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Old 06-21-2010, 01:47 PM   #1
It takes faith, trust & pixie dust!
disneyfaninaz's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Chandler, AZ
Posts: 11,510

Our Great Quest for Elusive Moose! ~ A Grand Teton/Yellowstone TR - Completed!

I am back with yet another trip report. I canít believe how popular my Yosemite trip report still is. I hope you enjoy this one as well!

Cast of characters:

Me - SAHM and obsessive vacation planner, as you will see during this pre-trip portion of this report.

DH - my rock, my foundation, loves to take vacations that he allows me to so meticulously plan.

DD (9) - Our well traveled daughter. She loves nature and would rather take trips where she can be running around.


We had such a great time on our trip to Yosemite National Park last year (see link to trip report below), that just a couple of weeks after returning home, we decided to plan a trip to Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks for the Summer of 2010.

After doing my research, I discovered that when visiting Yellowstone, it is advised that you stay at multiple places within the park so you can explore without having to back track more than necessary. I also learned that you need to book Yellowstone lodgings well in advance, as they tend to book up for the Summer season. With that in mind, I booked our lodging for the Old Faithful Snow Lodge & Cabins and the Canyon Lodge & Cabins in June of last year. We have Western cabins with Queen beds and private baths, both musts for us. So far, so good!

You know the saying, best laid plans, and so on. Well, it never fails when you take the time and plan out your trip day by day, something is going to come along and make you change them. We were very excited to hear last October that our niece was getting married in Santa Barbara, California. We were less excited to hear that she happened to pick the day we planned to leave for Yellowstone. We looked into flying directly to Jackson or Salt Lake City from Santa Barbara, but there were no direct flights available. Everything went back to LAX, Denver or Phoenix. I also didnít want to pay luggage fees on some of the airlines. Fortunately, with a little creativity, we are able to stick to our original week with a change or two in our lodging. Instead of flying into Salt Lake City in the morning and driving to Jackson on our first day, we will now fly in Salt Lake City in the evening (after returning home from the wedding that morning), spend the night and then drive directly to Jackson Lodge the next day. We will then spend the original 4 nights in Yellowstone and end our trip back at Jackson Lodge on our last night before we leave the next morning for Salt Lake City to return home that evening. We are in for a very long travel day as we will fly home from California on Sunday morning, June 6th. We will come home, change clothes, eat lunch, grab our Yellowstone luggage and head back to the airport for our Southwest flight to Salt Lake City later that same afternoon (no baggage fees!)

Life is full of little challenges, as we were dealt a huge one in December. On December 7th, our DD was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. We had a lot to learn, and still are, on managing her condition. It will definitely be a challenge on our trip to Yellowstone as we are dealing with time changes and high altitudes. But, we will persevere and not let it put a damper on our trip.

Day 1: Where are we again?

Finally, after a year of planning, rearranging plans, and anticipation, the time has finally arrived to take our trip. After a wonderful and cool weekend in Santa Barbara and a beautiful wedding, we flew back to Phoenix from Santa Barbara on the morning of Sunday, June 6th. We went home for a few hours to repack a few bags, grab a few more bags, eat lunch and then head back to the airport to catch a late afternoon flight to Salt Lake City. Did I mention that it was hovering around 109 degrees when we left Phoenix!

Upon our arrival at SLC we rented our car and checked into our hotel in downtown Salt Lake City. I raised money for and participated in the City of Hope Walk for Hope in October, 2009. As an incentive, I received free Hilton Honor Points and subsequently a free room. Because of this, we were able to book a room in Salt Lake City using my Hilton Honor points. Sweet! We found a very nice sports bar just down the block from our hotel and had a nice meal while Boston beat up on the Lakers! (Yeah!) Oh yeah, and it was only about 80 degrees when we landed.

We had just spent 3 days in California, 3 hours at home and now we were in a different time zone about to embark on our Great Quest for Elusive Moose!

Next: Day 2 - And away we go!

Last edited by disneyfaninaz; 08-10-2010 at 11:29 AM. Reason: Updated 8/10
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