With several feet of snow on the ground inside Grand Teton National Park, it’s hard to imagine that spring will ever be here.
Plowing the drifts from the roads in the park is no small feat, even for the monstrous plows prowling between the pines at the base of the mountains.
In the month of April, when they start plowing the snow from the streets but have not yet opened them to motorized traffic, bicyclists, hikers, bladers and others can meander down the roads without the fear that some tourist or over-exuberant concessionaire employee will drift into them while gazing at bison or while illegally passing someone who is gazing at bison.
As we set out on our bikes and headed away from the bustling parking lot that served bicyclists, hikers, snowshoers and hikers alike, the park became amazingly silent, no car noise, no chattering tourists, no din from airplanes overhead (which happens rarely in Grand Teton), and we felt almost completely alone.
Two travelers and their bikes on a journey from civilization to wilderness.
The night was heavy with the threat of snow and the chill of winter not yet ready to let go. We clung to our wool coats and our scarves, and we pulled our collars up around our necks in a vain attempt to avoid the cold. The boardwalk made dull thwomps as we made our way across town, bending and groaning slightly under the pressure of ice and stilettos and boots. But as we stepped inside the glass doors of the little bistro, warm air rushed out to greet us and welcome us inside with laughter and a friendly embrace. “Welcome, Welcome, have a drink! You are here!” it seemed to sing as we stomped our feet and dusted the flakes from our coats.
The foyer is always bustling, people sitting on the sofas and clinging to the dark corners, chattering, drinking, listening to the din of happy diners beyond the thick wool curtain. We had reservations for once, knowing that the end of ski season rush meant that tonight could be a busy one. What luck! There are two bar seats open just for us! We prefer to sit at bars, somehow they always seem more intimate to us, sitting next to each other, our knees touching, our elbows getting in the way, instead of reaching across an entire table of food and drink and assorted culinary accoutrements just to get that secret, gentle contact between lovers.
Trio Bistro is our regular haunt in Jackson, Wyoming, with it’s subtle, dim lighting, industrial-chic chairs and tables, and roaring wood-fired pizza oven that drives away the last remnants of winter in this busy mountain town. The wine list is extensive and fluid with the seasons and always includes varieties off the beaten path… blends or strange flavors or grapes from Morocco or Thailand or other places that would never conjure in the mind’s eye scenes of rolling vineyards or the lush spring of wine country. The food is excellent, as well, with plates of game and pastas that rival any found in a big city. But we always go with a pizza, crispy wood-fired crust, fresh toppings (try the duck!), deliciously hot and deliciously burned and satisfying in a way no frilly steak could be. We sit for hours and nibble our food and sip our wine and watch the world turn around us, pretending that for two hours we are in a cafe somewhere on the far side of the world.
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