A New Year is Upon Us

I guess we left off on Monday night, so Tuesday through Thursday I worked then Friday we went for a drive.  Tuesday was an uneventful day and evening.  Wednesday was similar, though I went to get a massage from a new place. Turns out I booked it for Thursday oops.  there was a highlight to Thursday, I managed to finish reading and annotating the RFP document for Fargo, yay!

Each of those pages is double sided.

So Thursday afternoon I went for a massage at a different place.  Okay – so the new place requires an explanation.  Tuesday I was supposed to have a massage with Stella but she was feeling horrible, to the point of cancelling her appointments, so I didn’t get said massage.  So looking at the other massage therapists at her place, there were none available and my shoulder has been bothering me, big time.  So I looked about and found that the local ‘barber’, Scotch-and-Scissors, does massage and gives you a free cocktail as well!  So I had that. I feel like I cheated on Stella but a massage was hugely necessary and Patti did a great job. Whatever is wrong with my shoulder is still wrong but the aches and pains that are being caused by the shoulder misbehaving were gone. Winning! She also gave me a great idea for sleeping on my back, roll a towel under my neck and just sleep on my back. Worked for the weekend, I’ll see how it goes when I get home.
Thursday night we popped back up to Darcy’s for steak and half price bottle of wine night. Seriously, they put both those things in the same night. Love it. They had a debortolli bottle of shiraz, can’t go wrong at 12 bucks.  And the steak was exactly what I’d craved for a few days and what I needed to help mend after the massage.  An early bed followed to facilitate an early morning, well early for Earl.

I always love a good sunrise, particularly when I’m on an adventure!

On to the adventure.  I’ll start with a little story from Wednesday.  I was chatting with Clayton about the trip Earl and I took (at the time was planning to take ;)) for the New Years’ weekend.  He’s from Wyoming (specifically the south-west corner by Kemmerer), so I was asking if there were a better route I should take, or any particular town I should stop in at for any reason.  He told me that the route we’re taking is one of the most desolate and remote areas of the USA.  Don’t stress (if nothing else because if you’re reading this then I’ve survived the drive!), the road is highly frequented and is, apparently, a carpark in summer months.  And even though it’s desolate there are towns every 40 ish miles.  So after a little prodding, doesn’t take a whole heap, just a tad, he came up with this little gem.

It really was a pretty drive.

When Clayton was a teenager he and his mates were heading in to Pinedale to go skiing.  They were tootling along the road and saw an odd looking piece of road kill.  Being the hunter and curious lads that they are (I can only attest to Clayton being the curious hunter, but I can’t imagine his school mates would have been much different), they stopped to see what it was.  Turns out it was a wolverine.  They took it into the Green River Bar in Daniel, Wyoming.  The barman called the fish and wildlife services (which is what you do when you spot road kill) who came by and confirmed it was a wolverine.  The first one that had been sighted in Wyoming for fifty odd years and it was dead (note this story must be at least 35 years ago!).  Such a shame.  Mister Fish-and-Wildlife was going to just dispose of it but the barman decided he’d get it mounted for the wall.  Some years ago it was still on the wall but Clayton hasn’t been back for many years.
I took it upon myself, because it was all of two miles off the route, to go and check in on Claytons wolverine.  We got to the Bar, known as the GRB to the locals, we popped inside, cast about, and no wolverine.  We sat up at the bar with the lass running the bar and had a beer, lunch, and chat.  Turns out that she doesn’t remember a wolverine and she’s been there 20 odd years.  Her thought was that maybe the previous owners of the GRB had taken it with them, the Prescotts if I recall correctly, when they sold up in the 70s.  She did say that the mirror has always been there. It was brought in by horse and wagon in 1936 ish, so that sure would have been there when the wolverine was!

The Green River Bar, Daniel, Wyoming.

Inside the GRB. An old mirror but no wolverine.

The old servo with perpetual favourites Calving and Hobbs, complete with snot dripping from Calvins nose…love it!

