After our exhausting hike yesterday we retired early and I’m pleased to say we slept very well indeed. We were up and out at 7.30 a.m. this morning.
Before we headed for breakfast we walked to the town square where a very kind lady offered to take our picture in front of the antler arches. They stand at each corner of the public square, outside George Washington Memorial Park.
George Washington Memorial Park is a central park in Jackson. The park was dedicated as a park in 1934 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the first president’s birth. The very first elk antler arch was built in 1953 by the Jackson Hole Rotary Club. Over 2,000 antlers were used for the first of the four arches. All of the elk antlers used for the arches are from discarded antlers. Male elk grow their antlers to impress the females and fight off other males. They are made of bone and can grow up to an inch a day. The male elk naturally shed its antlers when their testosterone drops after breeding season and the process begins again every year. The National Elk Refuge is down the street from Town Square and has an estimated local elk population herd of 11,000. During antler shedding season, it is easy to find the antlers everywhere on the refuge.
Each arch is supported by a steel framework and is constructed by hand using 14,000 pounds or more than 2,000 elk antlers each. They are held together by friction and gravity but need to be rebuilt about every 50 years. Eventually, the antlers decompose and the structures lose their rigidity. In 2006, the Rotary Club began fundraising efforts to replace the arches once again. With the donations made from auctioning off the original antlers, the club could replace them with new frames and newly collected antlers. These unique arches are a well-known Jackson Hole icon. The arches are decorated with Christmas lights during the holiday season and are a magical sight when there is falling snow.
We went to the The Bunnery in Jackson for breakfast. It’s a very popular restaurant which a huge menu to choose from. The last time we went we had to queue but today we were seated straight away. Si decided to have their famous Lorraine quiche with smoky bacon and Swiss cheese, baked in a flaky pie crust, served with fresh berries and O.S.M.((oats, sunflower seeds and millet) toast with fresh fruit, strawberries and blueberries. I had a favourite of mine, the Bunnery parfait made with O.S.M. Granola with Greek yogurt, strawberries and blueberries. Sadly, Si’s quiche didn’t quite meet expectations while my parfait was delicious.
They have some delicious pastries that are easily enough for two to share. Of course, we had to buy some for later! In here we have a huckleberry turnover, an almond stick and a blueberry scone.
Si paid the lady and suddenly she looked at us and handed him back a $50 bill! He had given her what he thought was one $50 but two had stuck together. She said it happens all the time with the new $50 bills they have. What a lovely lady!
There’s a lot of really lovely bronze street art in Jackson and this is just one!
We then managed to do a little more shopping. The U.S. is suffering the same as us in the U.K., a staff shortage. The lady who had served us today had just arrived here with her husband all the way from Florida. Her company has paid for her to do a three-week stint here in Jackson to cover staff shortages. Lucky lady, being paid to visit the Grand Tetons for three weeks!
On this trip we are visiting some of the places we have not seen before. One of those is the Snake River Overlook Si visited the other evening. We went back this morning to take a few more photos as I didn’t go the other evening. It doesn’t disappoint that’s for sure. A beautiful spot.
There were people rafting on the Snake River even though the day was rather chilly!
We then headed off into the Grand Teton National Park. We still had our Annual Pass from last year’s holiday so we saved ourselves $80 this year.
We stopped off at the Colter Bay Visitor’s Centres and were surprised at how much snow there is yet to melt. Much more than where we are staying.
Colter Bay has a marina that is fed from nearby Jackson Lake but it has been closed for the past couple of years due to low water levels in the Lake. Jackson Lake has been down to levels only seen three times in the last 30 years. The marina is now completely dry due to very low natural flows and the need to supplement downstream reservoirs. Due to drought conditions throughout the U.S west, water supply in the form of reservoir storage is in critical need.
We visited the Jackson Lake Dam. It was built in 1906 to provide water to farmers and ranchers in southern Idaho that is 800 miles away!
We still haven’t seen any bears or bison, but did see elk this morning.
For dinner this evening we are doing fine dining and will be eating at the Blue Lion in Jackson. We’ve eaten here before when I had among other things, bison with huckleberries. Regular views will know I’m heavily into huckleberries but sadly, the only thing on the menu this time with huckleberries is scallops, the one thing I never eat!! 😔
More on the Blue Lion tomorrow.
While we were shopping this morning I found huckleberry popcorn, gummy grizzlies and jam. I’ll be having the jam on my toast in the morning.
It will be another early start tomorrow as we will be visiting Yellowstone National Park. We didn’t visit last year as there were lots of road works but we’ve been advised things are much better now even though they are still dealing with the aftermath of a 500-year flood event that occurred on 13th June 2022.
Catch you all tomorrow!