This morning as we got ready for our morning journey into Jackson Hole I filled my cup twice… once for a quick wake up cup and a second time to fill my thermos cup before heading out. We were heading into Jackson Hole for a very very important appointment… that is to say Peyton had an appointment with her favorite hair salon…Tori’s Salon. As usual I made the choice to find other things to do while she was beautifying her locks… So I with camera in tow headed to a local coffee shop for a refill and then north out of town.
It was late morning already and the sky was clear and bright so not really the best light for picture taking although stunningly beautiful in all directions. Where should I go I thought and the next thing I knew I was headed up the Gros Ventre River. This river runs a long ways back into the wilderness. Over 74 miles long it is. It’s final destination is a meet up with the Snake River. The Gros Ventre river drainage was at one time one of the main routes in and out of the valley that is now Jackson Hole.
Before 1800, the only people who traveled into Jackson Hole were the Native American tribes who spent the summer months hunting the wildlife in the valley and the area surrounding it. Among the tribes that trailed through the valley were the Shoshoni, Crow, Blackfeet, Bannock, and Gros Ventre. THIS is Lewis and Clark country! For those mountain men who hunted and trapped in this area, names like John Colter, Jim Bridger, Jedediah Smith, David Jackson, William Sublette and later on men like Beaver Dick called this area home for a time.
Today the Gros Ventre drainage is one of the most beautiful places to travel to fish, hunt, hike, explore or just chill by a mountain lake or stream and just enjoy the moment. Today I only had an hour and a half to get some pictures. These are some of what I saw during my short journey into this mountain range. The only bad things about this trip was I quickly ran out of coffee and time… in just that order too. It was time to head back to Jackson to pick up my bride and head home. Below was my view back to civilization. I am sure the Gros Ventre will be waiting for my return… very soon I hope.
THIS IS AUTHENTIC WYOMING!
Morning Coffee Meditation… Filmed on the Gros Ventre River north of Jackson Wyoming
I really have enjoyed writing my Morning Coffee posts over the years and will continue to do so. I love sharing our little Wyoming adventures we take from time to time. I want to add something new to the mix now. Often when I travel around the Yellowstone Basin with a cup of joe in my hands I will stop and enjoy moments of time at different places that reach out and speak to me. I love visiting the rivers and streams in our area as I find that the sound of the moving water helps calm my spirit. Not to mention the eye candy that surrounds me daily.
Morning Coffee Meditation will be 1 minute+ or so snippets of time taken at special locations around Wyoming. Nothing added and nothing taken away. Just one minute+ of recorded time in nature as it exists at that moment. I would like to bring a sense of calm and maybe even a smile to your face from time to time.
A couple of years have past since we have written anything about two of our local favorite music artists. Abby Gershuney has stayed with us several time over the past years and has truly become family. Abby ha worked her magic at the Jackson Hole Playhouse many time over the years and is currently performing in St. George Utah at Tuacahn Center for the Arts for the 2018 summer shows.. Abby can sing, dance, act… she can do it all but when she sings she makes people like me smile.
Many of you who know us know our son Brock Jennings. Brock is another amazingly talented singer song writer and he has an amazing voice. Abby was staying with over the Christmas Holiday while she worked for the playhouse a couple of winters ago. Not sure why they do but they waited until the last day to actually lay down some tracks. Abby had to return to New York City for while.
One of the tracks they laid down was not one of their own but a cover from Nickel Creek titled “When You Come Back Down”. Although this is a rough, uncut, unfinished track I wanted to share this with all of you again. I hope you like it. If you do please let us know we would love to see these two play this summer here in Jackson Hole and maybe some other areas too.
Click on Player below to listen to “When You Come Back Down”
“When You Come Back Down” Recorded by Abby Gurshuney and Brock Jennings, Produced by Brock Jennings, Written by Nickel Creek
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This Wyoming Ram was taken this past winter of 2017 in the Miller Butte area of Jackson Hole Wyoming. This is a 12′ x 12″ 1/4″ thick acrylic mounted photo on metal paper. Custom framed in Alaskan Yellow Cedar and finished in a high gloss lacquer. Outside dimensions of the frame are 14″ x 14″. The frame stands 2″ inches deep lifting this image off of the wall and with the natural color of the cedar this should fit into any decor. Available for purchase now.
