2024 Ski Jackson Hole, Wyoming

(3/1/2024 - 3/5/2024)


On Friday, March 1st, 2024, Brian travelled to Jackson Hole, Wyoming to ski with Brady, Karl, and Tam. Click on any photo for a much larger highest resolution original I have.

REASON FOR TRIP: Ok, so we all planned on going 1 year ago (and most of my ski buddies did go).  I had to cancel my trip at the very last minute, but that left me with "flights" that I could use another time.  So I just moved the flights to about 1 year later.  Then Tam/Karl/Brady decided to come again as long as I was there (so two years in a row to Jackson Hole for them, once for me).  In addition, I needed to get my "Surefoot" boots fixed and Jackson Hole has a Surefoot store.

In the first picture below, I'm going through "TSA Pre" in the Austin airport.  There is a sign that says "Do not bring your firearm through the checkpoint."  I think that's very Texas...


It is very early, this is sunrise out the airline window as I depart Austin.


Here I am arriving in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  I arrive in shorts because it was 80 degrees in Texas where I left, here it is snowing.


In Jackson Hole you walk from the airplane to the terminal.


I am here on a mission.  My "Surefoot" boots are tight, I'm here to get new liners.  The concept of "Surefoot" is that they inject foam into the boot while you are wearing it, then the foam hardens.  It really does end up with a fantastic "fit" of boot.   In the picture below you can see the tubes they inject the foam into.  Once the foam is "solid" (about 3 or 4 minutes) they rip the tubes out. 


After Surefoot, I picked up Brady/Tam/Karl from the Jackson Hole airport, and then we went to the "Mangy Moose".  Below is a stuffed moose suspended in the restaurant/bar.


The next morning you can see the snow accumulation during the night on the cars and railing.  This picture is out our balcony.


We walked up (in street shoes) to get our "J-Cards" (lift tickets) and here is Brady in front of my favorite sign.  The electronic sign cycles, and it messed with my camera.  The message below says: "WILDLIFE WARNING: PLEASE USE CAUTION - DO NOT APPROACH MOOSE".  There is a female moose that lives right around the base here, and she is kind of cantankerous.


And... it turns out the mountain is not open for skiing this first day we are here.  Too much snow. 


Karl measuring the amount of snow we got last night.


Back in the Mangy Moose.


Okay, so the next morning it looks nice!  Not much snow the previous night.


A random picture of the lift map for keep sakes.


The lifts normally open at 8:30am.  In the picture below it is 10am, we just kind of arrived, and nobody has been "lifted" yet so the lines are the worst I've ever seen anywhere in 30 years, LOL.


Looking up at the lift lines.


Whew!  We just hiked up the hill to the back of the lift lines, now looking down where we were before.  We are now IN the lift line waiting as the chairs scoop skiers up and whisk them up the mountain.  When I was a kid, a line this long would be 3 hours or more.  With modern detachable ski lifts it is about 20 minutes.


About 20 minutes later we're half way up the hill taking a bathroom break, so I take this photo.


Looking upwards, same location.


Brian Wilson, Tamara Dohan, Karl Dohan, and Brady Nilsen.  Brian is wearing this silly head thing: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0C2JCY86N "Distressed Balaclava Ski Mask, Shiesty Yeat Airsoft Custom Knitted Face Mask".


A couple hours later at lunch.


Below is a panorama at lunch, Tam is a little deformed due to moving during the panorama.


We must be old, we're having beer and TUMS for lunch.


The next day it is time to go home, so we dig out the rental car.  Picture below.


A quick couple of photos of our room at the "Hotel Terra Jackson Hole".  We stayed in a 2 bedroom suite with kitchen.  It was Ok.


The kitchen.


One of the two bedrooms.  The OTHER bedroom had a single King bed, and there was a murphy bed in the living room we did not use.


After returning the rental car, here we are on the rental car shuttle to the airport.  The psychopath of a driver was driving so fast in ice/snow conditions that one of the passengers nervously asked him to slow down (he did not slow down).  I'm glad we survived.


At the Jackson Hole Airport here.  Then all flights were cancelled.


Tam's drink at the airport has a propeller.


Since all of our flights were cancelled, I chose to drive to Salt Lake City while Brady/Tam/Karl were on different flights (also cancelled) and waited and eventually got the LAST FLIGHT OUT to Salt Lake City.  We arrived approximately at the same time.  My rental car is seen below.


