We were informed that Yellowstone National Park had no Internet but that turned out to be a fallacy. While there is no Internet available at Old Faithful Inn, there is indeed WiFi service a few buildings over at Old Faithful Snow Lodge. The only problem is I might get mauled by a bear on my way there at 6:00 in the morning. Early morning and dusk are prime times that wildlife like to move around, my husband says.
As predicted, with all the stops and a lunch break, it did indeed take us 4 hours to drive from Jackson Hole, Wyoming to Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park. After reading the tip from Cynthia Larsen in Cotati, CA, about stopping at Jenny Lake for lunch, we decided to veer off the highway that runs along the Snake River and instead take the Moose Junction. We came upon Jenny Lake Lodge and stopped for lunch. What a treat. It was first class service in a relaxed, historical environment.
The lodge was named after the Shoshone wife of a fur trader, and the lodge is constructed from logs. The main lodge consisted of a huge room that served as a lobby, with lots of windows and a stone fireplace, plus a gift shop. Our wait for lunch was minimal as they scheduled those without a reservation for seating every 15 minutes, but I suspect that designed to give tourists time to spend in the gift shop. Mostly the menu was burgers, sandwiches and elegant salads, but I've been reading so much about trout that I couldn't pass up the opportunity to try it.
They served the trout in a very hot wide-brimmed bowl with homemade polenta and deep-fried spinach. It literally melted in my mouth. A grumpy guy one table over was asked by his dining companion how he was enjoying his fries. He replied, "Very much when I started but now I'm just putting them into my mouth." That wasn't my experience. I savored every bite of my trout. I couldn't help, however, but notice the silverware. It had a nice feel in my hand. It looked like real silver. When our server came over to see how we were doing, I asked, "What's the story with the silverware?" She looked astonished and started to laugh. My husband interjected, "My wife thinks the tableware is made from silver and wants to know if there is a story behind it."
Our server hesitated and then laughed again. She had been wondering how I knew that the lodge was running out of spoons, who leaked that secret. They have recently ordered new silverware. But it is silver. Which is a nice touch for a restaurant in the middle of the Grand Tetons. I learned that John D. Rockefeller bought up a bunch of land in the Grand Teton. Let everybody think he was planning to build a ranch but instead turned around and donated all the property to the United States Government. You don't think of the John D. Rockefeller in those terms.
Here are more photos of the Grand Teton and Jenny Lake Lodge:
Photos: Elizabeth Weintraub and Adam Weintraub