Thursday, things cleared up enough for us to head up to GTNP on Thursday and wander up to Jenny, String and Leigh Lakes. We didn't see any bears this time, but we did see lots of birds and rodenty things, and we got to listen to the wind in pine trees, which is one of the best sounds in the world. I have all sorts of wonderful memories of things and events backgrounded by wind in evergreens, so, mmm.
Friday, we went to Yellowstone with the idea of trying to get a room for the night. It's such an enormous park that it's really worth spending two days there, and the drive is long enough that it just doesn't make sense to spend the night between at home. Unfortunately, it was very busy so there weren't a lot of room options, and they were all way too expensive, so we passed on the overnight, which meant we missed the north loop and Mammoth and Tower Falls, but we did see Old Faithful, lots of other interesting pools and geysers, and, perhaps best of all, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, which is always spectacular. It was a very fun day, and it renewed my desire to spend more time up there. Unfortunately, the organization that has the concession for services up there seems to suck as far as employment practices go, so... I probably won't be working up there anytime soon!
Saturday, we tried to ride the tram, but it was closed for high winds, so we just wandered around the much-changed Teton Village. I spent two summers working up there for the Jackson Hole Ski Area, and I knew they had big plans, so I shouldn't be surprised, but some of the new buildings are just amazingly huge for this area, so I was, anyway. We also ran into one of my high school classmates, and we had a good catch-up chat.
That evening, we had some of my parents friends over for a strange collection of dinner companions, one of whom insisted on pouring me more wine when I declined. *prickle* I guess it's good to be reminded not to take for granted that pretty much everyone in my life listens when I express a desire for more (or no more) of a thing.
Sunday, we tried the tram again and succeeded. There was snow on the ground at 10,450 feet, which was not at all surprising. More surprising (although still not shocking) was that it snowed a bit while we were up there. We had a tasty hot chocolate and enjoyed the views and I mentally mocked the people who were up there in inappropriate clothing. I ran into another classmate at the package store and got the update on the reunion, which I missed.
Last night, we had several of our closer family friends over for a really fun dinner, including Dick Cheney gossip, travel talk and, of course, tasty food. I'm so spoiled for good dinners after being here a week!
Today... who knows? But tomorrow we get up really damn early to drive to SLC to catch our various flights out. (Me and Aileen to Boston; Dan to Manchester; Mom and Dad to SF.)