Special Post: Our Rocky Mountaineer Adventure – Part  1 – 8th May


Followers of our blog will know that our Rocky Mountaineer Adventure has been about four years in the making.

We originally booked the Canadian route as part of our Golden Wedding Anniversary adventure back in 2021 but that had to be cancelled due to dear old Covid and was rolled over into 2022. Then in 2022, due to illness, it had to be rolled over again into 2023. 

So, here we are at last, about to start our much anticipated adventure. 👏

Day 1 – Moab to Glenwood Springs.

As you know from a previous post, we had already received our boarding passes and luggage tags from a lovely lady called Deb. We talked about why our trip had been moved twice before and when we arrived to board the coach that would take us to the train, we were told that Deb had left a card for us that we would receive when we were on board. 

It was a short drive to the siding where the mighty beast awaited us.  

Ready to Board

The red carpets had been laid out and the U.S. and Utah flags waved merrily in the sunshine. The inevitable photographs were taken before boarding the train and we were on our way. As we pulled away rail staff were lined up waving flags to see us off. 

Our journey has begun!! 

We were told there were only 30 people on the train that consists of 12 carriages! We had 19 in our carriage, Silverleaf Plus, that I think held about 50 so there was plenty of room for everyone and we could swop seats according to which side of the train the interesting views were on. The remainder were in the Silverleaf carriage. The advantage with Silver Plus is that you have access to the lounge carriage where you are able to sit and enjoy the views whilst imbibing plenty of alcohol or soft drinks as required. 

During the high season of July/August all the carriages are usually packed. Even if the carriage had been full it would have still been a comfortable ride as the seats are large and comfortable with plenty of legroom, head rests that can be moved down and used as a lumber support and even a leg rest. The dome windows are huge making the whole carriage very light and bright. Between carriages there are open-air vestibules so passengers can stand there to admire the views and take photographs. 

We were so fortunate with the attendants looking after us. First mention goes to Janet, she was ‘in charge’ of our carriage and was hilarious. She kept us well informed of where we were and the history of each place as we went along. At one point she even dressed up as a sheriff and told us a story that included gunshots and for those she used bubble wrap. It was hilarious! 😂

The lovely and hilarious Janet!

Then there was Rae, our chef. In a small galley she prepared the most amazing meals. Cheryl prepared drinks in the lounge as well as served us in our seats. Cheryl is an amazing lady as she works on board the train, is a chef who works in Tuscany in Italy for three months a year, cooking privately, and then she travels to Florida where she has a gardening business!!!! Finally there was Theresa who also served us in our carriage. 

Rae the Chef

The train manager was a young man called Zach, he looked very young to hold such a position. He was a lovely young man and kept us updated during the journey if there were any hold ups and what to expect when we reached Glenwood Springs and Denver. Another point in his favour is that he drives a Tesla too!

Zach – the train manager

Karl, the third engineer/conductor came along to answer any questions we had about the mechanics of the train and told us what a wonderful company it is to work for. Their top priority is always the safety of their passengers and staff. The staff get two tickets every year to travel on the train. 

The train speed started off at about 25 miles an hour and as we were travelling along old spiked rails there was the familiar clickety clack as the train wheels passed over but once we reached the new continuous welded rails we were able to speed up and there was no noise. The maximum speed of the train is 65 mph. Also, the train for the Glenwood Springs to Denver leg held 6400 gallons of diesel. 

Everyone in our carriage clicked immediately and it wasn’t long before we were all in the lounge enjoying a beverage or two and all laughing together swopping names and stories!! 🍸🥃🍷Si and I were enjoying margaritas. In our carriage they played soft classical music but in the lounge it was middle of the road pop.

Sand in the lounge

Si with the Margaritas

Our resident photographer in action!

Everyone agreed that once aboard it was like a different world and all felt very relaxed. We could tell this was going to be a trip to remember.

It wasn’t long before we were called back to our seats to enjoy our first meal. This is the menu for Day 1 of the trip. There was no limit to the amount of drinks, alcohol and non-alcohol we could have, we just had to ask!

Menu Day 1














We were following the Colorado River out of Moab and it wasn’t long before we saw people camping along the river. We soon became aware of a Utah tradition and that was mooners!! 😂 Yes, as the train rolls by they drop their trousers and show their bottoms to the train.  

The Utah mooners – not that you can see much!

The scenery was breathtaking. Lots of waterfalls, different coloured cliffs, sheer cliffs and altogether magnificent views.

At the end of each carriage was an open air vestibule where passengers could stand and  take in the scenery and take photographs. 

We made one stop at Grand Junction because just like other forms of transport, the train drivers had come to the end of their allotted drive time and we needed to take on fresh drivers. 

As the Rocky Mountaineer is classed as a sight-seeing train when it’s travelling on single track it has to give way to others trains such as Amtrak and freight. We were lucky that we only needed to stop once to let a Amtrak train through but the stop wasn’t very long. 

Just before we arrived in Glenwood Springs we were given our hotel keys and once off the train we just walked across the road to the Hotel Denver where our cases were already waiting for us in our room. 

Glenwood Springs

It was the smoothest operation we had ever seen. 

