Sunday, September 28, 2008

My Trip To Jackson Hole

Hello Everyone. It’s so good to be back, home. I like going on trips, but I’m always glad to be back home also. The trip to Jackson Hole was a lot of fun. It took us seven and a half hours to get there by car (that included gas, food, and pit stops). The first half of the trip was fairly boring--just miles and miles of nothing. It was okay though because we took the opportunity to listen to some music and just chat. A. L. is one of my supervisors, who works strictly on days, so those chats with her made me know more about her and she about me.

After we passed Lander, we finally started seeing more trees and could see the mountains over the horizon. For at least another hour or so, we were in the mountains. Tall evergreens and Aspen trees blanket the mountains on both sides of the roads.

As we drove further into the forest we came upon several cars parked along side of the road. People had their telephoto lenses pointed towards the side of the mountain. This usually happens if there is wildlife nearby. Sure enough, there was a small grizzly bear feasting on some wild berries. I got my pocket-sized digital camera out of my handbag and took some pictures.

We learned that the bear is two and half years old. If my memory serves me correctly, that was the first time that I’ve seen a grizzly bear in the wild. I’ve seen a few black bears, but never a grizzly bear until that time, so that was exciting. It was A. L.’s first time ever to see a bear in the wild, and she’s lived in Wyoming all her life! She was telling this to one of the men with a telephoto camera. The man said that he’s from Cleveland, Ohio and that it was his second trip to Wyoming this year, and each time, he saw bears. Another man from Indiana joked to her to make sure she’s not going to be telling that in front of a television camera.

You see, we, in Wyoming, don’t venture out much in our own state, but somehow we take time venturing to other states. Take my kids, for example. They’ve been to many tourist spots in at least ten different states, but have yet to see Jackson Hole, Grand Teton, or Yellowstone Park here in Wyoming. We’ve taken them to those places when they were very little, but they can not remember any of them.

We drove off again. When we were passing the majestic Grand Teton, I took pictures of it while the car was going 70 miles and hour, so, the pictures are not the greatest of quality. A.L. had to be in a meeting at 2:30 pm, so we couldn’t afford to stop again to take pictures.

Our days at Jackson Hole were filled with attending seminars from 8 a.m. to 5 p. m. with an hour of lunch in between. It was exciting to learn new things and review on other things. All of the speakers at the conference have doctorates and are experts in their own fields of specialties. They were very engaging speakers who were able to capture our interest from begining to end. They peppered their speeches with lots of humor, which helped a lot. I was able to stay awake for all of them. At night, we socialized with others (it was expected of us to do so). One night, we were invited to a barbecue dinner and then to an ice cream social after that.

Another time, we had two hours to go downtown to do some shopping before dinner and night social. On nights that we didn’t have any social engagements, I worked on assignments for my professional continuing education.

The night before we left, we attended a banquet where we were entertained by some comedy acts from Utah. After that, we went to the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar in town. Yes, I had myself some mixed drinks. Two other people bought me two shots of something. I still managed to walk straight up, but I’m glad I wasn’t driving. I felt the full effect of the alcohol the minute I hit the bed. I fell asleep without changing clothes, washing my face, or brushing my teeth.

By the time the conference ended four days later, my brain had enough scientific and technical mumbo jumbo it could absorb for a long while. We left Jackson Hole soon after the last class on the last day. I wish we had extra time to spend venturing out to see more of Jackson Hole, to go up to Yellowstone, or to go on a whitewater rafting down the Snake River.

For two days, after I arrived home, I helped my husband butcher an antelope and a deer he harvested from his week-long hunting trip. I expressed to him that I didn’t particularly enjoy doing it. At the same token, I don’t like him taking the animals to a professional butcher because I don’t trust how they clean and pack them. We’ve heard from other people that we may not get our own meat. Some say that some butchers keep the best part of the meat, without us knowing it. It’s a necessary evil task I have to do for my hubby. I know, Heidi in Healthnutwannabee, is perhaps going to gag if she happens to read this post. She’s vegetarian, you see. Sorry Heidi.

