Grand Teton & Yellowstone


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Hi folks,
Well, our rodeo in Dubois was ace. Proper rural, all the competitors were from local ranches and there was a range of races, catching coos and staying on coos, to savour. Also, lots of kiddy races with the highlight being about 200 kids under 8 chasing a poor calf around the arena and trying to grab a ribbon from his tail, quality banter, I'd have loved that as a kid!! The next day we headed up to Grand Teton national park. I've seen photos and been told that this was beautiful but the real thing was stunning. I'm pretty sure the most spectacular range of mountains I've ever seen - will let the photos show you, we've got about a million so hopefully we've picked some good highlights. It's prime summer season here so the valley floor is heaving with tourists, which can be a pain. To get to see the mountains from close up we embarked on a 20mile hike up over 4,000 ft to a glacier behind the mountains. It was a serious shift but well worth it. We went up through a canyon and then into endless alpine meadows full of wild flowers, (Kirstin loved it) before summiting at Hurricane Pass, it's well named as it was a proper hoolie up there. Sitting next to a glacier with a turquoise lake and lots of marmots for company definitely made the effort worthwhile. Even better, we got close up views of a moose (about 10yds) for about 20 mins as well, which was very special. Our other days in the park were spent gazing at the same mountains (it didn't get boring), and pottering around the lakes and forests looking for wildlife. We weren't disappointed as we were privileged to watch a large grizzly and her three cubs feeding for a while, and we spotted a beaver at close range too - very lucky! Before heading to Yellowstone we paid a visit to the ski resort of Jackson Hole, the piste map looks amazing, off piste even better, hopefully may be make it back for a ski holiday sometime in the future! We also picked up a set of second hand ski boots and a helmet for £50, bonus. The wildlife continued to be spectacular as we moved up to Yellowstone. A black bear interrupted our picnic, coming within a few yards. Unfortunately no photos though as we were busy scrambling our lunch off the table! If they eat human food they generally seek it out again, which leads to them being killed, so we were delighted to get it all inside the car before he arrived! Elk and bison have completed our viewings, although we were woken up in our tent one night with mass howls, unfortunately we don't know if it was wolves or coyotes. I'm going for wolves......... We had a brilliant afternoon watching thousands of bison roam the plains, then hundreds of them crossed the road right next to us! They are big units and watching them endlessly walk within yards of us was very special. Yellowstone is a unique combination of alpine scenery, geothermal stuff and wildlife - and it is pretty amazing and sits on the world's largest active volcano with a caldera 40miles across. However, it's so busy at this time of year it can be a bit frustrating, getting in the gates in the morning is a bit like the M25. Also, some of the locals are truly stupid, we've seen people get out their cars and walk to within 10 yards of grizzly bears and 5 yards of huge elk stags, leaves you kinda hoping that the wildlife has a go at them to teach them a lesson!! However, then they would be put down so the wildlife loses every way unfortunately. Our evenings have all been nice and quiet in our campsites after long days, bar one eventful night when I decided it would be a good idea to keep the car keys in the boot for safe keeping!! Fortunately, a local dude sorted us out for 65 bucks, Alamo would have charged us 400 for new keys! Now we're off to Montana for our week on horseback trekking round the wilderness. We've both been well excited about this ever since we booked it last year, can't wait!! Hope all's braw at home. Donald and Kirstin. Xx


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