GET OUT: Space to Explore

By on November 10, 2015

Enjoy a few quieter places while you wait for the snow to fall.

Take your pick: solitude and sketchy skiing abound this time of year. (Photo: Elizabeth Koutrelakos)

Take your pick: solitude and sketchy skiing abound this time of year. (Photo: Elizabeth Koutrelakos)

Jackson, WY – The hoards of humans mulling about downtown has thinned, and while some locals take off for Thailand and Nicarauga this time of year, early November can be a prime time to enjoy Jackson Hole. As town traffic dips to its lowest level of chaos since May, why not embark on some of the mellower activities here. I’ve outlined this list to guide your off-season meanderings:

Take a Dip

Now I know what you may be thinking. Many a townsperson has gone to the rec center only to be overwhelmed by the smell of chlorine and the melodic sounds of young exuberance. But, there is a solution to these woes. The rec center offers lap swimming along with essential water work out items including, but not limited to, bricks for treading water, surfboards for paddle practice and kickboard devices. Swimming laps in the pool offers an intrinsic sense of feeling tired with the full-body feeling of freshness. As for the chorine, choose to opt out of the swimming cap. Doggie paddling, while perhaps inefficient, seems to offer a better workout with the option of keeping one’s head above water.

Feel the Yogi Love

While there is a robust yoga community here in Jackson, mountain humans may fear these classes for good reason. Go to one of these sessions and prepare to feel the burn. There are people out there that can do things that hurts me to even imagine. Much like the mountains, yoga is a combination of strength and mind training, turning seemingly simply body movements into difficult feats.  Akasha Yoga, for example, is among the yoga studios offering a great November special for new students. For a mere $50, you can go to all the yoga classes you want for an entire 30 days.Hence, for all the yoga skeptics, this deal is a great way to explore capabilities in the body that you never knew existed.

Hot Spring Adventure

This low commitment leisure activity can be enjoyed either solo or with a friend. We do live around the Yellowstone Caldera so why not take advantage of the environment in its primetime. With the snowpack still relatively low, walking to hot springs is easy as pie. Where to  go, however, is highly dependent on mood and the amount of time you have available. Flagg Ranch used to boast the popular Huckleberry Hot springs. Recent adoption of Yellowstone’s hot spring regulations closed this spot, as it is currently being restored to its original habitat. However, hot springs adjacent to the river in this area are still permitted. For a shorter drive, head out to Granite Hot Springs for some soaking. Road conditions out there can be subject to change, so a back up bike can always assist for open planning. For those feeling like more of a road trip, Lava Hot Springs is only a couple hours away and offers warmer temps, cozy cabins and great camping. By now, the summer crowds have cleared out so the place has a mellow and relaxing vibe.

Early-Season Skiing

You could always fight the flow and try to ski somewhere. The mountains seem to be right on the cusp of skiing. Some people go and have a great time, while others hit the unanticipated rock and hurt themselves. Despite my personal avoidance of early-season conditions, I have recognized the happiness that others have found in this venture.  Word to the wise: bring body armor, a helmet and a first aid kid, just in case.

All of these activities not only offer a respite from Netflix binges and looming darkness, but great ways to strengthen the mind and body in the winter season. These popular places in the community are less crowded at this time. Plus, if you do see people, it’s likely someone you want to see anyway. PJH

About Elizabeth Koutrelakos

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