A visit to Grand Teton National Park was on my agenda for the second day of the Memorial Day Weekend holiday. The day started off on a fantastic note. We encountered an antelope and her baby in the woods, as we headed out of Jackson.
Our first stop was the tour company’s main office. Our group gathered there to sign the obligatory paperwork and to grab a bite to eat. My morning meal was the takeout that I had picked the prior evening at the vegan-friendly “Organic Lotus Restaurant”(Organic Lotus Restaurant). A tasty breakfast sandwich of tempeh and spinach over wheat focaccia bread was accompanied by a side of homefries. After we finished our meals, it was time to hit the road.
Throughout our bus journey, the landscape never ceased to impress. We were in “Grand Teton National Park” country. The vast park is teeming with sparkling lakes, lush forests, mountainous terrain of the 40 peaks from the Grand Tetons, and abundant wildlife.
We spotted a solo deer serenely wandering through the fields, stopping to nibble on the grassy blades.
Arrival at Mormon Row was the start of our day’s itinerary. This settlement is a series of homesteads near the southeast corner of the park. Mormon settlers from the Salt Lake City area were eager to expand their communities at the start of the 19th century. They traveled to Idaho and settled in new communities. Some of these setters from Idaho arrived here in Mormon Row during the 1890s. The entire community pitched in to work the land. They set up 27 homesteads. Only 6 remain, including the Moulton family homesteads. Cabins, a barn, an outhouse, and schoolhouse
We noticed a black crow perched on a wooden fence and several marmots scurrying about the holes that they dug in the ground. Precious wildlife was everywhere.
Further along our drive, we spotted a mother deer and baby, as well as multiple other deer roaming throughout the vast landscape.
The bucolic vista was absolutely breathtaking. Pristine lakes and forests encompassed the entire region where we traveled.
Out of the blue, a grizzly bear came into our sight! He quietly wandered across the woods while we snapped some photos from our tour bus door vantage point.
Next on our agenda was the Cunningham Cabin. The cabin is one of only a few remaining log cabins from Jackson’s homesteading era during the latter 19th century.
Our next stop was Jackson lake, one of the largest high altitude lakes in the United States. Located within the Grand Teton National Park, the lake attracts visitors for swimming, boating, and for admiring its beauty.
The lake’s dam was built in 1906 to provide water to farmers.
A nearby lake offers stunning reflections of the Tetons onto the lake’s surface.
Our half-day tour had come to its end and we headed back to downtown Jackson. For lunch, I enjoyed a tortilla soup(containing tomatoes, onions, summer squashes, lime, cilantro, avocado, crispy tortilla strips) with a side of vegan tortilla chips and salsa dip at Hatch Taqueria Restaurant (Hatch Taqueria Restaurant). My beverage was a refreshing huckleberry lemonade. This casual and spacious restaurant in downtown Jackson offers popular Mexican fare at reasonable prices.
Downtown Jackson is also home to a popular ice cream shop that was featured on the Food Network. Moo’s Ice Cream shop (Moo’s Ice Cream) offers several organic vegan sorbets. I opted for the yummy boysenberry flavor.
After devouring my sorbet, I strolled around the downtown area for some sightseeing. Several bronze statues line the road across from Moo’s. Moose, bear, and Old West characters are among the pieces represented.
On the grounds of St. John’s Episcopal Church lies a labyrinth path.
The concept of a labyrinth goes back 5,000 years as a spiritual aid. This is a tranquil place for meditation and prayer.
Further upon on downtown’s N.Cache Street, I visited a few gift shops in Gaslight Alley.
I popped into a couple of art galleries to view works representing the local landscape and wildlife.
Thai Me Up Restaurant (Thai Me Up Restaurant) in downtown Jackson offers a couple of vegan choices for dinner. I dined on tasty veggie spring rolls with a peanut sauce and a flavorful spicy curry tofu.
The city bus took me to my hostel accommodations in Teton Village, a few miles away. As it was my final night in Wyoming, I took an evening stroll around the village. Colorful birds perched on tree branches and pink sunsets rounded out this eventful day.
Early the next morning, I ate my takeaway breakfast from Organic Lotus Restaurant (Organic Lotus Restaurant). The blue corn-banana griddle cakes with toasted coconut and maple syrup were so delicious.
As I headed to the airport for my return flight to Boston, I reminisced about my wonderful holiday weekend in Wyoming. From the incredible sights and wildlife within the Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks to the tasty vegan meals, it was most definitely a spectacular region to visit.