We managed to get out of our room at Jackson Lake Lodge by the 11:00 a.m. checkout time. This got us downstairs and outside in time for the raptor show being put on by the Teton Raptor Center. Although we missed most of the programs like this, the Jackson Lake Lodge appears to host many educational events on a regular basis. The one put on by the Teton Raptor Center, which included several large birds, was very popular with the kids.
Because I’d discovered a love for huckleberry during the trip, I was looking at some of the huckleberry products for sale in the gift shops. There was huckleberry syrup, huckleberry jelly, huckleberry lotion, huckleberry lip balm, and a variety of other huckleberry-themed products. I did not have a chance to look at the ingredients list on most of them, but I did happen to pick up a tube of Wild Huckleberry Body Lotion. Interestingly, the ingredient list did not include huckleberries.
The drive from Jackson Lake Lodge to Old Faithful is scenic and provides many opportunities to see wildlife along the road (and sometimes in it). Along the way, there is also a waterfall and creek where children (or adults) can go into the water and play. I do not remember the name of the location now, but it was very popular. If you choose to do the activity, make sure to have towels and a change of clothes in an easily accessible location. There are no changing rooms around, however, so be aware that anyone changing clothes will have to do so in the car.
There are also some other locations along the way where people can stop to watch or take photos of waterfalls. A few fools were crawling out onto rocks overlooking the falls, but most people had enough common sense to go on the observation platform to enjoy the view.
We arrived at the Old Faithful Snow Lodge just a few minutes before one of Old Faithful’s afternoon eruptions, and lucked into a parking spot close to the geyser. Most people were parked very far away. We wound up watching it erupt three times over the course of that afternoon and evening.
Since we were staying at the Old Faithful Snow Lodge, we decided to stay there to eat dinner at the Old Faithful Inn Restaurant. It is a beautiful facility with high ceilings and a pleasant atmosphere. The service was prompt and efficient. We considered ordering the buffet until we looked at it and saw that it was rather small and uninspiring. I wound up ordering the bison and pheasant bratwurst, and my wife ordered the grilled salmon. Neither were bad, but they were not particularly impressive either. The kids ate from the kids menu and finished the meal with huckleberry ice cream.
Before our diner reservation we had been watching a thunderstorm move in across the sky. Fortunately, we were inside eating dinner by the time it actually hit. It wasn’t too bad of a storm, just dumping a lot of rain and making bits of thunder for a while. By the time we finished dinner and left the restaurant, the storm had blown away and left behind partially clear skies decorated with beautiful cloud formations.
It was probably around 7:30 p.m. when we started exploring the walkways through the geyser park. It is called Firehole Basin, but the name does not capture the majesty of this place. I’m sure it is impressive any time of the day, but walking through at sunset after a thunderstorm was absolutely amazing. We even saw a huge rainbow over some of the geysers at one point. I’m not sure how far we walked, but it had to have been several miles in total. By the time we concluded the walk and made it back to our room, it was somewhere between 9:30 and 10:00 p.m.
After getting the kids showered and off to bed, I went down to the laundromat on the second floor. It was already past 10:30 by this time and the sign on the laundromat door said it closed at 10:00 p.m. However, the door was unlocked so I went in and did our laundry anyway. I stayed with it the entire time, though, to make sure someone didn’t come by and lock the door.