Category Archives: Morning Coffee

Morning Coffee and Butch Cassidy

For quite some time now I have been wanting to stop by a little rock church found in Auburn Wyoming.  Auburn is a little community not far from my home here in Afton Wyoming and it is a true piece of Americana as Auburn was a gateway for part of the Oregon Trail that passed through this part of Star Valley during the migration west in the mid 1800’s.

The Lander Cut Off once it was discovered helped these pioneers save 7 days in the journey heading west starting in Le Barge Wyoming making their way through  true wilderness range and popping out in Smoot Wyoming just a stones throw from me here in Afton.  It was Auburn where these pioneers made their was back into the mountains once they had crossed the Valley floor here on their way to Fort Hall Idaho.  It may not sound like much but 7 days could make the difference between life or death back then.  Remember the Donner Party?  But that journey is really for another post.

No more excuses as my wife politely reminded me that in the morning the weather should be perfect for me.  I woke up and she already had my very large YETI mug full of hot coffee ready for my morning’s journey.  When I asked her why she was not dressed she just looked at me and said “Are you kidding me?  It’s cold outside… no I will see you when you get back”.  So with camera AND coffee in hand I headed out.

In Auburn there is not much as far as stores and places to shop, just a quaint little piece of Wyoming that many call home.  Auburn sits on the border between Wyoming and Idaho…  just inside the Wyoming line.  It is here in Auburn that this beautiful rock LDS church sits.

It is said that Butch Cassidy and his gang used to winter in the Auburn area.  Heavy snowfalls made Star Valley a safe place to “hole up”, as did the fact that this area was mostly settled by polygamists.  Using aliases, Butch Cassidy and his partners were occasionally seen at church socials and dances held in the Old Rock Church in Auburn. Today this little rock church is used as a melodrama theater in the summer.

Recently I had the pleasure to visit with a current day elder who’s family has been in Auburn a very long time.   She told me that because of the small size of the church they could not fit everyone who would attend these dances so a lottery system was developed so people could buy a ticket and when their ticket was called they would get to dance.

Because Butch Cassidy seemed to always have money it was rumored he would buy up enough tickets so he could dance all night.  If people came to the area looking for him the locals where prepared to hide him or in most cases he would travel east to the Big Horn Mountains just outside Kaycee, Wyoming and not far from Sheridan Wyoming located on the east side of the Big Horns.

It is here in this place called “The Hole In The Wall” that the outlaws the likes of Butch Cassidy, Jesse James and the Sundance Kid would hole up until it was safe to move on.  But this too is for another post.

The Little Rock Church Auburn Wyoming

Morning Coffee – Afton

Mormon Temple Afton Wyoming

On this cold Fall morning I only had one thought in mind and that was to get myself to the Gym.  As the Fall days progress the daylight hours shorten it is now dark when I leave for the gym.  The dark colder mornings definitely makes it harder to get motivated.  If I am not awake when I leave the house I am by the time I reach my truck.  Cold air does a great job of awakening you in quick step.

So like most mornings I proceeded to drag myself out of bed, started the truck to warm it up ahead of the short drive and headed out to the gym.  It is important to note that my route to the gym takes me right by the newly completed Mormon Temple each morning.  A beautiful building for sure but I am so used to seeing it I usually just pass on by.

I arrived at the gym, pooped out of my truck and headed on in… except this time my FOB key wasn’t working.  I was also the only guy there so no one could let me in.  Sometimes it happens…

I reluctantly got back into my truck thinking that I was not yet ready to head back home.  It was then I looked over and saw that my camera was just sitting there staring at me.  Great I thought but then I realized how dark it still was and sunrise was still an hour away so I started the short trip back home.  As I passed the Mormon Temple again on my way this time I thought wow it looks great this morning all lit up… maybe I should stop and take a few pics.

