DISCLAIMER….This post documents our vacation from September, 2019. We continue to write while being at home because of social distancing due to the coronavirus. We made it to Jackson Hole and looking at Grand Tetons on this part of the trip and hope everyone is enjoying the posts so far. I encourage you and yours to visit all the beautiful places that the USA has to offer once our great nation overcomes this terrible obstacle in front of us. If you missed any of the Living in the Moment posts from this series, the links are listed at the bottom of this blog. Stay safe and God bless, we will get through this!
We had gotten in late to Jackson Hole and had a very easy check-in at The Homewood Suites by Hilton. The staff was extremely nice and very accommodating. We even got some expert local tips from two of the managers Robyn and Heidi, about Grand Teton, that we used to our utmost advantage the next couple of days. The suite had a full kitchen, gas fireplace (that sounds funny since it was September but it was cold enough for us to use it), a great bathroom and a really comfortable bed. We relaxed and settled in for what would be a very good night’s sleep.
Hungry and raring to go, we got up the next morning and went downstairs for an underwhelming breakfast that was included with our stay. It was the standard fair that you expect at any “complimentary breakfast bar” served at a “suites” hotel. It was fine, and under different circumstances, we would have enjoyed it more. It’s just that after the incredible breakfasts we’d had at Paradise Gateway, this was not what we had in mind. With our bellies full, we headed out for a full day of exploring another one of America’s most iconic National Parks.
On our agenda this beautiful sunlit morning was a drive into Teton Valley to do some birding along Antelope Flats Rd. Included in this excursion was a chance to see two of our country’s most photographed barns and to fully appreciate the full grandeur of one of the world’s most majestic mountain ranges. The birding was not so great but the view speaks for itself. I can’t tell you how many times I looked up that morning and thought I can’t believe I’m really here.
How to get to two of the most photographed barns on Mormon Row: Drive north from Jackson on highway 191 past Moose Junction and turn right onto Antelope Flats Road. Follow the road about 1 ½ miles until you see a north-south running dirt road marked by a distinctive pink stucco house on the left with a small dirt parking area. A trail brochure and interpretive sign can be found at the parking lot.
Thomas Murphy traveled to Jackson Hole with Thomas Alma and John Moulton from Idaho in 1908. They set up homesteads in a settlement known as “Grovont” along with 27 other Mormon families. This area got its nickname of “Mormon Row” by the non-Mormon neighbors and it stuck. The name “Grovont” faded and the settlement became known permanently as “Mormon Row”. The photo above is the Thomas Murphy homestead. The house and barn were rebuilt by Joe Henninger who purchased the land from Murphy in 1920. From 1920-1925, Heninger was able to acquire the Jackson-Moran mail contract. The large barn was used to house the mail trucks during the summer and the horses and sleighs that were used in the winter.
Standing in the area where Ansel Adams once stood was an overwhelming spiritual experience. This photo doesn’t come close to what he captured, but it sure felt amazing to try. After traveling on the dirt road to this famous barn, there were so many people at and around the barn, we didn’t stop. We travelled a little further down the road and took this distance shot instead. The T.A. Moulton Barn is part of the T.A. Moulton homestead, settled in 1908. It’s part of the Mormon Row Historic District in Teton County, Wyoming. It took T.A. over 30 years to build his gable-with-shed style barn. With the Teton Mountain Range as the backdrop, it is no wonder that photographers from all around the globe come to capture these famous barns. Including us! It was a must-stop on our list of to-do’s on our trip.
Our morning had flown by. Too bad we didn’t see more birds, ha, ha. Now it was time to head to the visitors center and then into the heart of Grand Teton National Park.
Living in the Moment is what we do while enjoying our time in nature. If you missed any of the other Living in the Moment Series, you can click on them here. Just After Take Off, Day 1, Day 2 Mammoth Hot Spring, Day 2 Traffic Jam, Day 2 Undine Falls and Lava Creek, Lamar Valley – Slough Creek, Day 2 Trout Lake, Lunch at Otter Creek, Mount Washburn, Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, Paddling the Yellowstone River, The Tiny House, Old Yellowstone Trail, Gibbon Falls – Drive to Old Faithful, Old Faithful, The Lakes. Please look forward to our next post as the adventure continues.