Western Skies. Wyoming, Idaho, Montana.

Western Skies. Wyoming, Idaho, Montana.

On the road in the Mountain states, in fabulous weather (heat wave threatening – very unusual for June), we head south from Yellowstone, stop in the Grand Tetons for three days of biking, hiking, staring up, up, up at the 13,000 ft snowcapped peaks and floating down the Snake River. Stop over in Jackson Hole for jarring re-entry to town life and fabulous food at the Rendez-vous Bistro.  Here we look like slobs amongst the hedge fund chic real estate moguls discussing horse farms.  After the RV world of Yellowstone we have landed in upscale Jackson turf where California blondes — thin, wispy waspy with mega-rocks on ring fingers wear crisp, pressed white shirts that cling perfectly to their elongated bodies. How are these shirts so clean, almost blue-white, with not a ripple or bulge in sight?  Having just come off a multi-hour float trip, I wear an old t-shirt that is stained, drenched in insect repellent and hanging as loosely as possible over my increasingly bulging self – in spite of biking, hiking and swimming in glacier water. I glare at the white-shirted set through my second glass of wine and watch as they leave their $35 entrees barely touched on their plates. (um yeah… maybe that’s the secret).  I contemplate dessert, almost out of a nonsensical “take that!” but come to my senses.

Then it’s over the Tetons to drive up to Montana through Eastern Idaho to the adorable Bar N Ranch with its Western kitsch decor and Safari tents. Back through Yellowstone to the Northern entrance at Mammoth and up from Gardiner to Paradise Valley, Montana, ending up in Bozeman, MT.  After serious road-tripping and checking in and out of motels nightly, we are getting ready to throw in the towel. We’ve been on the road for 60 days since January 1 and that’s a lot of beds. The temps hit the high 90s, and even though it’s dry heat, – it’s heat!   Below a wrap-up of some Western scenes.

Snake River float. Eagles, beavers, moose in high water from snow run-off.

The gorgeous Jenny Lake. Grand Tetons.

Wildflowers. Jenny Lake. Grand Tetons

Gone fishin’. Hiking along String Lake towards Leigh Lake, including a dip in 57 degree waters.

Driving through Eastern Idaho looking east at the Grand Tetons. 

The Bar N Ranch, West Yellowstone, Montana. 

Walk-in wine cellar, The Bar N Ranch.

Field decor! The Bar N Ranch

3 sided fireplace. Bar N Ranch lodge

Wildflowers and hot mud. Tavertine terraces, Mammoth, Yellowstone.

Yellowstone Bison. Back from the brink of extinction.

Two towns in southern Montana: Emigrant and Pray. Sums it up.

One stop BBQ prep. 

Dinner at the Yellowstone Valley Lodge in Paradise Valley, MT.

If you’re trying to get guys to drink a vodka called Huckleberry, better sell it with sex.

Yup. Good fences make good neighbors. And neighbors are few and far between.

Hanging out on the Chico Hot Springs porch during a heat wave..

Paradise Valley, MT

Fields of mustard, Paradise Valley, MT.

View from our room at Yellowstone Valley Lodge, overlooking the Yellowstone River, MT.

Livingstone, MT. Cute western town on the edge of Paradise Valley.

Big Sky hike overlook. Montana.

Bozeman, MT. Great university town with Western attitude.

Bozeman, MT

I am particularly partial to these old timey cat clocks.

No caption needed! Bozeman, MT

Perfect combination. Bozeman, MT

Cowboys, Fireworks. Flag.   Bozeman, MT. Happy Fourth!