Although it felt as if we had not done much during the day everyone felt exhausted and the majority went straight to their rooms although a couple went to enjoy the hot springs.

Everyone agreed that it had been a most wonderful day!

Part 2 of our Rocky Mountaineer adventure to follow!!

Special Post: Our Rocky Mountaineer Adventure – Part 2 – 9th May

The Rocky Mountaineer arrives at Glenwood Springs station for the second day of our trip from Moab to Denver.

Entrance to Glenwood Springs station

The flags on the train had been changed to the US and Colorado ones. The red carpet was once again rolled out and the staff waved us on our way.

As we had arrived before anyone else we were able to have our photographs taken on the train steps without anyone else around.

All ready to board for day 2

Our second day on the Rocky Mountaineer started later than anticipated due to maintenance work on the tracks. This means we had lunch and dinner on the train instead of breakfast and lunch.

We had left our cases in the hotel room and would be reunited with them once we arrived in Denver.

I was talking to a very nice lady on the platform called Tracey who works for Rocky Mountaineer and was telling her about our delayed adventure from 2021 and amazingly she knew who I was! When I mentioned our Golden Wedding Anniversary she said “Oh, it’s you!” She had seen our name on the passenger list and how our trip had been cancelled and then rolled over twice.

We left Glenwood Springs through Glenwood Canyon.

Zach came to tell us about the route for the day and said we would reach a maximum of 9200 feet above sea level and after the Moffat Tunnel which is 6.2 miles (10km) long and cuts deep through the Continental Divide and would take approximately 15 minutes to travel through, we would then pass through 28 tunnels covering 17 miles! The tunnels were built in 1906 and cost $490 million!

The Rocky Mountaineer travels higher than any other train in the U.S. and even higher than some planes do.

We had to stop just once on the journey and that was to let an oil train pass by but we didn’t have to wait too long.

The oil train

We had two lovely surprises while on the train. 

On day one, we were were given the opportunity to order Rocky Mountaineer merchandise and those who know me well know that this is not an opportunity I was likely to miss.

There was one item in particular I wanted and that was the most beautiful hand-painted Christmas tree ornament but sadly, this was the one item that had to be ordered and posted to the buyer and it is not currently possible for it to be posted outside the U.S. Well, to say I was very disappointed is an understatement.

When we joined the train next morning, Sandy and Alice, two lovely ladies we met yesterday and had great fun with, told us they had heard us talking and could tell how disappointed I was about the ornament and so had ordered one for us and would post it to us once it was received!

Well, as you can imagine, we were absolutely stunned. In addition, they refused to accept payment for the ornament or the postage.

Many thanks once again Sandy and Alice for your kindness.

People’s kindnesses never cease to amaze me!

The second surprise was when mimosas were served and everyone in our carriage toasted our 52nd wedding anniversary. Janet said she was so pleased we had eventually been able to make the trip. 🥂

If you’ve read Part 1 of our adventure you will remember that we collected our luggage labels from Deb in Moab. When we arrived to board the coach to take us to the train, we were told that she had left a card for us on the train. That was waiting for us when we boarded at Glenwood Springs and what she said in the card regarding our anniversary and the illness made us have a little cry. She was so kind. 

Once aboard brunch was served and later on, dinner. By this time I was so full I declined dinner and just had dessert. There’s only so much a girl can eat over two days. Si of course, managed to eat everything! 😂

Day 2 Menu

Forgot to take a photo of the salad!










Janet told us we would see some more ‘mooners’ so she had prepared some score cards so that we could all mark them out of 10 as we passed by! 😂

Si with his score card

Si in the vestibule

Once again, we saw some wonderful scenery, some of the canyon walls were 1300 feet tall and we even saw the lava from an old volcano.

The Rocky Mountaineer

When we reached Denver, everyone received an exclusive RTR (Red Rocks to the Rockies) pin to wear. These are only given to people who have travelled on the train. Everyone also received chocolate and a lovely card thanking them for travelling on the train but we received a special one for our Anniversary that said ‘Happy Anniversary! Thank you for celebrating on board Rocky Mountaineer’. Janet, Rae and Cheryl had all signed it. 

It’s the little things!

One thing that surprised as we approached Denver was how much graffiti there was. 

A coach was waiting to take us to Denver Union Station to collect our luggage and we were then off to the Grand Hyatt for the night before leaving next day for the Grand Tetons in Wyoming. 

We send a big ‘thank you’ to all the Rocky Mountaineer staff and all our fellow passengers for making this trip so memorable. It was the most wonderful way of celebrating our Golden Wedding Anniversary, albeit, two years late!!

Day 17 – Las Vegas, Nevada to London Heathrow and Home!

21st – 22nd May:

My night may not have been good but the day certainly started very well!

Si and I went down to the casino for a little gamble before being picked up and transported to the airport. We went for the first machine we saw when we entered and it was one called Dragon Link Happy & Prosperous.

Well, Happy & Prosperous we certainly were. We put in $50 and spent $3 on our first spin and up came the Grand Jackpot ………….. $13,376.82 to be precise, approximately £10,000. You can imagine the shock! Especially for the guy who had sat on the machine next to us! Definitely a ‘if only’ moment! 😔

The winning machine

People immediately began to gather and to congratulate us. The senior managers came down too. In the past tax would have been payable but the U.S. and U.K. now have an agreement that no tax payable. We have won in the past, not as much, but we had to pay tax so arranged back then to get ourselves a U.S. tax code just in case but that is no longer necessary.

A shocked Si!

The winnings!










We knew there was a limit to how much currency you are able to take out of the country before having to declare it so we did some investigation and found that we needed  to declare it to the U.S. Customs. When we reached the airport they sent two men up to the Virgin Check-in and completed the forms there.

When we reached the U.K. Customs and went through the ‘Red’ channel meaning we had something to declare it was very busy! Who knew there were so many honest people around! The Custom’s man told us to go on-line and declare it there! 🤷‍♀️So, we more or less just walked straight through. So no hassle at all.  

Passport Control and baggage check was a nightmare. Another reason never to fly to, or leave Las Vegas on a weekend. The queue was huge. It reminded us of Heathrow! Today everything had to be checked and they wanted us to remove everything shoes, belts, empty pockets and put the laptop in a separate tray. 

At least this year, my carry-on wasn’t chosen for an extra check.

We enjoyed our stay at the Park MGM. It is a non-smoking hotel but we didn’t realise that until we arrived.

Our chauffeur came to collect us and we had an uneventful trip to the airport. We’d been in the hotel all day and when we stepped outside wow, it was hot, hot, hot. 🌞🌞🌞Luckily the Tesla was lovely and cool.❄️

As it was a Sunday, Virgin Atlantic check-in had opened early. We didn’t know they did that but it made sense as Sunday is a very popular day for people to fly home.

We were a little disturbed when the lady told us she would have to allocate us our seats! What! I had booked them months ago. She soon realised she was confusing us with another couple.

We were surprised when she weighed the cases to find they were more or less the same as when we flew out. That’s because I managed to put most of our purchases in the small carry-on suitcase. That weighed very much more. Muscles (that’s me) had to help Si lift it into the overhead locker. 🛄💪😂

We had booked the same lounge as last year so that we had somewhere comfortable to sit while we were waiting to board.

Last year we were unable to complete all the hikes we wanted to do due to Covid. This year the same thing happened but this time due to the snow and bear activity as they were just coming out of hibernation.

We wanted to see the Tetons in the snow and we certainly did that although some of the days were a lot warmer than we expected.

We drove a total of 2,631 miles.

There were two highlights of the holiday, the first of course was the two days we spent on the Rocky Mountaineer. We had waited so long to experience it and was well worth the three year wait!

We hope to do the Canadian Rocky Mountaineer in 2025.

The second highlight was Si having his Schwabacher Landing photo published in the Cowboy State Daily.

Our flight home was uneventful and only took nine hours and twenty minutes. We were late taking off but managed to make up the time.

We noticed that there was a majority of men in our cabin. We think they must all have been in Vegas for a boxing match over the weekend. I sleep most of the way back but did wake up long enough to take these sunrise shots.

The window shades change to different colours according to the time of day the flight is. As this was night-time they were dark so giving the lovely colours.

Sunrise board

Sunrise on board










When we arrived at Heathrow it was heaving with people but most were using the automatic passport control gates and by the time we had collected our cases the whole thing took us just 25 minutes.

Seems strange to be back home and for life to be returning to normal. We haven’t watched a television in two weeks. 📺

I don’t think I’ll be unpacking the suitcases today as we are very tired. The eight-hour time difference takes its toll! 😴

Thank you to everyone who took the time to follow our adventures, leave comments and ‘likes’.

Thank you too, to all the lovely people we met along the way for making our holiday so special.

As usual, it just remains for us to say ………. goodbye again!


arrivederci, adeus, hejdå, 再见, zoi geen, zai jian, tot ziens, au revoir, tschüss, shalom, ciao, じゃね, anyeonghi gasyeo, poka/Пока, adios, hejdå, tạm biệt, vΘleft, farvel, ya sas, tókša akhé,

and see you all on our next adventure. 😀 ✈️🚙🇬🇧🇺🇸




Day 16 – Salt Lake City, Utah to Las Vegas, Nevada

It is now the 21st May!

This post is a day late due to the photographs not wanting to behave and malaise of the author! I was unable to get the photographs to load yesterday. A notification kept coming that I did not understand at all or could find out what it meant so what did I do ……………. shut everything down, rebooted and of course, it then worked like a dream! As for the author well, she blames the very rich food and drink she imbibed last night. 😔

20th May:

We left Salt Lake City (SLC)  bright and early at 7.15 a.m with the temperature at 65ºF and by the time we got to Las Vegas it was a stomping 92ºF. We noticed the difference! 🌞🥵

We didn’t stop for breakfast as we were eager to be on our way. Luckily, being Saturday the roads were not too busy.

For the first time on this holiday I was able to get out the summer gear and put my cut-offs on.

The journey was going to take us six hours. It took us an hour to get out of SLC and most of that time we drove in the Express lane or HOV (High Occupancy Vehicle) lane. As long as you have two or more people in the car you can travel in that. The other five hours was driven on the Interstate so there’s was nothing of particular interest to see.

