This summer I was lucky enough to hop on the back of my BF’s BMW motorcycle and travel 6,500 miles across The Pacific Northwest making this my longest adventure yet. He took me to places I had been dreaming about since I was little. I am still not even half-way done with the travel diaries because there was just simply so much. And I need more time in the day. I really hope to get them all completed over the Thanksgiving holiday as I will be in Houston for one week and will have lots of down time. In the mean-time though— I am so excited to be sharing my favorite places from the awfully BIG adventure with you over here on The Simon and Ruby blog. These were the destinations that captured my attention and sparked my imagination.
So with so much planning (we were on the road for 32 days) it’s pretty tough, especially on the bike. (weather, exhaustion, bike service layovers can all be a tad tricky so reserving lodging accommodations ahead of time are just not practical so we plan three days at a time) And ps, if you are needing some help with moto gear, grab that list here. If you are needing moto packing tips, grab that list here. And so many motorcycle tips and tricks in this post here.
To watch before departure- Long Way Round, Twin Peaks, Sleepless in Seattle
First favorite destination of mine was Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Such a charming charming place that I would happily return to at a moment’s notice You will feel like you’re stepping back into time. And of course Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons are just outside your door, and they make a pretty big impression as soon as you arrive. And of course your summer and winter experiences are going to be so different. Summer in Jackson Hole is arguably a busier season than the winter, since the town fills up with people exploring the mountains by foot, bike, and even boat. Plus the kiddos are out of school for the summer. Those who’ve visited for skiing might not realize that the town is just a 30-minute drive from Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park, so it makes a perfect home base for exploring. I love the wild wild west!
Things to do:
- Play at the Snow King Resort Hotel.
- Afternoon Rosé at Hayden’s Post.
- French pastries and Intelligentsia coffee (helloooo My favorite) or the craft mimosas at Persephone Bakery
- Dig into the best steak in town at the Local.
- Live music and dancing at The Million Dollar Cowboy Bar.
- Buy your man a present at The Mountain Man Toy Shop . This gem offers the finest tools, gifts and accessories for the modern day outdoorsman.
- And the rodeo of course!
Grand Teton National Park & Yellowstone
This would be one of the most striking and memorable parts of the journey. I have always heard how magnificent The Tetons are in person but I could never have imagined just how magnificent they are. And Yellowstone…..WOW. I cannot even put into words how truly magical this place is. Crossed two life-changing experiences off my bucket list during the same vacation my loves and I encourage you to do the same. Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone – two of the most beautiful destinations in the world – are within an easy hour’s drive of one another.
From Jackson we did the 42 mile scenic loop. This is a loop, so start wherever is convenient for you.US-89 parallels the Snake River, framed by the jagged peaks of the Teton Mountains to the west. Stop at Schwabacher’s Landing and Teton Point Overlook for wide-open views of the those beautiful Tetons. A few miles ahead, pull off at the Snake River Overlook, grab your camera and capture the sweeping view that was made famous by photographer Ansel Adams. You’ll see Jackson Hole (the name of the valley) and the Snake River as it winds in the foreground of the Tetons.As you approach Moran Junction, notice Mount Moran in the distance, looming at 12,605 feet tall. Turn left and drive through the park entrance station. About a 4 miles up the road, turn left onto Teton Park Road. This section of the road travels close to Jackson Lake where you can enjoy hiking, camping, fishing, boating, as well as dining and lodging.If time allows, make a side trip east onto Signal Mountain Road, a narrow, twisty road that leads 5 miles to the summit of Signal Mountain. At 1,000 feet above the valley, the summit provides panoramic views of the Tetons, Jackson Hole and Yellowstone National Park. Continuing south on Teton Park Road, you’ll reach the north portion of the Jenny Lake Loop. For this scenic side trip, turn right and continue to the Cathedral Group Overlook. Then head south to the Jenny Lake Trailhead and stretch your legs on the String and Jenny Lake Trails.When Jenny Lake Road rejoins Grand Teton Road, turn right to finish the drive. Shortly afterwards, stop at Teton Glacier Overlook to sight one of many glaciers that forms the Teton Mountains.
Things to do:
- Do explore the Geyser Basins.
- Cruise Tower Road
- Dine by Yellowstone Lake
Travel adds so much color to my daily life. Treat everyday like an adventure. I hope my travels inspire your own journey, wherever it takes you.
To follow more of Samantha’s adventures