My friend had told me that people go to the ‘beach’ for the sunset here in Colter Bay. The beach being gravel rather than sand, and probably chillier than I’d like. It didn’t stop the kids from having fun though. And families had kayaks out, and as the night progressed there were campfires being lit along the beach. I’m glad I didn’t miss it all together…
That live and learn thing? Apparently it doesn’t apply to me. I had been told by Karen that it was going to be an especially busy weekend, what with a Mormon holiday and their tradition of heading to the Tetons to celebrate. Then there was my cousin who told me that I really ought to think about running ideas for things to do past her before I plunge ahead. She has learned a few things in 30 years of living here, she said. Even my uncle’s admonition of being in long lines of traffic moving at 4 mph as you travel through Yellowstone didn’t come to mind.
Which is how I found myself heading into Yellowstone, not realizing that it was Saturday at first, aiming for Mammoth Hot Springs and hoping to cut to the east to the Lamar Valley and see some wildlife. I hadn’t actually been the driver before, I was the passenger who was enjoying the view when Charley and I took our trip here in 1992. And Karen had driven when she and I recently visited. The drive is a bit harder than I realized, not so much time to sight-see. And I knew my goal was a long way north so I didn’t stop at the places I’d recently been to. With road construction it took a long time, and I was tired when I got there. And I was already dreading the drive back and thinking I’d turn right around.
Except the landscape was so pretty, and the town was charming. And busy, the road was packed with cars, all looking for parking spaces. There were long lines at the general store and the restaurant. Plus the side walks were full of families, all heading in one direction or another. And elk. Elk on the lawns, grazing. Elk across the street grazing, and crossing the street periodically. And one young ranger trying to get the people to keep their distances from the elk. They were pushing their baby carriages right past the elk on the lawn, probably 10 feet away. I felt for that ranger, he had his work cut out for him as the elk moved their position and it was people who had to be herded, rather than elk.
There were hold-ups on the way back too. A lone buffalo in the road that I had to pass just feet away from the car. I didn’t get that picture. Another lone buffalo was positioned perfectly for me to get out and get a picture and not be too close. Karen told me that the males were keeping separate from the herd these days. Soon it will be ‘rutt’ season and that is something to see she said. I’m sure it is. Nature, just carrying on…
My cousin and I tried to have dinner at the Silver Dollar Bar several days before I took these pictures, but there was a line. That social distancing thing. This time I had stopped in Jackson to find a bookstore, and after I shopped I realized that the bar was around the corner and I decided to try again. My friends had visited this bar on vacation last year and enjoyed it. And the description reminded me of someplace I went with Charley in 1992. Is there only one bar out west with silver dollars embedded in the bar top? Probably not, but I knew that he would have loved this one, so I decided to stop and have a beer. It was lunch with Charley again, it’s been a while. And this bar is located in the Wort Hotel, which is a gorgeous stop also.
If you stop there be sure to get the onion rings, they were the best ever!
Just a sight to see as you walk around Jackson…
As you may have guessed, my cousin is a great tour guide. If she ever visits me in Florida I won’t have nearly the number of places to take her for adventures. I don’t get to sit with my computer online and plugged in like I did at home, so later I will notice pictures I meant to include in a post but didn’t. Or I will think of something I meant to say about a photo after I already posted it. Like this one from the ski resort.
That’s a little bit of snow nestled in a crevice there in the center. a couple of Texas kids climbed down to some snow a lot closer to the trail than that one, and took great delight in throwing snowballs at their parents. Of course they were excited, and therefore scaring me half to death, but their parents said that all they wanted to do on this trip was to see snow. I also missed some other details from the resort.
And there was a hike with Mary the day before also.
This is musk thistle, and it’s invasive. Mary wondered if they’d given up on getting rid of it because we’ve seen it everywhere we’ve been.
And if you ever find yourself heading from Jackson to the Grand Targhee ski resort you will pass through the town of Victor, ID, where it would behoove you to stop at the soda shop for a ‘world famous’ huckleberry milk shake. Of course I got one, and yes it was good.
See the guy in the background drinking his own huckleberry milk shake? He recommended it and then asked if I liked it and of course I told him I did. He said that he comes over the Teton Pass just to get his favorite milk shake! Now that’s a fan!
The feature photo is from the morning drive on the day of this hike with Mary. It had stormed the night before and we didn’t expect much from the day. But as I drove to Jackson the sky was beginning to show some promise. It was hard to believe that those huge mountains were totally hidden when I started driving, and then they began to peek through. And another glorious day ensued…
My cousin and I had quite an adventure on Friday. She said that she wanted me to see the Tetons from the ‘other’ side, which meant another trip over the Teton Pass, but I didn’t have to be the driver this time. Going to Idaho was an easier trip over the pass, than the return trip, and she pointed out several things I missed on my first trip.Here we are at the top. I’d love to convince you that we climbed our way up there, but no, we took the ski lift, and we were both glad we did.What really astounded me was the fact that bikes were taken up the ski lift also. Sometimes little bikes, implying that little kids were going to ride them down. A horrifying thought to me, I hope my grandchildren don’t get any ideas.The view from the top was really great. Well, almost from the top. We could have gone higher, but honestly, it didn’t feel so much like walking a trail to me. Nope, it felt more like a balancing act, so I was happy to stay where we were.This bluebird chose a precarious spot to eat his lunch. He was hanging onto that stick for dear life in a very strong wind. Maybe that wind had something to do with my feeling that it was a balancing act. But we did it! What a fun day!
The feature photo is the marina where paddled, pink mountain views from the reflection of the sunrise.
Tuesday was the day for a kayaking adventure with my cousin. She had never kayaked out of Colter Bay and she wondered why she and her friends hadn’t ever checked it out before. She thought that they might have not wanted to deal with the boats which were coming back and forth to the marina, too fast if you ask me, and if I had had my camera with me I’d have been worried as we rode out the wakes they caused. But it’s hard enough to stop paddling and get your phone out for a picture or two, and I was having a tough enough time of it keeping up with Mary. She said that her paddling technique is to push with her upper hand, not pull back for each stroke. It must work for her because she was zipping right along, but it wasn’t working for me so I just kept on paddling. We were accompanied by an eagle who soared high over our heads pretty much the whole time we were out. He’s in the last picture, you can see him if you try hard enough. As soon as Mary said that she sees pelicans when she kayaks one flew into view. I got his picture but I didn’t get the great blue heron who was hunting along the shore. A nice couple of hours exploring the coves, which were quiet without the boats zipping through. And views in all directions…