The Coral & Tusk team just returned from a magical company retreat to Wyoming to visit founder and designer, Stephanie Housley at her new home! It was an experience of a lifetime and we couldn’t have been more thrilled to explore the landscape that is such inspiration for Stephanie, especially when she was designing our western themed collection.
We joined Stephanie at her new home in Bondurant. Adventures included exploring the Tetons, horseback riding, river rafting and an overnight in Yellowstone National Park! We spotted some amazing wildlife and were in total awe of the beautiful landscape. Bondurant is also near Jackson Hole, where we are delighted to have opened up our new Coral & Tusk Outpost!
We are so excited to share more of our daily activities and photos with you through this journal and guide, and are wishing a very Happy Birthday to our National Parks as they celebrate their 100th year this week!
The entire crew of C&T pocket dolls joined us for the fun! See all of their travel photos on our instagram #coralandtuskretreat | Shop and collect all 10 dolls HERE
Stephanie’s beautiful home and view
Guest room with Pheasant Feather Left and Right Pillows, Large Feathers Lumbar Pillow and Plumes Yardage
Stephanie’s big move this summer to her new home in Bondurant, Wyoming was inspired by a trip that she took with her family when she was a child. They visited the national parks and Stephanie knew then that Wyoming would always hold a special place in her heart. She visited many years later with her now husband and then again when they were married. The search for a home of their own became a reality last year when they visited Wyoming again and fell in love with the small town of Bondurant. In fact, the Wolf Cabin Gunsmith pocket pillow is inspired by a cabin Stephanie saw while looking at houses during that very trip!
Stephanie’s Drawing for Wolf Cabin Gunsmith pocket pillow
Stephanie’s drawings, inspiration and process for Habitat series | Photo by Martin Scott Powell
Stephanie’s move to Wyoming has also grown to include a new Coral & Tusk location, the Jackson Hole Outpost! It opened in June and we are so excited to share this space with Susan Fleming of The Workshop! She is a longtime wholesale customer of Coral & Tusk’s and she’s made us feel so welcome out west!
Coral & Tusk Outpost located at Workshop | 180 East Deloney Avenue | Jackson, Wyoming
After Stephanie’s big move out West this summer, the entire Coral & Tusk team was fortunate enough to visit her on our very first retreat! Each day was filled with fun, exploration, and one of a kind experiences that will last a lifetime! We’re excited to share our daily journal chronicling each part of this amazing adventure!
DAY 1 – Tuesday August 9:
We arrived in the evening to a sky full of stars and made the most of our time in Jackson Hole by stopping by the world famous Silver Dollar Bar at the Wort Hotel for some drinks and dancing!
Silver Dollar Bar – http://www.worthotel.com/silver-dollar-bar/
DAY 2 – Wednesday August 10:
Waking up in Bondurant the next morning was the first of many magical days spent at Stephanie’s beautiful home! We started the day with a walking tour of the property with Stephanie and, of course, Paco, who was the sweetest guide of all! We saw the workshop where Stephanie creates and works and the land surrounding her house, complete with stunning views of the Gros Ventre mountain range.
Tour of Stephanie’s Land co-guided by Paco
Stephanie’s new workspace
In the afternoon, we embarked on an unforgettable hike through the Wind River Range to Sacred Rim. We climbed and wound our way through trees and brush eventually making it to the top! And what a majestic view it was! We were in awe of all the beauty surrounding us there, completely peaceful and happy.
View from Sacred Rim
There was even a small snowfall that started while we were at the top! The dolls were all there for it too and it made for a perfect photo op!
We returned that evening from Sacred Rim tired and happy. We made dinner and watched the shooting stars and meteor shower from Stephanie’s back deck anticipating the next day ahead!
DAY 3 – Thursday August 11
Day 3 included a trip to Grand Teton National Park! The first thing we did upon entering the park was have a quick picnic and swim in Jenny Lake! Jenny Lake is Stephanie’s favorite place in GTNP and we all loved swimming in the cool water and laying out on the rocks to dry. The dolls loved it too!
Jenny Lake – https://www.nps.gov/grte/planyourvisit/jenny.htm
After our stop at Jenny Lake, we met up with Barker Ewing Company for our scenic float down the Snake River. Our amazing guide, Reed Finley, led us down the river on a giant raft! He told us about all the wildlife, plant life, and rich history of the park as we made our way down this historic river. We even spotted a moose, bald eagles, and a beaver from the float! This was an incredible experience and for some of us, the favorite activity of the trip!
Barker Ewing Company: http://www.barker-ewing.com/
The evening concluded with dinner at Dornan’s in Moose, Wyoming – a small little outpost by the entrance to GTNP. We dined on pizza and sipped some beers while we watched a beautiful sunset against the backdrop of the Grand Teton mountains. It was truly unforgettable!
Dornans Pizza: http://dornans.com/dining/pizzapasta/menu/
DAY 4 – Friday August 12
Friday was our free day, so the group split up and did a few different things until we met up that night for dinner back at Stephanie’s house and more star gazing from the deck!
To start the hike, the girls took the Aerial Tram from Teton Village to the top of Rendezvous Mountain – that’s an elevation of 10,450! It was a 16 mile round trip hike through beautiful fields of wildflowers and forest, and even included a quick dip in Marion Lake! While on the hike, they spotted pika, marmot, and deer! The hike concluded with a ride down the gondola back to the base of Teton Village. And on the drive home, the crew spotted a Great Grey owl AND a Horned owl – amazing!
Grand Teton National Park – https://www.nps.gov/grte/index.html
Magical wild flower field in the middle of our hike!
