Day Nine- Grand Teton National Park
Kirk and his traveling companions overnight in Jackson Hole, WY and then tour the Grand Teton National Park.
It’s an early morning start as we leave for the nearby National Park. We note that the detail of the Teton Range that was not apparent last night, is back with the morning light from the East. We enter the park and move to the Moose Junction Visitor’s Center where we enjoy the modern day displays and multimedia presentations.
While entering the building, we spy a deer grazing before the Welcome Center. It is so near, yet so unconcerned that we are so close. As we watch it, a low drone increases to a roar from behind the trees, and while it sounds like an Earthquake or train, we recognize it is a nearby jet on take-off from the Jackson International Airport—a controversial development within the National Park. The jury is still out on whether this is a good idea or not.
We watched a 20 minute film on Living on the Edge that documents the history of the Tetons. Some, due to the early morning hour and the professional narration nap, but the information is well presented. While posing for photos outside before the backdrop of the Grand Tetons, we spy a small fox running through the property with it’s morning breakfast, a fresh kill. It’s a surprise because we had not seen a fox yet.
We move northward and stop at Jenny Lake, where more photos are snapped and we relax in the
general store, visitors center and natural area. Kirk moved off to explore the campground, where his family stayed 50 years ago. On the trail to Jenny Lake, he comes face to face with a female deer, bedded down between the trail and the nearby parking area. He snaps a few photos from 15 feet away and continues. The deer tracks him, but makes no move to flee. A little farther, he finds the abandoned bathrooms from the original campground, and moves toward the lake shore.
At the shoreline, a dozen teens are skipping stones in the same spot where his family did the same 50 years earlier. Walking up a short flight of steps to a platform overlooking the lake, Kirk recognizes a poplar tree with initials carved in it long ago… they are not his, as his family would not permit it, but he does recognize the tree, the setting, the location, the memories.
Later, we move to the chapel of the Transformation and snap our group photo before the small church. We also tour the barge crossing of the Snake River that Joe Menor and his brother operated back in 1872, and their general store.
Returning to the city, we immediately called a local riding stable that is just seven blocks away, and make a reservation for a guide and horse ride up the hillside under the ski slope lift towers for a couple of hours. The view is spectacular and the horses well trained and docile.
Later that evening, the group gathers again to ride covered wagons to a remote chuck wagon cook-out and musical comedy show. The meal of Barbecue Chicken, Roast Beef, corn, salad, lemon aide, baked beans and more is a welcome treat. Several of us are selected to join in the musical comedy and show. It’s a good time and relaxes us all.
As we plan and pack for our last leg of the tour to Salt Lake City tomorrow, we make plans for an early morning rise and learning more of the bee-hive state and the Mormon in-land empire.