HOV Lane

I took a few photographs along the way.

All roads to Vegas


Our musical interludes today were by Emmylou Harris, Lucinda Williams and Mary Chapin Carpenter. I bet there are those out there who are asking “who are they”?!

The temple

Today we travelled from Utah to Arizona and then Nevada.

Welcome to Arizona

One thing I wanted to explain was about the drinking situation yesterday. A lady explained to us that the reason the Texas Roadhouse were unable to accept our driving licences as proof of age is that American driving licences, or the Utah ones at least, have a barcode on the back that can be scanned to check your details whereas British ones do not! 🤷‍♀️



Welcome to Nevada













Well that’s good!


St. George – Si’s favourite bit of road …. not!














Lots of black and white cows








Sew Sweet!








A lonely cloud








Once we were settled in to our hotel we popped over to the Bellagio to look at the Atrium. We think this is the best we’ve ever seen it! Sadly, it was packed with people so we were unable to take one complete video.

Bellagio Atrium

Sand in the Atrium

The colour is fabulous

Beautiful arches of flowers

This evening we dined at Bavette’s Steakhouse & Bar here at the Park MGM. We stayed here many years ago when it was the Monte Carlo.

Bavette’s describes itself as an acclaimed Chicago classic that has arrived in Las Vegas. A stylish departure from a traditional steakhouse, Bavette’s embraces French flair without the formality, blending fine dining with unabashed fun. Indulge in timeless steakhouse fare, including richly flavorful ribeyes, fresh seafood towers, traditional side dishes, and house made desserts. Strong cocktails and a well-curated international wine list enhance the gilded space which features red leather banquettes and glowing chandeliers.

We had a lovely meal and great cocktails (until it all caught up with me later!) We shared the best crab cake we’ve ever eaten, followed by a 6oz filet mignon, petite duchess cut, each with Béarnaise sauce, I had blue cheese, watercress and steak salt accompanied by wonderful mashed potatoes and charred Brussel sprouts with parmesan. We couldn’t manage dessert but had coffee and two glasses of Frangelico instead.

































We leave Las Vegas tomorrow afternoon for our flight home so tomorrow’s blog will appear on Monday, fingers crossed, once we have arrived home. If I’m too jet-lagged it will be the following day.

This is the 10th anniversary of when we first started the blog so I will be doing a special post to cover the ten years once we get home.

Thanks for reading.

See you ‘across the pond’ in good ol’ Blighty! 🇬🇧


Day 15 – The Grand Tetons, Wyoming to Salt Lake City, Utah

19th May:

It’s a sad day as we have left our favourite place, the Grand Tetons and made our way to Salt Lake City ready for our trip back to Las Vegas tomorrow and our flight home on Sunday.

Welcome to Jackson …….. rather goodbye!

Rather Goodbye to Jackson!

As it’s been a driving day there’s not a lot of action to report but I did take a few photographs as we travelled along. Our trip took about 5.5 hours and was uneventful.

One large cow

The long road


A farmer hard at work

This will take a while!

What a beautiful tree!

On the Oregon Trail

We did thank you very much!

I was going to describe the chicken photograph a different way but Si wouldn’t let me for for fear of upsetting some of our lovely readers as it could construed as rather crude!! 😂Answers on a postcard please!!

A sweet little house on wheels plus chimney!

We were serenaded on our trip by the lovely John Denver.

( I do not own the COPYRIGHT of the song. Video is purely for entertainment purposes only. For fair use. Lyrics & music belongs to the rightful owners.)

The majority of our journey was on small country-like roads. It wasn’t until we were about two-thirds into the journey that we joined the Interstate with it’s 80mph speed limit!. 

The only animals we saw were cows, lots of them and one dead elk!

Is this Switzerland?

On one occasion we saw something in the road, it was a marmot and we thought it was dead but it wasn’t until we passed, good thing we didn’t run over him, we realised he was playing dead and as soon as we were by he scuttled back to the side of the road! 

Some parts of the journey reminded us of Switzerland.

Once in Salt Lake we decided to eat immediately and so drove down to the Texas Roadhouse. Somewhere we’ve eaten at many times.

However, there was one problem today, they wanted to see our ID to make sure we were old enough to drink!!! 🤷‍♀️The only ID they would accept were our passports. Good grief, we don’t carry our passports all the time now that we have photographic driving licences but they were not good enough. We walked out in high dudgeon. 🤨

We went along the road to the Olive Garden instead. They were rather more sensible about the whole thing and agreed that we looked old enough to drink so we stayed there and had a fabulous meal of soup (as much as we liked) with bread sticks, then I had sirloin steak with fettuccini, Si had chicken and prawn carbonara and then we shared doughnuts with chocolate and raspberry dip. Yummy!!

Si enjoying his dinner today

That’s two places we will not be returning to …………… Denver because of their ridiculous taxes and the Texas Roadhouse in Salt Lake City. 

It was a lovely 52ºF when we left this morning and by the time we reached Salt Lake City it was a barmy 78ºF. 🌞 We travelled from Wyoming, through Idaho, back through Wyoming and then Idaho again and finally into Utah.

