The Mad River boathouse has all the trappings of winter still (snow included). Even through the snow, I can almost smell the wetsuits in our office already, finally out of storage and just waiting to be handed out to you. I know that as we are wrapping up the end of winter and ushering in the beginning of our summer, so is everyone else. Plans are being made. Hopes and dreams of escaping the daily stress you deal with all year round – even if just for a week, or even a weekend – are popping up as those vacation days get closer and closer.
There are some lucky adventurers out there getting all of the last minute details ready for an extended trip. It can be a lot of work to find the time to leave life for a week, but to take time out for a month and more can be chaos. Oh, but going to work every day is that much easier after being able to soak in some natural light and breathe in some actual fresh air. Wyoming doesn't have smog air quality alerts on the morning news reports around here.
When you make it to Wyoming there are going to be a hundred things to accomplish and see. The list can get quite extensive, I know, I'm still whittling my own list down after living here for a decade.
We are blessed as a whole to have so many options for Wyoming State Park historic sites and trails to enjoy, and for any tour of the parks (national or otherwise) to be complete you should definitely be making your way to Yellowstone National Park. Because, let's face it, you have to see Old Faithful at least once in your life, and it just so happens to be exponentially easier to explain the difference in a bison (commonly known as a buffalo) and an actual buffalo to your children if they get to see a BISON grazing 10 feet from the car window.
Your tour should naturally bring you south through Grand Teton National Park next. The Tetons are an icon here in the valley, and you are going to find more than a few locals enjoying the trails and lakes. Grand Teton National Park also happens to be reasonably close to Jackson and it's many amenities. As a gateway community for both parks, town lends itself as a great place to rest up from your blast of nature without truly leaving it. There are more than a few hikes that are right up against town. This makes it easy to finish up and have a great meal, get cell phone reception or attend one of our many outdoor music festivals and concerts. Definitely, jump on the river with us and enjoy the Snake River like the locals – on it (and sometimes in it).
If you are one of the few planning on braving the Continental Divide Trail– WELL DONE! Of the estimated 3,100 miles of the trail, there are still large chunks that are private land that you will have to work around. That is quite a way to go no matter what, and while you will either just be starting off or almost to the end of your trek –Wyoming is a great place to take that breath.
Pinedale, Wyoming is the newest gateway community for the CDT this year. They are just south of us and offer plenty of options for your dining, sleeping, and maybe even laundering needs. Head just north of us and hit the rapids before you head off back to the trail. You can think of it as a really intense bath that involves PFD's.
Get out there!