Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Jackson Hole 2014 {Days 5-7}

Day 5

We woke up bright and early on Tuesday for another gorgeous day of hiking. We decided to head over to the String and Leigh Lakes picnic area and hike around String Lake {moderate 3.7 mile loop}. Just shy of a mile from what we thought was the correct trailhead, the Mosquitos started getting really, really bad. E and I had sprayed ourselves and L down with Off {made the mistake last year of trying to be crunchy with non-DEET bugspray and learned our lesson -- DON'T FORGET TO PACK YOUR POISON; POISON IS GOOD}, but they didn't seem all that deterred and I was worried about B getting bit.

We decided to turn around and just poke around the picnic area for the morning. Both lakes have little sandy bits of shoreline as well as good places to launch a canoe, kayak, or paddle board, so it's a great place to let little ones explore. 

Forever her mama's girl, L didn't mind the 49 degree water temps one bit. 

Also, a white tail deer passed right by us, all casual-like, and we freaked the heck out. Which is humorous, considering we're used to about 57 deer grazing in the backyard at twilight in Texas. But see one in a national forest thousands of miles from home? AHHHHHHHH ITS A NOVELTY MAMMAL QUICK TAKE A PICTURE!!

After our fiddle-farting around for a bit, we happened upon the trailhead we were actually supposed to take originally...and decided, what the hell, let's do this. 

Gorgeous trail...loads of amazing water, some decentish elevation, shady forests, and even some leftover snow piles {much to L's delight!}!  We could also see the aftermath of a pretty substantial avalanche. Nature is cool. 

{I believe this trail is officially called the String Lake trail -- I'll confirm and edit, if need be. Obviously our map-reading skills were subpar that day, and I'm still a bit confused as to how we got so turned around, re: correct trailhead}. 

The loop was exceptional...but not necessarily the best idea we've ever had when tacked on to our prior meandering stroll. We logged 6 miles and some change total in 3 hours {mileage is embarrassingly slow with two cling-ons}, and, by the end, the toddler was D-O-N-E. 

After several major meltdowns, we all tucked enthusiastically into naptime, and then into our Hagen Daas upon wakeup. We hung out in the square for a bit, and attempted to stick around for the daily Shoot Out. Every evening at 6:05, the Chamber of Commerce puts on an old-timey Western shootout {free} off the town square, complete with a little history lesson and costumed can-can girls / gold-mining guys and all that fun racket. Unfortunately, L lasted two gunshots in before declaring I NOT LIKE IT, so no shootout for us. Home again, home again licketty-split for kidlet bedtime, black bean quesadillas, and Enough Said on demand. 

Day 6

5:30 am wakeup call? Time for breakfast at The Bunnery! There's usually one helluva line, but arriving right when they opened at 7 ensured us prime seating with no wait -- silver linings!

L was super psyched about the Wikki Sticks {that we bent into Mickey Mice, natch}, and with her "big ol' pancake" {the OSM - oats, sunflower seeds, and millet - pancakes seriously cannot be beat} {and every single bakery item in the case up front looks absolutely mouth-watering}.

Post-breakfast slide races with Daddy and Piggie {Jackson Elementary School playscape}. 

We spent the rest of the morning strolling around a bit, popping into stores and walking down to Snow King {because one really needs multiple sliding options before 10am}. 

"The atmosphere of early Jackson Hole was one of making light of hardships,of lifting this life of hard work by getting together every now and then to eat and dance all night." -- Mardy Murie. {from the nicest public restroom in the history of all public restrooms ever}

A surprise blowout warranted a costume change for baby brother...and big sister just had to put on her newly-purchased matching shirt, too! My two little bears... 

J and T-Pop arrived during naptime {!!!!}, and the minute Miss Thang woke up, we were all off to hang at The People's Market {every Wednesday from 3-7pm at the base of Snow King}. We sat in the shade, had a few drinks and some popcorn, enjoyed live folk music, and L pet every puppy dog within a 50 yard radius. 

E & L forewent our at home taco dinner plans in favor of more Nepalese curry, so we happily lounged about al fresco straight through L's normal supper time. Eventually, we peeled ourselves off the grass for her bedtime and taco prep. Per usual, we were all tucked into bed by 10:30.

Day 7

We had planned on hiking to Phelps Lake from the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve, but didn't anticipate forecasted rain storms to hit so early in the morning. The rain started beating down the minute we parked our car, so we sought shelter at the Preserve's visitor center. 

The LSR Preserve is actually private land adjacent to the national park {re: you don't have to pay a park fee to enter and enjoy}, although it is staffed by park employees. The visitors center has a few really wonderful exhibits and a great little library...not to mention an awesome staff who took pity on us and let us in 30 minutes before they officially opened to wait out the storm. 

After reacquainting ourselves with the exhibits, we'd just decided to call off our hike when the clouds parted and the sun started peeking through. Saying a little Hail Mary at the radar, we set out to attempt the hike afterall.,

The hike to Phelps Lake is just over 3 miles. You can also hike around the lake {we did this last year}, which I believe cranks your mileage up to around 8 or 9 miles total. The hiking is easy to moderate in difficulty {I'd say mostly easy}. 

And the lake views, per usual, are breathtaking. 

The LSR Preserve is impeccably maintained and there are actually legit, clean restrooms on the trail. We'd definitely recommend this one -- and the visitors center is surely worth a pop-in. 

More thunderstorms in the afternoon = looooong naps for everyone. We'd made dinner reservations at Calico - one of our favorite spots - at 6:30, and we thought we'd kill time at the Teton County Library beforehand. The library is gorgeous and has a huge children's section, complete with a Lego table, puzzles, etc. Unfortunately, the storms knocked the power out, and it was closing early as we arrived. We headed up to Calico {right near Teton Village} early and scoured a table on the patio. The restaurant is situated by a large field where balls of all sorts and hula hoops are placed daily for kidlet enjoyment. If you're on the porch, you can supervise play with wine glass and bruschetta in hand. It's basically my favorite place of all time. 

The flower garden is gorgeous eye candy as well. 

Bellies full, we ended another fabulous day on the couch...watching Enough said again, because that movie is hilarious and so sweet and no one loves James Gandolfini more than we do. 


  1. I was with a dear new friend from Jackson this week & between the two of you I'm SOLD on a visit soon! Yay!

  2. suuuuuuuch a beautiful place!!! our neighbors, two houses down, just moved back there!


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