Thursday, October 25, 2012

Field Trip to Wyoming

A few weeks ago, my aunt called and invited us to stay with them at their condo in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. We were so excited! The kids had never been to Jackson or Yellowstone, and Steve and I hadn't been there for a long time. My aunt and uncle have been going there for years and promised us a great sight-seeing adventure! We started out at 6:00 on a Wednesday morning. Less than 2 hours into the trip Mason declared, "This really isn't a vacation, is it? It's more like a field trip!" Ummm... yes, dear boy, a field trip it is! I think he gets tired of me turning into Ms. Frizzle and loading everyone into the "bus" for a learning experience. Nate on the other hand, loves to learn about anything at any time. It's amazing how different each child is:)

We got to the condo late morning. We had a quick lunch and then headed out to see the bison.

This is about the time Mason decided field trips might be fun after all. It was almost a little unnerving to be so close to the local wildlife :) Down the road from the bison there was a row of houses called "Mormon Row".

In the late 1800's, Brigham Young sent 5 families to the Teton Valley to establish farms. I can't imagine how hard that must of been. There is NOTHING around for miles, just sage brush and more sage brush. They have only a few months every year that it is warm enough to grow anything and the snow is 100's of inches deep and you couldn't go anywhere for months. Definitely a hard life!

We then went to the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor's Center that sits on the edge of the National Elk Refuge. You can find so much information on the Teton Valley and the animals there! Loved, loved, loved it! Mason loved the gift shop, of course :)

On our way back to the condo, we saw a moose, elk, beavers, and a bear. It's amazing how they just sit right by the side of the road.

We were so tired when our heads hit our pillows, but we were back up early and on our way to Yellowstone Park. The map said 111 miles. That's not so bad, right? Ummmm...... 111 miles on a twisty, yucky road = 3 hours and me being carsick. Blah! It was sooo worth it, though. We were able to spend the day seeing some really awesome stuff. They had the most amazing visitor's center there, too. I loved all the visitor's centers/ museums. They all had educational worksheets that you could pick up from the front desk and fill out as you explored.

On our way back to the condo, we saw another bear, elk, the beavers, a fox, and deer. Nate made the comment that maybe the wildlife isn't so wild if they come so close to people. Yeah, I wasn't ready to test that theory.

On our last day, we went into Jackson Hole to do a little shopping. Mason was excited! If the kid has a penny- it burns a hole in his pocket :)
After shopping, we went to the Rockefeller Nature and Wildlife Preserve and hiked up to a waterfall. We got all the way there- and there was no water :(   Our last stop before dark was Jenny Lake. It was beautiful! It's amazing how many lakes are hidden away in Grand Teton National Park. They are left over from the glaciers.
We packed a lot of sight-seeing into 3 days and had a great time. We learned a lot about Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park. As fun as it was, we were ready to get back to our own Rocky Mountains :)

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Lynette said...

What a fun "field trip"! haha :) :) The last time I was in Jackson Hole was at least 12 years ago. It's been awhile! Thank you for a reminder that I need to take my family there in the very near future (well, we'll wait until after winter for sure! haha). :)

Jennie said...

Lynette- we had a great time. I was surprised with how much the area has grown. They have Walmart, Kmart, Smiths, Albertsons, etc. Lots of changes. We can't wait to go back, though :)

Megan said...

What great pictures!!!! So glad you got away a bit! Wahoo!