Well, I hope I didn’t bore you too much. Thanks for reading.


redchair said...

Hi Tasha,
Bore us? I loved this! It sounded like you had great fun. I felt like I was along for the ride. Beautiful country! I do hope your little digital camera was using some sort of magnifying features also. You seem awfully close to that grizzly!

And I know what you mean about never vacationing in your own state. You wont find many Californians at Disneyland and we’re always the last to see the natural wonders of our own state.

It’s nice that you took a few moments for a little tourism and fun on a business conference. I used to try to do that also.

Speaking of the antelope, my father was a hunter also. He used to go down and stand with the local butcher –for the very same reasons you speak of.
Great blog segment.

tashabud said...

Hi Vikki,
I'm glad it didn't bore you. On the bear picture, I had to do some cropping and enlarging the real image because the bear looks so small in the original. I couldn't closer to take pictures because the forest ranger on site forbade it.

So you must have eaten your share of wild meat? I like them mostly for jerky, sausages, and stews. I make some mean jerky if ever I get myself motivated. About this time of year, I'm usually making jerky to make room for new ones, but blogging has made me lazy. But I still have to take some time off from blogging to do just that. Too bad this days, butchers don't butcher your animal as you wait.

Thanks for reading and commenting.


Lilly's Life said...

What an exciting adventure. Sometimes it's good to just get in the car and drive. Love your photos and fancy seeing a bear let alone getting a picture of one. I have never seen a bear except at a zoo so I was really intersted to hear about that. Did the bear get at all disturbed that there were people nearby? Those moutains are simply breathtaking and the scenery looks amazing.

The interesting thing is how long it took you to get to your conference. How long would it take to get to one end of your State to the other by car? The US is so huge - it also takes us a long time to get anywhere by road here but your country is way bigger. A fact that used to amaze people in Britain and Europe when I lived over there simply because they are right near each other. I think everyone is the same. We see everything else but what is staring at us in our own backyards. I guess when you go on vacation you really like to get away - and that means to another State. In fact I have travelled far more extensively in other countries than in my own, although I have gone to every capital city bar one in Aus just not too far in between.

In my last post I mention that my daughter wants to do a road trip in the US next year - but err bears? Now I have more to worry about, he he. Oh work conferences. They are the same all over the world but it's good for a break (even though you don't get to rest at all but it's a change of scenery and company). Mmmm shots - well it gave you a good night's rest anyway.

And as far as hunting and preparing your own meat I can certainly see why you would do that. My grandparents had farms so I grew up with all that (although deer was not what they had). It doesnt turn my stomach simply because when you are on the land its a fact of life and at least this way you know whats in your meat as opposed to the chemicals etc they add these days. I love the whole idea of living off the land (safely) so as hard as it is to do that side of it I think its a great idea. With the way the economy is going to go I think people need to do more of this. Thanks for the great post and great read. Its made me think we all should be telling each other about the places we live. Even if we will never travel there at least its great to be able to see it through a local's eyes.

Thanks so much. Now I will be able to say I saw a wild bear. And that's before I even had breakfast. Thanks for the great start to the day Tasha.

tashabud said...

Hi Lilly,
I truly appreciate your comments and interest. All of us who stopped to take pictures of the bear were on the opposite side of the road, so we were at a safe distance, far enough that the bear didn't feel threatened.

Northwest part of Wyoming is the most scenic part of our state. My digital camera didn't do justice to the Grand Teton. Also, that place is more breathtaking when it's covered with snow in the winter.

My family in the Philippines can not imagine how huge this country is either. They say that it takes them just as long to travel from point A to point B. They don't reaslize that our speed limit in our interstates here is 75 miles an hour, which is about 121 kilometers per hour. Whereas in the Philippines, they'd be lucky if they go faster than 45 kilometers per hour, which is approximately 28 miles per hour.

