The next day dawned rainy and dismal. We’d had a better night’s sleep than the night before, but our moods were dampened by the cold rain. We had planned another day exploring Yellowstone, but wouldn’t be returning to that campground, so we were forced to pack up our tent and other gear while it was still soaking wet. For the first time in our trip, it felt like our enthusiasm was flagging; Ryan was fighting a head cold after our chilly night, and the gloomy day was definitely affecting both our moods.
We had just two stops planned for the day: Grand Prismatic Spring and Old Faithful. Grand Prismatic Spring is the largest hot spring in the United States, and the third largest in the world, but I was mostly interested in it because of the beautiful rainbow of colors it displays.
Well, I was in for a disappointment; it was about 45 degrees out and the warm water (160 degrees) meeting the cool air left the springs clouded in steam.
Next stop: Old Faithful — and our timing couldn’t have been better. It erupts every 35 to 125 minutes, and we weren’t excited about the possibility of waiting in the rain, but it went off just 2 or 3 minutes after we arrived. Maybe it was the dreary day affecting our mood, but we just weren’t that impressed.
Directly south of Yellowstone National Park is Grand Teton National Park — directly between us and our next stopping point in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. By the time we arrived at the border of Grand Teton, the unpleasant weather was beginning to evaporate and we were treated to some tremendous views of the incredible Teton mountain range.
You might be able to tell that by this point we were kind of ready for a break from camping. Hotels in Jackson Hole were, as we expected, pretty pricey. So instead we reserved a “kamping kabin” at the Jackson Hole / Snake River KOA. This one-room cabin had a double bed and a pair of bunk beds — and Ryan even scored us a cabin with an amazing riverfront view!
After cooking dinner at our campground, we headed into town to check out Jackson Hole — a charming, upscale town nestled in the base of the mountains. We enjoyed homemade ice cream at Moo’s Gourmet Ice Cream, spent some time browsing the local bookstore, and wandered in and out of the shops. I can only imagine how cozy the town would be in the winter when the resort ski season begins!