Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Grand Tetons - Our First Glimpse

We drove out the south entrance of Yellowstone towards our second destination, Grand Tetons National Park and Jackson, Wyoming. As we leave a series of signs, erected by the park Service, proclaim:

We Saw Wildlife
From Afar
Until We Hit Them
With Our Car


Spying the sign announcing the entry to the park we slowed down and stopped for a photo op. Stepping out of the car the first thing we noticed was the heavy pine scent to the cold mountain air. A man stopped at the same spot offers to take our photo together and also gives us news of the roads ahead. All are open except one which is closed due to a mother grizzly and her two cubs having taken up residence in the area. This road remains closed for the duration of our visit.

As we continue the glorious yellow leaves set against the white trunks of Aspens fill our view. A brilliant blue lake forms a backdrop to the leaves, white wood and evergreens. Then, we get our first look at the Grand Tetons mountain range. Magnificent, snow covered peaks rise straight up from the meadows that surround them as if dropped there by accident by some massive hand. Glaciers nestle near their craggy summits, waterfalls drop from heights that seem improbable. "Purple Mountains Majesty" could have been written with this range in mind as these peaks are truly majestic.

We pull into a scenic turnout and gaze in awe at this sight. It is a view we will return to several times over the next few days. At each return visit the sense of awe does not diminish.

We have been on the road for several hours. Fatigue and hunger are beginning to overtake us. Since we have several days here we bid the mountains farewell for the moment and head towards the ski resort town of Jackson.

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