Oh, I should come and read your post about your daughter's plan for a U.S. trip. She shouldn't worry about bears unless she goes out camping or hiking in bear country. Does she have a time-contstraint travel schedule? If she has lots of time to spend in the U.S., perhaps she would want to make a stop here in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

The shots sure gave me a good night sleep. Hehe. It doesn't take much to get me tipsy. And when I get tipsy, I get sleepy.

Wild meat, for sure, is the heatlthiest meat to eat for the very reasons you mentioned, I just don't like doing the processing. Too messy and yucky to work with meat that much.

If there's interest in this kind of stories, I might post some of our family adventures in the future.

Thanks again,

VH said...

Didn't bore me at all! That looks like beautiful country and I've never seen a bear in my life. My wife has been all over that part of the country, she even worked at Yellowstone for a time. I'm a city boy. I seriously need to visit Yellowstone too. It sounds like you had fun overall, great write-up.

tashabud said...

Hi VH,
You must, you must. I can't believe your wife hasn't taken you there, especially that she knows how beautiful the area is. There's always room for city guys and city gals out in the wild country. The best time to go there is in late August and early September during off season to get the best rates in hotel accomodations. The place will not be too crowded with tourists.

My husband was a city boy too from the East Coast, but he has come to like the country life. He likes the openness and the wildness of Wyoming.

I suppose we were lucky to be at the right place at the right time, when we saw the bear from the road. It sure was an exhilirating experience to see one in the wild.
Hope you get to travel there someday to truly experience the beuaty of that wild paradise.

Have a great week.

jena isle said...

That's a pretty wonderful experience. It must have been a blast for you; and the pictures are good.

I remember also those seminars wherein we have to stay for 2-3 days at the site. Your experience reminds me of these. But you should have been given the chance to sight see. In our seminars, we were given a time to tour the place . It is usually included in the itinerary.

Thanks for sharing such a beautiful experience.

jena Isle said...

And Tasha, I can't believe deers are still in abundance there for hunting. Here, sadly one can no longer see them. They're extinct in this part of the world.

It's indeed real messy cleaning meat. But you have to suffer the little pains to enjoy the meat...he he he...

Take care and regards to the family.

Eric S. said...

Tasha, sorry I'm late. Wonderful post, not boring at all. You made me miss the mountains again.

I love the bear, we had some small ones that would come right into town all the time. They were a lot of fun to watch, but can really do some damage.

I love hunting, and used to butcher my own, but down here, we do have the climate for it. I would have to get a walk in freezer. Not a bad idea, because its not cheap to have one butchered. I have never hunted Antelope, would like to though. Just Elk, Mule Deer, and now White Tail Deer.

I'm glade you enjoyed your working break.

tashabud said...

Hi Jena,
I sure had a blast out there. I wish you could have been there also. I think that you would have enjoyed it too. You just need to come to work here, so that you and I can attend some of these conferences and hang out together.

Here in the U.S., each State has a Department of Game and Fish in placed to manage the State’s wildlife, which includes hunting and fishing. Each year, the department issues limited hunting permits to in-state and to out-of-state hunters according to the sex and species. The department also designates where to hunt and when to hunt. These rules are necessary in the management and conservation of wildlife. Basically, the agency will see to it that big game animals are not to be hunted down to extinction. These are the reasons why there’s still a healthy stock of big game population, so hunters can still experience the joys of hunting.

Thanks for your interest and for reading and commenting.

tashabud said...

Hi Eric,
I'm glad you enjoyed reading this, but sorry for making you miss the mountains. Do you still have family in Colorado, and do you still travell there? My family and I travelled through much of Colorado last year during our annual family vacation trip. The mountains in Colorado are truly awesome.

So, you're a hunter also. I tell you, when August comes around, hunting topics become very hot in our household and at work. I hear a lot about hunting when I'm home from my husband, and I hear a lot about it at work from a friend and co-worker who's also a hunter. That's okay because I enjoy listening to them talk about their hunting experiences. The only thing I don't like about hunting is the butchering part. I find it so gross. Hubby got his deer with a bow and the antelope with a rifle, I'm told. And he just left for the weekend to go hunting for another antelope and to bring down their tree stands, since bow and arrow is over now. Hubby bought an extra antelope and deer permit this year. Elk rifle season starts next Thursday, so he's going to that one also.

