The wake-up call came at 0800 this morning and we have been nonstop ever since. I love snowboarding and was grateful for the opportunity to ski the famous Jackson Hole Mountain Resort for the first time.
We were out the door and headed for the slopes so fast that we almost forgot to eat breakfast. Our plan was to start the day by eating at the Café Terra, which is known for its wraps and bagel sandwiches, but the itch to hit the slopes prevailed and we only had time to grab a little something to eat along the way.
When I think of spring skiing all of the following come to mind: sunshine, mild winds, and warm temperatures. Well, that is what we experienced today. The temperature was in the mid 50s. The slopes were busy but not overcrowded meaning very moderate wait times for the ski lifts.
Jamie enjoys the easy slopes while I like the more challenging ones. But to ensure we experience spring skiing together, I decided to take a couple of trails with her. Wouldn’t you know it, on my first run I wiped out. I hit the deep packed snow so hard it knocked my hat and goggles off my head. My mom has always said I’m an accident waiting to happen.
From there I was on to the more difficult slopes. Despite being separate we were able to keep in touch thanks to our hand-held radios.
While sitting at 9,000+ feet, I heard Jamie call for me over the radio. It was apparent she was excited. “Holy Cow! There is a moose right here!” Turns out a cow moose had made its way onto the trail appropriately known as Moose Alley. At one point the moose was within 50 yards of Jamie and she was able to snap a couple of pictures using her camera phone. Only in Wyoming.
We enjoyed a full day of skiing and I am now tired and sore. It feels like I’ve been run over by a one-ton bull. But it was great skiing and exploring all the mountain had to offer.
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is a first-class destination. On site there are 11 lodges, 22 dining options, 5 spas, 15+ stores, multiple activities for the kids, a theater, bank and even a post office. No matter what your needs may be, they have you covered.
To top it all off, the resort opened a new aerial tram this ski season. This is the Mercedes Benz of ski lifts. The tram can accommodate 100 people per lift. Compare that to a large size gondola which can hold 8-10 people and you get a good idea of just how impressive the new addition is. Add that to the tram’s stats and you’ll want to take a ride yourself. It covers 2.4 miles in just nine minutes making a vertical rise of 4,139 feet.
For lunch, we grabbed a quick bite at the Mangy Moose restaurant and caught our breath after three hours of non-stop skiing. The décor in the Mangy Moose includes its mascot – a life-size moose connected to a sleigh. That’s one sleigh ride I don’t think I would sign up for.
It is said that you have a connection with every seventh person you have contact with. That proved to be true today as we met people from all over the world. At one point Jamie and I were on the ski lift with a woman who grew up three hours from us. Then there was the seasonal worker who called Harrisburg, PA home. If you recall from my January blog, that is where I performed during the First Frontier Circuit Finals. But perhaps the most interesting person we met today is a shop owner with whom we happen to share a mutual friend. Native American artist Joseph Sky Wolf owns and operates Sky Wolf’s Art. When you visit Jackson, be sure to stop by and enjoy an impressive collection of authentic Native American art, jewelry, and so much more created by Joseph and his family.
After spending a total seven hours at the resort we were ready to return to our Wort Hotel suite.
Tonight we had the pleasure of dining with Chad and Heather, two of the key players who have helped make our visit to Jackson possible. Heather is with the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce and Chad is the Director of Sales for the Wort Hotel.
We now have a clear winner for our best meal in Jackson thus far.
The best food in Jackson is at the Wort Hotel’s Silver Dollar Grill. We started with the elk sliders which could be described as mini gourmet elk burgers. As a main course I went with fresh trout while Jamie opted for salmon.
The menu appeals to any appetite offering steak, fish, elk and buffalo just to name a few. The setting of the restaurant is inviting to formal or informal dining, making it nice for guests who are arriving from the slopes.
And while on the topic of dining I have to tell you, the caribou mud pie rates in my Top Ten all-time best desserts. The menu describes it as follows, “Ice cream with ribbons of caramel, chocolate pieces, on an Oreo-cookie crust. Served with hot fudge, whipped cream, and Spanish peanuts.” Now tell me you aren’t in the mood for chocolate.
Before turning in for the night, we walked the famed Jackson Town Square which features four elk antler arches. Perhaps you have seen them on postcards over the years? You can’t come to Jackson without having your picture taken underneath an arch and tonight Jamie and I did just that.
We have to get plenty of rest because we are off to Granite Hot Springs at 0815 in the morning. The best part is we will be taking a Jackson Hole Iditarod Sled Dog Tour. It might be possible for me to relive the old days by mushing my own team.
I’m excited. This will be our first experience with dog sledding and our guide is an eight-year Iditarod veteran.