I pulled a U-Turn and parked across the highway and it was then I discovered no tripod in the car.  After a couple of second I decided too bad I was not going home to get it so I decided to take my pictures hand held.  They came out pretty good but I will definitely have to come back and set my tripod up for some better longer exposed shots.

One final thought…  I was not immediately sure what else I was missing and it was then I realized I had NO COFFEE with me.  This made this journey a bit more of a challenge but I assure you my next picture event at the LDS Temple will include a tripod and very LARGE cup of fresh hot coffee…

 

Morning Coffee Meditation @ Gros Ventre

This is another moment in time captured this past Fall here in the Yellowstone Basin.  On this morning Peyton and I traveled to Jackson Hole Wyoming to pickup our morning coffee before heading out to this beautiful spot.  Located on the Gros Ventre River east of Kelly Wyoming this drainage is one of my favorite places to spend time and just be still.

Just east of this spot on the river is where the huge landslide happened in the early 1900’s that created the two Slide Lakes that are now part of this amazing landscape.  The Gros Ventre was one of the original trails into the valley that the trappers used to hunt and trap this beautiful place.  The Teton are visible most of the way down this drainage and one can see for miles.

This little bend in the river is a very nice place to sit and sip on some Morning Coffee and reflect on the beauty that is the result of the ultimate artist, God himself.  Enjoy a snapshot in time and share with me the quite serenity of this place knows as the Gros Ventre River.  Enjoy….

Gros Ventre River, Jackson Wyoming

Morning Coffee – Bozeman Eats…

Here in the Yellowstone Basin our winters tend to be long and cold.  Most years winter comes and goes within the normal season time frames and yes snow is definitely part of the mix.  There are really two seasons that bring people to our area… summer and winter.  Not that Fall and Spring are not beautiful but the masses tend to travel during the summer and winter months.

jhresort_01Summer is simply breathtaking here in the Yellowstone Basin and people flock to this part of the world during the summer months by the millions.  Winter is a different crowd mostly looking for that powder stash we are so well known for.  Not only skiers but snow machiners as well.  Togwatee pass is one of the top places in the world for Snow Machining and our resort Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is one of the top ski resorts in the world.

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Along the banks of the Snake River

But for those of us who live here getting away from the deep snow, especially in years like this where the snow just keeps coming is a necessary endeavor.  Last thursday we decided it was time to just go … anywhere where the snow was not so deep.  Our destination was to be Bozeman Montana.  From our home here just south of Jackson Hole our road trip was to take us 227 miles to the heart of Bozeman Montana.

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Gallatin River, Montana

Now I know this sounds a little like a crazy thing to do which is to say drive 227  miles in winter to get away from the snow but this was to be our journey this day.  It is important to note that the drive from Jackson Hole, Wyoming to Bozeman Montana is one of the most beautiful drives in North American winter or summer.  In the winter we travel from Jackson Hole, to Ashton Idaho then up to West Yellowstone and through the very NW corner of Yellowstone Park and we then follow the Gallatin River down into Bozeman.  Simply beautiful the entire way!  So we grabbed our Morning Coffee and off we went…

Once in Bozeman we stayed for the night and in addition to our normal Costco run we decided to explore some new places to eat since when in Bozeman this is one of our favorite sports.  This trip we ate at four local restaurants two of which we will not talk about but there were two that we really enjoyed.  We love to eat breakfast at  local eclectic venues if we can find them and one that we ate at was simply a joy.

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Stockyard Cafe Bozeman Montana

We found and ate at the Stockyard Cafe located in the Northeast side of Bozeman.  A bit of an adventure to find and truthfully not a lot to brag about as this place is truly a small slice of Americana.  Our first impression was that we made a mistake as this place is actually at the Bozeman Stockyards.  We located the little red building that at first glance seemed to be in need of repair.  But with all the cars parked in the parking lot it was a good indication that the food inside would be the perfect answer to the morning hungers.

stockyard_002To be truthful there is not a lot to talk about as this little cafe is well – let’s just say a place stuck in time.  Don’t be surprised if you will need to help the staff with your table and such and the tableware is… well kind of plain.   But those people who had already been served all seem to be pleased with their meals as everyone was eating and not much talking going on.