I have been working on a new hat for our line that represents our home here in the Yellowstone Basin and one that is kind of fun. Our new Jackson Hole Time Bison hat is finally in production after tweaking it a bit. Final colors have been chosen and the design has gone to be digitized so we can embroider the new design on our hats. The first hats to be embroidered will be the FlexFit 210 Flat Bill Skater hat and the FlexFit regular structured hat. We will also offer this design on the Otto Unstructured hats that are adjustable in the back with a Velcro Strap.
Like our other hats this hat is design, and embroidered right here in Wyoming. All of our hats are 100% Wyoming Made. The target for pricing is $32.95 for the Flat Bill hats. All of these hats will be jet black in color with the designs as close to our sample rendering here. The backs of all of the new hats will feature our Wyoming Bucking Horse and our state tagline “Forever West”. These are very high quality hats with top notch embroidery. Great for gifts! If you have ever visited Jackson Hole Wyoming, Teton National Park or Yellowstone Park you know how prominent the North American Bison is in our area. Celebrate our new hat and if you have interest in pre-ordering one reach out to me by phone (307) 690-0427 or email “email@example.com”. Let us know what you think about this new hat!
Winter has finally passed here in the Yellowstone Basin. I can’t tell you how nice it is to see the ground again… and the sun! I spent a good part of this winter studying some of the latest Nikon Cameras and it was time to step up to something new. I definitely wanted something with a fast frames rate and a camera that operates in lower light as well.
Although I was hoping for the release of the new 800 series camera I decided to pull the trigger and purchase the new D500 as I shoot so many moving things up here. This new Nikon camera is just as advertised and once I was able to get it to my front door I could not wait to get out and take some new pictures. The weather however did not cooperate until this past week when I finally got a window of clear weather. Although I was not able to get out as early as I wanted I did make it to one of my favorite spots to look for interesting things to share.
This morning I decided to go to the gym first and then head north with my favorite LARGE cup of morning coffee in my hand. I must say – I need to order two cups from now on or take a thermos… One is just never enough.
This time of the year the mountains are just starting to come alive. This morning I headed to Antelope Flats just north of Kelly Wyoming. The light was not what I wanted and there was very few animals to be found. One of my favorite animals to photograph is the Pronghorn Antelope. They are hard to get close enough to and they are FAST.
This big boy was checking me out and just as I was getting into a position where I would be on the right side of the light some tourists decided to speed down the road I was next to at an unacceptable speed thus forcing me to take these shots while I could. Even though these are not what I wanted I do get excited for this summer as I am sure to encounter my friends again on favorable lighting terms.
If you are ever to visit Jackson Hole this is a wonderful part of the valley to check out as you never know what you will find. Be sure to bring your camera and enjoy Jackson Hole through the lens of your camera. You just may run into some of the locals like the Antelope, Bison, Moose, Deer, Elk, and for sure the beautiful mountain vistas that abound in every direction. A great way to share a cup of Morning Coffee…
One of the most enjoyable things I am able to do where I live is to walk out my front door and I can find so many wonderful things to take pictures of. The Yellowstone Basin is truly one of the most beautiful parts of the United States and photographic opportunities are simply everywhere.
As I have achieved a higher level of skill for this craft so too has my desire to keep up with the latest camera technology. Today’s DSLRs are simply amazing. The quality of the image taken is almost as real life as viewing it through your own eyes. I have been waiting for some new camera introductions later this year but my older Nikon was crying for help. So I decided to pull the trigger and new camera now and then watch for future releases.
I settled on the new D500 which if you look into it is simply amazing at the depth of capabilities built into this new body. With a burst rate of up to 10 FPS (Frames Per Second), 151 focal points, 4000K video and more I can’t wait to try it out in the wild. I am sure I will be sharing some new stuff real soon. I am currently awaiting an order of new Gallery Quality Acrylic Mounts that are being added to this website for sale as I write this. Acrylic Mounting is nothing short of amazing!
For several years I wrote a blog post almost daily and I called it “Morning Coffee”. I had so many people tell me how much they enjoyed these post many of which can still be found on this website by clicking on the MENU LINK “BLOG” and then in the search field search “MORNING COFFEE” and a list will render for your reading pleasure.
