We tried to go to the Bunnery on this morning, but met with a long line waiting, since it was a Sunday. We doubled back and headed to another place I had gotten recommendations for, Shades Cafe, and that was delicious. We did eventually make it to the Bunnery, too (twice!).
In an effort to recover from our accidentally-strenuous-strenuous hiking trip on our first day at Grand Teton NP, we decided to go kayaking on the second day. We drove up to Colter Bay, one of the little village areas in the park, and rented a double kayak at the marina. We were not able to resist the lure of the Tetons on the way up and back. We pulled over again many times for photo breaks.
Can I just mention how I was not at all accustomed to how the parks were arranged, with scenic areas to pull over and little villages areas near sites, and different lodges and places to stay? Now I feel like I have “Western National Parks” down, but the parks I am used to on the East Coast were nothing like it.
We also started to realize that we had packed badly, although I think that the weather there is so changeable that whatever we had packed would have been the wrong thing. On our first day there, it was almost freezing in the morning, but warmed up to almost 90 by the midday. I had brought too much that was either for cold or for hot, and not enough that could be layered to deal with cold and hot all in one day.
We were out for about two hours, but we went at a relaxed pace. A couple of times we pulled up to the shore and Mike got out and waded in the water. It was freezing, and he thought that it might be good for his sore legs.
Coming back, we saw bison for the first time! For some reason, I was afraid we might not see bison on the trip, but now I realize they are pretty much everywhere, especially in Yellowstone. I’m not sure you could be in the area for any significant amount of time and miss them.
After the bison, we saw another small group of people pulled over to the side of the road, including one guy with a huge zoom lens. We couldn’t see what they were looking at, though. I got out and asked him. It was a coyote in the grass. He showed me the photos he took of it pouncing on some prey, he thought probably a rabbit. My photo isn’t so detailed, since I had less zoom.
I think it was driving back on this day that we first noticed the grey smoke over the mountains to the south of Jackson. We found out later that some idiot was burning his trash in his backyard, even though they had had an especially dry summer. The fire burned out of control, and burned for the rest of the time we were in Jackson. All of the restaurant and store employees we talked to were concerned about it reaching the town, but I think they managed to put it out by the time we left for Yellowstone. The only bad part for us was that the rest of our photos of the Tetons were marred by a grey, smoky haze, where the first two days had a gorgeous blue sky.
We went to the Lotus Cafe for lunch/dinner, which was recommended by our car rental guy. It was almost too vegetarian-friendly, the menu veering more towards the vegan and gluten-free dietary spectrum. If you know me, then you know that while I am vegetarian that doesn’t mean that I like to eat healthy. I have no plans to give up white bread, french fries, or ice cream. But everything we ordered was delicious, and we ended up going back for breakfast on Day 5. Good choice, car rental guy! Especially since I don’t think we managed to get to any other place he recommended. We tried to go to the organic grocery store he mentioned a few times, but it was always closed when we got there.