Monday, January 20, 2014

One for the Bucket List-- Jackson Hole, Wy

How many of us long to personally witness the famous geyser eruption of Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park? Hasn't the child adventurer in everyone secretly desired to follow in the footsteps of Lewis and Clark, by traversing the Snake River's intimidating whitewater rapids?
Who wouldn't wish for a leisurely afternoon of horseback riding through mountain meadow trails of America's true West? However, only the select few will plan on taking a frantic leap off one of Wyoming's highest peaks-- But that's precisely what you will come to expect when you venture out to Jackson Hole, WY-- on a paragliding escapade of a lifetime-- But, hey this outdoor vacation is just one for the bucket list-- right.

Wyoming ranks as America's tenth largest state in area, and the least populated-- This beautiful landscape is a wildlife paparazzi and outdoor enthusiast's dream-- This time of year, thousands of elk migrate to feed on the crisp grass just north of Jackson Hole. But beware, danger lurks at every turn-- stealthy mountain lions, wolves-- brown bears, black bears-- bull moose, and mammoth bison roam the great wide open with impunity--

Getting there:

The Jackson Hole Airport is the only airport in the US where commercial airplanes land in a National Park. Due to land conservations and Federal restrictions the landing strip is smaller than their metropolitan counterparts-- So in  harsh winter conditions or  extremely inclement weather some flights will be diverted to Salt Lake City, Utah-- which results in an untimely four hour commute to the world class ski resort of Jackson Hole.

More than likely, you will arrive safely and with no snafus into the tiny airport-- complete with no jetways to the airport terminals-- If you are lucky enough to be staying at the Snow King Resort, all you need to do is simply hop onboard their airport shuttle that will take you directly to the hotel's property. The only price you will pay is a small gratuity to your thoughtful and informative driver.

Once in the tightly woven community of Jackson Hole-- there is little need for a automobile rental. Downtown is easily within walking distance-- and any outdoor activity you might partake in, more than likely will have a courtesy shuttle.

Staying there:

Sincere and genuine smiles greet you when you enter the sliding doors of the European-style mountain lodge, Snow King Resort--  These are courteous and polite employees literally sworn to uphold 'The Cowboy Code--'  They will never betray your trust or go back on their word... When they make a promise, they keep it... They do what has to be done and refreshingly, finish what they start.

The rustic and charming property is fresh off a top to bottom 17 million dollar renovation, so no detail-- from the Alpine slide, new fitness center or year round heated pool-- has been left to chance. However, let's be up front this is not a haughty- taughty five star resort... That being said, you are at a ski resort so look past the unnecessary amenities like valet parking or pretentious bell hops looking for a handout.

Hayden's Post- Refresh, restore and renew at the Snow King Resort's Restaurant and Pub-- With the finest selection of micro-brews in the Northwest, great entertainment and a wonderful dinner menu-- Consider this basecamp to cater to all your dining and nightlife needs.
Olga’s Day Spa- Located in a non-descript section on the second floor of the resort This has to probably be one of the most unassuming spa spots in all of Jackson Hole. No relaxation room or dry saunas-- where you sweat out toxins before your treatment-- But low and behold Olga, a former Russian gymnast,  has to be one considered one of the best massage therapist in all of the Northwest.  Having worked on many high profile athletes as well as high ranking politicians, Olga has perfected her craft devoted to giving the perfect combination of Swedish and Deep Tissue massage.
The Bucket List:

Rafting Adventure--
Jackson Hole's best option for a whitewater premier rafting adventure certainly has to be with at Mad River Boat Trips. Their tour guides navigate you  skillfully down the rushing water of Snake River with swagger and bravado. The frigid water is not for the faint of heart so be sure to secure a wet suit before setting out--  Also, leave your valuables locked in your hotel room, as they don't have security lockers, and you will have no other option than to leave them unsecured on the bus during the three hour rafting tour.


Located in the heart of Teton Village take an Alpine launch off the vertical cliff face  of the Grand Tetons rising above 9500 ft. and even above low lying cumulus clouds-- Every fiber of your being will scream, 'NO- Don't run and jump off this insanely steep slope--' But when the paragliding pilot you are harnessed to says, 'Go-' You go-- In a matter of seconds you are whisked away by windswept thermals and will be performing high flying aerial acrobatics like the B-line stall, and Big ears...

The National Museum of Wildlife Art--

Astonishing works of stirring wildlife art are housed in this facility modeled after a European castle. Kids of all ages will be entertained for hours as they cut loose in the specially designed Children’s Discovery Gallery or on the outdoor Sculpture Trail. Imposing wildlife figurines and grand views of the Jackson Hole Elk Refuge will take your breath away. Never before will you walk away from a museum so inspired and motivated--

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