Grand Teton Lodge Company Echo Day

Grand Teton Lodge Company will participate in a Fence Pull across from Jackson Lake Lodge as part of our contribution for Echo Day on August 7, 2010. The Fence Pull results in allowing wildlife to pass freely throughout the area without being injured. We are inviting members of the Jackson Hole Community and our guests of Grand Teton Lodge Company to volunteer with our employees for an hour of their day and to be part of this effort to improve our environment of Grand Teton National Park.

If this activity sounds like the perfect way to give back to the environment we are excited to have you participate! Plan on meeting at the Jackson Lake Lodge Corrals at 10am on Saturday morning. If possible wear long pants and work type clothes, gloves will be provided for your safety. This event is from 10am-5pm, but even an hour of your time will be a huge contribution to the Fence Pull!

If you want to learn more about what really happens at a Fence Pull please read our blog “The Clearing of Devil’s Rope”. Also, to find more information about Vail Resorts Echo Day – click here!


When: August 7th
Time: 10 am – 5 pm
What: Continue/complete fence pull across from Jackson Lake Lodge
Where: Meet at JLL Corrals
Who: All GTLC Employees, Community, Guests, National Park Service


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GTLC Fun Facts II

Grand Teton Lodge Company was started by the Rockefeller family.

Our employees represent all 50 states  and may have worked for us for decades.  Our longest employee worked for us 52 years on a seasonal basis each summer!

The US/Russia Peace Talks of 1989 were held at Jackson Lake Lodge.

We make nearly 30 gallons of homemade ice cream every day.

The Ranch House Restaurant was developed at Colter Bay to honor the many original dude ranches of the Jackson Hole area where our log cabins originally came from prior to being relocated to Colter Bay.

We have a private meal-site on the banks of the Snake River just under the Snake River Overlook where Ansel Adams took his famous photo of Grand Teton National Park.  Join us for dinner throughout the week and then float a 10 mile section of the river with our guides.

Our staff created the artwork and details for our kid’s coloring book called the Wildwalk Passport…ask for one at the Front Desk.

Between all our operations we employ nearly 1,000 people each summer…approximately 49% of which are returning employees.

Colter Bay Marina is the only location on Jackson Lake where boat slips can be reserved….get your name in now…there is currently a 15 year waiting list!

We hope you enjoy learning a few fun facts about our operations.  If you know of more we’d welcome learning of them, so feel free to make a comment!

Wet N’ Wild ~ Kayaking on Jackson Lake

 

Kayaking is not a new sport to me; however that doesn’t mean I’m ready to barrel roll down the rapids! That being said, I’m perfectly happy to rent a kayak from the Colter Bay Marina and take in a paddle on Jackson Lake.  Last weekend, my boyfriend Sy and I did just that!

 

Melissa & Sy Kayaking Jackson Lake
Melissa & Sy Kayaking Jackson Lake

Having done this once before, Sy and I lathered up with sunscreen, donned our safe and stylish life vests, and pushed off into the calm waters of the Marina. We decided on a relaxing paddle around the closest bays, and are very happy we did!

The bays were filled with active water birds.  As we paddled along we watched bald eagles soar overhead, an osprey defend its territory, and saw a blue heron and spotted piper hunting for their lunches along the shore.  We’d like to share some of our photos from that day with all of you!

 

This Bald Eagle Decided that branch looked like a good landing spot.  I love this photo because it reminds me of a flagpole topper!  This guy had a very busy morning.  He soared high above us hunting for his next meal and was chased by the Osprey.  He definitely deserves a nice rest!

 

Our Bald Eagle Sighting
Our Bald Eagle Sighting

This Osprey kept his eyes open for that pesky Bald Eagle.  It was very cool watching him dive bomb the Eagle as he chased him from his territory!

 

The Guardian Osprey
The Guardian Osprey

Can you spot the spotted sandpiper?  I’ll give you a hint….he’s brown and white and is standing on a branch.   

 

The Shy Sandpiper
The Shy Sandpiper

That’s right, he’s right in the middle of the photo.  This Sandpiper was so interesting to watch as he chattered and bobbed his way along the shore! 

  

This Blue Heron was searching the shoreline for some lunch.  I almost paddled right by him until he started moving.   