Okay, so I was wearing shorts and a light shirt because I thought I was flying to Dallas, Texas where it is 80 degrees.  (See picture below.)  I did not have my luggage as the airlines had "checked it".  However, as I was about to drive away, Brady texted me and told me my bags were at baggage claim, so I went BACK INTO THE AIRPORT to get my bags, seen below. 

Now here is how Brady and Karl figured out my bags were at baggage claim.  Quote from Karl, "Tam and I met Chris at the rooftop hot tub the day before, he approached as in the airport full of delayed flights. His girlfriend was on the same flight as you to Dallas Fort Worth, she was outside pulling a “Full Karen” (her words) to get on another flight when she noticed her bags (and thus, yours) on the carousel. They told us this story (over drinks), which is how you found out about your bags, just as you were leaving with the rental. What a save!" 

Below Brady takes my picture with my (now reclaimed) bags with my winter clothing in them.


Now with all my bags, I load the bags into the rental car.


And head off to Salt Lake City by rental car!


This is the route and time.  Now remember, Brady/Tam/Karl all arrived about the same time into Salt Lake City as I did.  I drove, they flew.


Kind of hilariously, I have to go back through the town of Jackson Hole.  It's like one big back track (unwind?)


Downtown Jackson Hole, Wyoming.


The famous "Cowboy Bar" on the right.


Everybody else is in pickup trucks and 4 wheel drive SUVs, and this one guy in front of me is in a Buick.  I really respect that!  I mean, he isn't driving a Nissan Sentra (the greatest snow car ever made) but at least he isn't some stupid, rich, clueless, tourist, yuppie in an SUV (like he is surrounded by on all sides).  This man has independent thoughts and made his own informed choices in life, which is rare in this day and age.


And I'm free of the towns, and headed out to Salt Lake City!  See below for the road conditions.  It is very pretty.  I forgot how much I enjoy driving across country on snowy roads (that isn't a joke, I really do like it).  Mainly because it is beautiful and calming.  And ANYTHING is better than flying.  It takes a little good judgment and some experience (but not some crazy amount of driving experience, anybody can learn to drive in a snowy climate) to drive on roads like this relatively safely.  After that it is just good clean beautiful fun.


Pretty scenery along the drive.


And... a couple hours down the road I'm rewarded with blue sky and sunshine, which just brings up your whole mood and makes for a nice drive.


The drive is gorgeous the whole way. 


What a beautiful day.


Okay, so about 4 hours into my drive to Salt Lake City, Karl took the photo below of Brady/Tam/Karl stepping onto the last flight out of Jackson Hole bound for Salt Lake City.  It turns out they technically beat me to Salt Lake City by maybe 30 minutes, but I beat Brady to the hotel, LOL.  I'm calling it a "tie".  Except they didn't get any nice views.


Brady shows up to my hotel maybe 30 minutes after I get there, and the whole thing is pretty funny because we really didn't expect to see each other for another 6 months or a year and here we are 6 hours later staying in a hotel together (again).


We are at the Hyatt Regency Salt Lake City hotel bar.  We got there 3 minutes before "Last Call" so one drink and then to bed.


Brady had an early flight so got up the next day and took an Uber to the airport.  I had a little more time so slept in a bit.  Below is a picture of downtown Salt Lake City from our hotel room window:


Our room.  I like to keep pictures just for reviews and posterity.  This was their last room, I was lucky to get it.  It's a nice hotel.


As I'm waiting for my valet parked car to be delivered, here is a picture of the front of the Hyatt Regency in Salt Lake City.


I'm driving a few short miles to the airport to drop of the rental car and take a direct non-stop flight home to Austin.  One day later than I expected.


Lunch in the airport.  This is in Red Rock Brewery.  The hamburger (much to my surprise) was served in a pita bread shell, not a hamburger bun.  It was totally delicious, and the onion rings were PERFECT.  The dipping sauces were awesome.  The beer was good.


Here we are just after takeoff on my way home to Austin.  Bye bye Salt Lake City!


On the flight I met (and sat next to) Steve Walther.  During the flight he doodled this on an airplane napkin as we talked.  At the end of the flight he handed it to me.  Steve is the author of a book called "Sacred Blisters" which is about hiking the "Camino de Santiago" in Spain.  I wouldn't have known about that hike, except my nephew took a couple months off work to hike it about a year ago!  So Steve and I had a very nice chat about this.


That's it!  That's all the pictures and movies.  All done!

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