We placed our orders for each of us and waited for the hot coffee to pour which basically is a bottomless cup of joe for those of you who love coffee.  The servers were friendly and busy to boot.  The place was decorated with local flavor and let’s just say the decor was done a few years ago but actually quite quaint.

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There were three of us for breakfast and I must say that we were not disappointed with our meals.  I admit it… I had the biscuits and gravy two eggs and a side of local bacon… Why not?  After all this was the west and we were in a real western cafe.  Peyton’s meal which was … well I am not real sure – maybe some sort of huevos rancheros but delicious just the same.  Brynn had the french toast and she too left satisfied and smiling.

If you want a real feel good breakfast then you have to visit the Stockyard Cafe.  It was a lot of fun with a great atmosphere and the food and service were excellent.  We liked it!

pizzacampaniaThe other meal we had which was really good turned out to be the first choice of our daughter Brynn the evening prior.  Brynn selected Pizza Compania Italian Restaurant which is located in the Cannery district of Bozeman.  This restaurant sits in what was apparently the old granary and the atmosphere is excellent.

The funny thing was that earlier in the day we were talking about maybe a pizza place but she was not having the idea.  But later that evening she all the sudden got the bug for pizza and well, it was her turn to pick.  She did a great job picking Pizza Compania.

Our Leftovers!
Our Leftovers!

This restaurant is probably the best place we have eaten in Bozeman.  The service was excellent and friendly, the beer cold and local, the food simply amazing.

The artichoke dip we started with was absolutely the best we have ever had.  OMG – we could not stop eating it!  The salads were fresh and the dressing perfect in every way.  But the pizza was to die for!  Oh and the cost was hard to believe – our total bill for all that we ordered plus 3 beers and a wine was less than $70.00 dollars.  If you are in Bozeman you will want to try this place out!  If you like pizza then you will not be disappointed.  There are other things on their menu as well and I am sure we will be back to try just about everything at some future date.

Road trips can be fun and they can be cathartic to your well-being.  We love grabbing a cup of coffee and hitting the road.  Although most of our Morning Coffee adventures are a bit shorter in duration.  At the end of the day and the end of the trip we came home with smiles on our faces.

Morning Coffee…

One of the most iconic images from Jackson Hole is the Teton Range.  Although I do not know the percentage – I would guess that most of the photos taken of the Tetons is a frontal shot that is taken from the general vicinity of Antelope Flats.  What is so cool about the Tetons is the many faces it has when taken from different locations throughout the valley.  Here is the picture of the day taken from a more northern approach.  Enjoy and may it bring peace to your day! (click image to enlarge)

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Morning Coffee…

Another beautiful day here in Jackson Hole Wyoming and a perfect cup of coffee to go with it.  This picture seemed a bit unusual this time of the year with no snow on the ground and the warm sun shinning.  Taken behind Miller Butte on the Elf Refuge…  He looks chill.  I hope this brings a smile to your face this morning…

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Morning Coffee September 16th…

These are some pics from today and a few from a couple of days ago.  A cup of nice hot coffee and a camera.  Check them out…

Morning Coffee in Teton National Park…

I have to apologize as I have been kind of missing over that past winter.  So many things have happened but life is getting back to normal.  Spring is here in the Tetons and it is in full swing.  After a long winter and a pretty wet Spring the sun if finally out.  On this morning I grabbed my cup of coffee from my favorite coffee bar here in Jackson and off I went.

The sun was out and the sky clear.  I was on a hunt for anything that looked like it deserved the lens of my camera.  After getting into the park I turned off on one of the dirt roads I have seen grizzlys on and instead I found these little guys.  I had stopped to take a couple of pictures of some cool looking trees when I noticed this group of varmints enjoying their morning.  I literately sat down among them and these are a few of the shots I got.