Thanks for reading and commenting. Have a great weekend.

Eric S. said...

Yes I have one sister and a step mother that still live there. I get to go every once in a while, but certainly not enough.

Yes I am a hunter, I hunted as a youngster, Elk and Mule Deer. Then When I moved down here, I got my first taste of White Tail, a considerable difference indeed.

Wow it's great that he gets an extra tag, and then to be able to hunt Elk also, excellent. I wish him good luck. Back home in Colorado we processed our own. It was cold enough all you had to do was hang them in your garage. Down here, you have to have a cooler, walk in style, and they are just too expensive. So I use one particular processor who I know and trust.

Matt said...

What a wonderful trip, Tasha. I am so glad you got to enjoy such beautiful scenery and wildlife. I love taking trips like that. I took an RV trip like that through New Mexico, Arizona and Texas with my dad a couple of years before he died. It was a great bonding trip for us, and we saw so much of the beauty this country has to offer.

Thanks for sharing your terrific memories. I hope you get to do it again very soon.

tashabud said...

Hi Eric,
You just have to make a point of making an annual trek up to Colorado just so you can live the Mountain Man life within you, even just for a short time. Don't deprive your life of what you've been missing. Life is too short.

My hubby just called me on his way home to let me know that he got another antelope, but no deer. This means I'll be butchering again. Argh...


tashabud said...

Hi Matt,
That's so cool that you were able to go "RVeing" with your Dad before he passed away. At least, you have those wonderful memories to remember him by. I do love travelling. We usually take one long vacation a year, but this year didn't work out for us. It's the first time that we didn't get to have one. I'm glad that I went to Jackson Hole, for it is my only vacation this year. This country does have a lot of very scenic places to visit. One of our goals in the future is to travel west to see Yosemite, the Red Forest, and other wonders the west coast has to offer.

Thanks again for reading and commenting.


Shari Schmidt said...

Oh, it looks so beautiful!

Avatar said...

Dear Tasha,

The view on the Grand Teton is breathtaking. Enjoy your conference :)


redchair said...

Hi Tasha,
Where's the link to your story blog?

tashabud said...

Hi Vikki,
If you look to the right sidebar of my blog, you can see it under "My Other Blog": The Big Picture--A Novel

Thanks so much for your interest. Happy reading.

Good Night,

Pamela said...

You hit a hot button for me. I've always wanted to go there but haven't mad it yet. I have a close friend who rented a house there for a winter and I love the stories she tells about it.
Paradise Fiber Studio
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tashabud said...

Hello Shari,
How have you been? Have you been to Jackson Hole, yet? If you haven't yet, I strongly encourage you to do so, even once. From Chicago, you'll be able to see the Badlands and Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota, Devil's Tower in northeastern part of Wyoming. From there, you'll drive through the beautiful Bighorn Mountains on your way to Yellowstone National Park. From Yellowstone, you drive south to Grand Teton and Jackson Hole. Oh, you'll not be disappointed with this trip, I guarantee you.

Thanks again for visiting me.

tashabud said...

Hello Avatar,
I have to visit you more often because your blog offers a lot of good advices. Your tips and advices there are spoken by a true Philosopher. You're a Sage, beyond your age.

Thanks for visiting. BTW, I've linked you to my site.


tashabud said...

Hello Pam,
I've come to visit your site a few times and love your seemingly ordinary things turned into winning artistic photographs. Yes, Pam, you should visit Wyoming, even once. It's truly a different landscape and environment here altogether, especially in Jackson Hole and Yellowstone Nationl Park. You'll be able to capture the best sceneries in the world with your Nikon coolpix 8800. Hehe.

Thanks for visiting.

Shari Schmidt said...

Thank you for your comment! I think we're definitely blog friends.

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