We woke up to a perfect clear and cold morning with some fresh snow. We could hear the wolves howling from the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center across the street from the cabins. It was such a neat experience to hear them. Scott got out the drone and got some sweet footage around the cabin and town. We decided to go get a decent breakfast and headed out on foot to a recommended place, Running Bear Pancake House. It was a longer walk than we thought we were getting ourselves into but the food was delicious. We would be back! We definitely walked off the pancakes on our trip there and back! Shew!
Before we could hit the trails we had to go buy trail permits for Montana and Idaho. We headed back to the cabin, stickers the sleds up to be legal and got geared up to head out on our sleds. Scott had gotten us both ABS packs which contain tools and airbags and trackers in case we are caught in an avalanche so I had to wear several pounds of gear in a backpack that I was not used to wearing. More on those tools in another post!!!! I can’t say I was a fan of the weight on my back or the tracker around my waist but I understand their purpose and need so I tolerated it! We finally took off and after winding through town on basically bare roads, and we were at the trail. Scott’s sled got a little hot bumping through town on mostly bare pavement but he was able to cool it back down once we got going. Wow – it was a clear day and every where you looked around you was something beautiful – little did I know what we would be seeing. I just followed as I always do and we wound through the most beautiful scenery I had ever seen on my snowmobile. This wasn’t my first time riding in the west, we honeymooned at Togwotee in 2002 but I didn’t remember it looking like this around the Tetons.
We made our way through the fabulous trail system through Rea’s Pass to a mountain top called Two Top. H O L Y C O W. I had never in my life seen anything like it. I didn’t know anything like this existed. We were at the TOP OF A MOUNTAIN – not hill but MOUNTAIN. I was having a minor freak out moment when we got there, however. Scott wanted to stop immediately and take a picture beside the trees which are called Snow Ghosts (fitting name), but I was certain we were going to fall off the side of the mountain. Turns out, what I was freaked about was a DRIFT, not an EDGE – duh. It was all just a bit overwhelming at first!!! He has to put up with my wackiness sometimes and I was having a moment for sure. After figuring out you could ride around up there and deciding that we weren’t going to fall off the side I started having fun and was able to see the incredible scenery around me. Scott wanted to go play in the trees so I found a great spot to take some photos and take it all in. If we had driven all this way and only got to see this I would have been happy – it was that breath-taking and beautiful.
We left Two Top via a different way than we arrived and headed down the mountain. I will say there are some steep parts that made me a little nervous but I kept telling myself that this was a TRAIL – it was safe. I was glad to have my tree-hugging, 4 stroke 900 ACE with 3 different engine modes to at least make me feel safer climbing and decending steep grades. Standard Mode is perfect for going down – the machine really holds well on grades and doesn’t feel like it’s getting away from you at all. At least it makes me feel better!
Our next stop ended up at Meadow Creek Lodge – a restaurant outside Island Park, Idaho. It is in the woods, only accessible in winter by snowmobile. It was a GREAT place to stop and I’m so glad he brought me there. It’s basically bar food but the french fries are made fresh and were delicious. It was packed as expected and we had a great time there.
We left Meadow Creek, I followed Scott, not knowing where our next stop would be. A few miles down the trail we came around a curve to a bridge over open water called Big Springs. The spring water is clear and beautiful and very large rainbow trout stay right near the bridge. We also saw a muskrat swimming around. It’s a popular stop for snowmobilers so I think the muscat must be used to being fed by visitors.
After lunch we headed back toward West, stopping at a warming hut on the side of the trail. We didn’t need to warm up today but its there if necessary.
After getting back we showered and took off on foot to The Buffalo Bar for dinner – another recommended place by the hotel and a little hike – again. It was perfect though and I had a delicious pot roast sandwich. Such a cool place. We were pretty much dead after eating and walking back and tomorrow’s adventure is BACKCOUNTRY so we needed sleep! These old people went to bed real early!