Monday, August 25, 2014

Vacation 2014: Journey to the Center of the J'Hole: Day 4

Today was the first day of the rest of our lives. We took care of some family business with my brother first thing, hit up the Starbucks for some sustenance, and then hit the road from glorious Elko to Jackson Hole.

This rest stop rocks.

We hit up the “Ye Olde Sandwich Shoppe” aka Twin Falls Sandwich Company, which sounds way more broadway than it was, when we hit Twin Falls, and this place is definitely worth checking out. Tasty everything! And you can even get a cold sandwich served hot! They make their own potato chips, which are frankly a little weird, but I think that was because they were real. Adventure. Do it.

We stopped at a random rest stop near Idaho Falls that had these nice lava rock trails. Well maintained, paved paths, elegantly designed. It was a really interesting lava-rocky and lichen accented landscape, and the overcast sky made our explorations breezier. It had recently rained and the sage and juniper made the air amazing.

We walked the short and long loop trail.

The country in eastern Idaho is actually quite beautiful. I was surprised how green everything was. Especially this late in the summer. I’m used to things being green in March/April for a few weeks, then turning brown and catching fire shortly thereafter.

We stopped at another rest stop which had some incredible views, and more tasty air. You just want to fill your lungs to capacity with each breath. It is almost as though I feel myself getting healthier breathing this wonderful air. I have spent so much time in L.A. that the ubiquitous smoggy soup that they use for air has so permeated every fiber of my body that the clean refreshing air is like wet lettuce to the face, surprising, leafy and a little confounding.

We made it to a new place I have never visited. I’m slowly filling in the void between Salt Lake and New York. So even though I’m still west, I’m more north, and right now I’m excited because there were deer!

Smell the deliciousness of bambi.

We finally descended into the movie-set town of Jackson Hole. Everything looked like it had just been built, and all the people walking around had some kind of air of familiarity to them, like a “featured extra.” The line up of shops is as such:  bar/restaurant, gallery, trinkets, bar, gallery, trinkets. We zeroed in on a wine and cheese shop as we drove through town to our hotel.

Our room had been upgraded to a suite which was really nice. Definitely one of the nicest rooms I have ever stayed in. Everything was clean, elegant and just so much more fab than I was prepared for.

We put on warmer clothes and wandered the few blocks to the wine and cheese shop. Our waiter was hot. There is no skirting around this fact, so there it is. He was also very knowledgeable and helpful with the menu, ready to offer suggestions and by the end, had taken over our order. We basically had put ourselves entirely in his capable hands. When we had enough, we wandered down the street and found our way into a stuffed animal shop and bought a huckleberry chocolate bar. Wandered through the famous antler arches in the park and back to the room for sleep.

Tomorrow we head into Yellowstone to find our camping spot—yes we are roughing it, but before we leave we’ll probably do a bit more wandering through J’Hole, as I’m now going to call it. There were a few art galleries that were closed that have some incredible looking art in them, and we are eager to investigate them further.

One gallery had a photo-realistic oil/airbrush of a Native American with a skinned cougar as a head dress and it was only $24k. It was hard not to see it as a photo. The color and lighting were so perfect. But I left my spare fortune in my other pants. So its purchase will have to wait for another trip.

In the next few days, I do not know what kind of connectivity I will have so if there aren’t posts, there will be toward the end of the week, perhaps Friday or Saturday. I will simply have to play that by ear.

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