We took the scenic route from Swan Valley, Idaho to the Grand Tetons. This took us to Victor, Idaho and over the 8400 foot Teton Pass. Once again, our Lincoln MKT-Skylark combination performed well, despite some 10% grades on that route. Although we considered stopping in Jackson, Wyoming (for art galleries) we decided it was too full of touristy hub-bub for our taste. So we proceeded to Moose, to visit the Visitor Center at park headquarters, then to Flagg Ranch, located between Grand Teton and Yellowstone park, where we had reservations at a “full-hook-up” campground run by the Grand Teton Lodge company.
August 26 was hike day. We left Flagg Ranch at 7:15 AM to make the 35 mile drive to Jenny Lake in order to park before it got too crowded. We then took a 10 minute boat shuttle across Jenny Lake to the west dock at the foot of the Tetons (and of course I had to mention running boats at Glacier National Park). We then took the short but “moderately strenuous” hike to Inspiration Point above Jenny Lake.
Seeing as we managed that in about an hour, we decided to go further up Cascade Canyon, which gave us great vistas of the end of that glacial valley and also a chance to see a moose lazing in the mud next to some willows. By the time we got back to the boat dock we had managed about 7 miles of hiking in five hours. But our age shows as we feel the aches and pains along the way and passed by the 20-somethings and trail runners.
With those aches and pains in mind we chose a less strenuous activity—a scenic (not “whitewater”) raft trip down the Snake River. We chose the 8:00 AM departure, which meant another early rising to get to the departure point. Along with two other couples, we floated a 10-mile stretch of the river that afforded great views of the Tetons as immortalized by Ansel Adams by his photos of them above the winding river. The early morning views are also less hazy than those in the afternoon. We also saw one cow moose, several eagles and numerous merganser ducks. Our guide did a good job of keeping us entertained and informed about the geological and cultural history of the Park.
As we were off the river and back at our trailer by 1:00 PM, it gave us the afternoon to use the laundry facilities. Then we indulged ourselves with drinks, backgammon and a light meal on the deck of the Jackson Lake Lodge, with a great view of the Tetons at sunset. By the way this is the place where the Federal Reserve just completed its annual retreat and also where I attended my first conference of the state budget officers, with Stephanie and Chris in kid carriers enchanting the other budget officers and spouses at the opening reception. So the place has a bit of nostalgia for me. (After the conference, we camped at Colter Bay and listened to Nixon’s resignation…wish I could hear another presidential resignation now!)
Animal Report: Two Moose, two coyotes, Sow Grizzly with cubs, bison herd, chipmunks, eagles, ducks and geese.