Made it back to the hotel room by 7:00pm (we tried to stay out until the live music started at 7:30pm but we just couldn’t do it), showered (weeee), and then relaxed (writing for me, playing Words with Friends for mom.). We woke early the next day (so excited to explore this beautiful area!), grabbed tea from the front office area (extra zip, not that we needed it because we were in JACKSON, WYOMING!), stopped at K-Mart (yes, they do exist!) for energy bars, snow pants, and mom wanted to buy another bear spray because she didn’t feel comfortable with only me having a can (spot a bear, double attack! Pow!), then drove north to Grand Teton National Park via Moose-Wilson Road (which promised animal sightings!). FYI: these roads were horrendous, so many pot holes. The truck bounced all over the road, no matter how fast or slow we drove, and there was no way to avoid hitting them.
Arriving at the trail head, we were surprised by the crowds and lack of parking (considering it was off season and this was the last weekend before everything shut down for the winter.). We parked and started the 2.2 mile hike towards the falls. The trail was relatively flat, taking us alongside Jenny Lake. Once we walked 1.4 miles, the trail started inclining (.5 miles towards Hidden Falls, then another .3 towards Inspiration Point).
We carried our bear spray cans within easy reach in the outside pocket of our packs. The Park Ranger had a practice one and showed us how to properly use it. If we spot a bear, immediately unclip the top buckle of our packs, drop one shoulder strap, swing the pack in front of us, so the pocket with the spray would be directly in front of us. Pulling the can out, we learned how to remove the safety clip, one handed, and then spray the attacking bear. Assuming no glitches happen and we’re calm under pressure, we were prepared for any grizzlies or black bears that decided to cross our path! Okay, secretly, we were a tad apprehensive. Could you imagine if a bear walked across our path? Uff-da! That would be scary. Truthfully, we were hoping to spot a bear (or two!) crossing the road while we were safely in our car (please no walking upon a bear that is with her cubs or eating). :)
By the end of the day, we’d walked 23,573 steps and 10.24 miles (our longest day so far!).
The last stop on the Rocky Mountain tour was Banff, Canada. We explored this adorable winter town (which was more touristy than Jackson!) and stayed in the best hotel, Banff Ptarmigan Inn (pristine, elegant room, a balcony that overlooked an indoor courtyard, a buffet breakfast with an omelet station, and friendly front desk staff). We walked around the down town area, listening to the accents, enjoying the chill and snow, still hoping for a bear to cross the road.
Thankfully, the roads were dry.
Onward towards Washington State!
See y’all on the plus side of 32 degrees!