Tales From The Camping House

Tales From The Camping House

Sunday, August 26, 2012

It's Been A Great Week

Monday, we arrived at Star Valley Ranch Resort in Thayne, Wyoming.  It's a great Coast to Coast Park snuggled in between the mountains.  We are about 60 miles from Grand Teton National Park, but the drive in is beautiful.  We have caught up on regular chores and Jim has even been able to play golf and pickle ball here.

On Wednesday, we made our first trip in to Grand Teton National Park.

There is a lot of smoke in the air from the wildfires, but it is not as heavy in the morning as it is later in the afternoon.

This is a picture of the range with the glacier in the upper middle part of the picture.

Grand Teton is much smaller than Yellowstone, it is only 56 miles from one end of the park to the other.  We stopped at the visitor center in Jackson, Wyoming and got a map with the best route to see the major sights.

Here we are at Jenny Lake, pictures just can't show the real beauty of the place, even with the smoke!

We drove on, stopping at Lake Jackson to look at the reflections of the mountains in the lake.

We made the loop around and saw cars stopped at an outlook.  It was a cow moose with her calf.  They were too far apart to get them together.  There were also two kayaks coming around to get a closer look.  Mama Moose was not too sure about them.

On Friday, we drove over to Afton to take a look at the largest elk arch in the world.  It was massive crossing the entire highway in the middle of town.

We then drove over to Intermittent Springs in Swift Creek Canyon outside of town.  The view in was beautiful and then, the hike to it was magnificent.

There was even a little falls running down the mountain.

The Intermittent Springs is one of only three periodic springs in the world.  The spring flows for 18 minutes, then stops for 18 minutes, then starts again.  Here's a picture of it when the spring is not flowing.  We were the only two people there for a long time before two other guys came who were from New Braunfels, a small town only 30 miles from San Antonio.  It's a small world!

Here it is flowing.

Saturday, we made another trip to Grand Teton National Park.  We left at 7:00 with the sun just beginning to come over the mountains.

It was 32 degrees and there was frost on the ground from the irrigation sprinklers in the fields.

We were driving into the Grand Teton NP when we saw a herd of elk cross in front of us.  We stopped to watch, there were no other cars on the road.  They ran across leaving a cloud of dust as they ran towards the trees.

It warmed up quickly, but we still had our jackets on when we crossed Jenny Lake on the boat.  You can take a boat over Jenny Lake to take the Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point hike.

It was not very crowded and we did not have to wait in a line to ride over on the boat.

 We arrived on the other side and got started.

It was a pretty much uphill walk to the falls following a stream all the way up.  We arrived at the falls, stopped to admire the beauty and continued on to Inspiration Point.

It was also uphill all the way, but we were rewarded with this sight.  This is looking out at the lake.

Then you turn around and see this!

We decided to go on.  The hike was pretty much an uphill incline the whole time.  We would use the mountain peaks as a guide to see how far we had gone up the mountain.

As we climbed, we would come across meadows and streams.

We weren't sure how much farther we would go until we stopped someone coming back from inside the canyon.  They told us to go a little further to the river and then to not feel guilty about turning back.

We got to the lake and visited with two other families there.  After talking, we all decided we would turn around here.  We had only brought water and nothing to eat thinking we would only be here a couple of hours.  One of the couples gave us a bag of trail mix which was a lifesaver for us.  We are really lucky to be able to meet so many nice people.

We took the trail downward getting back to the boat.  We had not taken our GPS, but we figured it was about a 6 mile hike that took us 4 1/2 hours with all our stops.

By now, there was so much smoke, you couldn't see the mountains.

We made one last stop at a pond that we hoped to see a moose at and met a couple from Corpus Christi.  They told us where they had just seen a moose, so we made a beeline there.  We saw a lot of cars and knew it still must be there.

We parked and walked over.  Just as we got there, we saw him sit down.  We got this picture, it wasn't him in the water, but you take what you can get.  He was a magnificent looking creature!

We've had a great time here, but our time here has come to an end. Tomorrow, we will be moving on to Utah.

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