Published: November 5th 2006September 12th 2004
Panoramic image of Teton Range
Here it is; the report of the Oly Trio’s September 2004 Vacation and Photography trip to the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Park. The report is divided into four parts. This is Part 2. Some images of this photo safari are available for view and purchase at my online gallery NW Exposures
With an early start, we visited the St. Anthony Sand Dunes, north of Rexburg, Idaho. Off-road vehicles have taken over a large section of the dunes. We found some perimeter slopes to photograph, and then continued our journey along scenic highway 33 west of the Teton Range. After Victor, ID, we crawled up 12% grades of Teton Pass through the Targhee National Forest in second gear.
Arriving in Jackson, WY, we stayed at the Virginian RV Campground. [rul=http://www.virginianlodge.com/rv_resort.htm]The Virginian[/url]. Nancy did the laundry while Shad and I scouted the premises. We found the public library just across the street from the RV resort. I made reservations to use the high speed internet access the following morning.
There were intermittent showers during the night. We rolled blanket bingo, trading layers of blankets for use of the electric heater during the night. Someone won, but
Teton Fall Color01
Fall colors in the Tetons
who can remember. Everyone made it safely through the night.
Road noise woke us in the morning. We took the car sans camper into central Jackson for a breakfast at Jedediah’s sour dough pancake parlor about a block and a half away from antler square. To die for, including memories of previous trips to Jackson.
After a sapid breakfast of sour dough hot cakes, we returned to our campground. Nan and I took turns on the computer at the library across the street. We next took down a wet camper and proceeded north of Jackson to the Coulter Bay RV Campground in Grand Teton National Park. Coulter Bay
The Teton Mountain range was mostly hidden by low hanging rain clouds which obscured the view. Upon arrival at the Coulter Bay RV Campground, we had to wait several hours to see if a site would open up for the night. It was cold and drizzly.
We took a drive east of the Teton Range to see the territory and perhaps find warmer terrain. Wrong direction. The highway led to higher elevations with snow. When the temperature dropped to 32 degrees and we ran into
Magesty of the Tetons
snow, we turned around and headed back to Jackson where we found a Mexican restaurant to warm our souls.
Upon our return to Coulter Bay, we learned that we had secured the last available site. We pitched the camper for a three night stay and prepared for our first night in “bear country.” We were the only tent trailer in the park in a canyon of Class A RVs and monster 5th wheel trailer rigs, all hard-walled, bear protected enclosures. What’s wrong with this picture?
For our extended stay at Coulter Bay, I set up the awning on the camper trailer that provided overhead protection for the entry to the Q’silver. We were stylin’. Before going to bed that night, I showed Nan how to use the bear pepper spray canister and talked over a procedure for getting to the car in the event of an emergency (bear talk). Shaddy was volunteered, in an extreme necessity, to be the hare; he is faster than both of us, and hopefully a bear too.
The electric heater for the camper has a thermostat that turns off the heat when the air reaches a certain but vague temperature range. Monday
Magesty of the Tetons
night, the heater stayed on all of the night as the temperature plunged to 34 degrees. Rain pelted the tent through the night and we were serenaded to a chorus of heaters cycling on and off from our surrounding hard-walled neighbors. In addition to the heater it was a 3 blanket night with jamies and socks.
We stayed three nights at Coulter Bay.
Tuesday morning, I went out early in the car in search of spectacular views to photograph. There were a few sun breaks among the bleak mist and land scraping clouds. The mountains hid behind folds of dark gray veils.
Nan took a shower at the campground facility. Shaddy and I took time for a tensy; an early morning nap about 10 a.m. In the afternoon, we drove about to see what there was to see. We arrived back to our Coulter Bay campground in 37 degree drizzle. We turned the heater on in the tent. Shad and I played a bit of fetch in our 20 foot long dwelling. I peaked out a zippered canvas window and saw falling flakes of wet, heavy snow. Burr.
There was more sun on Wednesday, which lifted
Magesty of the Tetons
more clouds off of the mountains. We got an early morning start chasing photographs of the magnificent landscape. We retraced our previous visits to scenic overlooks and whatnots, capturing marvelous glimpses of the mountain peaks. When we returned to our campsite, we learned that a big brown bear was spotted during the late afternoon on the perimeter of the campground. Whoa! I reached down to my belt and fingered the pepper spray canister.
We decided to eat meatless spaghetti for dinner, fearing that sizzling pork sausage might attract too much attention from unwanted visitors.
There are more photos below