Experiencing the Grand Tetons

Grand Teton National Park might be the highlight of this trip so far. It is hard for me to describe the surreal landscape, every single view of the mountains resembling a picturesque photo from a postcard. I didn’t know places in the country could be this beautiful. I’ve never seen the Alps, but these mountains looked just as spectacular as images I’ve seen on the Internet of Switzerland and other distant countries. We packed up from our campground in Madison, Yellowstone by 7 AM to make the short trip to Grand Teton National Park. As soon as the snow-capped mountains came into view, I was in awe. IMG_2708

The breathtaking landscape made the drive rather distracting, but eventually we made our way to the next campsite in Colter Bay. We checked in and talked to a park ranger about our recommendations on what we could see and do in a single day. He gave us a detailed itinerary and told us that we should pick and choose which stops sounded most appealing to us. After a short walk to the visitor center and convenience store, we were on our way. Both Yellowstone and Grand Teton were such an adventure because we were constantly looking for animals.

The wildness of these parks is such a cool experience. As mentioned in an earlier post, we saw so many cool creatures such as grizzly bears, black bears, black wolf, mule deer, elk, pronghorn, antelope, prairie dogs, and even a bald eagle. One animal I was really itching to see was a moose, so we were on a mission to find one. Low and behold, we pulled over to the first view point of Jackson Lake, and saw onlookers with binoculars. They kindly pointed out a swimming moose to us! It was such a cool thing to see, I had no idea giant moose could be such good swimmers. In attempts to find the lake shore that the moose was headed to, we found a boat ramp. There was no moose, but this is where we found the most beautiful view of the mountain.

I swam in the freezing glacial lake, and enjoyed the most incredible views I could ever imagine.  The sky was was clear, clouds fluffy and serene, and the surface of the lake was glassy, reflecting the venerable mountains.  Only photos could help explain this landscape.  We had a hard time moving onto our next stop, because how could any view beat this?  After about an hour of  soaking up the warm sun and taking a billion photos, we moved on.  Stop number two was just as equally amazing.  We visited a smaller lake, called Leigh Lake.  The water was unlike any lake I have ever seen.  It was clear and green, similar to the ocean you would expect to see in the tropics.  We enjoyed a picnic lunch as we continued to enjoy the sun rays and awe at the mountains.  IMG_2757

It was difficult to leave this spot as well, but eventually we convinced ourselves it was time to move on.  We headed to Jackson Hole Ski Lodge, which involved driving on a narrow dirt road, which quite an adventure in itself.  BUT, we happened upon a moose sun bathing, which made me very happy!

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Once we got to Jackson Hole, we headed to a famous restaurant called Mangey Moose to have a beer and appetizers, and finally got phone service for the first time in like 4 days.  After this town we went to Jackson, which was an amazing town.  There was a town center with four arches made completely of elk antlers!  We grabbed dinner at a local pizza spot, and then watched a Western shootout that apparently takes place every evening.  By the time we got home I was exhausted and slept like a baby.

 

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