Saturday, October 10, 2009

Jackson and Jack

Last week we spent 4 days in Jackson Hole with my very cool, very knowledgeable Grandfather. Jack calls him, multiple times an hour, "Grandpa-Paul." We got there right after the snow hit, so not only was it a whole new, cold Jackson, but Grandpa got to relive everything he had done a few days earlier, WINTER style.

Grandpa didn't mind that though he had just spend an entire day in Yellowstone with the previous visitors, he'd spend another day there with us. But this time, due to snow, many parts of the park were closed and our day was planned by nature. We hit Jackson Lake and Old Faithful. It was around 35 degrees each day, Jack was a champ about wearing his new jacket and hat, and did a great job keeping his hands in his pockets to stay warm. It was a very surreal experience to see Jack amongst the snow without turning blue. Everything seems to only get better. We were at some pretty high elevations and he'd insist on walking, but every now and then he'd reach up to one of us to carry him. Whether that's his heart condition, or laziness...I haven't figured it out yet.

Old Faithful was on time as always and Jack thought it was
pretty cool to see it "explode" right in front of him. This was the only place in the park that we really ran into other people. We were hoping to see some wildlife, maybe some of the "hundreds of elk" Grandpa had seen a couple of days earlier, but the snow seemed to have driven everyone elsewhere. Most likely to the closed portions of the park.

After Old Faithful we drove back to "Jackson's" (Jack couldn't really grasp the concept of Jackson being a place, and not a person.) Grandpa told us lots of interesting stories, like how Grandma hid money for months and on Christmas presented Grandpa with $7300 to purchase their lot in Olympus Cove. And how his first born was conceived out of necessity to prevent Grandpa from being drafted to the Korean war. And how there isn't anyone that he "dislikes" that he can think of...

Truly a fascinating drive home.

The last day of Adventure included a drive through Teton National Park. Again, kind of quiet, due to the snow. But we stopped at Jenny Lodge and Jenny Lake. We did a lot of rock throwing. It's a boy thing, I think. Throwing rocks into a body of water. Lots of that.

We packed sandwiches and had some lunch at an abandoned visitors center that was closed for the season. That's where I learned about all of Grandpa's piano and organ teachers.

On our way back, we came across a bear hanging in a tree. He was searching for food and had cubs sleeping a ways in from the road. But he was just 20ft from us and went about his business climbing a very small tree. He was adorable. After that we saw a mama moose and her calf feeding in some marsh. Good wildlife.

Jack was the star of every show. Each time we went out to eat there were people staring and giggling at his cute behavior that I was constantly trying to minimize- because he thrives on playing class clown and can get quite riled up. But he sure was a good boy for all the driving we did. He had a great time and enjoyed spending time with Grandpa-Paul. As did we.


Kelly D. said...

As always, all your pictures are gorgeous! That one of Jack and Grandpa is my favorite, though. So sweet!

I'll never forget when my grandpa took me to Carlsbad Caverns when I was four and I spent the entire trip looking for Carl and wondering why his caverns were bad. I can totally understand Jack's line of thinking :)

Sue Sharp said...

nice pics!!! It is so nice to see Jack doing so great. It's always a treat when we get to see you. I'm sure Daddy was absolutely thrilled to have you there with him. You got some stories that I have never heard. Wow!

John and Suzi said...

Our family loves Jackson! Even Ellie and Luke will say, "we miss the Tetons...when can we go back?" You were fortunate to have gotten a glimpse of a baby bear in in a tree...It looks like it was a bit on the chilly Jack's glad Jack is doing so well..

Kimmie said...

Funny you would mention rock IS a boy thing. In fact, Easton loved to do it so much when he was little, that is where we headed the morning before his Fontan (as well as a 4-wheeler store)...his two favorite activities to fill up the time as a hungry 2 year old awaited an afternoon heart surgery.

Kimmie said...

sorry, forgot to mention I am another heart mommy...I think I've commented before, but you are probably wondering who the crap this Kimmie girl is!

leandparkermakes3 said...

Looks like a fun trip! Great pics! Cute Jack!