Home Again, Home Again

As I write this post, I’m uploading approximately 800 photos from our month away.  Don’t worry, I won’t put you through the pain of looking at all of those photos, (only my mom gets the unabridged version) but I just can’t resist giving you some highlights.  It makes me nostalgic for the west as I watch photo upon photo on the screen.  I still can’t believe we had the opportunity to go away for over three weeks, but the pictures are a great reminder that yes, it really did happen.

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If you’ve never been out west, you must.  I know this is unsolicited advice, but Wyoming and Montana were two of the most amazing places I’ve ever been.  (I find that every time I describe these two states, I come back to the adjective, “amazing.”  I need to come up with a better descriptor, but that’s all I’ve got for now.)

Why do I want to pack my bags and move out west?  Well, I’m glad you asked…

Meeting your gluten-free needs, and beyond: Jackson Hole, Wyoming was one of the most gluten-friendly places I’ve ever been.  Every restaurant accommodated my dietary needs, and most already had something on their menu distinguishing the dishes that could be made GF.  Wow!  Eating out in Jackson was genuinely a treat, each time.  Muffins, brownies, fresh baked bread…oh, and it was all delicious too.

Sweet quinoa, coffee and a good book: What more could one want for breakfast?

Sweet quinoa, coffee and a good book: What more could one want for breakfast?

Gluten-free samosa?  Yes, please.

Gluten-free samosa? Yes, please.

National Parks: Yes, I know this one seems obvious, but no matter how many times I hiked (and David can attest, we hiked a lot), I was still in awe of the scenery, the landscapes, the terrain, the views.  So much beautiful land to take in.  We were in Wyoming and Montana almost three weeks, and I still don’t feel like I saw it all.

Northwest Entrance to Yellowstone

Northwest Entrance to Yellowstone

Jenny Lake: Tetons

Jenny Lake: Tetons

Boiling River in Yellowstone: Yes, we got in the water and enjoyed an early morning dip.

Boiling River in Yellowstone: Yes, we got in the water and enjoyed an early morning dip.

Summits & Altitude: While my lungs were a little confused (and angry) at first, my eyes and legs could not get enough of the many uphill hikes.  Pushing yourself to the top of a peak is so rewarding (even if you almost get hit by lightening as a result).  Who knew a view could be worth hours of sweat and climbing.  Of course, once you reach the top, then “it’s all down hill” and the hard work is done.  Snow makes the descent a little tricky.

Sacagewea Peak in the Bridger Mtns

Sacagewea Peak in the Bridger Mtns

Big Game: Since David did the bulk of the driving, he put me in charge of “finding big game.”  I’ve got to admit, I was terrible at finding animals lurking in the woods, but when the buffalo are right next to your rental car, it’s hard to miss them.  Fortunately, there were no bear sightings for this girl out west.  We did see a Mama moose and her baby, which was a little frightening.

Another buffalo, crossing the road

Another buffalo, crossing the road

Water: I don’t typically think of water when I envision the west, but we saw some gorgeous rivers and alpine lakes.  Very different from the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic, but I’ll take a float down the Yellowstone River any day.

Yellowstone River

Yellowstone River

Snake River

Snake River

Lava Lake in the Lee Metcalf Wilderness

Lava Lake in the Lee Metcalf Wilderness

Forest Service Cabins: A hidden gem, you can rent these cabins for a night (for about $30) and let me tell you, it’s glamorous camping.  Both of our cabins had wood stoves, which we used to prepare feasts each night for dinner.  Any camping that involves shelter, steak and wine, is good for me.  I still managed to get spooked out but no bears bothered us.

Our cabin in Dillon, MT (not to be confused with the Dillon, TX in Friday Night Lights)

Our cabin in Dillon, MT (not to be confused with the Dillon, TX in Friday Night Lights)

David getting the wood stove started

David getting the wood stove started

Yummy dinner courtesy of the wood stove.

Yummy dinner courtesy of the wood stove.

Rain or Shine: While we were in Montana, we saw nearly every kind of weather possible.  Hail, thunderstorms, ominous clouds, and even snow.  Sure, I would have loved sunny skies every day, but the summer months are short and folks out west take advantage of each day that’s not below freezing.  The weather didn’t stop us, or anyone we were with, from fly fishing, hiking, camping, rain or shine.

Is that a storm behind us?  In retrospect, yes.

Is that a storm behind us? In retrospect, yes.

Snow in Big Sky: I was in the house reading; everyone else was fly fishing.

Snow in Big Sky: I was in the house reading; everyone else was fly fishing.

I’m glad to be back home, but I miss the days out west of hiking, relaxing, and being with friends.  I still have more to share with you though.  ‘Western tour nostalgia’ will continue in the weeks ahead.  Humor me.

  1. Becky says:

    I love, love, love Montana and Wyoming. Fly fishing, wildlife, hiking — it’s all beautiful. My last visit was before I went gluten-free, so I’m glad to know that Jackson Hole is so gluten-free-friendly — might have to take a ski trip this winter.

  2. Betsy says:

    Yes! Lots of GF options, especially in Jackson. I’ll be sharing more of my meals with you in future posts.

  3. Kate says:

    Love your pictures, Bets! The west is just breathtaking! When I was living in Aspen, I remember everyone always telling me that the winters are what brought people to Colorado, but the summers are what kept them there. I believe it with views like those in your pictures! Glad you all had a wonderfully relaxing time, and I’m glad you got to spend time with Gamble!! What a treat!

    Now it’s back to settling into your new home :)

  4. You 2 are adorable!!! I love it…so glad you had a fabulous time….are you going to the gluten free festival in Atlanta this weekend? I’d love to see you if you’re going!
    Have a great day.
    Hope to chat soon!
    Best,
    Amie

  5. Betsy says:

    Hi Amie! Yes, I’ll be there. Are you running a booth or just attending? Would love to catch up.

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