Grand Teton National Park in the North Western part of Wyoming is composed of 130,ooo hectares of land, including the 64km Teton Range, which is said to be the youngest part of the Rocky Mountains.
Our road trip took us there next. 🙂
Travel time from Salt Lake City, Utah was more or less, 7 hours passing through some very beautiful country side and historic places.
You know, I couldn’t say this enough, road tripping in America is one of the best decisions we have ever made. Everything that I’ve seen is like some scene in a chick flick movie. And better. I was lucky and blessed enough to be there with my awesome husband who enjoyed the outdoors as much as I did.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming was our base for this part of the trip. We were supposed to stay at Signal Mountain Lodge inside the park. But well, the shutdown happened. SML apologized for the cancellation and refunded our money back. I was happy about that. But still sad at the same time because that meant we will be missing out on a lot of things. Or experiences. I imagined of having breakfast fronting the Tetons. And sitting beside the lake early in the morning or late in the afternoon and taking photos of the sunrise or sunset. But those were not meant to be…. I prayed and hoped that the government would reopen the parks but never did. We lingered but gave up on our 6th day when we were sure that there’s no chance of it being reopened in the succeeding days.
We arrived in Jackson Hole at dusk. We just had a simple dinner and settled for the night in our hotel room.
The next day, we decided to have a lazy day. Slept most of it. Ordered some pizza and Chinese food, ate in our room and checked the shops around JH in the afternoon. We visited their Chamber of Commerce office and chatted with very nice fellows who invited us to a show one night. I loved the combination of wood and stones in most of the structures in Jackson Hole. Even their McDonald’s is way more “sosyal” than most of their outlets elsewhere! Their Eddie Bauer shop looked like a rustic log cabin. 🙂
We drove to the park on our second day. As we were idling slowly (25 miles per hour is the limit at JH) to the park, cars were lined up beside the road. I found it so cool when we saw the reason why. This bird was posing for everybody!
As we proceeded, I saw the vast field in front of me. And the snow capped mountains beside it. The map referred to it as the deer and elk refuge area. That sounded beautiful right? We have zoos in my country. But never an open field where wild life can take refuge. So seeing that was an amazing experience for me.
As we emerged from a slow climb up a hilly road, the Grand Tetons loomed above everything! Imagine 64 kilometers of several mountain ranges, spread widely beside the road, towering over everything at 13,000 to 14,000 feet above sea level. The phrase “it was a beauty to behold” is exactly that, literally… And more.
To my Davaoeno friends, imagine traveling from Davao City to Tagum, with the Tetons beside the road. Amazing right? 🙂
I got teary eyed as I stood there and took it all in. Recovering from all of the different emotions I experienced, I grinned and started firing my camera. It was a very cold and cloudy day. So I knew that there won’t be much color in my photos. But what the heck, I was taking pictures of the Grand Tetons! Not many people get that kind of opportunity in their lifetime right? 🙂
We looked for Dornan’s Spur Ranch around lunchtime. The food was ok but the waitresses weren’t that helpful at all. For the price we paid, I think it wasn’t worth it. I ordered for a well done steak, but it was served slightly raw. Don’t like seeing blood in my food, so that turned me off. I asked the waitress politely to have it cooked better. Her reaction wasn’t that nice but well, I couldn’t eat it. Besides I was very clear that I wanted a well done steak right? 😦
The view from the restaurant though was another matter. We walked towards the Snake River and enjoyed the river bank for a few minutes. Would have stayed longer but the wind and the cold it brought were killing us, so to speak. After lunch, we drove deeper into the park and had fun animal spotting.
Wildlife seen today – birds, deer and antelopes. Awesome!!!
The other tourists at the hotel told us that they found elks on top of the Teton Pass. So John and I headed there early in the morning on our third day. It was cold but it wasn’t raining anymore.
It was a different story though at 8,431 feet above sea level. Going up the mountain was foggy. Then it started to drizzle. We couldn’t see much anymore. Which was fine, I guess. :)The ridge below is freakishly deep but once the fog finally disappeared, the view of the pine trees drizzled with snow was breath taking.
Yep, God granted my prayer of seeing snow for the first time on my 42nd birthday. 🙂 Weeee!!!!! John picked up some and threw a ball at me. ha ha… Despite the cold, we both had fun! 🙂
We didn’t see any elks. But on our way down, we saw a lot of geese and bisons. That was a very beautiful experience. I wish I can explain it with words, but I cannot. I hope my photos would convey the message.
We drove towards Teton Village. This is where the ski resorts are. But winter has just started, so there wasn’t enough snow yet for skiing. Still, the place looked so pretty and relaxing. 🙂
Wildlife seen today – bisons , geese and antelopes. 🙂
We ended the day by having my birthday dinner at Bubba’s BBQ Restaurant – http://www.bubbasjh.com/
Only “special people” like us would order ice cream even if we were trembling from the cold weather outside. lol It was perfect with the cake! What can I say?! ha ha
On our 4th day, we just spent the day driving around. We went to Yellowstone National Park. But this is what I got…. We knew it was closed, of course. But still we tried to do a drive by incase the rangers would let the tourists in. I saw some other Asians and Europeans who felt as terrible as we were.
It felt like we were shortchanged. But then again, John and I now have an excuse to visit Wyoming and Montana again. lol
I asked John to bring us back to the park on the 5th and last day of our GTNP trip. I was glad that we got some sunshine finally. It’s still very cold, no mistake about that. But the skies looked better in blue, no chilling winds and more importantly, no rains! 🙂
Ahh… I would stay there if I could. 🙂 I love the mountains as much as John does. But well, it was time for us to move on. I am praying that someday, God will take us back there, once again….
For more details of Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park, please visit these websites:
Lea C. Walker