Jul 19, 2015

Road Trip! (Day 2)

Today's drive was from Denver to Jackson, Wyoming.  It was a long day of driving, but not one I am willing to complain about.  Upon leaving Denver, I drove straight to the Wyoming state line, where I stopped at the first rest stop to get a map.  Yes, I had an atlas, and a cell phone, but I'm old school, people.  I like maps.  =)  At the rest stop, I took it as a sign that I got this sticker for free along with my map.

I took a look at the map, and decided to take a longer, scenic route into Jackson that gave me my first glimpses of the Grand Tetons.  More than anything, what I remember about this day is the disbelief I had that people actually LIVED in these places that were so beautiful and scenic.  I took my time, and enjoyed the longer days as I moved North, and stopped at EVERY single scenic outlook.  I am not joking.  Every one.

Once I was in Grand Teton National Park, I came across my first herd of bison.  I must admit, I thought they were beautiful and majestic.  I was so excited to see my first wildlife, and could hardly wait to see more.

As the sun was setting, I did not get great shots of the mountains, but I'll never forget my first glimpse of them.  Here are a few of my favorites.

I arrived in Jackson around 8, and with a dinner/brewery recommendation in pocket, quickly checked into my hotel and headed off to Snake River Brewery.  (Snake River is pictured in all three above shots.) I enjoyed a burger and a wonderful beer or two here, and then headed to my home base around 10.

At this point, I was exhausted, but I took a few minutes to get my pack ready for the next day.  Up to this point I had done mostly driving and a little stopping, but I knew I was planning on my first day of hiking in Grand Teton!

Jul 9, 2015

Road Trip! (Day 1)

I started my road trip around 10:30 on a Monday morning.  For those of you who know me, mornings are not my favorite, and I had a poor night of sleep the evening before as I tried to remember what I would forget on my 12 day adventure. =)

I rented a car, because the miles were going to rack up quickly, and I snagged a Nissan Altima.  Let me tell you right now that I fell in love with that car and am ready for it to be my next one.  =)  (The gas mileage was amazing and I was comfortable right away.  In fact, when I returned home and was driving my own car, I tried to turn on the Altima's wipers and was confused for a moment.)  Altima, I love youuuuuuu!!

So, even though I didn't leave very early, the thought of arriving for the night at my first stop, the Heimer Haus, had me anxious to make short work of my first day of driving.  Jess is a dear friend, and seeing her and her darling family meant I did not stop except for one brief moment, to grab this quick photo at the state line.

Did I mention I didn't need to get gas the whole way?  (Magical Altima.)  Western Kansas is not remarkable in any way.  I was grateful I had checked out two audiobooks, and I made a good dent in the first.  But otherwise, there is nothing to report.  At all.

Arriving at the Heimer Haus is basically my idea of heaven.  You arrive to appetizers and beer and big hugs and it feels just like home.  There is an adorable child to greet you and ask for tickles, a dog that tolerates you, (ha!) and a husband and wife team that leave you in awe.  At the Heimer Haus, you have goodies in your room, like magazines you'll love to read, and in these magazines things marked just for you. Your amazing friends will cook you dinner, spoil you rotten, and make you never want to leave.  Seriously people.  If they decide to open their home to the general public, you must go.  

I woke well-rested the next morning and had another delightful meal with my sweet friend.  She helped me pick out restaurants and places to stay also, so I will say here, very loudly, "THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR HELP WITH MY ADVENTURE!" I will also apologize because I did not get a whole family photo.  But here, on this stoop, I leave a little bit of my heart.