After convincing the lady behind the desk that we did not want the rental car insurance for $30 extra per day, we drove away in a white Equinox. We quickly found our resort and checked into our room around 11:00pm, Jackson Hole time. The time difference was one hour, so it was midnight at home. We stayed at The White Buffalo Club. I searched the internet over trying to decide on where to stay. I picked the White Buffalo Club because it is conveniently located a few blocks from the town square, the room had a washer and dryer (score), kitchen, living area, and from my understanding, they also provided a free shuttle. I beg to differ on the free shuttle, but that is neither here nor there. Unfortunately, I forgot to take any pictures at all of the resort or our room. It was super nice, but not somewhere I would stay again if we ever go back to Jackson Hole. Honestly, I didn't see anywhere I would like to stay except a few cabins on the side of a mountain. All of the resorts are right in town. Our resort looked "rustic" from the outside, but on the inside it was just like any other room I've ever stayed in. It was very nice, clean and modern. Whenever I think Jackson Hole, I imagine being on the side of the mountain with a fantastic view and not a soul in sight. Next time, I'll skip the resort and close to town convenience and probably rent off of VRBO.
After getting settled in, Austin and I both were super ill, tired and ready for bed. We enjoyed what little sleep we got and woke up at the crack of dawn. Our scenic float trip was scheduled to meet at 5:50 about 20 minutes from our room. We were up at 5:00am. Waahhh. In hindsight, we probably shouldn't have done the sunrise float trip on day one, but I thought maybe that would lift our spirits after such a rough start! Austin is a morning person anyway, and we were given a better chance of seeing animals on the trip at sunrise than any other time.
I booked the trip trough Solitude Float Trips. Whenever we met the people who would be floating with us, I knew quick I was under dressed. They looked like they were ready for a blizzard. We took about a 10 minute drive up the road to get to where we would put the float in at. On our way, we spotted a moose so that was really neat! When we got to the location, they gave each of us a life vest, which I was happy to wear (hello extra layer). We got in the float and got ready to sit back and soak it all in. It was BEAUTIFUL.
Austin spotted a few deer before our guide did. He has a lot of experience in that. Other than a few deer, the only other animal we saw was a coon. Those are obviously a rare species to some folks. We did see a few cute little ducks. Animals or not, it was still enjoyable.
We talked with the people in our boat enough to get a little information about the Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone. I had noticed a sign at the airport whenever we arrived about the South Entrance at Yellowstone being closed. I panicked a little but they let us know that there was an alternate route, so that put our questions to rest. After leaving the scenic float, we went back to the room to take a nap. I was quite reluctant about the nap, but I knew we needed some rest to make the remainder of the day a little more fun.
After we napped, I called and booked a reservation for us to go to the Bar T 5 covered wagon cookout that night and then we walked into town. We had lunch at the Million Dollar Cowboy bar and then walked a ways to the visitor center. We had asked a few people about going to Yellowstone and they were just no help. Our concierge printed us a google map. Not helpful. Austin was a little uptight with the whole idea. On vacations with my family, everybody is super laid back. If you get lost, so what. I am learning quickly that Austin is not that way. He didn't know where he was or where he was going and he was stressed. Thankfully the visitor center provided us with a detailed map of Yellowstone as well as Grand Teton National Park. The map provided must-see locations, and was very informative. Thank you, visitor center. I think we both felt a lot more confident in what we were doing when we left there.
After the visitor center we went back to the room to freshen up and get ready for the covered wagon cookout. I had read a ton of reviews, and this was one of the 3 things I knew I wanted to do on the trip. The wagons picked us up about 5 minutes from the room. We were assigned wagons and table numbers. There were two couples in our group who were super sweet and we enjoyed getting to know them. One was celebrating 27 years of marriage and the other had been married for 49 years. They both enjoyed giving us their marriage advice. Buck and Shot were the 2K pound horses pulling our wagon. We rode about 20 minutes to the "camp" where we would have dinner and a show. Dinner included BBQ chicken, roast beef, corn, rolls, salad and a brownie. It was yummy. After dinner, we enjoyed a show that reminded me a lot of back home. There was a lot of pickin' and grinnin' and Austin and I love that. We did have a bluegrass band at our wedding reception. The show was a little cheezy, but fun and I managed to be pulled in as a "volunteer." Austin was videoing it, so there are no pictures of my 10 seconds.
We left on the wagon around 6:00 and got back to our car at 8:30. We went back to the room and called it an early night so we could get up bright and early for our 14 hour adventure in Yellowstone!