Snow flurries at Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

As I’m not travelling anywhere for the next few weeks, I thought I’d do a few posts about a trip we did in April/May 2010. We first visited our son and family in New Jersey, and then flew into Jackson Hole to do a road trip to Yellowstone National Park. It was a wonderful adventure, and much, much colder than we ever expected it would be. I thought the end of April signalled the start of Spring, but we found ourselves in freezing temperatures most of the time.

After an evening out at a local New Jersey restaurant with our son and DIL, we finished packing and went to bed quite early as we had to get up at 4-30 am to take the hire-car back and catch the 7-30am flight from Newark to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, via Denver. I was surprised that there were so many cars about at such an early hour. My breakfast at Newark was a bacon, egg and cheese bagel which was absolutely tasteless, and orange juice, which was delicious. Then we were off on our way to Denver and made such good time that we arrived too early and had to wait on the tarmac for half and hour until a gate became available. It was bright and sunny and about 5 degrees in Denver. The airport is HUGE and sooo busy, like Piccadilly Circus in the rush hour.

After a Starbucks’ Chai latte and a decadent chocolate brownie, we boarded a much smaller plane, only 66 seater, for Jackson Hole. This flight was only an hour and a half and the pilot told us to expect a bumpy ride because of the gusting winds. He also informed us that the temperature at our destination would be -5 degrees, OUCH! The flight was quite smooth except when I got up to go to the loo and of course; that was when the gusting winds kicked in and I was propelled down the aisle a bit faster and not in quite such a straight line as I would have liked. As we were coming in to land, I saw a large animal galloping along the roadside close to the runway. I was informed later that it was probably an elk or a buffalo. The Rocky mountains were covered in snow and fir trees and looked so very beautiful.

Stepping off the plane I was greeted by a biting wind and a few flakes of snow, and a sign saying “Welcome to Jackson Hole Wyoming.” We were met by the car rental driver who took us to their office in town to pick up the vehicle which turned out to be a Dodge Durango 4×4 V8 SUV. When hubby touched the accelerator, it leapt forward like a bat out of Hell, and gave us both a BIG fright. Didn’t realise how much power there was under the bonnet, or “hood” as they say here.

We then drove a short distance down the road to the “Rustic Inn Creekside Resort and Spa” where we were booked in to stay the night.  It is all log cabins and our suite was beautifully warm with a gas log fire. Very cosy and comfortable indeed, with a lovely view of the Rocky Mountains.

Directly across the road was the Visitors Centre where a very helpful and friendly local guy called Jim, wearing a BIG hat, told us about the local conditions, recommended routes and places of interest.

About 7pm, we had dinner at the hotel Bistro and Bar which was so welcoming and again really cosy with a fire at one end. We sat at the bar and I asked for a hot drink as I thought I had the beginnings of a cold. I’d been sneezing rather a lot and thought I may have caught a cold from my youngest granddaughter who had been a bit runny- nosed for the last few days. The very jolly barmaid Kattie, recommended Bourbon, honey and lemon. I’m not at all a whiskey fan but purely for medicinal purposes you understand, I agreed to try one. I felt much better after drinking about half of it. Potent stuff. I asked her how much Bourbon she had put in and she smiled and said, “It was just a Kattie tot.” I ordered another one just to make sure that I would be well on the way to recovery by the morning. Hubby tried the “Bitch Creek” dark beer, a Jackson Hole original, and pronounced it excellent.  We ate delicious tomato soup, the chef’s “soup du jour” and shared a loooong flatbread topped with venetian prosciutto, oven roasted tomatoes, spinach and pecorino romano cheese. Yum! To follow, came fried artichoke hearts topped with blue cheese cream and red peppers. A truly wonderful meal. All this was eaten whilst watching baseball on one tv and basketball on another.

As we drove back to our cabin, the snow was softly falling all around and we were more than ready to try out our huge bed with the pine log headboard.

The following day, we were headed for Thermopolis, which claims to be the largest hot spring in the world. After the biting cold, hot springs would be more than welcome.

To be continued.