So this morning we woke up under sunny skies in Jackson, Wyoming. The plan for the day was to visit the National Elk Refuge for a sleigh ride and see the elk herd up close and personal. The boys wanted to take their rifles, but that would have been a bad idea.
Next year the National Elk Refuge will celebrate its 100th anniversary of protecting the elk herd during the winter months. The Refuge was started to help feed the elk during the winter months. Once Jackson was settled, there was too much competition between ranchers and the elk for the grass or feed in the area. Our guide told us a story of elk pushing down fences to get at farmers’ hay before the refuge was built. Ninety-nine years after the National Elk Refuge was started, I can report the elk are doing well. We saw over forty elk.
After the sleigh ride we invaded Jackson’s city center for some hard core shopping. Reece (a.k.a. Ragging Bull) wanted a cowboy hat, boots, spurs, chaps and a colt revolver. Well, that might be a little exaggerated. Reece did however pick out a cute cowboy hat. Rhett and Lucy cowboyed up with winter weather gear and a Cowboy Joe t-shirt. I, however, found the love of my life… a new back pack for both major and minor adventures. After shopping, all cowboys headed home.
Home for the week is just outside of West Yellowstone, Montana, in a cozy cedar cottage. We have plenty of room and a Christmas tree. Amazingly, we all made it to the same location by three different routes. Walt, Christy and Lucy drove cross county through eight states. My mom and dad flew from Memphis, Tennessee to Portland, Oregon and then drove to Montana. Finally, my team flew from Memphis to Salt Lake City then drove to meet the gang. No matter how we arrived at the final destination, we agree on the splendid Christmas Vacation that is in store for us. No pre-wrapped kittens or jello molds! No cousin Eddie dumping his RV’s septic tank into the street side drain! No flaming toupee or crazy renditions of the National Anthem. It is just my family in the middle of a snowy world. WOW! I am so excited.
To top all of the glorious site seeing, we had salmon croquettes, soupy rice and biscuits for dinner. To top that off, Walt, Reece, Rhett, Chris and I are in the middle of a heated Monopoly game… winner to be decided. To top all that off, we are just getting started.