By now, you’ve heard words like majestic, beautiful, and stunning, among others, to describe the stretches of road we’ve traveled and sites we’ve seen. Grand Teton National Park placed us in a perpetual state of awe and is my favorite of the National parks we’ve seen so far. None of the adjectives I’m familiar with are adequate to accurately describe the sensation of standing before these snow capped giants, but it was humbling. I can only speak for myself, but I was filled with a feeling of gratefulness for all of the circumstances, both positive and “negative”, that pushed us toward taking this trip, and moreover, taking it now. This isn’t the only day that sentiment occurred, but it was the most powerful.
To get to the Tetons, we drove from our base in Alpine through several small towns, then Jackson, Jackson Hole, and finally into the park. We didn’t stop in Jackson Hole, but it was clearly a beloved tourist Mecca with lots of shopping and eateries and fashion right out of that catalog by Robert Redford. (Sharra, if you receive that catalog in my name while managing our mail, please feel free to peruse, adore and dispose, which is all I ever did with it.)
Mike had his heart set on seeing bear, either black or grizzly, and some of our stops were remote enough that my pattern was listen/scan/admire/photograph-listen/scan/admire/photograph. You get the gist. The area was immense and open and a littl eerie – the kind that gives you the foreboding sense that something bigger just might be watching you! However, much to my relief (and Mike’s dismay), we never did see one. I’m quite sure they weren’t too far off. We visited midday, which according to the ranger at the entrance gate, isn’t optimal for wildlife sightings.
One final note on this stretch of our trip was that the travel day leading up to our arrival in Alpine was much longer than planned. We had successfully avoided that many successive hours in the jeep since our first day on the road when we left Concord, CA.However, this day was full of wind gusts, elongated hills and steep grades, dustings of light snow just feet from the road (gulp), and just generally a tough stretch that had us pulling in after dark on a Friday night. Realizing that check in was in the tavern, which we could see was already overflowing with patrons, Mike took one for the team (I was not in the most social/patient mood) and headed inside to square away the reservation so we could get set up, make some dinner, and start to decompress a bit. FYI the property (RV Park & Tavern) is for sale in case any of you enterprising readers want to have a go of it. I can promise we’d visit!