The phone rang with the question “Are you enjoying your beer at Beaverhead Brewing?” I quickly looked around the tap-room perplexed, looking for my dad. His voice was on the other end of the phone. He was of course not there, but he did have a very detailed itinerary that I had left with him, as I do before any trip I take. I leave the itinerary with him just in case I go missing. So far, so good. I have not gone missing and apparently I show up to where I am supposed to be at the time I scheduled myself to be.
What started out as our spring trip turned out to be Boomer’s and my only trip together last year. It was disappointing that Boomer stayed home for the rest of the year but we did have an enjoyable time on our spring trip together. Below is a wrap up of our Utah, Colorado, Arizona and Wyoming adventures together.
The park ranger’s voice echoed throughout the almost empty Grand Teton visitors center “The road to Yellowstone is closed”. Although she was not speaking directly to me her comment resulted in a furrowed brow from me. With the “road to Yellowstone” closed, otherwise known as the John D. Rockerfeller Jr Memorial Parkway, it would not only derail our plans for the day but also our route home as I had intended on passing through Yellowstone National Park on the last day of our trip. I now had to start accepting the fact that I would be driving over Teton Pass once again to get home and at the time unbeknownst to me with a fresh layer of slippery snow on it. Fun times for me my friends.
2015 is coming to an end and it is time for our Paws For Beer 2015 Travel Wrap Up.
2015 was a year of changes for us at Paws For Beer. Due to a job change in 2014 I took a substantial pay cut but more importantly I took a 93% reduction in vacation hours. I won’t waste your time with bitching about the impact of the change and just leave it as depressing. To help offset this change I have slowed my blog postings to weekly, instead of twice a week, as I am not traveling as much and do not have as much to share. Luckily I have not seen a drop in traffic to the site as a result of this change. My posts about brewing and baking with beer have become erratic, which is a loss for me personally because I loved trying out new recipes. Lack of time and money have held me back with continuing both of those hobbies. Perhaps 2016 I will make more of an effort to bring that back.
As a child my family and I use to visit Jackson, which I thought we called it Jackson Hole at that time. I am not sure when the change happened or more of the drop of the word “hole” was, but it appears it is now called just Jackson.
Or maybe I just was not up to speed as to what was going on. And maybe I was not, I was a little kid after all. Even as an adult I am sure I still do not know half of what is going on. But sometimes it is best to be unaware of some things, am I right?
I still refer to Jackson as Jackson Hole, it is a habit I am not willing to break. Kind of like my beer habit. The term “hole” actually refers to the Jackson Hole Valley, which includes the town of Jackson. The hole is the area between the Teton Mountain Range and the Snake River. So I can still refer to the town as Jackson Hole and be vaguely correct.
And now that I have devoted way too much time to the world “hole” let’s move on…
Before I go to any brewery I check out their website to see what beers they have and do a little planning for what I might order. Sometimes this pre-shopping will make or break a visit to the brewery. If the tasting notes are vague or the list includes beer styles I do not enjoy, such as Belgium styles, I may skip the brewery all together.
Snake River Brewing’s beer list was neither vague nor included an over abundance of Belgium styled beers. The list of beer was impressively large, with several styles of beer represented. But for me it was not the size of the list, but the clever beer names that caught my eye. With names like “Rye Not”, “White Snake”, “YB Bitter” “Dark Helmet” “Custer’s Last Ale” and my personal favorite “License to Pils” how could I not want to swing in and grab a pint from Snake River Brewing while I was in Jackson?
During my Spring 2015 trip to Utah I completed The Mighty 5. In 2013 I visited Utah, stopping at Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks. My 2015 trip to Utah had me stopping at Canyonlands, Arches, Capitol Reef and returning to Bryce Canyon. Although there is plenty more exploring to do in all of these parks I will say that my favorite park is Zion. Perhaps it is because Zion was my first introduction to The Mighty 5. I vividly remember the unbelievable deep red rocks contrasting against the lush green foliage. And as beautiful as Zion National Park is I do believe each park has it’s own stunningness.
Goblin Valley State Park in Utah is a unique and fascinating spot however you may remember it’s name because of what happened there in 2013. Two doofuses knocked over one of the rock structures. They claimed one of the rocks was about to topple over on to a small child and they were protecting not only said child, but anyone else that could potentially walk past this rock. I have watched the video several times and have never seen a child anywhere near that rock, other than the childish people destroying a rock structure that was around 170 million years old. Probably the most disturbing part of the video is that after they topple over the rock the person filming bursts into laughter and states that his buddy is “saving lives at Goblin Valley”. Second most disturbing part is the high five between the vandal and the third friend.
And that my friend is why we can’t have nice things.
Meet Capitol Reef National Park.
Of the “Mighty 5”, Capitol Reef is the newest addition to Utah’s five parks. Capitol Reef was established in 1971, about 40 years after Arches, Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks and 7 years after Canyonlands National Park. Capitol Reef may be the new kid on the block but it certainly is not the Donny Wahlberg of the group.
Capitol Reef National Park is located near Utah Highway 12. Some of you may remember my thoughts on Utah Highway 12. If you do not remember or have not checked them out, go ahead and give it a go. We will wait for you here.
Pretty scary, huh?
It was a day like any other. I was rushing to beat time. The sun was setting and I had one last task for the day, to photograph Bryce Canyon National Park at sunset.
I firmly believe the earth’s rotational speed increases as the sun is going down. Have you ever noticed that? The sky fills with vibrant colors and you rush to grab your camera, only to watch the colors fade and your opportunity is sometimes missed before you can press the button to snap the photo. So I did what any rational person would do when presented with a race against time, I pressed a little harder on the gas pedal. Don’t worry (Dad) the speed of sound was not broken in my quest to reach Bryce Canyon before the sun vanished below the horizon for the day.