So Much More Than Skiing!

Hello Wyoming!

We had an early start to our day heading north to Jackson, WY and in frigid temps! We left with a temp of -31 degrees… brrrrr! Our fingers and toes were hurting they were so cold just from being outside for a short period of time. Cory and I take turns driving and this drive was a bit wild with 65+ mph winds on parts of I-80. That’s called white knuckle driving! No one minded the drive though as we saw a bald Eagle, a herd of prong-horned antelope and two moose on the way. We love seeing wildlife! We also saw multiple tumble weeds hurling toward us with the wind whipping. Unfortunately, you couldn’t take advantage of the 80 mph speed limit because the wind was so forceful! Side note, Tally is being boarded this week as dogs aren’t allowed in the Spring Hill Suites so he’s staying at DogJax. We had to make quick arrangements for him as our hotel originally said they were dog friendly only to find out, the week prior to arrival, that it was service dogs only. It will work out great for everyone though so we have freedom to enjoy Cory’s week off without having to worry about Tally. Plus, he’s been cooped up in a tiny condo for a month so having a week of playing with so many other dogs will be awesome for him!

Hotels are always hard when young kids go to bed earlier than adults. However, I did myself a solid by packing their sleep masks. I was thinking they’d use them sometime in the car but our hotel stay turned out to be the perfect place to use them. They can get to sleep much easier and allows us to have minimal lights on until we head to bed.

In Jackson, they have charter buses set up with most hotels so you pick your time to head to the mountain each morning and back in the afternoon. It’s quite nice to not deal with parking! Now for the main event…hitting the slopes at Jackson Hole! Although, Jackson Hole isn’t as high in elevation as Colorado, it is known for being the steepest and deepest in the US. Unfortunately, they hadn’t gotten snow lately so it was quite icy in most places…meaning it was only the steepest this week. However, that didn’t slow us down. It was also unseasonably cold; but, again we were used to it as Colorado had been the same. Like we mentioned before, a hot tub can fix all that at the end of a cold ski day! Cory wanted to try the tram, bowl and longest run in US so up we went. They can fit 100 people in the tram and it goes to runs that are expert only aka black diamonds. We took Tram to Corbet’s Cabin for a brown sugar waffle before we hit Rendezvous Bowl. I was so nervous but we all rocked it even with the wind howling and very low visibility because of snow falling. The snow helped make it less icy though. Then we did the longest run in the US aka 5 mi long; our legs were toast after that! Ski days (long or short) always wear us out!

A bonus of traveling is sometimes you meet up with friends! We caught up with a childhood friend of mine and her family who live in Jackson. The kids loved this so much as they got to play with two adorable little girls. The adults had the best time visiting too. We also got some of the best restaurant recommendations from them. Here is what we tried.

Trio– In downtown Jackson, this restaurant was easy to get a table and had delicious food. We also walked here.

Teton Tiger– This was a must eat but reservations were hard to get. So take out it was! Their food didn’t disappoint!

Blue Lion– What a quaint restaurant in an old house with unbelievable food! Cory’s rack of lamb were the best he’s ever eaten! I ate elk. I would say this is a must eat when you’re in Jackson. Also, this was another walkable restaurant.

Local Restaurant– Located on the town square, we walked here after ice skating across the street. It had all the charm and delicious meat options!

Cowboy Coffee– A locally owned coffee chain in town was a great place for coffee, breakfast and lunch sandwiches.

Snake River Brewery– This local brewery was easy to get a big table to meet friends and great for kids too!

Some more recommendations in Jackson…

National Elk Reserve– Located just on the edge of town, it a gem of animal fun! We saw thousands of elk and big horn sheep. You had to look hard for the sheep but we found them on the steep cliff faces. It was mesmerizing that they were right in front of us as we drove through the park.

Teton National Park– Obviously, this is a well-known park for so many activities and we chose to enjoy it by snowshoeing. There’s a lovely loop around the pond and it was a great introduction for myself and the kids. Thank goodness was Cory knows how to do most of these type activities to help us along the way! Also, we rented snowshoes from Teton Mountaineering with no need for reservations.

Teton Raptor Center– By far one of the coolest animal tours we’ve had. Starting with the guide Amanda who is also an Aggie like Cory. The knowledge she had to share about the raptors at their center was so vast and she went above and beyond the normal tour to encourage our kids in their love of raptors. We saw a kestrel, 3 owls and 1 eagle and got a tour behind the scenes for their Raptor Hospital. They’re also renovating so it will even better soon…a must see!

Ice Skating in Town Square– The kids loved ice skating one evening and the adults enjoyed a scenic town square experience while we watched the fun!

We took a day trip (only 1.5 hr drive) to Alta, WY to ski Grand Targhee Resort. It’s a mountain we had been told was a favorite by a fellow skier and he was so right! First, the drive was lovely over the pass, parking was great and well laid out, tickets weren’t crazy expensive and then there are the views. You can see the most amazing views of the Tetons from the summit. Crazy enough, they had completely snow covered trees even after Jackson was frozen over. Wild how weather works like that! We happened upon our first freestyle snow competition which made the kids (especially Teddy) excited to maybe try it one day. We had the best time on the mountain skiing tree runs (my kids’ favorites) and a black mogul with so much powder if felt like a playground! This mountain gets even better… there was a shuttle back to our car at the end of the day (even though it wasn’t that far of a walk), almost no lift lines, no staffing issues (like we’d seen in CO) and a great lunch restaurant Branding Iron Grill that was delicious, reasonably priced and had tiny etch a sketches for the kids with their menus on the back. Grand Targhee is our favorite mountain of the trip by far! 

One of the main reasons we travel is to be together! At dinner one night, Cory and I had the best time encouraging and praising our kids for being them. They had crushed expert terrain that day, were not whiny when they got cold, were amazing dinner dates, etc. We’re so lucky to be their parents! This trip has been exactly what we were hoping for… extra time to be together!

Next stop, urban life in Salt Lake City, Utah!

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