A Blue Heron Struts Along
A Blue Heron Struts Along

 He was quite shy and flew away when I got closer to him. 

blue heron flying

So if you are in the Tetons this summer, Sy and I definitely recommend coming out to Jackson Lake for a paddle!  If the wildlife is not particularly active that day at least you the have gorgeous view to keep you company!

kayak 3sml

 

From Melissa’s Corner (of the lake)!

Jackson Lake Lodge Walking Tour

I’ve recently noticed a bronze plaque that stands right outside the portico of Jackson Lake Lodge.  It celebrates the buildings claim to being a historic buliding.  It got me thinking about how little I know about the history of my new home as I am an employee of Jackson Lake Lodge.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that there is a Historic Walking tour of the Lodge that didn’t require me to meet at a certain time or place, instead I just had to pick up a guide at the Activities Desk and get to walking. 

The tour begins right inside the front door in the lower lobby.  The phone booths, Arts for the Parks paintings and the staircase are some of the highlights of this space.  But my favorite tidbit was about the Indian Dress behind the Front Desk.  Did you know that it is an original dress that was used for parade or pow-wow purposes? Apparently, at one time it hung in the Stockade Bar, until it was stolen by some wranglers who cut it in half.  You can see where they stitched it back together right across the bust line.    Indian Dress

 From here we head upstairs to the Upper Lobby.  Of course the first thing you notice about this room is the amazing view!  The windows are 36 feet high and 60 feet wide and look out over Willow Flats, Jackson Lake, the Dam and the Tetons themselves.   

windows

When you finally stop looking at the view, the tour takes you into the Mural Dining Room where you are able to check out the Rendezvous Murals.  Carl Roters painted the two murals at the request of Mr. John D. Rockefeller, Jr. not long after the hotel opened.  It took him two years to paint the ten panels that span two walls and make two complete murals. All together they total nearly 80 feet and they depict the events and people who participated in the 1837 Rendezvous.

murals

 The next stop on the tour is the Pioneer Grill.  This place is great as it feels like something you would find in an old movie.  I feel like I should have a poodle skirt on as I order my huckleberry shake and sit in the swivel stools at the counter. 

 Pioneer Grill Server

Apparently this room is the same as it was back at the opening of the building in 1955.  Snaking throughout the room is one large, continuous counter and it is rumored to be the longest in the US.  Even if you don’t stop for a bite or drink, definitely check out the pictures on the wall and the items over the kitchen!

JLL_PioneerGrill_7326

 After my little snack, I then headed back out to the lobby where I checked out the giant fireplaces (seriously I would be able to walk into them unhindered!), the old Stockade Bar (now a gift shop) and the Peace Table.  Interesting fact about this table is that it was an old door that they took off the hinges and made into a table to host the 1989 Baker-Shevardnadze peace talks between Russia and the US.  Talk about a doorway to peace!  peaceOn my way back to the Main Lobby I went down the “Historic Hallway.”  This display is pretty cool because there are all sorts of old photographs and documents about the history of the park and area.  Definitely something to check out!  

Finding myself back in the lobby, I actually take the time to check out the other displays.  There are several islands with Indian artifacts, as well as a stuffed grizzly bear and trumpeter swan.  I never realized how large these two species are!    I also took the time to look up at the ‘wooden’ beams above, which aren’t actually wood but reinforced concrete that were stained to look like wood.  You couldn’t tell by looking at this building, but it is made almost completely of concrete!

 

 The last stop inside the building is at the Blue Heron Lounge.  This bar was one of the few additions to the building when it replaced the Stockade Bar.  Here is the place to go if you want a drink and to take in a great view!   The decorations in here are quite cool too and include various Indian artifacts like headdresses and moccasins.  You’ll also find the only television at Jackson Lake Lodge and a painting called “The Trapper’s Bride” by Charles Banks Wilson. 
 
From here there are several outdoor activities you can do ~

Lunch tree

 You can head up Lunch Tree Hill and check out the view that is said to have inspired a legacy or…

You could head out to the corrals to check out some of the vintage buses.

I did a bit of both and would definitely recommend doing this tour yourself as I learned so much about this remarkable place!

From Melissa’s Corner

Moosin’ Around Again…

Next week the staff of Grand Teton Lodge Company has promised to have my name.  It seems a lot of you have joined in the competition to come up with just the right one…I cannot wait to learn what it is!  In the meantime, I’ve been playing around alot. 

