We arrived in Jackson just in time to welcome in the New Year in the Town Square
Last selfie of 2015
Friday 010116 - Dog sledding
Spent the first day of 2016 dog sledding around Bridger-Teton National Forest! We booked the trip through Jackson Hole Iditarod Sled Dog Tours, which is owned and operated by Frank Teasley, an eight-time Iditarod veteran who's won awards for the humane treatment of his dogs. The company never sells or kills any of their animals, and when the older dogs retire, they move indoors and wander around to greet the visitors. The local power company donates power line spools to the company, and Frank cuts out little doors and insulates the spools and lines them with hay so each dog gets his or her own little dog house. When we arrived first thing in the morning, the dogs were peering out of their homes or lounging around outside in the snow. I've never met friendlier and happier animals in my entire life; all these guys wanted to do was play in the snow and run.
And we're off!
The staff took the first sled, then we our very own sled with six dogs. Despite morning temperatures near -17ºF, the day turned out to be beautiful with bright sunshine and clear skies. The dogs get too hot when it breaks 0ºF, so it really just turned out to be a perfect day for everyone.
My sled driver!
Friday 010116 - Snowshoeing around Grand Teton NP
After our dog sled adventure, we headed into to Grand Teton National Park to wander around for the last few hours of daylight. Turns out that snowshoeing through multiple feet of powder is an extremely effective way to warm up quickly.
Grand Teton NP
Grand Teton NP
Thawing out in the hotel room
Saturday 010216 - Yellowstone
I'd been wanting to visit Yellowstone in the winter for a while, and on Saturday, we finally made it. We left Jackson to pick up our snowmobile around 7 am, then headed into the park via the South Entrance to cover over 130 miles throughout the course of the day. We stopped to admire some of the geysers, ate our lunch by a wood stovein one of the warming huts, visited the Upper Falls overlook on the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, saw numerous herds of bison in the distance and pulled over to allow a coyote to cross the road in front of us. Temperatures started near -20ºF before sunrise, and although we ended up with another beautiful clear sunny day, cruising along at 45 MPH in a snowmobile is not exactly the warmest thing I've ever done. Cold weather and all, however, I'm pretty sure that Yellowstone in the winter is one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen.