Thursday, June 29, 2017

The Rahns head west - Day 2 ~ Paragliding, Tetons and Jackson Hole

This is the day that the girls have been anticipating for the past 6 months!!! Paragliding Day!

The day started off with Don heading out at 5:30 a.m. on his own personal animal photo safari. We slept in and then after breakfast, checked the weather and headed down to see about paragliding this morning. Carleigh excited for her 3rd adventure flying off the mountain - Katie anxiously wanting to try it for the first time.'s a go!! 9:00 a.m. they met their tandem pilots and headed up alone in the tram to 10,000 feet up! Mom and I went to the landing zone and Don met us there and we waited.....and see the lime green kite (Katie and DRob) and the white with blue stripe (Carleigh and Scott) appear in the sky. They did, and they landed and they were all smiles!!

before - ready for the tram ride
 It's pretty amazing how the whole process works. The pilots carry the kites up in their backpacks and at the top of the mountain they unpack them and set everything up. Both the pilot and the tandem person have to RUN off the mountain and keep running (Fred Flintstone style) until there is no ground left and they are flying. The pilot then steers it to the ground while throwing in some tricks and loops, turns for about a 10-14 minute ride!!
up on the top of those mountains is where they will fly from

Katie in the sky



Katie coming in to land

Carleigh coming in to land

We purchased the professional pictures of Katie and her flight since it was her first time. We did the same for Carleigh her first time.

Here are a selection of the pictures from the photographer on the ground and the Go-Pro that the pilot had in the air...

After that adventure we headed into downtown Jackson Hole for some shopping and lunch.

Lunch was at Liberty Burger - we discovered this place on our last visit. Great food and not expensive. :)

After shopping we headed into Grand Teton National Park for some more driving around and animal searching. We also stopped at a few visitor centers for more shopping and info gathering.

I love quotes and fun signs! While in the visitor centers - we found this fun sign and also some great quotes in the displays.
Apparently the August eclipse will be fully viewed in the Tetons - lots of excitement brewing about that!!

I love that he calls it a playground!

We have taken that secret oath! Hence, returning for our 5th trip in 8 years.

 dinner at The Mangy Moose

she might have just stepped in a mud puddle in her sandals


I love how world's can come together in far away places! I found out a few months ago that one of the other Instructional Facilitators that I work with was going to be in the Tetons the same time that we were, so we met up for dinner IN WYOMING!! So cool!!

Below are some of the highlights from Don's morning photo safari! I'm going with him one day and hoping for some excitement and fun! I've been told that I can't talk and have to sit quietly without moving for long periods of time...while waiting to see what will appear.  Wish me luck!!

As this day ends...we're looking forward to our last day with Rina  before she flies home and whatever adventures come our way!  I know there will be a small lake hike, a tram ride to the top of the mountain for lunch, and after dinner at a Gun and Barrel Game Restaurant -we will end the day with a teenage photoshoot in the mountains!!

Stay Tuned!!!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The Rahns head west - Day 1...arrival and explore the Tetons

After a 2 a.m. wakeup alarm and a long flight to Denver...we were on our way to Jackson Hole for the beginning of our adventure!! This is our fifth trip out west and this time Rina (Laura's mom) is joining us for the first 4 days!!

You aren't supposed to take pictures at arrival, but had to snap one of how happy Carleigh was to be back in the mountains!

Katie is happy to finally be on the ground and not stuck between her sister and mom on an airplane!!

Our arrival day tradition is not to go to the hotel, but to start exploring right away. So...straight out of the airport and a 15 minute drive to Mormon Row inside Grand Teton National Park.

There will be lots of Carleigh sitting and "becoming one" with nature as she just plops down in random places to take it all in!! This truly is her happy place!
All by herself - just soaking it in

We then headed down to Schwabaker Landing - another favorite spot - all before checking into the hotel. :)

soaking it in...

We did make it to the hotel, checked in, rested for a bit and then regrouped to head out to dinner. We ate at one of our favorite spots - Dornan's. Right in the middle of the park and with a terrific view of the mountains!!

at Dornan's 
Rina at Dornan's
We then drove around after dinner for a couple of hours to see if we could find any animals - no luck tonight, but watched sunset and a rainstorm move in over the mountains as we headed back to the hotel.

It was a great day!! We are back west for 11 days with lots of adventures. We will be in the Tetons for 6 days and then head into Utah - plans may change once we begin part 2 of our adventures as we are watching the Brian Head Forest fire in southern Utah that may impact our travel plans to Bryce and Zion....

Stay tuned for day 2 - some rain in the forecast - shopping and exploring Jackson Hole, more Teton adventures and maybe paragliding....