Jackson and the Trip Home

September 22, 2010 - 11:56 pm No Comments

With green ski slopes surrounding the town and streets lined with empty bars and restaurants, I could tell that Jackson really hops in the winter. For us, it seemed quiet and sleepy.

Welcome to Jackson

After checking into our room at the ironically named Virginia Lodge, we headed back to the center of town where Stef treated me to a fabulous birthday dinner at Snake River Grill. After consuming some delicious pork shank, we strolled into the store next door called By Nature Gallery that sold upscale fossil relics. Very cool!

Arch of Elk Antlers

Million Dollar Cowboy Bar

The famous Million Dollar Cowboy Bar was pretty empty, but we took a moment to sit in the saddles by the bar before leaving.

Stef in the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar

The Silver Dollar Bar was packed and had a great band. We sat and chatted with some fellow travelers for a moment, but we couldn’t stay out too long as our flight home was scheduled for early in the morning.

At dawn, I headed over to the reception desk at the lodge to catch some wifi. I plopped down in a giant, overly soft leather couch on one side of the. I’ve always felt a little weird about public leather furniture. Do people’s germs stick and fester on leather more than on velour or wood or plastic? I get skeeved out when public leather touches my skin.

Checking our flights, I noticed that our flight home was delayed for a couple of hours. A great thing for Stef, because she really needed another couple of hours in bed.

Outside, the sun slowly rose behind the mountains, turning the sky blues from dark to deep to cheerful to pale. When I start sensing the end of a trip, I start thinking about home, about what may changed while I was away, even though in this case I’d barely been gone a week. As I cling to my last few hours of adventure, I wonder what mundane things my friends and family are doing at home, and I get depressed knowing that I’ll be doing those same things very soon.

It’s been one of those trips where everything just works out perfectly. We always missed the crowds, doing hikes and seeing sights and finding wildlife before buses full of tourists showed up. Wrong turns resulted in tremendous viewpoints. We’re quite satisfied with the wildlife we saw without even trying. Except for a night in the car in Yellowstone, we booked rooms where and when we needed to. And the weather was perfect. There was no rain despite a continuous forecast for it, and the sun always came out when we stopped the car.

When we dropped off our rental car at the airport, the odometer revealed that we had covered a total of 1703 miles on our trip, an average of 213 miles a day. Sounds like a lot, but it seemed quite manageable.

Our Ride Home

Before we knew it, we were home. We headed straight to the bar, where Stef and other friends had organized a surprise birthday happy hour for me. My friends are pretty cool sometimes. 🙂

Now, it’s back to real life…

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