Denise Goldberg's blog

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

(first) Grand Teton day

Hey... it's my turn to write!

We started our day later than usual today - Denise decided to sleep in a bit and enjoy breakfast and conversation at our B&B. I told her that was a good idea; she really needed some extra sleep.

Breakfast started with what our hosts called a smoothie. I always though a smoothie was a drink, and this wasn't. It was a blended concoction in what looked like an ice cream dish. It had a little bit of ice cream as a base, milk, protein powder, bananas, and lots of berries, topped with some granola. Oh! that was really good.

Even though Denise likes B&B breakfasts she's going to skip breakfast tomorrow (and probably the next day too). Why? The early morning light is the best light here, best before 9 or 10. That means that Denise's camera is telling her to be outside and in place in one of the interesting photo locations by around sunrise.

Denise just told me that she thinks some of you might be interested in where we're staying. She meant to tell you yesterday but it flew out of her mind before she wrote the words. We're at the Grand Victorian Lodge in Jackson. I like our room, and we've already had some good visits with Nancy & Brad (our hosts).

We started our day with a bit of driving, stopping, capturing images, driving, stopping, capturing images... We drove the road closer to the mountains. I'm sure must have a name, I just can't find it on the map. The road further away is Route 89. That road goes by the airport, and continues to the northeast before looping around to join the road that we took. I was going to say that route 89 wasn't in the park, but it is. It's funny - the map makes it look like the Jackson Hole Airport is inside of the national park. Oh! I just checked the airport's web site and it is inside of the park. That's interesting, isn't it?

It's easier to see the mountains in the morning. I think it's because of the direction of the sunlight; they seem to get hazy-looking later in the day. The mountains are so tall, rising suddenly from flat land. It's almost as if they just pop up, high and jagged. According to the Grand Teton National Park statistics page, the highest of the mountain is 13,770 feet high, and the Jackson Hole mountain valley has an average elevation of 6800 feet. Oh! The mountains really do just pop up.

Teton Range
An active fault-block mountain range, 40 miles long (65 km), 7-9 miles wide (11-14.5 km). Highest peak: Grand Teton, elevation 13,770 feet (4,198 m). Eight peaks over 12,000 ft (3,658 m) in elevation.

Jackson Hole
Mountain valley, 55 miles long (89 km), 13 miles wide (21 km), average elevation 6,800 feet (2,073 m). Lowest elevation: Fish Creek at south boundary, 6,320 feet (1,926 m). The lowest elevation in Jackson Hole outside the park boundaries is 5,975 feet (1,821 m) near Hoback Junction.
Courtesy of the Grand Teton National Park statistics page

We stopped lots of places between the Moose entrance to the park and the Jackson Lake Dam. We stopped at the dam, walked across it, then sat for a while, spending time enjoying the view of the mountains and the lake.

Next we drove up a narrow dirt road that curved from side to side and climbed a bit too before it ended at Two Ocean Lake. Denise found the drive frustrating; there were tempting views in places with no place to pull off of the road. She doesn't think stopping and blocking one lane of a two-lane road is very smart so we didn't stop. It was a pretty drive though - and it turned out that it helped us see two moose!

When we passed through Oxbox Bend we saw quite a few cars stopped at the edge of the road. Hmm... we pulled off the road too to see what everyone else was looking at. We stayed for a while too, watching two moose standing in the Snake River. I wonder what they were eating. One of the two moose walked a bit, the other had his head in the water almost the entire time we were watching. He would lift his head up (I guess to get a breath of air) then put it under water again. Oh! that was fun!

Hiking time... we turned at the North Jenny Lake Junction and headed to the parking lot next to a small lake named String Lake. We walked along the edge of the lake, then followed a trail just inland from the lake. There was a narrow band of trees between us and the water most of the time with occasional paths to the water. You probably guessed that we walked down those paths most of the time. We walked to the beginning of Leigh Lake, walked a bit more, then reversed direction. It was a good walk. We even caught some reflections of the mountains in the water.

It was another good day.

--- Rover