Our journey took us to the ski town of Jackson.  Clayton said that Jackson is a town that the billionaires have pushed out the millionaires.  He’s not wrong, it’s one of those mad resort towns tethered there are more high end galleries and jewelers than real shops.  It was hugely busy, I’m very glad that I decided to stay in Victor, ID, instead of Jackson.

We were there, promise!

A little ski run and chair lift.

These elk horn arches, four of them, are iconic Jackson. The elk she’d their horns annually so there are signs on each arch saying that no elk died to make this arch.

Yes, yes it was very cold.

We headed from Jackson over the Teton pass in to Victor and back out the other side to get to our b&b, Dreamcatcher.  Our hosts for the weekend were Patrick and Liz, and their lovely dogs Lucy and Bella.  Okay lovely was a stretch for Lucy occasionally, at eleven she is a bit of a grumpy old lady but her grumble is about all she’s got. She’s a sweetie when she’s comfortable with you.  We got settled in then took a recommendation for dinner at the Driggs local pub, the Royal Wolf. Slight mistake. I can’t find the review now but there was one I read that said good food but shitty service especially if you’re nother a local.  That review was spot on.  The food wasn’t bad, an hour after we ordered it. Heck by then I think shoe leather would have been good!  I guess it felt worse because we were tired and the server absolutely ignored us for fifty of those sixty minutes.  I can’t get servers to leave me alone most of the time but this time she refused to appear even when drinks were gone.  Then two tables that were seated after us were served similar meals before us…I figure the tourists got shafted.  Oh well, her loss.

Amusing story about the b&b.  I was sitting on the loo at some stage and realised there were four coaxial cables in the wall by the shower.  What kind of bathroom needs four coax cables?  I asked out hosts what the house was built for, it was huge!  Turns out in the nineties it was built by opera singers as a second home.  It sat empty until about seven years ago then was bought and retrofitted for the b&b.  Which mostly meant that more bathrooms were added, explanation for the coax cables right there.  It’s a 7000sqf house on 20 acres.  Only in America.

Saturday morning we woke to a not amazingly pleasant looking morning. I’d previously ranted about the oddness of a one hour breakfast window (0800-0900), but that was quickly retracted.  We did get an amazing breakfast, a berry tart followed by ham cheese and egg toasted sandwich, none of thus buffet style stuff here.  Great start to the day!  We headed back over the pass to Jackson and we’re greeted with an absolutely stunning day.

Coming over the pass into Jackson…

It really was very pretty.

The purpose of this trip, for me, was fulfilled on Saturday morning.  We got to the visitors centre and booked in a tad earlier than planned for a sleigh ride through the National elk refuge.  Apparently the sleighs and horses are non threatening but people are and the elk can get violent with people.  So sleighs it is.  They were drawn by either Percheron or Dutch Draught teams, apparently they tried Clydesdales but they turned up drunk all the time.  Poor joke.  The ranch has about 45 horses and eight sleighs.  The horses only work every other day, and they don’t work all day.  The guides take six to eight trips a day and work as many days as they want.  We spent 45 minutes freezing my feet off in the stunning sunshine looking at elk.  Worth it. Never have and likely never will see them so close so safely. 

The sleighs and some other group. Perfect horses for it.

The bull elk batcheloring it up away from the cows and calves.

I was smiling through chattering teeth but the elk butt makes me giggle.

Bald eagle and elk in one place.

I’m much cooler than the elk… Freezing my feet off!

This is one of the Percheron pair.

Next in the agenda, a new experience. On the way though, stunning views of the Tetons.

These are the Tetons.

They are quite the pretty.

Thus road took us out to the Teton national park (insert parks pass here, love it).  The parks pass did nothing for us getting a good car park, lady luck helped out and I parked facing the opposite way to others but nice and close to the trail head.  The plan, snowshoe the four mile loop to Taggart Lake.  The reality, snowshoe a loop of 3.6 miles which took in the lake and got us off the beaten path somewhat.  Today I learned just how off Earls sense of direction is.  I didn’t have a map on me nor did I have the phone working… But I did a better job getting us back on the beaten pattern Earl.  We weren’t lost, we were within the main path loop, butte sure did a decent explore.

