2017 Road Trip - Day 5: More Grand Teton and Yellowstone

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We began the day with breakfast at The Virginian back in Jackson. It was perfect. I had a chorizo, egg, and breakfast potato skillet with house-made salsa, sour cream, and some fancy Spanish name I can't remember, served with tortilla chips. Delicious with great service and atmosphere.

We planned on spending the entire day in Yellowstone, but after sitting near-motionless in traffic before the South entrance we turned around and returned to Grand Teton. We'll need to arrive earlier to enter Yellowstone tomorrow morning.

Unsure of what to do, we stopped at a Visitor's Center to plan our next move and to buy a canister of bear spray. We decided to finish what we started yesterday with Grand View Point, but this time coming from the West. The moderate hike was pretty along the way, with only the last mile or so being very vertical. The view was indeed grand, it was beautiful on all sides.

Our plan was to either swim in a lake or complete another peak hike afterward, but we changed course to return to Yellowstone for a little while before the sun set. We stopped at a Visitor's Center and did a little souvenir shopping, and then drove the southeast quadrant of the lower loop to Old Faithful, where we did some more souvenir shopping and waited for the geyser to erupt.

By now we decided to head to our hotel in Alta, WY, which wound up being an extraordinary ordeal. Neither of us had service and we only had a roadmap of Wyoming, and it turns out that Alta is accessible only via Idaho. We chose the coinflip wrong and tried finding our way there via the South Entrance of Yellowstone, which means we had to drive through the entirety of Grand Teton, all the way back to Jackson, north to somewhere in the middle of Idaho, and then finally east to Alta. A two-hour drive turned into a three-and-a-half hour drive in the pure and complete blackness of the Wyoming night. It was rough.

We finally made it to the hotel at about midnight, and I nearly immediately fell asleep. A lot more time spent in the car today than we planned, but it worked out fine.

Tomorrow: more Yellowstone.