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Old 18 Oct 16, 08:57 PM  
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CrispyA
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Join Date: Oct 11
Rocking in the Rockies: Day 12 Jackson Hole - no horses, then lots of horses

Saturday 6 August - No horses then lots of horses

We allowed ourselves a lie in today and had a room breakfast of crap coffee and danish pastries, promising ourselves a nice lunch after the horse-riding we had booked for the morning. We had booked a horse-ride on Easter Sunday after reading about the fantastic views of the Tetons along the trail.

I had received a confirmation email the previous day and we got dressed in long trousers and other suitable clothing, really looking forward to it. We had spent a couple of days on a Dude Ranch in Texas the previous year and really enjoyed the riding, so were keen to do it again.

We set off and soon arrived at the Teton Mountain Ranch. The instructions told us to meet at the reception, but we were a bit surprised to find it locked and nobody around. A sign on the door told us to call if there was nobody there but none of our phones worked in the US (will bear that in mind for next time . . .). We waited and waited, joking about being presented with some coconut halves as in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

After 20 minutes, we were getting pretty fed up. Paul found a cabin nearby and fortunately, the guests staying there called the owners for us, who arrive about 15 minutes later. We were very fed up by now.

The owner claimed that they had no record of our booking and that, in fact, the online booking system didn't work. "That's odd", we said, "It worked well enough to take payment immediately." We showed them the printed confirmation email and the response was "It could be fake".

You what? So I would fake confirmation emails then fly half way round the world and hope to goodness that you can't rustle up any horses and have to give me a refund? Give me a break!

They kept on with "We don't know how this happened," till I was ready to completely lose the plot. When I asked about the money, there was some prevarication and talk of "Well, we'll have to look into it." I had no intention of attempting to get a refund from thousands of miles away so insisted that they refund me in cash there and then. They weren't happy about this at all but eventually agreed, with very bad grace.

I did feel sorry for the young woman working as an intern with them, who was left to try to make small talk with Paul while the money was sorted out but I was still really annoyed about the whole thing. Fair enough if there has been a computer error but the response should be a profound apology and an immediate refund, not questioning whether or not the email was genuine. :angry: :angry: :angry:

To add insult to injury, I got another email the next day, inviting me to review them on Tripadvisor! Umm, I don't think you really want me to do that, do you?

Anyway, all feeling disappointed and annoyed, we got back in the car and drove back into Wyoming. All our plans were in disarray as we weren't due to get to Jackson Hole until the afternoon and actually arrived late morning.

We grabbed a coffee on the drive and stopped by the river to drink it, still feeling somewhat out of sorts. Once in Jackson, we managed to find somewhere to park which was fairly miraculous as the place was heaving. We wandered around the town square, stopping to admire the many many antlers on display.



We also met the local police officer and his very cool transport.



Jackson is very nice and very expensive - it caters for an upmarket clientele and that influence is everywhere. It is quite attractive though and you can see the ski slopes on the mountains behind.



We got some salad and sushi for lunch from Albertsons and ate it outside, then visited the local Boot Barn, as we hadn't been to one for a couple of days. Each time they asked us if we had a loyalty card, I wondered why we didn't!

We got to the hotel around 2.30pm, thinking that check-in was at 3.00 and that we might be able to check in early. No chance - check in was at 4.00 with no option to check in early, even if the room was ready. They said that we were free to use the pool and the kids were keen, so we decided to do that.

Unfortunately, the hotel also had a bar near the pool area and the outside seating was full of loud, drunken idiots. One woman came up to Hannah as we walked past and asked for her sunglasses, so we did a full body swerve and kept out of her way. You could hear them shouting and swearing while we were at the pool, and then a load of them decided to have a swim. They were jumping in, effing and jeffing and generally behaving in a vile manner :angry: We escaped to the hot tub until they had gone but it made us all feel very uncomfortable and not particularly well-disposed towards the hotel. It had been quite a bargain for Jackson and we could now see why.

Once we could finally check in, the room itself was okay and we were hopeful of the day improving as it hadn't been great so far. We had Rodeo tickets so wanted to eat early and decided to try and go somewhere not too far away. There is a gunfight in the town square in the evening but with the Rodeo as well, we didn't think we had time for that.

The desk staff recommended Sidewinders, a sports bar across the street. We kept out of the way of the bar and its dubious clientele and made out way over the road. It turned out to be one of our favourite meals of the holiday so the day was definitely starting to look up. We could watch all kinds of Olympic sports while we ate and the food was great.

On our way back to the hotel there was a fairly apocalyptic downpour and we did have to leg it between bits of shelter. We waited in the room for it to stop, hoping that the Rodeo would still be on, and, fortunately, it soon finished.

We walked to the Fairgrounds for the Rodeo as they were about half a mile away and the new boots got their first proper outing.





The Rodeo was great fun - far less glamorous than Cheyenne but full of action and as it wasn't our first rodeo, we knew what to expect and understood a little more. I got quite choked when a little girl galloped around the arena with the American Flag and the MC talked about its history and symbolism while everyone stood with their hands over their hearts.

We were seated near the bucking chutes, so got to see the broncs and bulls in action.



The calf roping was impressive as well.



And we all enjoyed the senior and junior barrel racing. The kids got to join in too - there was a sheep scramble where they all try to get a scarf off a sheep in the arena. We tried to persuade Evan to join in but he rightly pointed out that he was at least a foot taller than the rest of the kids and would have looked a bit odd.

They also did Peewee bull riding which was hilarious. The kids are around 6 years old, riding small bulls. One of them ambled out of the pen and just stood there, with its rider sitting proudly with his hand in the air like the big guys until the bell for 8 seconds went. Other bulls moved around quite a lot more and we were amazed that kids this small were riding them.

The Rodeo clowns were amazing yet again and the whole evening was such good fun. They threw some goodies into the crowd and Evan impressed us all by managing to catch a souvenir frisbee.



We all decided that rodeo was our new favourite sport and we would love to go to another.

Back at the hotel we watched some baseball and some championship bull riding before bed. The day hadn't started off too well and hadn't looked too promising but by the end of it, we were happy and that's what you want.

Edited at 09:42 PM.
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Old 19 Oct 16, 06:41 AM  
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Melbatb
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Not good about the riding - personally I would have left a review

Glad the day improved - would love to go to a rodeo!
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2016 Quebec - Kuala Lumpar - New York City 2017 Dubai - Eurocamps France - Ontario and Quebec - So-Cal 2018 Montreal - Bangkok - New England 2019 Argentina - Quebec City - Hong Kong - 2022 Arizona
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Old 19 Oct 16, 07:49 PM  
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CrispyA
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Originally Posted by Melbatb View Post
Not good about the riding - personally I would have left a review

Glad the day improved - would love to go to a rodeo!
I have been sorely tempted with a review!

The day did get so much better and I can thoroughly recommend a rodeo if you get the chance. It's insane - but in a good way!
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Old 23 Oct 16, 08:25 AM  
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katiebaz
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So pleased the rodeo was fun and redeemed the day for you. Also think you should've written the horse riding people a review too!
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Old 23 Oct 16, 10:25 PM  
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CrispyA
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Originally Posted by katiebaz View Post
So pleased the rodeo was fun and redeemed the day for you. Also think you should've written the horse riding people a review too!
Watching some angry horses almost made up for the earlier lack of horses!
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Old 30 Apr 17, 04:38 PM  
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WileyCoyote
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Oh mixed day. What a rubbish and disappointing start but definitely ended well. How annoying about how that was all handled.
I need an antler arch in my garden, I've decided, it's going to be hubby's new project. I have yet to tell him !
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