This is snowshoeing in the Tetons…

There is a creek under there, love the pillows of snow.

Obligatory selfie with the Tetons.

The Tetons shine better without our ugly mugs in the shot!

Thus is when I decided the fresh tracks look something like a centipede dragging it’s belly…

I can’t help it. So many photos. It’s so pretty! Okay, this one is actually of the lake, covered with snow and ice.

I swear there are trolls under there. The after sure was warmer than freezing, albeit slightly, anything not heated by springs was frozen

Venturing off the beaten path gives you views like these.

That was certainly a new experience, thanks Gina for the loan of the snowshoes.  Good fun! We headed back to the b&b to a hot shower. Going over the pass it looked like the Victor side of the range had no sun all day, just a soupy cloud.  Good choice there!  After a warming hot shower we went downstairs to order some Thai for dinner. Seems the Thai place got slammed over Christmas so they weren’t doing take away, not even for pick up, so we resorted to pizza. It was good pizza.  And I broke out a bottle of the Pepperjack Shiraz. Mmmm, a good new years spent drinking wine, eating pizza, losing at scrabble, and teaching backgammon. 

Fire, pizza, and wine, how can you go wrong?

By playing Earl at scrabble that’s how. He’s good at that!

We were greeted with a new day and another amazing breakfast and great sunrise.

Happy new year from Victor, ID.

The weather deteriorated from sunrise. It started to snow. Just lightly.  And only an ever so slight breeze.  Despite the snow we donned our warm winter gear, a huge thank you to Jaclyn for the ski jacket, and went for another spot of snowshoeing.  We did four miles out and back along the Teton canyon on the Idaho side of the mountain range.

Apparently moose like marshy areas, I didn’t believe there could be marshy in this much snow until I saw this creek.

Evidently there wasn’t a whole lot of snow, just enough to have fun in.

Two happy campers just when we got to the two mile point, time to turn around.

After all that exertion we were hungry.  Earl had a craving for a burger. Looking into the optons in Driggs the best seeming was the same pub.  We really should have known better.  Sure the Burger was okay and filled the spot but the service again left a lot to be desired.  Oh well, I’d say lesson learned but I guess it wasn’t the first time so why should it be the second. *shrug*  When we got back to the b&b Patrick was out the back setting up a tent with the dogs helping, I think Lucy did a great job of supervising.  As it turns out Patrick and Liz have a friend who wants to work out a winter camping set up and they were experimenting with the tent, stove, flooring set up.  I guess you do what you can in a snowy place like this.

We had another post walk shower, chilled in the lounge a while, then headed into Victor for bbq dinner. The bbq place we’d chosen wasn’t open so we headed over to the Knotty Pine Supper Club…odd sort of name but it was a decent looking place.  The service again, seriously lacking, even by Australian standards.  Thankfully the bbq was good, Earl loved the ribs and my pulled pork was scrummy.  On the way home Earl and I had a right rant about how the service in this corner of the world is horrid, even though their livelihood in both winter and summer is tourism based.

We got home, crashed out, then started again very early, before the sun, to head home.  The trip home was very slow.  Denver to Victor was about nine hours.  Victor to Denver was about 10.5 hours.  Why?  Well it had been snowing, almost everywhere, or at least everywhere in Wyoming.  By the time we got to Cheyenne the snow cleared up and the temperature broke above freezing when we got to Colorado.

The sun making its way up over the wilds of Wyoming.

So I had an amazing trip up to Jackson, Wyoming to visit the elk refuge.
Happy 2017 to the world!

2 thoughts on “A New Year is Upon Us

  1. Thats a good looking little new years trip. Better than sitting watching fireworks. Looks like another nice spot. Hard work in snow shoes or is the snow light and powdery enough?


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