Can you see our sun burns starting to show? Haha.)
This day was PACKED with adventure and SO pretty. It all went so smoothly, I have nothing to complain about at all. We could not have asked for a prettier day, it seriously felt perfectly warm with the sun, and no sign of rain! This was the first time this year I could wear shorts all day, summer has come guys. It’s here! We got back to Grace exhausted and ready to sleep. Its always hard to go back to work after such a fun/ long weekend.
Wonderful day, one to remember for a very long time!