“We got our grizzly. Finally. In Lewis River. Just south of Lewis Lake. Don’t you love the picture?” Steve Lindfors writes from NYC, one day after his return to NY.
( I’m just now starting to recap their amazing family adventures in the Grand Tetons, so Steve’s enthusiasm and timing are appreciated. I was simply unable to keep up with them as they traveled. So, I invite you to look with me now through the “rear view mirror” to find out what happens during the last week of the Lindfors’ 3-week vacation.)
What begins in Yellowstone ends, by evening, on Lake Jackson, Grand Teton National Park. The family is up and at ‘em fairly early. It’s August 25. Three bison watch them pack up the car from a tiny island in the parking lot. From Grant Village to Yellowstone’s South Entrance is only 22 miles. “But it’s some of the prettiest 22 miles you’ll ever see,” reminisces Steve. “We finally saw a grizzly. Sitting and laying right in the middle of the Lewis River. Their road south followed the Lewis River. “It was so beautiful.”
Steve then begins to talk quicker— a free-fall recap of the kaleidoscope adventures that followed during the remainder of the day. “Blown away by Signal Mountain Lodge is an understatement.” says Steve. They end up in a room with a picture window facing the Tetons. “We can’t believe it here. The Lodge is great and the view of the mountains is unbelievable!” I agree. Seeing the Tetons should be on every one’s bucket list!
“After we got settled, we popped up to the Jenny Lake Visitor Center and took a ferry across the lake to visit Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point at the base of Mt. St. John and at the mouth of Hanging Canyon. If you plan to visit the Tetons, Steve recommends, “You absolutely have to get out on the water!”
After their Jenny Lake shuttle crossing and their adventure-of-a-lifetime rafting the Snake River, the Lindfors are giddy about exploration via water. “By taking the shuttle we were able to actually hike up to Inspiration Point. What an experience! But it was nothing like the raft trip we took on the Snake River the next day.”
With this, they worked up a good appetite and headed toward Jackson Hole, grabbing lunch at the Cadillac Million Dollar Saloon. Reportedly the Bubba Burgers were “out of this world.” They , of course, shopped in and around Jackson and had their picture taken under the famous antler arch at the city park square. In late afternoon they headed back to Signal Mountain Lodge and did nothing.
Nothing but take in a jaw-dropping sunset over the Tetons and indulge a fabulous meal at the Lodge’s most popular restaurant, Trapper Grill. “What can I say? We love it here. The food was absolutely fantastic!”
Fast forward to the next day: “The folks at the hotel were great! That Jason–what a nice guy! His staff had arranged for us to go on their regularly-scheduled sunrise scenic float trip.
Wow! Was that neat. We’ve never done anything like this.
Our guide was fantastic, an excellent navigator and knew all aboutthe river and the area. Janet spied 6 bald eagles along the way. We saw osprey and beaver huts. The water was crystal clear. The weather was perfect. It was paradise out there with the early sun lighting up the mountains.” This was obviously a trip highlight for everyone in the family.
In the afternoon our energetic foursome just “poked around.” Young Steven desperately wanted to see a moose, and what better place to look than Moose Junction? The Lindfors ended up at the Craig Thomas Visitor Center near Moose Junction, but all they saw was a moose sign on the way. They thoroughly enjoyed this rustic-feeling interpretive Center and spent longer than expected watching the films and looking at all the books and souvenirs. They ate in a small town (perhaps Moran?) nearby, an outdoor BBQ laid-back kind of place, and continued driving the Park, stopping at lookouts, searching for the elusive moose. Steven joked,
“The closest we got to seeing a moose was the road sign and the painting on the wall in the little restaurant where we had dinner in Teton Village.” You guessed it folks….it was called the Mangey Moose, so they were fairly sure they’d score a sighting of sorts here.
There’s a certain sadness in Steven’s voice; he recalls driving back up north, after strolling around in the Village, toward Signal Mountain Lodge. He acknowledges that this is their last night before they have to turn the car around and head back to the East Coast. While he has some fun stops planned for the journey home, the carefree “white line fever” that engulfed the family for the last 15 days is starting to dissapate—to return to “normal.” Whatever that now means after such a grand shared adventure.
Steven regrets that they have to chop the last part of their planned vacation from the itinerary. They initially planned to go to Estes Park, Colorado next and stay with Forever Resorts at Rocky Mountain Park Inn. They were psyched to explore Rocky Mountain National Park and do more high altitude driving and sight seeing. But, Eric had to be back at school earlier than expected for orientation. They will begin their journey home the next morning, August 27. But not before they enjoy one more magical night at Signal Mountain Lodge. Another late sunset enjoyed from their balcony. Did I hear Steven say he wants to move here someday??