Well, we actually did get *out* early, it's just that on our way down the mountain we ran into a dog. Not literally folks. As we rounded a curve we noticed a sad looking dog hanging out by the side of the road. We slowed down and noticed it had a collar with a number on it. Of course we had to stop. The poor dog was scared to death, it took us a good half hour to cajole him into the back of the truck and even then S had to lift him up into it. Not knowing the dog, obviously, we drove real slow afraid he'd jump out, and sure enough - he did! Managed to get him back into the truck bed but this time we covered it so he couldn't pull the same stunt again. Labra BTW was most welcoming and was happy to share his space with his new buddy.
Since we didn't have cell reception we figured we'd head down to Kelly, a tiny town at the bottom of the hill and call from there. As we pulled into the one and only coffee shop/store parking lot and started unloading the dog, the proprietor came running over calling the dog by his name! She wasn't the owner but knew who he belonged to and was so overjoyed she offered us lunch and even a beer! Given that it was only noon and we don't even drink beer we declined politely but she was adamant to do something for us so we suggested hot chocolate for the kids and she was more than thrilled to oblige.
Reason their sharing is that Whirlwind managed to spill his entire cup, of course....
We got a kick out of this sign :-) Nope, no buffalo were there when we were.
Back to our day's planned activities - we were heading to the Rockerfeller preserve inside the park. It's a section of the park previously owned by a Rockerfeller and then donated to the park service to be set aside as a special preserve.
Our goal there was to hike up to yet another beautiful lake. No, it doesn't get old.
Once at the top, we opened up the family activity backpack we checked out of the visitor center and got to work painting and sketching!
And look, we even had a family picture taken!
The day wasn't over yet though.....
From the preserve we headed to Teton Village, the ski area. There we road up the mountain in a gondola -
Up there we did some snacking, took in the view,
And headed back down -
On our way back we were lucky enough to come across what we think is a grey owl, a very rare sight during the day!
It was indeed a long day. It was tiring just writing about it!