This new camera is inspiring me to bring this back to all of you and I hope… no I am sure I can find some really cool things to share with all of you. If you have not already subscribed to my blog you can easily do so in the EMAIL SUBSCRIPTION area found in the upper left column of every page. Each time I post something new you will receive it in your Inbox. Please consider subscribing…
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.
Summer 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.
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.
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.
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.
To 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.
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!
The 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.
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.
Click Pictures to Enlarge
Who has not heard about the great adventure story of the Lewis and Clark Expedition? Early from 1804 – 1806, Sacajawea was an integral part of this expedition that led Meriwether Lewis and William Clark on their exploration of the American West looking for a path to the Pacific Ocean. Sacajawea and her husband Toussaint Charbonneau played an important role in the success of this expedition – an expedition that led them right through this part of the country – the great Yellowstone basin. But this post is not about their story. It is the story of the resting place of Sacajawea – a once young Shoshone Indian girl who helped change history forever. A place that can be found just a few miles Southeast from Jackson Hole.
Although Sacajawea was reported to have died in 1812 she actually lived to be a very old women as told by Shoshone oral traditions. Long after the end of the Lewis and Clark Expedition Sacajawea eventually made her way west back to the Shoshone tribes and lived out her life in the area that is now Fort Washakie, Wyoming. Anyone who has traveled to or from Lander, Wyoming has gone right through Fort Washakie which is one of two main cities on the Wind River Indian Reservation.
Fort Washakie was originally a U.S Army fort in what is now the state of Wyoming. The fort was established in 1869 and was originally named Camp Augur after General Christopher C. Augur, commander of the Department of Platte. In 1870 the camp was renamed Camp Brown in honor of Captain Frederick H. Brown who was killed in the Fetterman Massacre in 1866. 81 men under his command were killed by Lakota Sioux, Arapaho and Cheyenne warriors during what was known as Red Cloud’s War on the white man. It was renamed again in 1878 after Chief Washakie of the Shoshone tribe making the fort the only U.S military outpost named after a Native American. The fort remained a military outpost until 1909 when it was decommissioned and turned over to the Shoshone Indian Agency.
The graves of Chief Washakie and the Lewis and Clark Expedition guide Sacajawea are located on the grounds of the fort. This burial site lies within the present-day Wind River Indian Reservation. Our family has become very familiar with Fort Washakie as we travel through there several times a year to visit our daughter in Boulder Colorado. As you pass through the main intersection of Fort Washakie there is a small road sign that says “Sacajawea’s Grave Site”. We had passed this sign many times over many years but had never taken the time to stop and visit this very special place. This last trip it was different – we made the time to visit the resting place of this very important person in American History.
Fort Washakie is about a 2 1/2 hour drive from Jackson Hole. A beautiful drive that takes you over Togwotee Pass, through the town of Dubois and across the Wind River Reservation. Just short of Lander Wyoming is Fort Washakie. I need to tell you that please do not expect something on the grandeur of the National Park Monuments we are all used to. Fort Washakie is a humble place that belongs now to the Shoshone and Arapaho tribes. The poverty you will experience on this majestic reservation is shocking and to be truthful something for all to be ashamed about.
Peyton, Brock, Brynn and I have visited several Powwows on this reservation and I can truthfully say these were some of the best days we have had in Wyoming. The Shoshone people are very inviting and I suggest that anyone who is in the area think about visiting one of their Powwows if you can. On this day though we stopped and made our way west of the main intersection, past the Powwow Grounds and along the west side of the Wind River (actual river) for several miles until we came to a very small, unassuming sign that simply says “Sacajawea Cemetery”. As you enter this very humble place two things stand out. No trees or shrubs landscape this place and the close proximity of each grave. Some graves date back to the mid 1800’s and all the way to the present.
I have to tell you that if you are a lover of history you need to visit this place. To stand at the foot of Sacajawea’s gravesite, her son Jean-Baptiste Charbonneau and her sisters son Bazil is quite an experience. This place, this humble grave site, this troubled reservation of the Shoshone people gives one a reason to pause and think… think about those who help lay the path before us, a path that had led to this day that my family stood at the foot of what was once a young Shoshone Indian woman who made an everlasting contribution to our American History.