Thanks for reading. See you in Las Vegas!


Day 14 – Grand Tetons, Wyoming

18th May:

We had another late start today …….. 10.30! This is becoming a habit!😴

Although the day was warm there was a definite chill in the air and there was a strange cloud-like cover on the mountains all day.

Misty Tetons

We had quite an exciting start to the day when we discovered one of Si’s sunrises had been published in the Wyoming Cowboy State Daily, a digital newspaper. I subscribed to it when we were here last year and I noticed everyday they published a sunrise of the day. I decided I would send in one of Si’s he took earlier in the week at Schwabacher Landing. I couldn’t believe it when I saw it had been published this morning! 😱was my reaction.

Schwabacher Sunrise – Published in the Cowboy State Daily digital newspaper!

Today was our last full day in the Tetons so we decided to check out the wildlife one last time. We were quite successful ………. apart from Grizzly 399. We went back twice today and while the road was still packed with people we don’t know if anyone actually saw her  but we certainly didn’t. It appears she must have crossed the road at some point with her cub as all the photographers were on the opposite of the road this afternoon.

We went to check out where we found the bison yesterday but they had moved on, there was not one to be seen. When we drove back 45 minutes later there was a whole herd of them. Where they had been hiding goodness only knows.


Likewise with the elk, apart from two lonely ones off in the distance, the whole herd had vanished too. Something strange’s going on with the wildlife we thought!

Who is that?

However, on our drive out this afternoon we saw this fine chap right on the side of the road. We drove round the corner and bam, there was an elk jam. Air bags were very nearly deployed!! 😱

Elk on the roadside

We did mange to see a moose in the Gros Ventre area.

Moose in the woods

In between chasing wildlife we came back to the cabin for lunch. A big shoutout here goes to Stefan and Stephanie in the cabin behind ours. Stefan used to be a chef and last night they brought round two plates of pork chops with the best sauce ever, mashed potatoes with corn, carrots and gravy. Well, to say it was fabulous would be an understatement. Si said it was the best meal he’s had since we arrived in the Tetons. 😀 I told Stephanie that we would adopt Stefan and take him home with us. I would never need to cook a meal again! 😂

Lunch courtesy of Stefan

They have both had a few very difficult days as their beloved dog Lola, aged 13.5 years, has been very poorly and sadly today, she passed away. All the pet lovers reading this will understand how heart-wrenching it is to lose such a well-loved best friend. Even though they were going through such a bad time they were still thinking of others. Another kindness shown to us. 🥰

We went back to check on the Sandhill Crane this afternoon and although the eggs haven’t hatched yet we did manage to catch the bird standing up and if you look carefully at the bottom of the photographs you can just see the eggs. 👏 At one point she seemed to be moving the eggs around in the nest.

Sandhill Crane plus eggs

Sandhill Crane with the eggs

We don’t know what was going on in Jackson today but there were dozens and dozens of cyclists on the cycle paths. We assume it was a charity ride. There were all ages and many different types of bikes.

Cyclists in Jackson

Jackson has great cycle paths that people use for cycling and running.

A couple of days ago I put on a photograph of a bird that we didn’t know the name of so just called it a flycatcher. Today however, Si was chatting with a young lady who knew the correct name ……. it’s a Yellow Crested Warbler. You learn something every day.

Yellow Crested Warbler

Tomorrow will be a driving day as we leave to overnight in Salt Lake City before driving to Las Vegas for our flight home on Sunday.

I’m sure you’ll be pleased to know that I’ve done a practice pack today and am pleased to report that everything fits in nicely so no need to purchase an extra suitcase this year for the flight back home. 👏

We’ve had the most fabulous time in the Tetons. It’s such a beautiful place. We weren’t able to do all the hiking we wanted as a lot of the trails are still closed either because of the remaining snow or bear activity. It’s at this time that the bears come out of hibernation with their cubs so it’s a very dangerous time for us humans. 🐻😱

Please join us tomorrow in Salt Lake City!





Day 13 – The Grand Tetons, Wyoming

17th May:

Hello from the Grand Tetons!

You will remember that last night I closed saying it had started to rain. Well, rain it did and so much so we ended up with a double rainbow. 🌈

The double rainbow over Dornans

So, to today.

It was another early start for us this morning …. up at 5.00 a.m. and out at 5.20 to photograph sunrise over John Moulton Barn. Regular readers of the blog will know that in the past we have photographed sunrise over the T.A. Moulton Barn hence doing the other one today!

John Moulton Barn

We arrived at 5.30 and it was a rather chilly start, 36ºF in fact. There were already photographers eagerly awaiting and anticipating the sunrise. As always, everyone’s chatting with each other as we wait and wait and wait. There are stamping feet and clapping of hands trying to keep warm as we stand in wet grass. Crazy or what!?

Sunrise is supposed to be at 5.58. You can hear all the cameras clicking every few seconds as people start to record the build up and then the time arrives. Everyone’s peering rather nervously over their shoulders to where the sun will appear to cast the beautiful red shades over the Teton mountain range and down onto the barn below.

Only on this occasion a horrible black cloud moved straight over the sun and ruined the whole thing! ⛅︎ When it became apparent that today was not the day for the perfect sunrise most picked up their tripods and camera gear and slunk off muttering as they went.

Just as we were leaving one of the photographers rushed back to say that T.A. Moulton barn was in sunlight so we rushed down there instead and although it wasn’t a sunrise shot the barn did look lovely in the daylight.

T.A. Moulton Barn

Being a photographer and a photographer’s assistant can be very frustrating at times! There are many disappointments to bear before the one perfect shot is captured. 😔

We decided it was a good time to return to the cabin and go back to bed. It’s now 7.30 a.m. The next thing we knew it was 10.30e t a.m. We decided not to bother with breakfast but would have brunch instead in Jackson.

Before brunch we decided to do one thing we’ve been meaning to do for ages and that was to go up in the cable car to the top of the ski slopes as we’ve told the view is magnificent. En-route I look up what time they open and lo and behold they do not open until 31st May!

So we head off back to Jackson to the Snake River Grill, another recommendation and find they only open for dinner! It doesn’t appear to be our day! 😂

Instead we go to a place we had seen earlier called The Bistro. It looked very inviting and I see from the outside menu that one of the drinks they serve if a French 75. I conclude this eatery must be okay if they serve those to drink. One of my favourites.🥂It was such a lovely day we sat outside on a small patio.The food was excellent.

Brunch at The Bistro









When I asked for directions to the bathroom I was amazed when I was told to head to the lobby and turn left. Lobby! In a restaurant. What we didn’t realise was we were actually eating in the restaurant of the Marriott Autograph Collection hotel called The Cloudveil.

We had quite a successful afternoon looking for wildlife! We came across herds of elk and bison and saw a uncommon bird.


Bison below the Tetons

Elk Herd

Elk Group

The White Faced Ibis







At one point Si was in panic mode as he said there was something wrong with his camera as it wouldn’t focus. I pointed out that he needed to remove the lens cover to take photos everything was okay! 😂We all know it takes a woman …………..!

The news of the day is that Grizzly 399 came out of hibernation with one cub on Tuesday. Grizzly 399 is very famous and even has her own website. She’s very old at 27 years and people were worried she had not made it through the winter but she did much to everyone’s delight. She had four cubs in 2020.

Once she had been spotted at her favourite place, word soon spread and this is the result today. A bear jam!

Last of all on our agenda for the day was to visit a cabin we keep meaning to see but never do. It’s called the Cunningham Cabin.

The entrance to the Cunningham Cabin

The Cunningham Cabin stands as one of the valley’s few remaining structures from the homesteading era when settlers filed nearly 400 claims in Jackson Hole. In the 1880s, John and Margaret Cunningham staked a claim for the Bar Flying U Ranch. Cunningham built his cabin in 1888 in the Appalachian style, commonly called “double-pen” or “dog-trot.” John lived in the cabin until 1895 when he finished his main residence, and it later became a smithy and barn.

The Cunningham Cabin

Cunningham ran a profitable ranch until drought ruined his crops and cattle prices fell at the end of World War I. As an agricultural depression persisted through the 1920s, Cunningham and other ranchers recognized the valley’s potential as a “playground.” Cunningham teamed up with neighbor Josiah David “Si” Ferrin to write a petition signed by 97 valley ranchers. The petition proposed a buyout of ranches to create a national recreation area for public enjoyment. In 1928, Cunningham sold to the Snake River Land Company who later donated 35,000 acres for park expansion.

A violent dark side of the ranch involves a gunfight at the Bar Flying U Ranch. Two Montana wranglers approached Cunningham in April of 1893 to purchase hay. Cunningham allowed the strangers to winter on his ranch. Rumors spread that the men were horse thieves. Next spring, a man claiming to be a U.S. Marshal, with three deputies, rode into Jackson from Idaho. Joined by Jackson recruits, the marshal’s men surrounded the ranch at night. In the morning, the posse gunned down the alleged thieves. The men’s guilt, the allegations and the marshal’s identity were never confirmed.

The Tetons from the Cunningham Cabin window

Finally, I’m pleased to say the snow outside our cabin has almost disappeared. We’ve noticed since we arrived how the landscape is changing.

Join us tomorrow for our last full day here in Grand Tetons.


Day 12 – The Grand Tetons, Wyoming

16th May:

We decided to have a lazy start today. All the early mornings have caught up with us plus ……….. we’ll have another early morning tomorrow as we’ll be chasing the sunrise again!

We had breakfast in the cabin and I tried out the huckleberry jam on toast. Of course, it was delicious.

The weather’s been fabulous today. It started at 36ºF and this afternoon had reached 71ºF. It was supposed to rain this afternoon but that never materialised. Update: It’s just started raining! ☔️

As we drove out of Dornans this morning we noticed a large collection of cars parked off the side of the road. A sure sign there’s wildlife about. Sure enough, Mangy moose had returned for his breakfast. At one point he started walking towards everyone so they moved back out of the way apart from one idiot who thought it a good idea to take a selfie with the creature. Luckily, Mangy, just kept on walking and didn’t seem at all bothered about all the fuss.

It seemed as though everyone were out moose hunting today. People kept asking if one had been spotted. I guess we were just lucky seeing mangy again.

Mangy moose


Mangy moose






First stop today was the Visitor’s Centre to get our National Park’s Passport stamped. It’s a great system and one that our own National Trust in the U.K. has started.

Since 1986, visitors to the National Parks in the U.S. are able to buy a Passport To Your National Parks, to collect ink stamps from each of their explorations. We take the Passport to any National Park visitor centre or park store and stamp the passport with the date and location of our visit. We can then personalise the Passport even more by adding stickers from the area visited. It’s a great way to record and preserve memories from every holiday. 

National Park Passport

Sandhill Crane on the nest









After that we went back to check on the Sandhill Crane to see if the eggs had hatched but sadly, no, nothing yet. We’ll check again before we leave on Friday.

On the way back, once again, we saw cars parked on the side of the road so we stopped to see what all the excitement was and lo and behold there was a grizzly bear on the hillside. It had been spotted by a young lad of about seven who had very sharp eyes indeed.

Distant Bear

Sandhill Crane on the nest

We got talking to his mum and dad who had another four children, all girls, and who are home-schooled. They live in California but are doing a road-trip as one of the daughters has just graduated from high school and she wanted to see what lay outside of California.

The mum was born in Ukraine but married an American. She asked me if I wanted to borrow her binoculars to better see the bear. She called me ‘ma’am! I’m know I’m not young anymore but it did rather make me feel 100! 😂

The young lad who spotted the bear had a bear t-shirt on as he loves Paddington Bear. When I asked if he had seen the films his mum said he hadn’t as they don’t watch those kind of things, they prefer to read books.

We went into Jackson for lunch at the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar and were served by a lovely young lady called Nicole. She has just moved with her husband, Dillon, to Jackson from Las Vegas! In conversation she told us that Dillon’s a chef and used to work at Spago in the Bellagio and at Caesars Palace. We told her we had eaten at both venues, the last time being during our visit last year and so we would have eaten his food. It’s a small world indeed.

We both had a very unhealthy lunch. Si had a cheeseburger and I had the Million Dollar Bison Burger (fabulous). Si had a Grand Teton Tres Lager (Mexican Lager) while I had a Cowboy Mule followed by a Cowgirl Cosmo. I think that’s why I’m having trouble staying awake to write this post! 😂

















We did a little more shopping while we were in town. I bought a pair of hiking trousers earlier in the week and love them so much I decided a second pair was required. Si managed to find himself a casual jacket too.

The shop I was in was the one I bought the pancake mix from last year!!!!! I told the man serving how the mix nearly got me arrested. We had a good laugh about it. Wasn’t funny at the time though! 😞

This year it’s being sold as Huckleberry Scone mix. I didn’t buy any!!

For those who do not know the story, take a look at last year’s post – Day 23 – Home! That’ll give you a laugh! 😂

The weather was so nice today, Si decided it was time to show off his legs in his new shorts, also purchased earlier in the week. It’s not just me buying things! 😂

Just look at those legs! 😂

For dessert we went to an ice-cream parlour called Moos. We follow a couple on YouTube who live out of a converted van and on their last visit to Jackson they tried the ice-cream and said how fabulous it was. They were not wrong. I had the Wild Huckleberry (two scoops) and Si had a scoop of pecan and one of vanilla. Another reason it’s hard to stay awake …………. we’ve eaten too much!

We had a quick drive around the Elk Refuge just to see if there was any wildlife to photograph. Sadly there wasn’t, but Si spotted this beautiful Yellow Headed Blackbird.

Yellow Headed Blackbird

On the way back a Ranger had stopped someone, we assume for speeding. Quite right too! There’s a limit of 55 mph during the day and 45 mph at night to protect the animals but people do not always adhere to that. 😞

I don’t think these signs could be any clearer:

Caution, Caution, Caution

No Joke, Go Slow. 45@Night

Wildlife Ahead!

We were hoping to drive out to a spot called Blacktail Pond Overlook to capture the sunset this evening. We’ve never been there before but it’s supposed to be a perfect spot. Sadly, now it’s started raining, it will not be worth going so we shall have to try again tomorrow.

Better set the alarm early for the morning as we need to be at Morman Row for 5.55 a.m. to photograph the sunrise. They are usually spectacular there!

Thanks for reading. Comments are always welcome just so that we know there are folk out there reading all this! 😀

When leaving a comment, please make sure to leave your name otherwise is just says that ‘Anonymous’ has left a comment and we do like to know who you are! 😂 Many thanks.

Back tomorrow!



Day 11 – Yellowstone National Park

15th May:

After I posted yesterday’s blog I realised I had made two omissions! Well, it was a long day and I was rushing to get the day’s post done before we went to dinner! 😔

First of all a belated “Happy Mother’s Day” to all those celebrating in the U.S.

The second thing was our visit to Oxbow Bend. One of Si’s favourite places to visit.

Oxbow Bend

Now for today ……. rather our fine dining experience at the Blue Lion in Jackson last night.

