September 11, 2011 – We woke up relatively early and realized there was a bike race in Jackson. The clues were the sold out hotel where the majority of cars had road bikes and crew signs, as well as the completely packed breakfast places. So our breakfast spot of Bubba’s BBQ was going to be a tad crowded. Instead we drove into town and parked down a side street and got a picnic breakfast to go from The Bunnery. We enjoyed coffee, a ham and cheese croissant and an almond pastry twist (all excellent – this is our new breakfast spot in Jackson!) while overlooking the Teton Mountain range. The pastries were fresh and perfectly flaky, and the coffee was hot and adequately strong.
After breakfast we drove on over to the Bradley and Taggart Lakes trailhead. We had a great hike, sunny and breezy – like a perfect Fall day, even the aspens were beginning to turn color and the air made us (or at least Louisa) think of apple cider (and apple cider donuts), sweatshirts and steaming mugs of coffee. The lakes themselves were smooth and clear… the pictures don’t really do them justice.
The lunch spot was (naturally) Dornans – we feasted on root beer, bbq chips, and made-to-order sandwiches (think: avocado, smoked gouda, sprouts, tomato, etc., all on a chewy baguette). We got the food to go and found a shaded picnic table by the visitor center where we could watch the storms brewing behind the mountains. Fortunately the weather cooperated and we were able to finish our picnic lunch before it got too windy!
Eventually it was time to stop watching the clouds swirling behind the mountains, so we decided on the Leigh Lake trailhead. We were watching the weather and decided we had time for a quick hike before it got too interesting, and hiked about a mile down the trail and then back to the car. Along the trail was a sweet little deer with very big ears, as well as some nice views of the water.
In an unsurprising twist, we got a picnic dinner to go from Dornans. Dinner was very similar to lunch except with NY cheddar kettle chips (we preferred the BBQ flavor from lunch), both root beer and huckleberry cream soda, and a rice krispies treat for dessert.
Dinner was enjoyed along the fairly short and uneventful drive (about 5.5 hours) to Salt Lake City, which brought us back to the Hampton Inn. Tomorrow we fly back to Charleston, after a wonderful (and wonderfully tiring) vacation! We’re transferring through Chicago (Midway) again, and anticipate some Potbelly sandwiches are in our future. And since this is a September 11 post, it seems like it calls for some words about the events of 10 years ago… but sometimes words are inadequate. It was a dark day punctuated by selfless bravery. May we remember and honor those innocent people who died in NY, PA and DC, of whatever nationality, background or faith, without becoming consumed by bitterness and hatred.