June 5th - Im writing this journal entry sitting on the deck of Jackson Lake Lodge, enjoying a Huckleberry Marghuerita and my husband, some turquoise blue concoction. The sun is blazing, has been since we arrived yesterday, the Teton range is simply glorious.
Our holiday failed to get off to a great start, actually this wasn’t the start, we arrived via NY city and the Adirondacks (gorgeous). Myself and hubby mid 50s, third trip to the US, first to these parts. To cut a long story short, we flew into Denver from NY where we were to meet our son (21yrs), flying in from Vancouver, and our daughter (23yrs) flying in from Kelowna BC. I hadn’t seen my son for 8 months and my daughter for 2 and a half years, so I was pretty excited! Unfortunately our sons connection into Denver was 2 hours late, the rest of us arrived on time, so we missed our flight into Jackson, couldn’t go without him! Aahhh... the best laid plans, Id been planning this trip for the best part of a year. There were no more flight seats available to Jackson for pretty well three days. I had a quiet meltdown, gathered myself and decided we’d drive instead. All this took a couple of hours to organize, we had no luggage as it had all gone on the plane to Jackson without us. At this stage I had no idea about distances, turned out it was a bit further than I had hoped, still, we picked up the car and hit the road about 6pm. We stopped about 10pm in a little town called Rawlings, after pulling into 3 different motels and being told they had no rooms, depression was setting in again. Then 4th time lucky, found a room and hit the sack.
Next morning back on the road through Colarado, did enjoy the scenery en-route, and saw a lot of pronghorn, that was a bonus as we didn’t actually see that many in Yellowstone. We came into the East entrance of the Tetons, dropped off this car, picked up our booked car and our luggage which was waiting for us, a relief. It was about 1pm by now. So all in all we’d only lost an evening and a morning,(and four one way flights Denv-Jack) not too bad in the big scheme of things. We spent the remainder of the day looking for Moose (and not seeing any), seeing Elk, Bison, Pronghorn, Trumpeter Swans, Sandhill Cranes and a Bald Eagle. The weather was warm, sunny, gorgeous, we hiked out to Phelps Lake, then checked in to Jackson Lake Lodge and crashed. Very comfortable beds in the cabins by the way.
The next morning saw us up at dawn driving the roads looking for Moose again, still no luck. We did encounter our first small Bison jam. We really enjoyed watching them jump the wooden fence after they crossed the road. They just stood there and then from standing start, jumped, hauling their great weight over the little rail without breaking it. I figured they could have gone straight through if they wished.
We went back to the Lodge for breakfast, my vegan daughter delighted that a Quinoa scramble was on the menu. After brekky great excitement, a Grizzly wandering around in Willow Flats below the Lodge. What a sight, there were a few Elk there too running about nervously, someone suggested there was probably a baby Elk hidden the bushes that they were trying to protect.I was surprised at how fast that Grizzly could move along, he seemed to be ambling along slowly but would disappear behind a bush and reappear 100metres along just a minute later. Anyway, that was a real treat.
Later we took the boat across Jenny lake and hiked up Cascade Canyon, gorgeous, though it turned out to be a hot day.We were sitting on the rocks at Inspiration Pt when my son called out tentatively “ er Mum....whats that”? A Marmot had come sat behind him. By the time we’d got back to the boat dock, we were all exhausted, I pulled off my boots and stood in the lake, the water looked so inviting.We nipped into Jackson to the Wholefoods Grocer, this was a great shop stop for the vegan daughter, she found all sorts of goodies for the picnic cooler. The sun has blazed all day again, in fact we are all sunburnt, dehydrated, the “kids” have crashed, and we are just sitting here enjoying our cocktails, taking in these awesome views.
The next morning i decided I wouldn’t go driving, Id just go out front of the Lodge again and watch. What a good decision....as it turned out there was a Moose wandering around the Flats. He was right in view and continued to appear and disappear over the next couple of hours thrilling more and more people. Nothing like sitting in the restaurant having breakfast with a Moose through the window. Yesterday a Grizz, today a Moose, what more could you ask for. And yes again, blue sky and blazing sunshine. I gotta say, the Tetons are spectacular, to have them bang in front of you, a carpet of wildflowers, snow topped, bright blue sky, left me gobsmacked! It was with great difficulty we dragged ourselves away, but Yellowstone was waiting.