Thursday, July 31, 2014

We'll Always Have Wyoming

If you have never been to Wyoming before, I really think it's worth a trip. It is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been (although to be fair, I haven't yet been to Santorini, Greece). 

Wyoming sunset as we drove west.

Wyoming is the least populated US state, which probably helps it maintain it's natural beauty. It's mostly just pastures - ginormous ones, and blue, blue expansive sky, with really cool geological formations.

Spotted lots of wild antelope.

This person's home has an amazing view...with horses!

All the happy horses we saw, rekindled our desire to go horseback riding (both Mike and I grew up riding horses). We'd see a herd of horses galloping through a field, and it felt like being in a wild west movie. 

part of the Teton mountain range, in Bridger-Teton National Forest

The Continental Divide Trail goes through this part of Wyoming. It's about 3,100 miles long, from Canada to Mexico. I hope one day to hike part of it. It goes through some of the most gorgeous national parks, including Glacier and Yellowstone.

The Grand Teton mountain range.

The scenery kept getting better and better, the further into Wyoming we drove. We saw a bunch of cars pulled over to the side of the road, so we stopped to check it out, and it was a wild buffalo herd!

wild buffalo herd off in the distance

a close up of the buffalo, although they're still a little difficult to make out.

We finally arrived at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, which is a skiing, snowboarding, and general outdoor activity resort town, much like our new hometown of Bend, Oregon. Only, Jackson Hole is WAY more crowded. 

Antlers, anyone? There were four of these surrounding the main park.

Since it's at 6,500 feet elevation, and a valley, Jackson Hole is disturbingly hot in the summer and cold in the winter. But it's close to the Grand Tetons, Yellowstone National Park, and tons of dude ranches. It's also got the biggest herd of wild elk in the world, thanks to the National Elk Refuge, hence the antler sculptures (pictured above). Elk shed their antlers every year, so no harm was done to the animals to make that art you see.

After a delicious lunch and a sample of the local root beer, we headed over the border to Idaho. One more state and we're home!

Root beer from Grand Teton brewery