We grabbed our coffee this morning at Pearl Street Bagels and headed for another morning adventure. First let me give props to the girls at Pearl Street Bagels as they are so nice to deal with. They are always friendly, and these girls can crank out the coffee and bagels. On the east side of the Snake River they are our favorite!
As we left the coffee shop we just found ourselves heading out towards Miller’s Butte to see if the mountain sheep had returned. And, yes they have, along with the tourists. It is a very cool thing to be able to travel such a short distance from our home and see so much wildlife. Miller’s Butte for those of you who are not familiar with our town sits on the east side of the National Elk Refuge and you access the road just north-east of the hospital on Broadway.
This morning the fog was hovering over the valley but not too bad – just cold. The trees again had a fresh coating of powdery ice crystals on their branches making it a real Christmas like feel. If you like to take pictures these kinds of mornings make a great background to shoot away. So many opportunities for beautiful shots of the trees loaded with powder and the rivers with a steamy fog hovering over the water. The ice and the river flows squeeze through frozen banks making for some really incredible scenery.
On this morning though it was all about the mountain sheep. The east side of the butte is all rocks and cliffs and the sheep meander around as if they are on flat land. But on some days you will find them right on the road side and this morning was no exception. About a dozen or so sheep traveled from their safety high in the rock to the road side in order to access the grass hiding under the snow. A couple even are so bold as to come right up to your car and they lick the side of the cars for any salts that are deposited from the roads. Pretty cool for sure. They are cautious but not too friendly making sure they keep their distance when someone tries to approach.
On the other side of the road we found dozens of elk just lying around at the base of the pine trees that start about a few hundred yards off the east side of the road. Although I love the elk we decided to focus on the sheep and just sit and watch them interact with the public. The tourists are returning for the holidays and this morning some of them got to see something really special. It never gets old up here as long as you take the time to leave you home and see some of God’s wonders. Enjoy!
It is that time a year again when those of us who live in Jackson Hole have mixed emotions. Summer has come and gone and the fall weather is upon us. The beautiful colors that we all look forward to have changed and are quickly disappearing. But if you keep a sharp look out you will see things here that can stir a man’s (or woman’s) heart.
On this morning after we dropped off our daughter at school we headed once again for the coffee shop and on the way we passed a typical fall morning where we passed some of the local cowboys moving their cattle from one pasture to another. What better way than to just run the heard right down the highway. It is kind of nice to have to stop on the road side as part of the American West passes you by. Unfortunately for some of these cattle they are heading to the pasture to fatten them up before they hit your plate. But for those in the city – this is a real as it gets.
After passing our bovine friends we headed again north of town for one of our morning coffee drives. One of the incredible things about living up here is you never know what is going to jump out at you and speak to your heart. As we headed north of town we turned into Moose Junction and made our way to one of our favorite morning drives, the Moose Wilson road. Like I said you never know what to expect and as we made our way to the turn off – BAM! We pass this spot all the time but for some reason I felt the need to stop and take this picture. All alone on the road, just after a brief morning sprinkle, and the leaves starting to fall we stopped and gazed at one of God’s most spectacular works, the Grand Tetons. Truthfully there are no bad views and all are worthy of taking a picture or two. This picture does not do a good job of conveying how absolutely beautiful this morning was. We are blessed to be able to see this on any given morning and we never tire of the views.
As we got back in the car we headed down the road a bit and we came to this place only to see the clouds break open and heaven shined upon the Grand as you see it here. The weather has certainly changed in the past few days and it is clear what Mother Nature has in mind for us in the coming months. But for a few more weeks we will have days like this where we only need a light jacket to help ward of the chill, a hot cup of coffee to keep our insides warm. And, more important to share a moment with our creator that has blessed this valley with some of the most spectacular scenery in North America. Every day we see a new painting on the canvas set before us. It is our hope that by sharing some of our mornings with you it will inspire you to come visit Jackson Hole Wyoming and come see for yourself what a simple morning drive with a cup of coffee in hand can do for you well-being. Enjoy!
As we all know the cost of food is growing at a rapid pace and putting a strain on individuals and their families pocket books. Just like the cost of health insurance good quality food costs are reaching an all time high. Because we live in Wyoming we are blessed with many really good ranches that raise beef for their living. In Jackson Hole we are also blessed with quite a selection of boutique markets with top-notch butcher counters. We do not have markets like Whole Foods, or Bristol Farms but what we do have in terms of markets is quite nice!
Today’s post is about one small market which sits on the west bank of the Snake River called the Aspens Market. Recently they remodeled and put in a first class meat section. The guys that work behind the counter are skilled butchers and almost all of the beef they sell comes from ranches right here in Wyoming. Grass fed beef – perfect!
They hang and age their own beef and then cut it to either your specifications or to what they know to be the best cut for a particular part of the animal. Now I am sure not everyone who reads this post are meat eaters but if you are you will appreciate what I am saying. These animals are raised on large ranches, roam freely and eat the natural grasses available.
As you can see from the picture these two steaks were very large cuts and well over 1 1/2 inches thick. Fortunately for us our son Brock was here to prepare them as steaks like these take some real skill to prepare and cook to perfection. Brock did just that! In our family we are not huge meat eaters so we usually have smaller portions which we know is better for your overall health and we always pair our servings with salads, fresh vegetables and sometimes potatoes, which by the way come from over the hill in Idaho.
These two steaks provided enough of a bounty to allow us to enjoy this meat for many meals that followed. We had enough steak left over for sandwiches, steak for quesadillas, and even enough left over to make some tacos. Yes the cost for these two steaks was expensive when you compare them to other options in your local markets but when you consider the health benefits of meat of this quality and the fact we had several other meals from them the overall cost was more than reasonable.
Bottom line, good quality food is expensive, but then again so is the cost of being sick. One of the biggest things we face as a nation is a growing problem with obesity which directly affect ones overall health, the cost of insurance, the cost of healthcare and more importantly the quality of life. The next time you shop try to find a butcher who provides grass-fed beef products – I think you will be surprised at the overall value and not to mention just how good they will taste.