Saturday, February 23, 2008


This past week Mark and I and Paul and Brooke took a vacation to Jackson, WY to hit up Jackson Hole ski resort. We watch a lot of Warren Miller flicks, and the bonus, other than getting to see some crazy skiing and snowboarding, is that they give you a little insight into tons of different ski places around the country and the world. Jackson Hole had shown up a few times, and we had always heard amazing things about it, so we were pumped to finally get over there to check it out for ourselves. We had a blast! We got to ski/ride one day at Grand Targhee [tar-GEE] in Alta, WY [even though you can only get there via Idaho], go snowshoeing near Yellowstone National Park [they close the roads in the winter so you have to park about two miles short of the park and walk or snowcat in during the winter], and spend a couple days on the slopes at Jackson Hole. The only thing that could have made the week better would be not having everyone but me get sick at some point, and possibly a little fresh snow. Apparently we hit the longest window of snowlessness they'd had yet. Oh well...can't complain too much. It was still a great week!

Our drive took us up and over the Continental Divide.

Mark and Jess with the Tetons peaking over the horizon behind us.

Brooke and Paul with the Tetons in view.

The Tetons...Grand Teton is the one kind of in the middle that sticks up the highest. Middle Teton and South Teton are the two points to the left of the Grand. We had no snow the whole time we were there and the skies were cloudless giving us amazing views!

The view from Teton Pass. I think the mountains look painted!

Snowshoeing...we were attempting to find some hot springs, but the directions we were given were pretty vague, and we never did get was a great afternoon beautiful!

The only wildlife we saw while snowshoeing was this moose. It was pretty cool, although he was leary of us and kept an eye on us until we were out of sight.

I love snow! It creates some of the coolest formations!

This is a lot of snow! I just fell in love with the snow blankets and random formations we saw all over the place out there.

The view from the top of Apres Vous Mtn at Jackson Hole.

We saw tons of paragliders while we were skiing at Jackson Hole. They would kind of hover on top of the mountain and eventually land in a field next to the parking lot at the resort.

Once again...that's a lot of snow. Jackson Hole has already had between 350-450 inches of snow this year!

Brooke learned to snowboard this week...she did awesome! By the end of day three she was working her way down some of the blue runs at Jackson Hole!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Wild, Wild West

I know that rodeos take place all over the country; I even discovered that there is one in the Quad Cities. But I discovered that if you come out west, when the rodeo comes to town it is a big deal. Everyone goes! There are even some schools out this way that have rodeo as an option for a school sport. Needless to say, Mark and I were excited when we were given two free tickets to the rodeo a couple weeks ago. It was really fun - we were in the third row, and I even got hit with a big chunk of dirt that one of the broncos dug up as he was trying to throw off his rider. We had joked about it before we went, but it really happened! It felt like someone threw a baseball at my arm. Overall, it was a great night. Here are a few pictures...they didn't turn out that great because the rodeo is pretty most of our pictures ended up blurry. But, you get the idea....

This guy was awesome! He is from Mexico and had a horse that sort of danced around while he did some cool tricks with is lasso. At one point he had the lasso twirling around both him and the horse. It was pretty crazy!

Bucking Bronco. I'm pretty amazed. The guys who ride these things look like rag dolls being thrown around. Not sure how their bodies take the beating. I think they only have to stay on for 8 seconds to qualify for a score. It's amazing how long 8 seconds feels when you're watching someone get whipped around like that!

Bull-riding. This was crazy, too. The bulls are mean and so once the rider is off, they kind of look like they would like to take out a lot of people around them. There are even two special "clowns" that come out for this event to get the bull back into his corral. Not sure I would sign up, but to each his own...

This was the main "rodeo clown." He was pretty funny...kind of like a stand-up comedian in between events. At one point he got on a motorcycle and jumped over a very large trailer attached a very large truck.
Overall, the night was cool...I'd recommend it to anyone if you get a least once :).