It had been way too long since I had made the winter journey North out of Boulder County to the Jackson Hole and the Tetons. After annual pilgrimages that would cover a 15 year span my drought of winter in the Tetons was now at 17 years and ready to end. With reports of record December snows and the need for follow up work with clients it was just the right road trip to kick off the 2013 year.
The journey by vehicle is a 500 mile trip North through the towns of Ft Collins, CO, taking 287 to Laramie and then west on I 80 to Rock Springs before heading North. Weather was pretty good as there were only small areas of wind and blowing snow. I have made this trip when it is non stop snow, blowing winds and black ice most of the 500 miles. It is a ride that can be close to 8 hours or 12 - 13 depending on weather and roads. Today was to be on the short side of that time line.
Once I headed north on 181 out of Rock Springs the sun was slowly starting to set in the west and the views were grand. By the time I had gotten to Pinedale and headed through Bondurant toward Hoback Junction the big snows of the last month were apparent by the sizes of the snowbanks. By now I sure was ready to get to Teton Village.
I arrived in that evening in Teton Village to check in at the Alpenhof Lodge. The lodge is so convenient as no one is closer to the tram dock. The breakfasts are fantastic as are all the meals, but the beds are to remember. After a 500 mile drive it is nice to know that comfort awaits at the end of this part of the journey. After checking in it was time to wander over to the Mangy Moose Saloon.
The Mangy Moose Saloon is truly one of the great classic ski bars in ski country. Very good live music for apres ski daily, good food, great selection of libations.
The next day was a bluebird day with several inches of fresh snow. It was to be my first ride in the new tram this day and the Gondola as well. The beauty of Jackson Hole is all around you as you ride the tram 4100 plus feet in 12 minutes. I still love the tram ride and the feeling getting off the tram is like being on the top of the world. It would prove to be a great day one of the world's great ski resorts.
Two great lodging partners for the Mountain Sports Club include: