Ummm, this is going to be a long one! There's a lot of story telling to be done...
After leaving Yellowstone we headed to Dubois, WY, a charming little town located a bit east of the Moran entrance to Grand Teton National Park (check out the map below for reference). During the couple days we stayed in Dubois we did the easy drive back and forth to the Park, enduring some serious construction and, more importantly, spectacular views.
We ended up in Dubois because Taras's old colleague had said that when we got to the area, if no one was renting his family's vacation cabin, we could stay there. It was the sweetest offer and we didn't hesitate taking him up on it (a whole house to ourselves after many hotel and campground stays, yesss!). The cabin was beautiful and exactly what you'd want out of a vacation house in the mountains, complete with deer meandering through the yard. Our favorite part was the directions we were given, "drive a few miles up the dirt road and you're close after you've passed the second cattle guard." I mean, awesome, right? We were well secluded and had a beautiful view. We spent evenings on the deck drinking local beer as the sun set and mornings lingering over coffee in the extremely fresh air. The first night we arrived I definitely cried some happy tears - it was hard to not get overtaken with emotion when thinking about how blessed we were, not only to be on this trip, but to have someone be so kind and let us use their house. You can find the VRBO listing for the cabin here.
We quickly fell in love with Dubois. The downtown has a few restaurants (we had an amazing dinner at Nostalgia Bistro and met the chef/owner who is awesome - he wears kilts and taught us that you pronounce the "s" in "Dubois") and a couple coffee shops, all set in a traditional western backdrop. The town's location makes it a great spot for outdoor adventuring and the owner of the local excursion shop is super nice.
Maybe the best part about Dubois is that they host a regular Friday night rodeo in the summer. I've been to many rodeos in my day (I hail from the Horse Capital of the World, after all) but it was Taras's first rodeo experience! We manged to get him semi-cowboy looking with a borrowed hat from the cabin... all he needed were some Justin boots and tight Wrangler jeans and my high school self would have been in heaven. :) Anyway, back to the rodeo, Taras had a blast. He had himself some strawberry-rhubarb cobbler that was cooked in a giant cast iron skillet and decided his favorite rodeo events were Rope-n-Ribbon (three cowboys chase a calf on foot and must remove the rope from its neck and a ribbon from its tail) and Mutton Bustin' (and the cobber. That's an event, right?)
Whew. Thanks for sticking with me through this one!