Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Other Park

Yesterday we headed south to check out the foliage at Grand Teton National Park. Like most of nature's events this year, it's a little behind schedule and next weekend will probably be peak although there were already some beautiful aspen groves to be seen.

And this beautiful scene from Jackson Lake.

Except . . . before he launched his lovely wooden craft made in Vermont, we'd all been standing on the shore enjoying the view. From out on the water came an explosion of noise and a voice behind me cried, "What the hell is that?" Apparently it was Eminem, or "crap music" as another person called it. After the canoe entered the water, the crappers fired up their engine and went water-skiing past. In closer versions of the photo, he's looking sadly down the lake where the crappers were turning around.

That surely doesn't look like an interesting photo. We'd scooted under the trunk and had lunch by the shore of Jenny Lake before we began the day's big hike. Sitting on rocks by shore, we evacuated just in time when waves from the shuttle to the trailhead we were walking to reached us. A pool of water covered the rock I'd been on. After lunch we headed back up, and with head down to watch my footing and baseball cap on, I rammed the top of my head into the tree. In a distinctly two step process, I felt myself staggered backward and then sat down heavily. Close to a knockout punch, but fortunately I'd missed all of the branch stubs. So, not an interesting photo at all, but I'd love to see a video.

"Skeleton of drowned tree reaching like thin grey arms"

That is Hidden Falls. They need to do a much better of hiding it. That shuttle boat I mentioned drops people off just down the hill, so when we reached the falls after walking a couple miles, we turned a corner and saw what appeared to be a tour bus or convention worth of people standing and sitting. We pushed through, took a couple photos, and got the hell out of there.

Next up, and I do mean up--up one of those trails I hate with mountain wall on one side and increasingly thin air on the other--was Inspiration Point and this view.

The guidebooks tell you that you'll find fewer people beyond that point, but on this day of mid 70s temperatures and free National Park admission, it wasn't really true. (Until we were on our way back after the last shuttle boat of the day had departed.)

Anyway, we were on into Cascade Canyon. It would have taken a much wider angle lens than I have to do justice to the walls which soon towered over us.

I've seen some damn beautiful places in the past couple years (and earlier) but this trail has to go mighty high on the list.

And as if the scenery weren't enough, I saw my 2nd, 3rd, and 4th moose of the summer and my life. Here's cow and calf making their way up a hillside.

While the bull stayed behind to do some more grazing.

Goodbye, Tetons, see you next year.


Woodswalker said...

Simply stunning! I'm glad to know there are such places left in the world. Thanks for the photos.

greentangle said...

Yellowstone's a lot bigger with more variety, but for the absolutely stunning sights the Tetons are pretty amazing.