On Friday, the fifth day of our Great American Family Roadtrip, we checked out of our hotel in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, saying goodbye to their biker clientele and excellent wifi connection. We had breakfast for a second time at The Bunnery (it was that good), and shopped along the main street. Alex and Frank went to the Ripley's Believe it or Not Museum, while I headed to a mountaineering shop to buy some walking sticks for our next hike, and other gear for our trip to Yellowstone.
There was an Art Fair in town with a few hundred artists selling their wares in the local park. We browsed the exhibitors' booths while Alex made fast friends with a little girl named Lori from Denver and played on the playground with her. Frank sat down to keep an eye on Alex, and I went off to look at the inner row of exhibits.
I came to one that I particularly liked, by a fellow named Owen Mortensen from Utah, called Botanical Art. Owen's art is very simple, and uses pressed leaves and flowers to create simple designs on clean backgrounds. I really liked his aesthetic, and dragged Frank back to the booth to see a large piece with Ginko leaves that I liked. Frank thought it was too big to fit in our space, but we agreed that one featuring small tropical leaves would work. We ended up buying two pieces from him. I also bought a set of handcarved salad tongs from another vendor to replace the ones I broke recently.
Our big event for the day was taking Alex to see "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" at a local movie theatre. You might think that being surrounded by such natural beauty, one would not be inclined to sit in a dark movie theatre for 2 hours watching animated figures hack each other up with light sabres. We had promised Alex that he could see the movie, and he has been counting down the days, so we decided to go for it.
Frank and Alex went to see "Star Wars", but luckily, I didn't have to see it. The theatre was playing "Swing Vote" at the same time, so I went to see that instead. It was the perfect prelude to the Democratic National Convention, and was much more a story about what is important to people than about politics. Both parties are portrayed as having a moral base, with flaws on both sides, more interested in "winning" that accomplishing anything. The girl at the center of the story is the moral base, and more than a few times, made me cry. I'm not a Costner fan, but he really did well in this movie. I recommend it.
We headed out of town after the movie and drove toward Yellowstone. En route, a bunch of cars were stopped on the side of the road, so we got out to see what all the fuss was about. A large moose was standing at the side of the road, grazing on foliage, and was completely nonplussed by the collection of people snapping pictures of it.
We stopped again at the Snake River Overlook to take pictures of the sunset. Everyone was pointed toward the sunset, but we noticed when we pulled out of the lot that the moon was rising over the hills on the other side of the road. I managed to finally get a decent picture of the moon, after years of unsuccessful attempts. The result is at the top of this post. I had to use photoshop to take out a blurry spot in the sky from some dirt on my camera, but otherwise, it is what I saw.
We arrived at the Old Faithful Lodge at Yellowstone National Park around 11 pm. We were escorted to a lovely suite with a view of Old Faithful. Alex asked where the TV was, and the bellman said that none of the rooms had TV. He told Alex that, “the only channel we have is Discovery Channel. Just go out and look at nature and discover things for yourself!”
For more pictures of our trip, check out my Flickr pages.