Las Vegas, NV
This installment should prove to be a little less hustle with ample time to spend in some of the best places on earth. Continuing to benefit from pandemic hysteria we chose Vegas to start our West Coast Swing with direct flights to Vegas at rates we will never see again in our lifetime. Uneventful (and full) plane ride to Vegas we ran into a Seinfeld-esque scene at the car rental counter. You see apparently a reservation only guarantees you a reservation…it does not guarantee a car. As Jerry astutely pointed out there is the “taking the reservation” part of the deal but the MOST important part is the “hoooolding the reservation”. Anyway – we didn’t get our car upon landing so Lyfted our way to the strip for a quick Vegas night. Cory risked a torn ACL and pulled hamstring and ran back to the airport bright and early to grab one of the last rental cars remaining in Vegas for Labor Day weekend. It was crazy busy throughout Vegas and it is clear that COVID has worn out its welcome and people are ready to resume.
Las Vegas, NV to Park City, UT
This trip is designed to click off six more states of the union so we setup off on our first leg from Vegas to Park City, Utah and the drive started with a 112 degree dashboard dial and not long after entering Utah for the first time we caught our first glimpse of the fires that would stay with us for the rest of the trip. Definitely needed more planes dropping red fire retardant material…clearly efforts were futile.
Park City, UT
Park City became our home for five days and sure glad our room had a fireplace because 12 hours after feeling 112 degrees there was snow flying in 24 degree weather outside our window in Park City. Park City was a cool little town in the summer/early fall with temperatures regulating back to the 70s most of the time which allowed us to get out and walk the Main Street strip several times and experience a little of the Winter Olympic Facility…note to readers though…the amenities in this area stop after Labor Day so the week leading up to Labor Day is the better time to stay. Side note – we ran into Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz whom is widely credited with de-railing the NBA season with his microphone hugging COVID spreading press conference. He had been in Park City the week before so pretty sure most of our servers and cohorts in Park City had plenty of antibodies abound.
Salt Lake, UT
Spent a day in Salt Lake City for a business lunch meeting and fire continued to rear its head – this one a fire in an industrial area sparked by crazy high winds the night before that had brought in the 24 degree weather. After lunch meeting in the city we took a really cool ride out to Antelope Island State Park on the Salt Lake. Highly recommend this trip. We checked off the boxes with a dip in the Salt Lake (spoiler…it smells pretty bad), bison sightings, hiking to incredible viewpoints and ice cream floats at the Bison Grill. Pretty cool day trip.
Jackson Hole, WY
After our week in Park City we continued north to Wyoming (with a tilt into Idaho briefly) stopping in Jackson (Hole). Jackson is a really cool city. An interesting Artsy-Western vibe in a walkable but fairly sizable town. Weather was incredible and plenty of great places to do what we do best – eat and drink. The town has views of the Teton mountain chain and in the morning we headed out for a trail ride at the foot of the Tetons and it was quite fantastic. Try out the Teton Village Trail Riders if in the area. A perfect hour climbing into incredible views and a casual stroll back. Cadence was in heaven.
Grand Tetons National Park, WY
Grand Teton National Park is definitely a favorite. Despite some minor smoke it was just incredible and also manageable in size and crowds. Found a great place to stop and climb down to the shores of Jenny Lake and had a little more food and drink and took a little dip in an unforgettable setting. Next time you see Cadence just say “Tetons” and you will get a giggle.
Yellowstone National Park, WY
What Grand Teton National Park had going for it was what Yellowstone definitely did not! This place is vast and the hoards of people swarming the area was quite annoying. Try imagining us driving on a two lane road with a 45 MPH sign and a line of 50 cars in front – maddening! We did enjoy walking the geysers and springs and watching Old Faithful erupt. Chase took us on a tour and we handled the sulfur smell ok. Finding lodging was no easy feat and we ended up on the edge of the earth in West Yellowstone…not our best effort. On the way out of Yellowstone made a stop at Mammoth Springs and this was the highlight for sure. We did some research and recon and found a trail we thought would yield Elk and alas we granted Jacki’s wish of a huge antlered Elk drinking water in a stream. We were all sore for a few days but the trek up and down hills and avoided snakes, etc. was worth the sight. That said I couldn’t wait to get out of Yellowstone and back into society. Off to Montana!