I was up early and ready to go because I knew what awaited us today: some theater, exploring Jackson Hole and whitewater rafting.
But that’s not why I was wide awake at 6 a.m.
I knew that as soon as the Silver Dollar Grill was open, I’d have my second chance at biscuits and wild game gravy. That’s right, chunks of wild animal slopped over gigantic biscuits is one of the few things that’ll get me out of bed in the morning. Well, that and rope-drop at the Magic Kingdom because I’m corny and I love that stuff.
Anyway, round two of the elk/boar/bison avalanche of gravy extravaganza was just as good. We had a little down time between breakfast and our lunch plans, so we relaxed a bit in our room at the Wort Hotel.
Our Adventures by Disney group and Adventure Guides Tiffany and Drew met in the lobby a couple hours later for a tour of downtown Jackson Hole. We walked up the wooden sidewalk – Brazilian tour guide-style, complete with Drew holding up an ABD sign to guide us – and into the park in the middle of town.
It’s a beautiful green space with shady trees, benches and a great view at the mountains surrounding the town. And the whole thing is gated by four arches made entirely of elk antlers.
After a nice walk around this central area, we headed over to the Jackson Hole Playhouse for a cowboy-themed lunch and a preview of the dinner theater show (in this case, ‘Cat Ballou.’) The playhouse is the oldest framed building in Jackson. It had a tangible feel of having seen the days of the wild west, despite having been several different businesses over the years.
Here’s a rundown on the history of the place:
We were ushered into the theater and given a chance to have some pics taken on the stage. There was a train station setting, a bar, and a jail area. We chose to play with the toys.
We were then brought out to the dining area where we had a cowboy-themed lunch. I had a buffalo burger – it didn’t taste all that different from a regular burger, really – and we were serenaded by some of the actors. Their harmonies absolutely filled the space with huge, lush melodies. And of course, there was audience participation – thusly:
And once I knew they were going to pick on audience members, I knew I’d be among them. I have a magnet, I think. If someone needs to be dragged blushing into a show, it will always be me. But it was fun. Really fun. In fact, I got smooched on both sides of my face by the two ladies in the above photo.
Man, I wish I shaved before taking this photo.
After lunch we piled into a bus and headed for Barker-Ewing outfitters to get ready for some whitewater rafting along the Snake River.
It rained and thundered a bit, and by the end everyone was fairly cold. Katie was thrown a bit by the bigger water and the lightning. I asked her what she thought of the adventure.
“I have mixed feelings about it,” she said.
Later, in retrospect, she said she loved it after learning she wasn’t in any danger.
That night we were on our own for dinner, and we opted to grab some food to-go from the Silver Dollar Bar. Katie wanted elk sliders and Amy and I got another round of the pheasant soup. Amy and Kate went up to the room while I sidled up to the bar to place our order and wait. As I watched bull riding on the TV behind the bar – making me feel very cowboy-y – some guy came up behind me and slammed his hands down on my shoulders. Then he grabbed me from behind and shouted, “HOW YOU DOING, BOSS?!?”
He let me go and I slowly turned around and looked at him. I didn’t recognize him, so I just said, “fine” and looked at him. I kind of wish I had chaps and spurs on so we could’ve had a showdown. I didn’t so instead I watched him sit down next to me and hassle the people on the other side. I don’t know why, but he opted to leave me alone.
My special bar buddy was rather shattered. He ordered up a shot and a beer, and each time he’d tap the shot glass on the top of the beer, once on the bar and then sip. Only he kept missing the beer. It took him a few tries to go through his well-rehearsed yet challenging process.
After nothing else happened – thankfully – I got our food and headed upstairs. We watched a little “Gravity Falls” on the Disney Channel and settled in to get some sleep after an exciting and eventful day.