After leaving Yellowstone we drove through the Grand Teton National Park. I had not heard of this park before arriving but it is absolutely stunning. It’s relatively young for a mountain range (about 2 million years old) so it’s peaks are jagged and striking.
We also stopped at the Cunningham Homestead which is what it would have been like to have a homestead in the 1920s/1930s. It also had a spectacular view of the mountains.
We drove through Jackson Hole, which is a fairly high-end ski resort town, to our hostel in Teton Village.
In the evening, we went back into Jackson Hole for dinner – a really nice Thai restaurant. And then we went to the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar, very popular on a Saturday night. The bar stools are saddles and it was full of real-life cowboys of all ages. There was a live band playing country music and I even got asked to dance by a couple of blokes. There’s a lot of twirling involved in country dancing. Slightly dizzy afterwards and that wasn’t necessarily to do with the Bud Light’s I’d been drinking! It was a really fun night.
The next day was a free day for us. Myself and Liz decided to go for a hike in the Tetons to Inspiration Point above Jenny Lake. It was a good hiking day when we set off – sunny but cool. We could see the weather further up the mountain though and as we started climbing, the snow started falling. We timed our arrival at Inspiration Point to perfection. We got an awesome view when we got there, and then 5 minutes later it was properly snowing.
We hiked back down through the snow and back to JD waiting in the van. We then went to the park visitor centre where JD got himself a junior ranger badge. Basically a fun thing for little kids (and big kids) to do. I love how excitable and enthusiastic he is about everything.
We then had a walk around Jackson Hole before getting the bus back to Teton Village for a chilled evening.
The next morning we drove through Idaho which was stunning. Beautiful mountains, rivers and plains which were lush and green.
We went to Craters of the Moon national park which was formed from lava flows. It is a pretty insane landscape.
After wandering around for an hour or so we carried on the long journey to Elko, Nevada. Slightly more here than Albert Lea, Minnesota as there are casinos in Nevada, but otherwise it’s just a stop-off on the way to somewhere else.
The next day we headed to Lake Tahoe, via Reno. The centre of Reno felt like a run-down Vegas. We stopped in midtown for lunch. There is a lot of graffiti art in the midtown area which is pretty cool.
We then headed to Lake Tahoe. It was pretty cold and the lake wasn’t looking it’s best.
In the evening we went to Harrah’s casino for a buffet, followed by a spot of gambling. I changed $19 into $27 on the slot machines. We then went to the Hard Rock Casino where I proceeded to lose $20 on roulette before winning that back on the slots. I think I’ll stick to the slot machines in Vegas! I had a lot of fun though. It’s easy to see how addictive it can be.
The next day we moved onto Yosemite. Possibly my favourite place so far in the States, and deserving of its own blog post…