Hence, the Blue Lion

It was fabulous, we enjoyed every mouthful. The restaurant is lovely as are the staff. I’m not one for clearing my plate but last night I could have licked the plate clean. 😂Si was so amazed he took a photo of it.

Sand’s clean plate!

I didn’t bother with a starter but Si had mini mushrooms stuffed with crab and parmesan cheese and we both declined the salad that comes between courses. I had the elk tenderloin with wild mushroom port sauce, mashed potatoes and asparagus. Si was going to have his favourite, scallops but changed his mind at the last moment and had the 17oz New York strip, one of the specials of the day and it came with crab, salmon roe and asparagus. We were too full for desserts so we both had coffee and for me a glass of Frangelico on the side.

The elk tenderloin

Si’s very large steak!

The libations!










There is also live acoustic guitar music every Wednesday to Sunday played by Marco Solis. It was lovely soft music that did intrude at all.

Marco Silas

There were lots of families celebrating Mother’s Day together. Every lady received a rose.

The lady and the rose

As we headed back some our neighbours in the other cabins were enjoying a drink or two and invited us to join them. Well, it all got rather raucous and Zoya, the manager iin charge at Dornan’s, came along and pointed that it was rather late and could we please tone it down a little! 😞 Oh my!

What a bunch! 😂

So, to today’s adventure ……………..

We had excitement at the start of today’s adventure as first of all we saw elk but didn’t stop to photograph them as we were in a hurry. But, the next animal we saw made us stop and jump out of the car ………….. we saw a grizzly bear! 😱Even though it was early there were quite a few photographers excitedly waving their huge lenses about. The bear was fast-moving but Si managed to get a few shots.


It was another early start, 6.15 a.m. The temperature was 36ºF so a little chilly but as the day wore on it warmed up and the sky was blue and sunny. We were going to Yellowstone National Park and it’s always best to set out early as the traffic can be horrendous.

During the drive we once again passed over the Continental Divide, this was the third time during this holiday!

The Continental Divide complete with lots of snow

A few Yellowstone facts (I know some of you like a few facts!):

1. It was the world’s first National Park.
2. It covers 2,219,789 acres.
3. Wildlife – it has seven species of ungulates (bison, moose, elk, pronghorn being the favourites), two species    of bear and 67 other mammals, 322 species of birds, 16 species of fish and of course, the grey wolf.
4. Plants – There are over 1,100 species of native plants, more than 200 species of exotic plants and over 400 species of Thermopholes (bacteria).
5. Geology – The Park is home to one of the world’s largest calderas (a caldera is a large cauldron-like hollow that forms shortly after the emptying of a magma chamber in a volcano eruption. When large volumes of magma are erupted over a short time, structural support for the rock above the magma chamber is gone) with over 10,000 thermal features and more than 300 geysers. It has one of the world’s largest petrifiied forests. It has over 290 waterfalls with the 308′ Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River as its showpiece.
6. Yellowstone Lake is the largest (132 sq. mi.) high altitude (7,732′) lake in North America.
7. Has nine Visitor’s Centres.
8. 12 campgrounds (over 2,000 campsites)

The drive from the Grand Tetons to Yellowstone is approximately 54 miles. We made it in good time and there was no queue to get in. We were amazed at the amount of snow and the lack of traffic. There wasn’t any!  I think it will be autumn before all the snow disappears, just in time for the next lot. ❄️

One area in the Park where everyone heads to it Grand Prismatic Spring. It’s so beautiful and some years back an overlook was built so that people can look down on the Spring to appreciate its beauty. Sadly, as with a lot of trails at the moment, the area was closed due to bear activity. Also, as the days can be quite cold still there is rather a lot of steam that rises from all the Springs and although with many this is not a problem, today it meant that Grand Prismatic was clouded in mist and so we couldn’t see it at all from ground level.

The Grand Prismatic Spring on a clear day!

All we could see of Grand Prismatic today!

Part of Grand Prismatic. Look carefully and you can see Bison hooves!

Sand on the way to Prismatic Spring

We saw quite a few bison today, some of them actually sitting right next to the hot springs.

Feeding Time!

Keeping Warm

In the steam

Another favourite with visitors is the eruption of Old Faithful a cone geyser. It was named in 1870 and was the first geyser in the park to be named. It is a highly predictable geothermal feature and has erupted every 44 minutes to two hours since 2000.

Old Faithful

The Old Faithful Inn stands right by the geyser.

The interior of the Old Faithful Inn

We were also lucky to see the eruption of Beehive Geyser.This geyser is an unpredictable one as it erupts every 8-24 hours.

Beehive Geyser

Bison Trouble! Near Old Faithful

On the way home we saw two bison just sauntering down the road, not a care in the world. Probably on their way to a dinner date! 😂They are not afraid of the traffic at all.

As Si was taking bison photos today, this cheeky chap came right up to the car door looking for food! I gave him a piece of my huckleberry scone. He loved it!

Cheeky chap!

We also visited the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, Artist Point, Brink of the Lower Falls and Biscuit Basin.

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

Sand and Si at Artist Point

Brink of the Falls

Biscuit Basin area

Here are some other geysers we saw today.