North to Alaska-2010 travel blog

Welcome to Wyoming

Interesting Sign

Antique Ford

Antique Ford

Bull Moose

Closeup of Bull Moose

Bull Moose

Grand Teton

Grand Teton

Church of the Transfiguration

Tetons

Close up of Tetons

Jenny Lake

View on our hike

Pat on trail to Inspiration Point

Jenny Lake from Inspiration Point

Hidden Falls

Jackson Lake

Elk Antler Arch

Tetons

Us on Inspiration Point


We left Yellowstone Ntl Park and moved on to Grand Teton National Park in Jackson, Wyoming. We could have driven through Yellowstone, but chose to drive outside the park, which actually took us into Idaho. Idaho borders Yellowstone on the western side of the park. The drive was very nice, it turned out to be a bright sunny day after all the dust/smoke we had the day before. We were driving on a state highway that wound through farmland and ranches. They have not harvested their wheat yet which was surprising since in the Midwest wheat is usually harvested in June. We also saw a lot of potato fields that had not yet been harvested. There was a lot of hay fields also, which makes sense when you see all the horses - it seemed like every farm/ranch had a lot of horses. Instead of putting the hay in bales or rolls like the Midwest they had piled in up and it looked liked loaves of bread - very interesting. We had to go over a pass of about 8,400 feet before we got to Jackson - the ole Ford was really grunting pulling that big ole RV up that steep slope. It was a pleasant trip and we arrived around 12:00, which is early for us. We decided since it was a nice day we would drive to Grand Teton Park, which is only a few miles from Jackson. The Tetons are magnificent - they appear to rise straight up from the ground because unlike most high peaks the Tetons do not have foothills leading up to them. David took quite a few pictures while we were there because it was such a clear day and they were calling for rain the next few days. We only made it to the Visitor Center and watched the movie and looked at the mountains for a while. On our way out of the park a crowd was gathered, so we figured there was some kind of animal near by. Sure enough, there were two bull moose in the creek feeding. We stopped and David got some good pictures of them. The next day was clear after all and so we packed our lunch and headed out. Grand Teton is a small National Park compared to others we have seen but still has some beautiful scenery. When the Tetons were originally designated a National Park in the early 1900's only the mountains were included - none of the surrounding areas. Local people as well as the Rockefeller family worked diligently to convince Congress to include the surrounding plains and sagebrush fields into the park to prevent development. A lot of the Wyoming people fought against this because they wanted the land to be available for ranching without any restrictions. A lot of concessions were made to come to an agreement. Some hunting is allowed in the Tetons, some private lands are still held inside of the Park, and there is a dam on Jackson Lake, inside the Park. These things do not occur in any other National Park - the ranchers in Wyoming drove a hard bargain. The Government had to also agree that there would never be any other National Parks in Wyoming! The Grand Tetons and all the surrounding land were finally joined together in the National Park you see today in 1950. We drove to Jenny Lake and took a boat across the lake to a hiking trail. We reached Hidden Falls first, quite impressive. While we were looking at the falls, we noticed four climbers scaling the rocky cliffs above us, then on the way back we saw them rappelling down - scary stuff. We continued on up the trail towards Inspiration Point. We didn't quite make it to the top - I got inspired enough when we got to an overlook of Jenny Lake. Thankfully, it was only about 65 degrees, but I think since we have been in cool weather all summer our bodies have acclimated to the cooler weather and 65 actually feels pretty warm - maybe it's the altitude. We continued on the loop inside the park just admiring the beautiful scenery - it seemed like no matter where you were the Tetons were towering over you. We visited several of the lodges - they are nice, but don't compare to the ones at Yellowstone. We visited several old homesteads that are still in the park. There are numerous "dude" ranches inside the park. We read that there are more "dude" ranches in Wyoming than there are cattle ranches. We drove to Jackson Lake, which is huge and you drive by it for many miles. It is so clear and blue. The place we are staying also has a hotel and there was an antique Ford club staying there - the cars were unbelieveable. David took pictures of quite a few of them. They were all from the turn of the century. Jackson is a real cowboy town - the sidewalks are still made of wood and in their town square there is an arch of elk horns on each corner. The elk horns come from the National Elk Preserve, which is in Jackson. In the winter the elk come down out of the mountains and winter in this area. In the spring before they return to the mountains they shed their antlers. The boyscouts in the area collect the antlers and they are auctioned. 80% of the money raised goes to buy feed for the elks in winter and the other 20% goes to the boyscouts.



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