My favorite thing to do for my birthday is travel. This year, Bryan and I went on a magical trip that took us through 4 states: Utah, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana. We wanted to see Yellowstone and then have a city adventure in Salt Lake City, where we were flying in and out of from PHL. We flew Southwest mainly because they were the cheapest flight we could find and I like them.
We landed and decided to grab some lunch in Salt Lake City before we made the 5 hour drive to Jackson, Wyoming for the first leg of the trip. We really wanted to eat Mexican food so we hit up Red Iguana. They have a huge menu and they're known for their really yummy moles. Our waitress gave us a tasting platter of all their moles which was so nice. My favs were the pumpkin mole and the almond mole. I ended up getting a combination plate that had all different kinds of delicious foods on it including a taco, enchilada, chile relleno, tostada and a flauta. They had a great selection of beer so I got a local pumpkin porter from Epic Brewing. Also, no mexican food date in the Southwest is complete without an order of sopapillas (friedpastry+honey+cinnamonsuagr+whippedcream), especially on your birthday.
With our bellies full we embarked on our journey through beautiful Idaho and into Wyoming. I found a beautiful cabin resort right outside of Jackson Hole that included a private firepit and hot tub. Upon arrival we were greeted by two moose eating by a creek.
Jackson Hole ended up being the perfect place to spend my birthday for the weekend. It's way more fancier than I ever could have expected for being a city in Wyoming. There's a ton of shopping around Jackson Square and every place we ate at had really good food. There was a ton of adventures we could have done but since we were only there for 2 nights we were limited. The Grand Teton mountains are one of the main reasons to visit the area. We didn't have time to do a hike so we opted for the lazy thing and took an aerial tram up Rendezvous Mountain where we could see an aerial view of Jackson and the Grand Tetons. It was an expensive ride but the views were amazing and totally worth it. Another place I didn't want to miss was Mormon Row which has probably one of the most photographed barns in the country. As a photographer, I didn't want to miss this opportunity to get my pic. It was a little hard to find since one of the roads was closed but with some local help, we found it. We saw some pronghorns and buffalos for the first time along the way there too.
The next leg of our trip took us to Yellowstone. We entered through the South entrance since we were coming from Jackson. Along the way we saw a bunch of people pulled over by the side of the rode. We decided to park and investigate. Turns out there was a grizzly bear! We quickly came to realize that yellowstone is like a drive thru zoo. Cars are always pulled over to look at the wildlife and ou and ah. Next we went to see Old Faithful and all the geysers around there. We stuck around to watch Old Faithful erupt. From there we went to the Midway Geyser Basin to check out the Grand Prismatic Spring. It was a very cold day and with the water in the spring being so hot, it was impossible to actually see the colors of the spring. It was so steamy! I was hoping to come back the next day to try to hike the hill across from the spring to get a better view. It turns out the nat'l park closed the social trail on the hill so they can start working on an official trail/path since so many people want to see a better view of the spring. This is great news if I ever come back, which I will! On the way to our next cabin, we got stuck in some major traffic for over an hour. For a while we were baffled as to why we were in SO much traffic when there really wasn't any reason for there to be. It turns out we were all stuck behind a herd of buffalo walking along the road. A few rangers in cars finally came and guided the buffalo onto the terrain so cars could go by. I got a great photo of a buffalo babe trying to suck its mother's teet. We finally made it to our cabin and checked in. We stayed at the Park Gate Lodges at Yellowstone in the Explorer cabins in West Yellowstone, Montana.
Day 2 of Yellowstone took us to the northern region of Yellowstone. It was a cold frosty morning with snow in the forecast. We drove through some beautiful vistas of snow covered trees and frosty terrain. We explored the Mammoth Hot Springs and saw plenty of Elk. Afterwards we set out to find the boiling river so we could go for a swim. It was 37 degrees when we jumped into the river. It was really awesome and probably my favorite part of yellowstone.
Day 3 of Yellowstone was our last day so we decided to check out the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone before we left for Salt Lake City. We hiked down Uncle Tom's Trail which consists of over 300 steps. Easy getting down but SO HARD to get back up. From here you could see the Lower Falls of the canyon. From there we went to Artist's Point which had the best view of the Lower Falls and the canyons.
Finally, the last leg of the trip was Salt Lake City. We stayed in a great airbnb downtown. We hiked to the top of Ensign Peak and saw a beautiful view of the whole city from there. Most of our time was spent checking out breweries, shopping and eating. We couldn't leave without seeing the Great Salt Lake so on our last night of the trip we went to Antelope Island State Park to watch the sunset over the salt lake. It was a beautiful ending to our trip.
The End. I have put a selection of photos up for sale on my Society 6 page if anyone is interested. Link here --> http://bit.ly/2esUrel