someone and I had planned a ski trip to the Teton Valley and nearby areas in later March. Some Nordic backcountry in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks and the surrounding area was the idea.. An early spring altered our plans. But it was still a fun and relaxing trip.
The trip started off with an evening drive up to Wyoming after work. A coffee-fueled drive that brought us to Rawlins, WY.
From there, we took 287 and made our way along the Great Divide Basin, through small towns I remember from my CDT hike of 2006 and along the Wind River Range before making our way to the final destination of Victor, ID.
In Victor, we would be staying with friends of someone's who have a cabin in the foothills.
When we planned the trip, visions of skiing were on our mind. Fluffy powder, long tours and all framed by geysers and mountains.
Instead, spring came early.
As with Colorado in late March, the snow up in Jackson area was more spring-like. Rapidly melting and slushy snow mixed with rain. What is I called "red wax" skiing. A goopy and sloppy mess that can make for some ah, interesting skiing.
Our first attempt at skiing was in Yellowstone to Huckleberry Hot Springs. Though raining in the valley, it started snowing as we gained elevation. Normally a busy area, on an early spring during the week, we had the trail and springs to ourselves.
Huckleberry Hot Springs (called "warm springs" on the map!)
The following day, we attempted another ski. This time to the Wyoming side of the Bridger-Teton Wilderness.
That day, we did not luck out. It was rain all day.
The thick woods, low lying fog and snow melt was pretty in its own way. I was also reminded of hike I had taken in New England in previous years.
The following day, we woke up to a very sunny sky and temps expected to be nearly 70F. Not conducive to skiing.
What to do?
The options were limited to road walking the closed FS and NPS roads.
But we made the best of it.
The weather was nice, the views were great and we enjoyed spending time with Kelly and Jay.
Even the geese at the visitor's center in Jackson added to the fun….
Really angry bird!
Our final outing for the day was a bit of site seeing. The "Shane Cabin" where the famous movie was filmed.
It was not the trip we planned. But a trip that worked. Sitting by the fire at Kelly and Jay's home, enjoying a hot drink and listening to the rain on the roof while reading a book was the perfect way to let the day-to-day stresses melt away.
The scenery and the time spent in the outdoors was a nice bonus.
(And the huckleberry shakes we had at the Victor Emporium did not hurt, either!)
Not to miss… If you find yourself driving through Victor on the way to or from Jackson, be sure to stop at the Victor Emporium. Neat little outdoor store/knick knack store/soda fountain. The huckleberry shakes have been a staple at this place for over 50 years. The vanilla ice cream, a dash of malt and scrumptious huckleberries make the stop well worth the visit. It was the first place someone wanted to stop in Victor….even before seeing Kelly and Jay!