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  • Joe Colaizzo

We Couldn’t Do Anything

"You could go bowling.”

That was the suggested alternative from the very helpful lady at the front desk of our hotel.

“Well, you do know this is off season when most things close”.

I knew it was the “off season”, not the “shut down Jackson Hole season”.

At least we would get to hike Yellowstone and see Old Faithful.

“And here is a number to check on the roads to Yellowstone. The weather system that we’re in has the roads closed. Hopefully they open them up while you’re here.”

I asked where the best places for us would be to see bison, bears and moose.

“Well, Yellowstone would’ve been best, but this is the time they start to hunker down. Summer to early Fall is usually the best time. You might get lucky near one of the lakes.”

She really was very helpful.

Joe and I checked into our room and stared at the pile of brochures we collected from the airport. No Yellowstone, No Fly Fishing, No bison. We couldn’t do anything that we


Day One

Since we couldn’t get to Yellowstone, one of the locals we met at the bar said Jenny Lake would be a good place to try. It would be cold, and we would have to deal with the snow but what else was there. Eight miles wouldn’t be too bad.

Five hours later we finished the hike. We laughed at ourselves for thinking we were almost done when in reality we had six and a half miles left to go. And the time when I slipped on a patch of ice and after making sure I was ok, Joe slipped on the same patch. The city slickers were in the house!

Day Two

Our legs still killing us, we decided to find the Granite Hot Springs. It says to take a ten mile, very scenic, gravel road to get there. We discovered that a very scenic, gravel road in Jackson Hole means a swiss cheese style road of dirt, mud, ice all while teetering off of a cliff. After an hour and a half white knuckled crawl where we almost plunged into the ravine, we made it to the springs. As we soaked the tension away, we laughed at that adventure and even more so that we had to cheat death and crawl back.

Day Three

We woke to the sound of pouring rain. Bowling crossed our minds, but we opted to drive to Antelope Flats, a popular migration spot for deer, elk, moose and our holy grail, bison.

The rain filled up the swiss cheese holes and we bounced our way around the flats. Way in the distance we saw a group of dark blobs. Bison!!!! We got out of the car and broke out the binoculars. Magnification is a wonderful thing and as they came into focus, we now saw a closer group of dark blobs. We laughed as we drove back to our hotel, convinced of what we just saw .

Day Four

Sun!!! Now expert hikers, we navigated six miles of Leigh Lake. A really nice hike but at the end our feet were really hurting. Why not test the hot tub at the hotel. Since it was Shut Down Jackson Hole season, we would have it to ourselves.

We approached in only our shorts and debating where to eat dinner when we came upon who I guess was the only other hotel guest. An elderly Asian gentleman was trying to enjoy a meditative soak and I’m sure he was just about to leave anyway. As he left, we said goodbye and he wished us a “quiet and peaceful day”. Was that weird? Or was he being nice? We burst out laughing that he was probably going to put a curse on us back in his room. We called him Kazumi after the Japanese restaurant we wanted to go to but couldn’t since it was closed.

Day Five

Homeward bound. We awoke to the most beautiful day and the notification that Yellowstone had finally opened up all of the roads. We laughed that it was the “Curse of Kazumi”.

The gate agent at the airport told us there would be a two-hour delay. Kazumi!

When we made it to Dallas for our connection, it was cancelled due to bad weather. Our only option was to fly standby and hope we get on the 6:00 AM flight. We found two seats near our gate for the night. Kazumi!

Day Six

The gate agent called our names at 5:30 AM and we were on our way. An uneventful flight and the two exhausted cowboys made it back to Philadelphia. On the drive home we laughed when we thought of the helpful front desk lady, the hiking expertise we exhibited, almost dying while driving to take a bath, those beautiful bison we were sure we saw, the night sleeping in the Dallas airport, and of course, Kazumi.

Yeah, we did everything we wanted.

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