Western Wyoming skies

But if they every saw a sunrise on a mountain mornin’ and watched those cotton candy clouds go by, then they’d know why I live beneath these western skies.
-Chris LeDoux

In a way,

We Freshman dental students may be lucky that the toughest didactic semester of dental school falls during the most dreary time of the year. Only lucky in that while we are forced to nosedive into our lab and bookwork at all hours of the day, we aren’t tempted with the beaconing of warmer weather and fun activities to pull us astray.


Still though, I definitely find my mind wandering lately- reminiscing on adventures of the past and making a mental agenda for the places I wish to visit again while on summer break. It certainly helps to have something to look forward to, to get you through these taxing times.
Lately, I’ve been thinking alot about Wyoming, especially central and western Wyoming, the first place I was able to call home in my life.


Each spring, my oldest sister and I load up her car, strap in my three nieces, and head to Riverton Wyoming to visit my grandmother, and my second oldest sister. We take our time on the drive, stopping in colorado for a night along the way, binging on road snacks, pausing at random touristy stop offs, and passing time with some of the greatest conversation I get to indulge on with my time away.
My favorite realization, though, is how much fun it is to be a tourist in a place you grew up. It seems when you spend time away, you notice, and enjoy the details so much more.


Last year we took our normal spring vacation, but decided a few months later that we deserved a summer road trip as well, so we hit the road for a two week trip and truly had a blast.


It just feels like home.

I have lived in quite a few places across the country. It always seems that wherever I go, if I bring it up, someone has been through or to this area, but never really stopped or stayed. Riverton is a quiet little town, with little to offer big adventure seekers, but maybe that’s also one reason I enjoy the short re-acquaintances with it. It’s right on the highway leading to the Tetons and Yellowstone. It’s a 40 minute drive to the Shoshoni National forest for great hiking and rock climbing, and 45 min from the world largest mineral hot springs, and some awesome river rafting. We generally stay in Riverton overnight and adventure in the day, but this trip we took longer excursions and stayed in a few new spots, even new to me as a native of the area. In an attempt to limit the lengthiness of this post, I’m starting with excursion number one, with more later on.


Jackson Hole

Will always hold a little place in my heart.
When I was a little girl, we would head there for shopping and moose-spotting when we needed a day away from the farm. The town used to be filled with cowboy hats, and expensive belt buckles, but I’m not sure I’ll see a cowboy hat there again any time soon. It’s certainly maintained it’s old-west vibe, but Jackson is now a ski-town in billionaires land, and I’ll never stop loving it.
We grabbed a cabin on Pearl street, and just as we arrived it began to pour, but we hit the streets anyway.


We shopped, ate, and of course drank our way through downtown until our shoes were soaked, and our wallets were light.


Snake River Brewery was just down the street from the cabin, and I highly suggest a stop if you’re ever in the area. I’m an occasional fan of dark brews, and the Dunkeldorf was super tasty.


The next morning I woke up with the sun, grabbed a meter bike down the street, and cruised through Jackson before the morning traffic begun.


However, note to self, I did find that the meter bikes have a short area of operation. Had I known the cabin I was staying in had rentable mountain bikes I certainly would have gone that route. There are trails-galore in the area, leading to scenic lakes and overlooks, within a brisk ride of downtown. It pays to ask questions.


Breakfast included bagels and brew at Pearl street bagel, in honor of past-times sake (always my fav bagel shop) and in the afternoon we hit Teton Village.

pearl street bagel

We rode the tram to the top of the mountain, checked out Fat Bastard cliff (hilarious name but one of the most intense drop-in areas in jackson for extreme skiers and snowboarders), and grabbed waffles and beer at the peak. No pics past hiking to the peak before waffles, because my phone actually froze at the top.


Snagging the tram back down the mountain, we realized how close we were to Jackson Hole Winery, so of course there was no question as to our next stop. My aunt grabbed the littles and we met for an enjoyable tasting.


Now, I’m a BIG fan of scenic wining and dining, and this hide-out sincerely blew me away. It’s operated on call-ahead appointment basis, out of a renovated barn on private land, by the river. We were greeted by the family lab, who happily looked in on our tasting through the swinging barn door, and needless to say (by the sight of my current wine stash) I fell in love with everything I tasted.


I’m not sure which spell we were under

If it was the beauty of the location, the crisp mountain air making us feel all sorts of warm and fuzzy, or the sincerity of the staff in loving their products, but between my eldest sis and I, we literally bought one of every bottle… then joined the wine club. For the wino in the fam, or the lover of all things beautiful outdoors, a glass of wine on the back patio may be the best secret treat you can find in Jackson Hole.


With my aunt along for the trip, there was no question as to our next adventure, but to drive through Moran in search of a Moose. Now, I lived in Wyoming for my late childhood and early teen years, and it’s unfortunate to say that I’ve never actually seen a wild moose. It’s also likely a laughable subject if I were to tell any of my Wyoming friends that this is a goal in life, but it certainly is.


I also thoroughly enjoy every minute of immersing myself in the forests of the Tetons, so it aids in my enjoyment of this past time. No moose this trip, but always something else. Just missed siting a bear, spotted elk in a clearing outside of Jenny lake, and as always, spotted the buffalo alongside the meadows leading to and from the city. We left Jackson after a short trip, with full hearts and lots of wine.

Mental note

As I drink my coffee and study Head and Neck Anatomy: visit again, very soon.


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Follow along on my journey by clicking the link at the bottom of this page. Happy to have you!





  1. Elizabeth Kummer
    March 15, 2019 / 4:40 am

    Never seen a moose?! I miss you dear friend!

    • saraoleson
      March 15, 2019 / 3:08 pm

      Yes! Right?! Still my life goals!
      I miss you too!!

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