In the weeks leading up to our planned 6 days in Jackson, Wyoming, every time someone asked either Jacqui or I about our upcoming vacation Jacq would find some way to put it that she really wasn’t excited to be going to Wyoming. The great outdoors really didn’t interest her, she’d say. She’d rather be going to the beach, she’d complain. This was “Michael’s vacation”, she’d insist. Well, ladies and gentlemen, you heard it here first–and this is a quote directly from Jacqui on the plane home last night–“that was one of, if not THE best vacations I’ve ever had,” Jacqui said. Yes, that’s right, Jacqui loved the hiking and rafting, the fresh mountain air, the friendly people, and even the rodeo (save the part where they rope a poor little calf by the front and hind legs). We had a great time. Sophia was incredible and loved our long hikes, propped up in a backpack. She even made a new friend–our babysitter’s 1-year-old daughter with whom she played while we went rafting one afternoon. The trip was just great. We had a fantastic time with our friends Stu and Ruthie (a special hat tip to Stu, a former Jackson resident, who organized most of our outings). And we even saw, off about 100 yards in the woods, a grizzly bear and her cubs.
The grizzly reminded me of my dad. He and my mom vacationed in Jackson 5 or so years ago, and he was frustrated that he’d been there for a week and really wanted to see a grizzly and hadn’t. His last day there he called me early Jackson time. He had gotten in the rent-a-car and was driving up to Yellowstone hoping to spot a bear. Every hour or so he’d call back with an update. Lot’s of bison, but no bears. I think he even spotted a moose. I thought of him a lot while I was in Jackson. I miss him every day. I wish I could call him and tell him that I’d seen a bear. A grizzly no less. Yea, the bears were a hundred yards off in the trees and we only saw them for a few seconds. But, boy was that cool.