Since so many people have been interested in the lake cruise on Jackson Lake this summer, I decided to check it out for myself.  Wow was it fun!  Take a look at the photos my friends took of me along the way…

Moosin Around 029First I had to get a ticket for the trip.  The price was really reasonable…since as you know from my last adventure…I don’t get a very big allowance!

Moosin Around 017

Then I went inside to check in and met a new friend!  That’s me lookin’ up at him as we talked about the upcoming adventure to Elk Island!

Moosin Around 022

Then it was off to catch the boat cruise and see Jackson Lake!

Moosin Around 019

Before the captain came on board, I snuck up to his chair to see about a career change…he’s got a pretty big job!  That comfy captain’s chair is the TICKET!  I recommend that seat if you can grab it!

Moosin Around 020

Before we could leave, we had to learn all the steps for a safe trip.  So the captain took a moment to tell us about the safety measures on the boat…that’s me takin’ it all in.

We learned about the area along the way.  Our first mate was Biddy…I forgot to get a photo with her, but she had great stories.  She told us all about the Park and Jackson Lake and was pretty funny too!

About half way through the trip, we docked at a private island.  It was fun, there wasn’t anyone around and all the guests could hike and eat until they had their fill!

Moosin Around 025 

As you may know, I’m a moose and just like the other wildlife in the Park we aren’t supposed to eat human food, or we’ll certainly get sick.  So I just took a look at all there was to enjoy…

Moosin Around 024

Then I sat by the campfire.  Even though it was summertime, it was fun to watch all the familes.  They were playing with something called marshmallows and making this treat called s’mores. 

The kids sure thought it was fun that’s for sure!

Moosin Around 023

Eventually, with the sound of the dinnerbell, it was time to head back to the boat to conclude our adventure.  I hopped on the front of the boat for a quick photo opportunity before we left.

Special Tip:  If you are brining the kids, ask the captain about the Jr. Captain License…it’s a great way to add to the kids adventure!

Here’s something else you should know for your adventures in the Park.  We’re at high altitude and it is really dry here.  So it’s always good to drink lots and lots of water.  After our trip was over, I stopped by the water fountain for a drink so I didn’t get dehydrated after having so much fun! 

Moosin Around 031

Next time you are here, let me know…maybe I can be your escort for a fun-filled day in Grand Teton National Park!

54 Years of Jackson Lake Lodge Memories

A Treasured Guest ~ Susan Bishop
A Treasured Guest ~ Susan Bishop

At nine months old, Susan Bishop made her first trip to Grand Teton National Park. The family traveled from Casper, Wyoming on Fourth of July weekend. “My earliest memory of the Park was my mother bathing me in a washtub and me feeding the squirrels,” laughed Bishop. More than sixty years later, Bishop has made an annual trip to return to this special place every Fourth of July weekend.

In the late forties and early fifties the family would stay at the once active Kimmel Kabins, by Cottonwood Creek south of Jenny Lake. “We heard they were building Jackson Lake Lodge,” said Bishop. “We were driving down the road and actually saw it under construction and the next year we stayed here.”

The family would get two cabins and because they were set a bit away, it felt like their private escape. They would continue to stay at Jackson Lake Lodge, because of the facilities. “You can stay at the whole complex and get whatever you need. That was another nice thing when Jackson Lake Lodge came into the park. There were no real eating places in the park. When we stayed over in the Kimmel Kabins, in addition to not having plumbing, they didn’t have any place to really eat so you had to drive into Jackson almost every night for a meal.”

The magnificent view from the cabins also draws Bishop back. “Colter Bay is very nice, Jenny Lake is very nice, but none of them can you wake up in the morning and see the mountains like this. This morning I woke up early and it’s like a whole nature study to see how the atmosphere changes in two or three hours and you can do that all from your own bed.”

After so many years, Bishop’s most memorable spot remains Leigh Lake. “I’m actually named for Leigh Lake. My middle name is Leigh,” said Bishop. “My parents also honeymooned there so it’s always been a big part of our family.”

Bishop remembers wading into Leigh Lake and String Lake as a child, trying to catch tadpoles in hopes that they would grow into frogs. “I think we only got one frog out of it,” laughed Bishop.

“When my dad was alive we always would go fishing,” said Bishop. The trip was built around lake fishing and the family would go with the same guide. “Since he passed away we don’t do that activity any longer. With my husband we always look forward to playing a round of golf at the Jackson Hole Golf & Tennis Club and we always try to hike around Leigh Lake.

