For our last full day, we’d planned a lazy, mostly driving day of sightseeing in the Tetons. As part of the lazy day, I got up early to go to one the photography shrines – Schwabacher Landing – for sunrise.
The Tetons at sunrise reflected in the beavers ponds are one of the most commonly seen images of the Tetons. I have a few of 100 or so I took. Heading back to get Sue some moose cows were in a wetland eating the willows – this is where they are supposed to be, not in the sagebrush! The Lotoja bike race was that day and as part of it, some balloons were in the sky and I got the shot of the elk balloon ½ inflated.
We headed up the Laurence Rockefeller Preserve for a short hike (3 miles) to Phelps Lake. A young mule deer was eating in the shade and had a great expression. There were lots of mergansers on Phelps Lake, diving up & down. We did this hike with a guy from Hendersonville, NC! This was his first day in the park and he was paranoid about the bears. After the hike we gave him one of our cans of bear spray since we couldn’t do anything with it (you can’t carry them on planes, or ship them by air).
Heading North and stopped at a classic Snake River overlook where Ansel Adams took a famous picture – in much better light than we had. Then we stopped at the Cunningham Ranch to walk around the ‘ancient’ ruins leftover from 1883. One of the neat things about travel is the different time scales – old in the Tetons (or New Zealand) is very different then old in Italy or France. In the last bison-jam of the trip there was a female and the youngest and fuzziest bison we saw.
We spent our last evening hanging out on the outside deck at the Jackson Lake Lodge. We watched the smoke from a wildfire south of Jackson billow up, obliterate the sun, and dissipate. The fire started at 3pm and by 6pm the smoke covered the sky. It had a very apocalyptic feel to it. When we ask a waiter, she said ‘Snow King is on fire’ – that’s the ski resort in Jackson. It was a little south of that, but was quite dramatic. On the way back we got stuck in the last bit of traffic from the Lotoja bike race (LOgan utah TO JAckson wyoming in one day – 226 miles) and learned that a bicyclist died in Jackson when he tried to avoid a pothole on a bridge and went over the railing into the river.
Just ½ day left and only a few pictures.