Grandeur

This is the third page of an on-line journal created to share with friends some highlights of a trip to Teton Valley, ID and Grand Teton National Park. If you’d like to see earlier entries click here: Teton Trip.

Day 8 – Sunday – another day in the park ( scroll down to see first day in the park)

imageAnother day in the park…Watched a bison saunter into a grove, seeking shade from the heat; pronghorns here and there, including a very pregnant one moving slowly; mountain bluebird; watched a gray fox hunt, almost  catching a bird; pair of white Pelicans on a quiet, private river island; lots of elk; shy deer….oh yea, a grizzly mama and two cubs. Yes really, on the side of the road. A mob management nightmare for park rangers. We just drove on by, not wanting to add to the craziness. Hopefully the picture I snapped on my camera will turn out. It was indeed a special sighting, if just for the moment. Watched the sunset and said good-bye to this remarkable place. Here are a few photos from our second and last day to Grand Teton National Park. I took most pictures today on my camera, just these few on the iPad.

 

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The “usual” afternoon storm clouds moving in, but no rain. Looking over the salmon River to the island we saw the white pelican pair.

 

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Left the park headed east to Dubois to walk Abby in Forest Service land. Coming back was a very different view of Tetons, the dominate peak being the one on the right, Mt. Moran.

 

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A long, hot day ended with a stunning sunset as we left the park around 9:00 p.m. I thin my camera shots of this will show even more of the color.

 

 

Day 5 – a day in the park

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Today we were tourists. It was wonderful.  Leaving the house at 9:00, we headed over the pass into Jackson. All I can say about Jackson is it’s a surreal mass of people, and mercifully, the drive through it was brief.

We began our drive through Grand Teton National Park by taking the Lower Gros Ventre Road. The views of the Tetons were, of course, stunning, and we saw our first Pronghorn, which, besides seeing the Tetons, has long been a wish of mine. I’ve seen them in nature shows, and read about them, but seeing them live was wonderful. They are the second fastest animal on earth, but most the ones we saw were slowly grazing. They are beautiful, and very alert. Each time we would see any, even from a distance, through our binoculars we could see they knew we were there. They watched us watching them. Late in the day, three who had bedded down decided being watched, even from a distance, was not okay…..I felt bad about disturbing them, but watching their graceful bodies run away (for pronghorn, rather slowly) was a treat. I have no pictures of them, we were never that close.

We watched a coyote catch a mouse to take back to her den under a historic cabin, but disturbed by the people watching, she would not return to her pups. We left, wishing others would do the same.  Wildlife are certainly use to people in the park, and live relatively safe lives from human threat, but they are still wild with survival instincts.

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Lots of wild flowers everywhere. Balsam Root was the showest, but there was also larkspur, phlox, lupine, and some I was not familiar with.

Gros Venture Road is a quiet route, we saw few people or cars. Every stop we soaked up the stillness, scents, and warmth of the surrounding sage lands, and the grandeur of the mountain views. Once back on the main park road, the number of cars and people was overwhelming……and it’s only the first week of June!

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The view from our “private” lunch stop at what felt like the base of Grand Teton

We found a quiet spot down a gravel road for lunch. Traveling with Abby limits where we can go in a National Park, my gimpy painful knee ruled out hiking anyway.  Given those limitations, we were still able to appreciate the extraordinary beauty, grandeur and wildness of this remarkable place. Besides the pronghorn, we saw Bison and lots of Rocky Mountain Elk, including a cow who had given birth about 45 minutes earlier (it was a mob scene along the road, a ranger had witnessed the birthing. The cow seemed undisturbed by the audience as she licked her newborn calf). The only moose we saw was a huge bull crossing the highway out of Jackson on the way home this evening! Crazy place for a moose!

It was a satisfying day, we returned to our temporary  “home sweet home” at 9:00 p.m. Of course we’d like to go back, but the weekend crowds in the park are not appealing. We’ll stay here on the “quiet side” a few days.

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Our dinner stop, quite cool and gray, but still, every view breath taking

Hope you’ve enjoyed these few iPad photos. Most the pictures taken today are on my camera for viewing later.

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