90,000 Miles to Me

18,655 Miles • The Grand Tetons

Heading south from Yellowstone National Park, I camped overnight (and finally got some good sleep) at a dispersed camping area between Yellowstone and its southern neighbor, another of the famous national parks, Grand Teton. The next morning I got up late and headed into this beautiful mountain range that spans a chunk of the western length of Wyoming.

I don’t have a lot of commentary around the Tetons, so this post will be mostly eye candy. Enjoy…

My first view of the Tetons. Even through the haze and clouds, I found the mountains striking.

I couldn’t decide which of these two sunset pictures (above and below) I liked better, so you got them both.

Grand Teton National Park is long, but not very wide, as it follows the general outline of the mountain range. This made it practical to leave the park each night and camp in the surrounding national forest area, which is legal and at least some of it is free. Yay, sleep!

The big problem I had with camping around Yellowstone was that the park was so large in every direction, and the developed roads so far from any of the exits, that it was a minimum of 50 miles (and often more like 100 miles) from any of the main roads to the nearest park exit, and there was very little camping within another 50 or so miles surrounding any of the exits. It simply wasn’t practical to leave each night, and even after Labor Day, everything was booked (and expensive on top of that).

I definitely need a better camera. The iPhone is grainy in low light and useless at night. I really like the ease of point and shoot, and it does a very good job at that, but I’m wanting more options. I want to capture the enchantment of subtle colors and the magnificence of the stars, to zoom in to wildlife a long way off and focus on small details in front of me. And a battery that holds a charge!

The highest peak with its snowy top touching the clouds is Grand Teton, to its left is Middle Teton, and South Teton is a bit to the south. Named by Canadian Trappers, “Les Trois Tetons” mean “The Three Breasts.”

Spent a night dispersed camping on Shadow Mountain Road. Found a lovely site surrounded by aspens in yellows and greens with shades of red in the undergrowth. No mountain view, but I loved it.

The purple flower at the base of the trees is “fire weed,” which is native and not a weed, despite its name, and grows well in habitats that have been disturbed.

Sunset through the aspens was beautiful.

Following a tip from my guidebook, I got up early to watch the rising light at Oxbow Bend Overlook and stayed for a couple hours, enjoying the view.

Oxbow Bend

I was really loving the clouds my entire visit. Can you tell?

Another morning, I got up at dawn and went to Schwabacher Landing for some hiking. The mountain-reflected-in-river picture at the top of this page is from this hike.

I kept walking farther and farther down the path with no particular destination in mind, along the river and through some woods, singing the akathist to the Holy Cross along the way. From where I turned back, I’m estimating I walked about 1.5 miles each way.

This tree squirrel was harvesting pinecones for a long while, bringing them from the tree behind him in this picture to (presumably) his stash under a log a little ways away.

Snake River Overlook is where Ansel Adams took his famous photograph that went into space with Voyager. This was also a great spot for a late breakfast. I love taking my meals with a view.

Snake River Overlook
Drove up to Signal Mountain Summit for a great valley view.

Shortly before I left the Tetons, I saw mother bear with three cubs crossing the road. I only saw them briefly before they disappeared into the trees, but it was awesome.

Looking back to say goodbye for now. There is a long stretch of road ahead of me.

It occurs to me that I post only the best pictures on this blog, which might make it seem like everything is beautiful and lovely, but that editing leaves out the large stretches of boring in-between. And yet, the more I learn about the boring stuff—rocks, dirt, grass, and such—the more interesting they become to me.

I spent three days in the Tetons. In leaving these beautiful mountains behind, I am also leaving the greater Yellowstone area, heading south and west. See you on the road…

18,410 Miles • Yellowstone, Revisited
19,316 Miles • A Bit of Utah and Idaho

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