“The brilliance of the Lodge was the way it was situated,” said Bishop. “That you walk up the stairway and you see this magnificent panorama of the Tetons. That has been constant and every year when you come it’s like a ‘Gee whiz, awe’ type of thing, no matter how many years we have been coming.”

There have been a few changes since the Lodge opened in 1955. “When the Lodge was first built, there was quite a large bar and it was where the gift shop was now. It had very much of a western theme. People wore cowboy clothes and came in their boots and jeans. In the dining room we saw them paint the murals. I think where the bar is now used to be a meeting room or something like that. The counters have always remained the same in the Pioneer. This year they remodeled the cabins and that has been a tremendous improvement.

Bishop adds that the demographic of visitors to the Park has changed. “It used to be more of a regional type destination and you’d come up and see a lot of people from your home town of Casper and around and now it’s becoming much more of an international grouping.”

One thing that hasn’t changed is the family unit vacationing here. “It sorts of renews your faith in the family, because you see them having fun and being together.

Another constant is the amount of electronic communication. “There’s no TV’s, no radios and originally there were no telephones in the rooms. It’s really a nice time to say I’m away from all of that.” 

“For our family the reason we come is tradition. My grandparents were pioneers in Wyoming and they vacationed up here. We have pictures of my father as a young man bringing his mother and sisters up here. It has been a tradition for our family to come up. One reason is because of the proximity. When my parents were growing up, a drive was a big deal; a 200 mile driving trip was a very big deal. It was always a nice, affordable getaway for the family for years. For me, it’s a matter of coming to rejuvenate, to get back in touch with my roots and bring out good memories.” Bishop even spent part of the summer of 1972 working in the gift shop. 

 “Our family is very much into historic preservation as well as nature preservation. I think what is so important is as we grow as a country is that we realize there are very few opportunities to keep our country beautiful, almost every time we come to the park I think of the brilliance of the Rockefeller family for seeing this sight and saying this should be kept pristine so that all generations present and future can enjoy it. That mentally in our lives is so important and I think it is so important that we as each generation make that happen and continue to keep it, because there are never going to be more mountains like this and the pleasures and the people that come and see this landscape—it’s tremendous and once you’ve been here it stays apart of you. I think that’s true of all the national parks. That’s one of the wonderful things about our country. That we have set these sites aside and said ok lets keep them that way and I strongly hope our government keeps that mentality.”

The family plans to continue staying at Jackson Lake Lodge after 54 years. “My husband and I were just talking, ‘Should we make reservations for next year?’ and I said ‘Yes, we should.’ It’s a tradition we will try and continue and keep going as long as we possibly can.”

From Katie’s Corner

July Wedding Spotlight: Allison & Terry

Allison & Terry
Allison & Terry

 

With the big day approaching, our July couple is gearing up to tie the knot. “I’m really excited, but now I think I’m getting to anticipation overload!  I kind of just want to stop talking about everything and just do it!” said bride Allison.

Allison and Terry have been planning for the last year and approximately 80 guests are making the trip to Grand Teton National Park to celebrate on July 12. “I’m also a little nervous that I’m going to forget something major before the big day…we keep checking our to-do list but it seems to grow every time!”

In less than 48 hours Allison and Terry will be in Jackson, Wyoming. Terry is focusing on how much there is to do before arriving. “Fortunately I’m able to take time off of work to assist with all of the prep and planning.”

The couple selected Jackson Lake Lodge as their wedding destination for the view, the location, and the amenities. “Terry and I both love the outdoors and I loved the idea of getting married with mountains in the backdrop.  I’m so excited that it is going to become a reality.  I visited Grand Teton National Park with my family when I was a child and it seems fitting that while this is a destination wedding, there is some tie to the location,” declared Allison.

“The sheer beauty of the Tetons is a big one…the mountains, the vistas, the roaming bison…” said Terry. The easy accessibility of the location by air was another deciding factor. “JAC, SLC and DEN airports provide ample air service.  Since we have guests attending from four time zones (Hawaii, Pacific, Mountain, Central & Eastern) it was important to pick a location that’s somewhat central and highly accessible.” 