Dolls Posing in wild flowers | Arriving at Marion Lake
Group 2 spent the morning in the town of Jackson walking around the square and visiting the art fair! There were so many talented artists with beautiful one of kind pieces on display! After the morning in town, the afternoon was spent hiking to String Lake and hopping in for a quick swim!
String Lake, Grand Teton National Park
DAY 5 – Saturday August 13
Day 5 began with an early start to the Bondurant town rummage sale! Everyone found their own treasures at this local spot! The rummage sale is held in a beautiful log church with an unbelievable view of the mountains! The cool morning air was just what we needed to put us in the shopping mood! Some girls found clothes, others trinkets for their home. This was a true highlight of the trip and we got to meet many of Stephanie’s new neighbors and friends!
Next, we were off to Sleeping Indian Outfitters for our horseback trail ride with guides Alix and Liz. This was a true Wyoming experience with breathtaking views! Alix and Liz were friendly, helpful, and all around awesome people! And we loved our horses!
Sleeping Indian Outfitters – http://www.sleepingindianoutfitters.com/
True cowgirl, Alix Crittenden | Our horses, Happy, S-S and Eddy
The whole team on their horses! YEEHAW!
After some rest and relaxation back at the house, we headed to Jackson for dinner at Picas and dancing at the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar! We all took a spin on the dance floor and had a amazing time watching the locals show us how it’s done! The music and laughter carried us back to Bondurant as we ended our time in Jackson. Next stop, Yellowstone National Park!
DAY 6 – Sunday August 14
The next morning we were up bright and early for a long drive to Yellowstone National Park!
Yellowstone National Park – https://www.nps.gov/yell/index.htm
Once we entered the park, we made our way along the beautiful roads to Old Faithful! Just in time to catch its next eruption! (Happens every 90 minutes!) We walked around the historic Old Faithful Inn and took the wandering paths through all the smaller geysers and hot springs surrounding Old Faithful, including Morning Glory Pool and Mastiff Geyser, before getting back on the road towards the next destination.
Old Faithful erupting! | Paco Pocket Doll found his own Geyser!
Morning Glory Pool – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morning_Glory_Pool
After Old Faithful, we made our way to Grand Prismatic, another famous site in YNP. This hot spring is the largest in the United States and the rainbow of colors is truly astounding. The vivid spectrum of color and rocks is not to be missed!
Grand Prismatic – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Prismatic_Spring
Nearby is the Great Fountain Geyser, which we also visited! We were incredibly lucky to catch this one as it only erupts every 9 to 15 hours! The light mist of warm water from the geyser was unexpected and totally unique. We loved walking around and peering into the different pockets of water and rock along the paths.
Great Fountain Geyser – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Fountain_Geyser
After Grand Prismatic, we made our way up to Lamar Valley in the hopes of catching the sunset and maybe even some wolves! We heard that sunrise and sunset are the best times to catch these majestic creatures in action so we went on a mission with Stephanie’s trusty spotting scope by our side! Lucky for us, with the help of our fellow park visitors, we spotted some wolves walking around looking for dinner! And even a baby fox!
Exhilarated by our wildlife adventure, we went back to Canyon Lodge, our home for the night, and had dinner. We loved staying at the lodge and being in the park for the night. We all slept well that night dreaming of our amazing first day at the park!
DAY 7 – Monday August 15
Day 7 was our last day in YNP but also our last day on the retreat! We couldn’t believe how quickly the trip had gone by! We were already feeling sad about having to leave Stephanie, Paco, and magical Wyoming!
The sun rose on the last day and more wolf spotting was in order! The girls spotted wolves at sunrise back in the same place as the night before in Lamar Valley and even heard howling! Unbelievable! On the drive back to Canyon Lodge, there were mama elks with their babies – our first elk sighting of the trip!
We stopped by Yellowstone Grand Canyon and Hidden Falls with the dolls for another photo – they were totally in their element!
Incredible View from Yellowstone Grand Canyon
And then we headed to the famous Roosevelt Lodge for breakfast, which included their delicious pancakes! That sweet breakfast hit the spot after such an exciting morning!
As we journeyed south back through Lamar Valley, we spotted bison! They were everywhere out feeding – mamas, papas, and even little babies! We were so close to these beautiful creatures, examining every way they moved and interacted with each other. We loved their furry legs and sweet expressions! Sentinel doll fit right in with the herd!
Incredible herds of Bison! | Sentinel Doll
As we continued home through YNP, we stopped at Mammoth Hot Springs and walked the winding paths along beautiful rock formations and springs. Baby Cat doll matched the rocks perfectly – she was right at home! The color tones of the pink and beige rocks with the water running down made it feel like we were on another planet! This was truly a must see and we already want to visit again!
Mammoth Hot Springs – https://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/nature/terraces.htm
Baby Cat Doll posing at Mammoth Hot Springs
Our last stop for the day before leaving the park was to Gardiner River / Boiling River hot springs! This part of Yellowstone is actually in Montana, so we loved being able to check another state off our list! The water was warm and the slippery rocks made for a fun adventure to relaxation! The water felt like a hot tub and all the girls enjoyed a nice soak!
We had our last dinner at K-Bar in Gardiner, Montana before climbing in the van one last time for the long drive home. We loved YNP and are already looking forward to the next trip with more hiking, animal spotting, and beautiful roadside scenery!
K-Bar – http://www.kbarmontana.com/
Being in Wyoming with Stephanie at her new home was a truly unforgettable experience for the Coral & Tusk team! We felt lucky and inspired by the natural beauty that surrounds such a special place! And we got to do it all because of the generosity and kindness of our fearless leader, Stephanie! Thank you Stephanie for taking us on such an amazing adventure in one of the most beautiful places on earth!