Grand Teton National Park - Day 1

Trip Start May 25, 2009
Trip End Jun 23, 2009

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Flag of United States  , Wyoming
Thursday, June 18, 2009

You think you like lying in bed listening to the rain until you make plans for your vacation and wake up listening to it ruin your plans almost every day for a week! :P  This morning was more of the same, so we had no other option but to start on the Grand Teton driving tour and hope that tomorrow would be better (forecasts say it is supposed to be). 

We stopped at the Jackson and Jenny Lake Lodges just to see what they were all about, and about midway through the tour Jim said that it hadn't REALLY poured on us yet, just drizzled!  Well, of course then all heck broke loose and we got a lot of rain all at once and even a few bits of hail, and we figured our hiking plans were done for good.  But there seemed to be just a touch a blue sky ahead…
Sick of being in the car all day every day, we decided to chance a few miles around Taggart Lake anyway.  A ranger had told us this was good moose habitat after being more recently released to the National Park Service from the Rockefeller estate.

As it turns out, the hike was gorgeous AND we stayed dry for 5.5 miles (actually to Bradley Lake and back)!  The bugs here are pretty bad but we kept up a brisk pace so they didn’t get us too badly.  Jim and I both agreed that this short first hike here rivals anything either of us have ever done in Mammoth for beautiful scenery.
Newly optimistic about better weather ahead, we booked a 2-hour horseback ride tomorrow around noon, and dinner reservations in front of the Jackson Lake Lodge Mural Room's huge picture windows for 7:45 PM – prime sunset hour!  (Click here for reviews...)

Today’s wildlife pictures include two more moose (one is a yearling from last summer), elk, more bison, a very poor picture of a very fast coyote, a blue grouse, a yellow-headed blackbird, and the new highlight – a beaver!

Jim says many people were not impressed that a bunch of us were standing around to see a beaver, but I’m guessing they come from the Midwest where they see more rivers and beavers on a regular basis.  I thought this was very exciting!!!  (Do you have any idea how many times I have hiked in Lundy Canyon looking for one and have seen only the telltale signs that they must really exist???)

My camera takes pretty bad pictures in low light so you won’t be able to tell how beautiful and green the fields are beneath the sunset, but suffice it to say that the drive home this evening was one of the most peaceful and lovely I have ever taken.  The Tetons are truly majestic and the ranches here live up to everything Jim has been telling me about them for weeks!

As I sit here I have been hearing more rain hitting the RV on and off, so I sure hope we were not too adventurous in booking (and paying for) our plans for tomorrow ahead of time!  :P
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