Romance began when the couple met online. However, the two worked out at the same gym, would go to the same bars, and even had friends of friends in common.  “We also only lived about half a mile apart. Small world,” said Allison.

Allison knew the proposal was coming, as the two went ring shopping together. On Allison’s birthday weekend the couple planned to travel to a small town outside St. Louis for a mini vacation. “As we’re packing for the trip, I suggest we go out to lunch.  I surprised her and take her to the site of our first date—a coffee shop,” said Terry. “So we order some drinks and try to walk around, but it’s raining.  Picture me holding a drink with one hand and a big two-person umbrella in the other.  We walk around for a little while, I ask her to hold my drink, I reach in my pocket, present the ring and pop the question.”

Allison and Terry have joined together in much of the wedding planning. “I would say I’m fairly involved, although I’m not Groomzilla,” laughed Terry.  “She has very specific ideas for the wedding—the type of cake, the flowers, the table cards, etc.  I try to pry this information out of her and then drive her crazy by asking the detail questions: ‘Cocktail hour is at five, dinner starts at seven, will the first dance be as soon as people walk inside or after the entree is served?’  Conversely, I will spend 10 minutes looking at typefaces for the wedding stationary and she’ll be like, whatever you want is fine.” 
 
The couple is trying to incorporate the location and their quirky sensibilities into everything. 

“Some of the little touches are our first dance to a Mr. Rogers, (yes, from Mr. Rogers neighborhood) song and the groom’s cake, a replica of the Golden Gate Bridge (in honor of Terry being from San Francisco Bay area).  We also decided not to use the traditional wedding march in favor of an Elvis Costello song,” shared Allison.

They adopted an image of a mountain range as their wedding logo. “The color is a forest green and it’s used throughout—flowers, dresses, stationary, and more,” said Terry.

“The flowers are going to be elegant and simple, orchids, and peonies for the bouquets and orchids, peonies, and calla lilies for the centerpieces,” said Allison. The bride’s dress is an ivory sheath with a chapel length train and crystal beaded detailing. The music is being provided by a Bozeman, Montana old time string band, Jawbone Railroad

“We’re taking advantage of the best of Jackson Hole for our wedding guests—the ceremony and reception at Jackson Lake Lodge, the rehearsal dinner at the National Museum of Wildlife Art, local food and beverages, welcome gifts from local vendors, and more,” said Terry.

Terry admits what he is most excited for, “Allison is really close to her dad, so I know that him walking her down the aisle will be very special to her.  I’m really going to treasure watching that as I see my bride for the first time that day.”

Margaret, the mother of the bride, is looking forward to the whole week culminating to the wedding.  “A large contingent from both families will be attending so the time visiting in such a beautiful location will be great, maybe even time to take Allison’s nieces for a hike or two.”

“My first impression of Terry was months before meeting him and made me think he was very thoughtful and caring,” said Margaret. “Nothing is more important to a mother than having her daughter in a relationship with a man who loves her.” Margaret wishes the couple, “Health and happiness – everything else will follow.”

 

Our Spotlighted July Couple
Our Spotlighted July Couple

 

As the wedding draws closer, the couple learns to deal with unexpected obstacles.

“I think the thing that surprised me the most was how big, little things seemed when it got down to the wire,” said Allison. “When the chocolatier no longer carried my favorite truffle I was upset before I realized there were a half dozen others that I really liked as well.  I think the pressure of making lots of decisions daily and having minor issues rise up all the time was more stressful than I expected.”

Allison recommends staying in good contact with vendors. “I also think that it is really helpful to be organized.  I can’t believe how many excel spreadsheets we have dedicated to this wedding, thank goodness Terry is computer savvy!  I also think that it is important to plan to have some down time just the two of you.  Terry and I are so excited to see our family, but we know that we want to spend some time together and have set aside a night for a special date just the two of us when we get to Jackson.  I know that will be a special time for us.”

“I’m really just looking forward to getting married and enjoying the party that Terry and I have organized for our family and friends. I think that there are going to be lots of little moments: seeing the flower girls twirl in their dresses, having my father give me away, toasts from our friends, dancing the night away, an amazing meal…I just want to be able to take it all in and enjoy it.”

Terry adds, “We’ve laughed together, cried together—I realized that we make a great couple.  Our strengths complement each others weaknesses so wonderfully.  She’s an amazing, beautiful, smart woman, and I am so excited to spend the rest of my life with her.”