Received this quote in my email, via daily quotes from “Good Reads”, just 2 days before our trip:
“The earth was overwhelmed with beauty and indifferent to it, and I went with a heart ready to crack for its unbearable loveliness.” – Josephine Winslow Johnson
WOW! How amazingly appropriate for this trip to these two national parks!
Woke up at 4:30 AM… 6:30 for us Pennsylvania travelers. But we got an early start to the day and we were in the car at 6:40 AM to explore Grand Teton National Park. Had our cooler packed for lunch and our backpack stocked for hiking. It was just below 40 when we left the motel but the skies were a cloudless, brilliant blue.
Our first stop in the park was at The Chapel of The Transfiguration: a small, one room chapel with the magnificent Teton range as a backdrop. The chapel was open & we sat, prayed and looked out the window behind the alter at the mountains – some of God’s finest work! Walked to Menor’s ferry down on the river… we were the only souls around EXCEPT for the Mama Moose & her baby we saw run through the parking lot as we were about to leave. Also saw a fat chipmunk and a western squirrel (pika?) here.
Next stop: Jenny Lake & boat shuttle. We caught the 1st shuttle of the day across the lake at 8 AM. The boat ride was about 10 minutes long & we began our hike to Hidden Falls & Inspiration Point (around 2 miles round trip). Amazing views at every turn: a stream with rocks & rapids, mountains, wildflowers, the lake & the falls. Can’t walk & look up though…trail full of loose rocks/stones. Saw a mule deer right on the path. Great hike!
We returned on the boat & stopped by the small Visitor Center & store – needed more coffee! Drove the one-way road around lake & then up to Signal Mountain Summit. Walked around a couple areas there & returned to main road. Found a great picnic area overlooking Jackson Lake. We were in short sleeves at this point – what a gorgeous day!
Turned around at Jackson Lodge area & headed down the other ‘main’ road in park: Route 191. This road is very flat at the base of high mountains. Got up close with two bison as they sauntered through an opening in a fence and ambled across the road. Huge creatures.
Turned onto Antelope Flats Road and saw MANY more bison, Moulton Barn, Morman Row (old, empty homes of early Morman settlers). Thanks to folks with scopes, saw a COYOTE near a barn … he was slinking around horses & was quite close to them. The horses seemed unconcerned.
Stopped at 3 PM @ Dornan’s for a drink. Kinda early for ‘Happy Hour’ but, hey, when you get up before 5 AM…! Great view of the Tetons from the 2nd floor deck. In the low 70s.
Back to motel & then drove about 7 miles to Teton Village, the ski resort area. Ate on the porch of The Mangy Moose. Walked around after dinner.