Rocky Mountain Adventure

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. 

 This was taken at the PHL airport as we were taking off for Salt Lake City on my birthday. 

This was taken at the PHL airport as we were taking off for Salt Lake City on my birthday. 

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. 

 Bryan with a bloody nose in Idaho. 

Bryan with a bloody nose in Idaho. 

 Wedge Cabin at Fireside Resorts in Wilson, WY.

Wedge Cabin at Fireside Resorts in Wilson, WY.

 A moose!

A moose!

 It was a cold night so the firepit was perfect. The resort supplied the firewood for the pit. 

It was a cold night so the firepit was perfect. The resort supplied the firewood for the pit. 

 Perfect night for a dip in the hot tub. 

Perfect night for a dip in the hot tub. 

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.

 Our first night in Jackson. We decided to get pizza even though we were still stuffed from Red Iguana. :) We ended the night fireside with some rosé. Pizza is from Pizzeria Caldera. 

Our first night in Jackson. We decided to get pizza even though we were still stuffed from Red Iguana. :) We ended the night fireside with some rosé. Pizza is from Pizzeria Caldera. 

 Some local beer Bryan bought. It was pretty tasty and I don't usually like IPAs.

Some local beer Bryan bought. It was pretty tasty and I don't usually like IPAs.

 The view from Jackson Square. Tons of shopping and restaurants.

The view from Jackson Square. Tons of shopping and restaurants.

 This is the Jackson Hole aerial tram.

This is the Jackson Hole aerial tram.

 Grand Tetons behind me.

Grand Tetons behind me.

 So much snow! Definitely bring snow boots, gloves and a heavy coat. It was super windy so might want to rethink any scarves or hats that could blow away.

So much snow! Definitely bring snow boots, gloves and a heavy coat. It was super windy so might want to rethink any scarves or hats that could blow away.

 Bryan decided to rendezvous in the cold on Rendezvous Mountain.

Bryan decided to rendezvous in the cold on Rendezvous Mountain.

 Grand Teton.

Grand Teton.

 Our first buffalo sighting. Birds just chilling on him.

Our first buffalo sighting. Birds just chilling on him.

 The beautiful Grand Tetons seen from Antelope Flats.

The beautiful Grand Tetons seen from Antelope Flats.

 The famous barn at Mormon Row Historic District in the Antelope Flats.

The famous barn at Mormon Row Historic District in the Antelope Flats.

 I started reading Agatha Christie's  book By the Pricking of my Thumbs on this trip and I instantly imagined this as the house Tuppence describes. 

I started reading Agatha Christie's  book By the Pricking of my Thumbs on this trip and I instantly imagined this as the house Tuppence describes. 

 Persephone Bakery. A great breakfast spot in Jackson. 

Persephone Bakery. A great breakfast spot in Jackson. 

 Yummy foods.

Yummy foods.

 Our cabin gave us a $50 gift card so we decided to use it here at Q Roadhouse & Brewery. It was good but overpriced. 

Our cabin gave us a $50 gift card so we decided to use it here at Q Roadhouse & Brewery. It was good but overpriced. 

 @ Q Roadhouse. Their Family Vacation beer was really good.

@ Q Roadhouse. Their Family Vacation beer was really good.

 Another great breakfast spot. 

Another great breakfast spot. 

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.  

 Old Faithful

Old Faithful

 Midway Geyser Basin

Midway Geyser Basin

 Grand Prismatic Spring

Grand Prismatic Spring

 The buffalo herd causing traffic.

The buffalo herd causing traffic.

 Ranger to the rescue!

Ranger to the rescue!

 babe suckles.

babe suckles.

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. 

 Bryan carrying the bear spray! Thankfully we didn't have to use it. 

Bryan carrying the bear spray! Thankfully we didn't have to use it. 

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. 

 View from Uncle Tom's Trail.

View from Uncle Tom's Trail.

 Smiling but dying inside since I just walked up 300+ steps in high altitude. 

Smiling but dying inside since I just walked up 300+ steps in high altitude. 

 View from Artist's Point.

View from Artist's Point.

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. 

 Salt Lake City!

Salt Lake City!

 First dinner spot was R & R BBQ. Brisket was soooo good! Other dinner spots we went to were Settebello Pizzeria Napoletana, Red Rock Brewing, & Crown Burger (Bryan's request).

First dinner spot was R & R BBQ. Brisket was soooo good! Other dinner spots we went to were Settebello Pizzeria Napoletana, Red Rock Brewing, & Crown Burger (Bryan's request).

 The view from the top of Ensign Peak.

The view from the top of Ensign Peak.

 The Rose Establishment. Really great spot for coffee and a bite to eat. Another great coffee shop is La Barba Coffee. 

The Rose Establishment. Really great spot for coffee and a bite to eat. Another great coffee shop is La Barba Coffee. 

 Salt Lake Temple

Salt Lake Temple

 The gardens around the Mormon Temple are soooo pretty.

The gardens around the Mormon Temple are soooo pretty.

 Shopping! We did some shopping at City Creek which is a high end shopping mall. We also shopped at some local shops including Mineral + Matter (beautiful jewelry!), Stockist, Uintah Standard along with more shops and thrift stores along 9th & 9th and Broadway. 

Shopping! We did some shopping at City Creek which is a high end shopping mall. We also shopped at some local shops including Mineral + Matter (beautiful jewelry!), Stockist, Uintah Standard along with more shops and thrift stores along 9th & 9th and Broadway. 

 Squatter's Pub Brewery. We tried EVERY single beer since it's only $.50 for 2oz. Lots of great beers.

Squatter's Pub Brewery. We tried EVERY single beer since it's only $.50 for 2oz. Lots of great beers.

 Red Rock Brewing Company. Great beer but the food was also really delicious. We had yummy salads and pizza. 

Red Rock Brewing Company. Great beer but the food was also really delicious. We had yummy salads and pizza. 

 Tin Angel Cafe. We went here for brunch before our flight home. It was REALLY GOOD. More brunch spots we went to were The Park Cafe and 50 West Cafe.

Tin Angel Cafe. We went here for brunch before our flight home. It was REALLY GOOD. More brunch spots we went to were The Park Cafe and 50 West Cafe.

 Antelope Island State Park

Antelope Island State Park

 While at Antelope Island we saw a ton of pronghorns hanging out. We noticed one male REALLY trying to get it in with one of the pronghorns. We stayed and watched for about 20 minutes as this went on. It was really interesting watching the chase and butt sniffing. He failed miserably. 

While at Antelope Island we saw a ton of pronghorns hanging out. We noticed one male REALLY trying to get it in with one of the pronghorns. We stayed and watched for about 20 minutes as this went on. It was really interesting watching the chase and butt sniffing. He failed miserably. 

 View from Buffalo point of the Great Salt Lake at Antelope Island State Park.

View from Buffalo point of the Great Salt Lake at Antelope Island State Park.

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