Wednesday, September 09, 2015

15 years and 2,858 miles: The Grand Tetons

As we left Glacier National Park and drove south through Montana, we saw lots of this . . .
. . . farms and farmland tucked at the base of rolling mountains.  The pastures were that green and dotted with hay bales all over the place.  The irrigation systems were unlike any I've ever seen before.  Oh,how I would love to live with this view everyday!

As we traveled towards the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone, we took several detours.  Our first detour was through the National Bison Range.  While I was looking for mountains and waterfalls, Seth was looking for wildlife.  Of course, that's all the time no matter where we are.  I can't tell you how many times we're just quietly driving down the road and all of the sudden I'm brought back to life by screams of, "DEER!" and a finger pointing in front of my face out the window.  I honestly don't have the eye site to see what he's talking about most of the time (Besides, if you've seen one, you've seen them all, right?  That's my philosophy.), but it can be as small as the head of a pin, and Seth will see it.

When I first told my parents about our trip, my mama's first comment was, "Well.  Watch out for bears."  I'd never even thought about that, and I really didn't think about it a whole lot at all while we were at Glacier.  Seth mentioned often that he was looking for a bear, and I finally had to tell him to go to the zoo.  But he said that you EXPECT to see bears at a zoo, whereas it's different out in the wild.  Well, obviously he was EXPECTING to see a bear at Glacier or Yellowstone so I really didn't see the difference.  Anyway.  (And just in case you're wondering, a bear is about the only wild life we didn't see!)    

We enjoyed our drive through the Bison Range.  And we saw lots of bison.  We also learned the difference between a bison and a buffalo.  And now that I know, it seems to me that Home on the Range got it all wrong.  You can google that.

This guy was so close to the road that I could've touched him if I'd have put my arm out the window.

Seth made me take this next picture.  He spotted a herd of elk (I think.  Or maybe those were just regular deer.) grazing on this hillside.  If you look real hard, you can see them at the base of the hill.  But it's okay if you can't see them.  I never would've seen them had it not been for the zoom on my camera!

And then I had to take a picture of this deer we saw feeding by the creek.

We saw lots of antelope.  Lots and lots of antelope!

Montana is most definitely one of my most favorite states now.

We cut through the south corner on Idaho as we left Montana.  I didn't take any pictures, but now I wish I would have.  It was nothing but fields . . . wheat and potatoes and alfalfa . . . as far as the eye could see.  The wheat was the most beautiful golden color I've ever seen.  And for miles and miles that's all you would see.  My dad farmed in my early years, and both of my grandfathers farmed so I appreciate a good looking field.  And I'd never seen anything like these before.  Idaho made me want to live on a farm and drive a tractor!

After eight or so hours, we arrived in Teton Village at our resort.  We spent two nights there, and it was, by far, the most incredible place I've ever stayed at (thanks to one of those lightning deals on Expedia!).  Of course, we spent maybe a total of 16 hours in our room the whole time we were there.  But it was something.

That night Seth took me to Jackson Hole.  There was a lot of traffic, and it was very crowded.  Seth said it had never been like that during any of the times that he'd been there.  I'm not sure why it was that way.  Our trip coincided with Sturgis so maybe that had something to do with it.  We walked around town, went in several of the shops and ate supper.  I didn't take not the first picture of any of that.

The next day was our last full day before heading back to Denver, and we were going to spend it in Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks.  As we drove to the Grand Tetons, this is the view that greeted us.  Again, it was even more amazing . . . stunning . . . absolutely breathtaking . . . than this picture conveys.

The original plan was to stop for a minute at the Grand Tetons and then spend most of the day in Yellowstone.  But once we got to the Tetons, I was hooked.  We couldn't leave yet.  We took a boat ride across Jenny Lake and decided to hike to Hidden Falls.  I mean, I saw this IN. PERSON.

I just couldn't get enough of that mountain peak covered in snow.  The farther we hiked, the more spectacular it got.

We enjoyed our hike to Hidden Falls so much that we decided to hike to Inspiration Point.  The weather was about 25 degrees cooler here than it was in Glacier so that was a treat!  I felt so invigorated!  I have to admit that this was the only time during the whole trip that the thought of a bear crossed my mind.  At one point, we missed a turn onto the Inspiration Point trail and went deeper into the forest than we were supposed to.  We were still following a trail, but it was a rather secluded trail, and we eventually noticed that we were the only ones on it!  

Once we made it to Inspiration Point, we could stand and look out over Jenny Lake.  

We hiked about 11 miles and then crossed back over Jenny Lake on the boat.  Seth and I both agreed that this was our most favorite hike and probably our most favorite thing we did on the entire trip.  Grand Teton National Park is breath-taking.  It is unlike anything I've ever seen before!  And we barely scratched the surface of it!  It was already lunchtime by this point so we decided to go straight into Yellowstone.  This was our view as we left the Tetons.

Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD;
let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before Him with thanksgiving and extol Him with music and song.
For the LORD is the great God,
the great King above all gods.
In His hand are the depths of the earth,
and the mountain peaks belong to Him.
The sea is His, for He made it, and His hands formed the dry land.
Come, let us bow down in worship,
let us kneel before the LORD our Maker;
for He is our God and we are the people of His pasture, the flock under His care.
~Psalm 95:1-7

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