Ladies and gents, I'm happy to report we survived our first real family vacation. There were no bear attacks to speak of, mostly because we never even got to set foot in Yellowstone on account of this darned government shutdown. Don't even get me started on that. So Plan B was to head up to Jackson Hole and if Yellowstone reopened while we were there we would only be an hour away. As it turned out, the National Parks didn't reopen while we were there but Jackson Hole turned out to be a great little place for a family vacation.
The one downside of our trip was that lots of stuff was closed. Most of the resorts around the area have a summer season and a winter season. The summer season ended the last week of September and the winter season doesn't start until November. So most of the touristy things we wanted to do like chairlift rides and tram rides were closed. All this in addition to the government shutdown was a little frustrating. But with a little creativity and a lot of help from the internet (thanks tripadvisor.com) we found a few other things to do.
The fall colors were magnificent. I was a little worried when we were driving up because Wyoming mostly looked like a wasteland. But the scenery changed dramatically about an hour outside of Jackson. Suddenly mountain ranges popped up, and trees and rivers were everywhere. I know Utah has some pretty mountains but the mountains in Jackson somehow manage to be both more rugged and pristine. We spent a good portion of our trip just driving around Jackson taking in the beautiful scenery, stopping every now and then to let Shye run around and throw rocks into the river. We had two goals on these drives: to find Harrison Ford's house and to see a moose. Thankfully for Harrison's sake, we only succeeded at the latter.
And then the town of Jackson Hole itself was completely charming with it's old fashioned, western style, wooden sidewalks, town square with antler arches and, local restaurants and shops. Of the places we ate at I would definitely recommend Dolce for their gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, the Mangy Moose for their burgers and truffle fries, Pinky G's for their pizza, and Moo's Gourmet Ice Cream for their chocolate oreo ice cream. My pants are feeling a bit tighter after this trip.
So, despite all the government shutdowns and seasonal closures, I declare our first family vacation a success. Thanks Jackson Hole!