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Rocky Mountain High – Wyoming – Grand Teton National Park

September 2, 2010

Today is Thursday.  I arrived Monday, in the rain, with a cold, but have no fear, it all worked out A-OK because the weather improved as my cold improved and by the time the sun came out (today), I was fit and ready to play.  I didn’t do much on Monday or Tuesday except sleep, watch movies, drive around a bit, and sleep some more.  I’m staying at the Gros Ventre Campground, which is on the banks of the Gros Ventre River and has a lovely view of the mountains.  Here is a shot of Dora and Lil’ Pea in our spot.

Yesterday, while it was still a bit drizzly, I drove about an hour or so south of here to Granite Hot Springs where I soaked for about 2 hours and met the nicest couple who summer here in Wyoming and choose a different place to winter each year.  They recently wintered in Moab and gave me lots of info on hikes etc.  Here is a shot of the Hot Springs.  The hot water flows out of the rocks you see and the swath of darkness along the bottom of the pool is some sort of heat loving algae that grows along the path of the hot water.  And, much like the Skyland Camp pool of old, the far end of the pool has a spillway, allowing water to spill out at about the same pace as new water is flowing in.  The water was 102 degrees the day I was there.  Perfect.  Oh, and by the way, sometime during these 2 days or so of rain, the Tetons got a dusting of snow down to about 8000ft.  Lovely.

There is a Rodeo every Wednesday and Saturday nights from Memorial Day to Labor Day in Jackson.  Cowboys from area ranches come to compete for money in such activities as bull riding, calf roping, barrel racing, and bronco riding.  What a treat!  I hadn’t seen a Rodeo since I was in Jr. High School, and that was a Prison Rodeo in Texas.

I tell you, this Jackson Hole area must be full of good God fearing, Christian people who love their Country.  I hadn’t been in the stands a half hour before I was called upon over the loudspeaker (no less than 5 times) to Praise Jesus for this and let the Lord lead me to that.  And not to let the Stars and Stripes play too distant a second fiddle to Jesus and the Lord, we (the audience) were reminded several times in the same half hour of our Great Country and our Great Flag.  I felt a bit like I was attending a Patriotic Tent Revival instead of a Rodeo, but that’s really neither here nor there.

It was getting dark as the rodeo began, so most of my pictures didn’t turn out too well what with the combination of fast action rodeoin’ and darkness, but here are a few that did.  It was a great time.

The Anthem.

A bull rider getting on his bull.

Today, as AccuWeather predicted, the sun is out in full without a cloud to be seen.  My plans included a drive up to Jenny Lake, a shuttle boat over to the other side, and a 9 mile (R/T) hike up past Hidden Falls, and Inspiration Point, and back into Cascade Canyon.  The first mile or so up to Inspiration Point was a zoo of people, but after that, it was very nice.  I’ve included lots of photos taken along the way as every inch of the hike was more beautiful than the next.  I guess the highlight was getting up close and personal (by accident) with a Mama black bear and her cub.  They weren’t nearly as excited to see me as I was to see them, which I guess is a good thing seeing as how my bear spray was inconveniently located back in Lil’ Pea.  Oh well.  Wait til you see the cub, who is the cutest thing ever!

But first, may I present…….. The Tetons, complete with buffalo herd.

And again.

And here are some photos from the hike beginning with a shot of the Jenny Lake shoreline.

And Mt. Teewinot (elevation 12,325 ft), which could be seen for all but the last 2 miles of the hike into the Canyon.

Hidden Falls.

One of the many lovely meadows along the way.

And a badger.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a badger before.  And now that I think of it, that critter I saw on top of Mt. Washburn might have been a Badger instead of a yellow-bellied marmot.  Hmmmmmm.

AND, the best for last, the baby black bear.  How cute is she?  He?

Here are some additional shots I took while driving around.  Did you know we, the USA, had a National Elk Refuge?  I didn’t either.  Apparently way back in the early 1900’s the ranchers’ fences blocked the normal migration of the 10 thousand or so Elk that had been migrating to this area for the winter since the dawn of time.  As a result of the fences, the Elk could not get to their winter food supply and were dying by the thousands.  One fella took it upon himself to create a refuge including food that has lived on and is still active today.

There are real, live, ranches all over the place here.  With real Cowboys.  This is one of many I saw and on one of the entrances is a plaque stating they are members of the Dude Ranchers Association.  How cool.

Misty and Mosely enjoying the shade and the view from the campground.

And that’s it for now.  The sun is shining and I’m going bike riding on a trail that runs along the base of the mountains and just in case I don’t get back to the blog before I leave, my plan is to leave tomorrow and head to Lander, Wyoming for a day or two before dropping down to the Dinasour Fossil place on the Utah/Colorado boarder whose name escapes me at the moment.



6 Comments leave one →
  1. Lucinda Denton permalink
    September 3, 2010 2:48 pm

    GORGEOUS, GORGEOUS and what a lucky lady you are!!! It is obvious that you savor every minute. How many miles and/or how many hours are the hikes? Walking around the grocery store is my idea of a hike (guess I won’t see any bears!) so you are truly impressive!!!

  2. Tom and Marion permalink
    September 3, 2010 3:10 pm

    Hi Marge,
    Thanks for the pictures and comments. We were wondering about your hiking at the altitudes much greater than we are use to in Anchorage. Do you find it harder to hike?

    Tom and Marion

    • September 3, 2010 3:46 pm

      Hi Guys,
      As always, many thanks for following and commenting upon the blog. To answer the questions, yes, I feel the altitude. Even after being at higher elevations since arriving at Ystone over a week ago. If I go too fast, I feel like I have emphazema and can’t catch my breath. Re: the length of hikes, the ones I’ve taken so far range from about 4 miles to 9 miles r/t.

  3. Doug permalink
    September 3, 2010 9:32 pm

    Look forward to the almost daily blogs and pictures…love the animals and scenery…do you take
    Mosely and Misty on any of your hikes…know they would enjoy keeping you company.
    Know you are enjoying Dora, like a Holiday Inn on wheels…we loved our travel terailer and all the wonderful campers we met, the best folks anywhere!
    I got you a surprise the other day, so you’ll have to come see me to get it!!!
    Love you…keep those blogs & pictures coming

  4. Devin permalink
    September 4, 2010 11:33 am

    As fall presents itself here in Anchorage, I gaze longingly at the greenery and sunshine in your photos. The blog is great, Margie. Keep it coming.

  5. September 26, 2010 3:55 pm

    Better late than never–I am just now enjoying these lovely photos and your interesting descriptions to go with them–what lovely country surrounding the Tetons–many years ago drove through this area–now I want to go back and spend more there–and I have NEVER been to a rodeo. Am looking forward to your next blog, as I have visited that area about 8 years ago–what is the name of it—Dinosaur National Park?–no that doesn’t sound right–anyway my daughter, Kim, her 2 girls and I rented a cabin for a few days and had fun river rafting.

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