Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Bunnery, Phelps Lake, The Rockefeller Preserve, and the Biggest Burger Ever

Annnnd we're finally to the last day of our vacation, when managed to pack in (almost) everything we wanted to do in Jackson Hole: eating out, another hiking trip, more wild animals, and a few other little things we'd been meaning to see.

We started the morning in downtown Jackson at The Bunnery, a restaurant and bakery known for their breakfasts.  The food was great - especially their GIANT coffee cake.  Most of us had omelets, which were amazing.  Mark got a Belgian waffle in addition to his omelet, which was also fantastic (everyone helped him eat a little of it).  Mmmm.  

After our huge breakfast, we set out for our first hike of the day. We spent this final day in the area around Phelps Lake, with the first trail taking us to the Phelps Lake Overlook, a 2 mile loop.  There were lots of tall, beautiful firs and white aspens on the trail, which Mom loved.  Aspens are her new favorite tree.  At the overlook, you're rewarded with a beautiful view of Phelps Lake!

After we made our way down, we drove over to the Rockefeller Preserve, an 1,100 acre refuge in the Grand Teton National Park.  (On the way there, we saw another elk in the woods.)  We took a trail that brought us to the southern side of Phelps Lake (directly across from the overlook we'd hiked to shortly before).  We were happy for an easy hike at this point in the trip - the whole thing was about 4 miles and only gained about 225 feet (up/down).

On the way back into town, we stopped by the Chapel of the Transfiguration, a small log chapel still active through the Episcopal Church.  Such a cute little church...with the most fantastic backdrop of Grand Teton!  They have guest ministers come in every month of the summer - I told Dad I thought this would make for a fantastic sabbatical next year.  ;)

Around the corner from the chapel were two glimpses into the old west days of yore.  The first was a replica of Menors Ferry that traveled across the Snake River.  Bill Menor built the ferry after he settled on the western side of the river in 1864.  This was his way of getting supplies to his home!  The ferry was a simple platform set on top of two pontoon boats.  It was attached to a cable that ran across the river to keep it from floating downstream.  The trip was short (20 yards), but very important!

Bill also ran an old general store that is still operated today.  There are lots of locally made goods like huckleberry soda and taffy, jams, books, and cookware from the old west.   The old man running the shop was awesome - he just sat there telling stories from his childhood in Jackson Hole.  Just what you'd expect in an old general store!

After these stops, we decided to head back to the house and get cleaned up fro dinner.  What we expected to be a quick stop back at the house quickly escalated into hilarity.  We decided to get all the trash out of the car, since we'd be heading home the next morning.  Mom grabbed an armful of trash and went to throw it away.  The trash was kept under the steps in a locked room (so the wild animals couldn't get to it),  poor Mom went too far in, locking the door behind her!  As we were getting out of the car, we heard mom quietly calling, "Help guys!  I'm locked in the trash room!"

Being the sweet child he is, Mark decided to take a picture of mom before letting her out.  He called for me to throw him the house keys to let her out, so I tossed them his way.  I totally overshot, and the keys landed on part of the roof.  SHOOT.  I went to join Mark in figuring out how to get the keys off the roof (while mom is still calling for help), turned around, and FROZE.  There was a GIANT MOOSE about 20 feet from us chewing on a bush!  I squealed, threw all the trash I had in my hands in the air, and began wildly pointing at the moose (I was unable to speak at this point) so everyone could see...then I quickly grabbed the camera and started taking pictures!!

The moose was just hanging out eating shrubs and willow trees by our car while we were being dummies across the yard - we seriously almost missed him standing there!  He spent about 10 minutes out front, and then finally went on his way.  Don't worry - we had a clear getaway plan (up the steps and into our house) in case he decided to get too up close and personal.

Oh yes, and we did let Mom out of the trash room.

Dinner for the evening was at a restaurant called The Bird.  We tried to eat at a few places in town, but the wait was either an hour long, or it was $24 for a chicken breast.  Insane.  We talked to a shop owner, and he told us about this awesome local joint called The Bird that had the best burgers in the area.  And boyyy was he right!

Their burgers are HUGE.  Mark got a 9 oz burger, but everyone else's were 4 oz.  All of their burgers were served on English Muffins, which I loved - I hate it when there's so much extra bread that you take a bite and there's no burger.  Perfect!  We ate ourselves silly, and then went home to play a few more games.

This was seriously one of my favorite trips I've ever taken.  I really do have the best family - I'm quite a lucky girl!  Thanks for bearing with me through all of these photos and blogs - I hope you enjoyed them at least half as much as I did the vacation!

If you missed something, check out some of the previous adventures:

Jenny Lake & Colter Bay
Yellowstone National Park
Float trip down the Snake River
Hiking Rendezvous Mountain
Horseback Riding & a Chuckwagon Dinner


  1. Lauren, I just can't get over this incredible trip! I am so insanely jealous of every single moment you shared with us - and now Jackson Hole is my list of must travel to places! Glad you had such an amazing time!

    1. Thanks Sara! It really is one of the most fantastic places. Go SOON! :)

  2. Lauren, You will never know how very much I have enjoyed seeing Wyoming through your cameras and your comments. Absolutely beautiful, stunning, wonderful!!! Thank you over and over for taking the time to post your pictures and comments. Faye

    1. Awww...thanks Faye! It's been fun "reliving" it on the blog. Now I want to go back! :)

  3. Jackson Hole seems like a quaint place - what amazing scenery and neat eateries. I've never seen a moose before, it looks so huge!! Loving your pictures! And thanks for commenting on my blog :)

    Del @

    1. It is such a great escape from "real life". That moose was soooo big - seeing them from far away just doesn't give you the same feel. This guy was BIG. :)

  4. Wow! I can't believe how close you got to that moose. That's so incredible.
    Found you from the hop!

    Angela @ Dream Beautiful

    1. It was pretty crazy...but amazing! Thanks for hopping over - headed over to check out your blog now Angela!

  5. Seeing the picture of that moose near the SUV made it hit home just how big they really are. And that burger looks awesome.

    Heidi’s Wanderings

  6. SO big. It was pretty amazing. They say moose are more dangerous than bears because they 1) can't see well, 2) have a bad temper, and 3) are SO big. I'd believe it!

  7. I love the photos of the lake from above, and the photos of the church against the mountains - incredible! The little general store is unreal I love that you got to see a moose so close up on your last day of the trip :) This has been such a fabulous trip recap Lauren!

  8. What a GORGEOUS place!! And I can see why your mom's new favorite tree is the white aspen. They are beautiful! Thank you for sharing these pictures with us!!