Grand Teton National Park
Wednesday, July 31
“Sure.” After five consecutive days of hiking, Barb’s suggestion of a trip to the Tetons sounded great. “Just the tourist thing. Maybe a bit of light hiking.” It sounded good to Chris too, so the three of us piled into Barb’s wagon Wednesday morning and headed out of camp. We stopped for a bit just short of Hwy 352 to watch some pronghorns graze just north of the road.
Next stop was the Park Information Center just north of Jackson. There we got a few directions for our further adventures, then walked around the center, viewing exhibits of grizzlys, wolves, moose, etc., and checking out books, maps, and postcards for possible purchase. We also chatted briefly with Don and Carol, on their way north to visit Yellowstone. (Cook’s day off — many were traveling far as there was no need to be back to camp for dinner.)
Once in the park, we stopped at a historical site. There we visited the Church of the Transfiguration, with its large window behind the altar opening to a great view of the Tetons. Then a short hike to river’s edge brought us to a General Store, where we sampled gingersnaps fresh off the wood cookstove. Chris got much amusement from their 1898 Sears Catalog. We then watched the ferry cross the river, its ingenious rope setup angling its pontoons under the pilot’s control so that it could use the power of the swift-moving Snake.
At Jenny Lake, we walked down to the rocky shore. There we sat in the shade, ate our lunches, and watched as ferries crossed the lake, carrying tourists to the opposite shore. The backdrop of Teewinot Mountain hid higher peaks such as the Grand Teton behind it. The view of the mountains was obscured a bit by haze — someone said it was from the fires in Oregon.
After lunch, we took a short hike just north of the lake, through an area burned in a ’99 fire. We observed the different levels of damage where the fire had different intensities. At the edge of the burn, some trees were only partially damaged. One tree had lost all its lower limbs, but was still green way up on top.
Further up north, we stopped at the Jackson Lake Lodge. Its main lounge has a two-story tall bay window which provides a view of Jackson Lake and Mt. Moran beyond. We returned south via the main highway, with views of the Snake River Valley, the lakes and the Tetons. A short side trip took us to the Gros Ventre slide, not far from the site of the ’92 Camp Ritchie.
After gassing-up in Hoback Jct (at least $.10 a gallon cheaper than Jackson!), we drove to Pinedale for dinner. At the Moose Creek Trading Co., we feasted on black-bean soup, green-chile casserole, and topped it off with ice-cream cones. We were amused by their period rest-room (only the modern towel dispenser seems out of place). Vacationers were Chris Minarich, Wayne Deeter, and Barbara Bruns.
— Wayne Deeter
— photos by Wayne Deeter