After Yellowstone, everything was less dramatic. What we did find in the Grand Teton National Park was a homey place where you could take your shoes off and sit a spell. It was a place where you could find peace.
It was an uphill battle to make Grand Teton into a national park. In the late 1800s homesteaders arrived in the valley. Conditions for survival were difficult, with the cold and harsh winters and dry summers which made it hard to grow crops and ranch cattle. Then things changed with the wealthy easterners came to the west in early 1900s. That stated the golden age of ‘Dude Ranching’ with cabins, gas stations, billboards and race tracks sprung themselves in the valley.
Local ranchers wanted to preserve the beauty of the valley and finally in 1926, John D. Rockefeller started purchasing the land privately with the intent of donating it to the government later on to become a part of the Grand Teton National Park. However, there was much opposition to Grand Teton becoming a park. Anti-park sentiments hit an all time high because the deal was to include governmental jurisdiction over affairs within Jackson Hole – a concept received by many early settlers as a threat to personal freedoms.
It took 50 years and three government acts but in 1950, the original park land, Rockefeller’s lands and the remaining federal land termed as the ‘Jackson Hole National Monument’ were merged together to establish what is the Grand Teton National Park of today.
We are definitely planning on coming back some day.
Many of the places were closing down now that the summer and fall visitors were gone. We did have lunch at the Ranch House. We weren’t expecting much but were very pleased with the brisket sandwich we both had. The pickled onions were the star of it.
I wished we had made reservations at one of the lodgings in the park but since we didn’t it was on to Jackson, Wyoming were we did have reservations.
Jackson is a fun town that started in 1894. The town has does a good job at keeping a western feel to it. Now it is known for its food, art galleries, ski resorts and ranches owned by famous people. We wanted to stay near the town square so we could walk to bars and restaurants. We chose The Ranch Inn. It is just a couple of block from the town square and had easy parking. The place was older but clean and comfortable. We even had a fireplace. To bad to turned warm so we didn’t get to use it.
We did have some great food in Jackson. We stumbled upon the Persephone Bakery for breakfasts.
It was just one block from our hotel and a really cute place. I loved to sit out in the patio and watch the world go by.
We only had pastries but they were very good pastries. I highly recommend it if you are in the area.
Our fanciest dinner was at Bin 22. This was a funny little place. You walk through a wine store and then there is a wine bar in the back and to the side. It is in a very small area with some patio seating. We chose to sit at one of the three long communal tables.
That was a great idea. Another couple came in and sat across from us and we had a lovely chat with them. We tried a number of the dishes and were pleases with all of them. We were also introduced to Mohave Gold raisins. These are the worlds best raisins. The dinner wasn’t cheap but it was really a pleasant way to spend an evening.
One thing we wish we knew going in is that you can buy a bottle in the store and the will serve it to you. That really enlarges you wine selection.
Do you ever start missing your favorite foods while you are on vacation? One afternoon we both had this over-riding desire for pizza. The problem is that we like neopoleon style which you can’t find everywhere. Lucky for us there was on Neopoleon style place in Jackson. That was Pizza Caldera. It is up upstairs, overlooking the main road. You enter by this lone doorway on the ground floor that immediately leads you upstairs to the restaurant.
You order at a counter and then the food is brought out to you. If you like traditional pizzas only, then this isn’t the place for you. You are going to be very unhappy. We loved it. There is a balcony area where you can eat but it was taken up by groups of people that didn’t look like they were going to leave anytime soon so we ate inside pretty much by ourselves. We split a salad and had two wonderful pizzas.
I had the Piccante Salsiccia that had goat peppers on it and instantly fell in love. My husband had the Rucola which has a salad on top. His only complaint was he wish the salad went all the way to the edges stead of being heaped in the center. He did enjoy the combination of flavors.
You can’t go to Jackson without a stop at the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar. It is totally a tourist trap but it is a requirement that you go and get a photo sitting at the bar.
The drinks aren’t very good but at least they are cheap. Stick to beer if you can.