Close Encounters (with Nature) at the Grand Tetons

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It’s impossible to visit Wyoming’s Grand Tetons region and not become a cliche crow. “Big Sky Country…caw, caw”  ” This is God’s country..caw, caw” “Those are some big Tetons…caw, caw.” The fact is that there are absolutely endless skies punctuated by pillowing clouds pierced by iconic peaks.  It’s just one endless stream of beauty out here.

Ok, so there’s nothing new to say about the Grand Tetons that hasn’t been said so I’m not gonna even try. Instead, I’ll share a few idyllic moments of our three nights in this region.

After days of traveling through every natural nook, homey lodge and tasty restaurant of Yellowstone for six nights, we were ready for a home style stay where we could cook our own food and spread out a little.  We headed to a gorgeous townhome in Teton Village (VRBO #503206).Greeting us on the little road to our chalet was a local moose in the middle of the road!

Our abode was right outside Grand Teton National Park, making it easy to drive to any of the myriad lakes and views and small towns (from tiny Moose ,Wyoming to bustling, artsy Jackson Hole spread across the open roads and highways.IMG_7379 2.jpgOur first full day, we planned to go fishing. The guys had their permits and poles and we had our picnic provisions. But before we headed to Jenny Lake which Greg promised would have lots of fish, we needed to stop and buy Bear Spray!  This was a terrifying thought but the bears were out hustling this time of year and we didn’t want to get caught up close and personal. Bear Spray was the recommended deterrent but its use isn’t for city slickers so Greg was our official aerosol slinger.

We headed out to glittering Jenny Lake. We hiked in from the parking area along a river that fed into the mountain-ringed lake.  We settled our gear at the foot of the river/lake intersection on a large, flat boulder where we enjoyed spectacular views. We had the spot to ourselves and, most importantly, the fish were jumping.  And we caught fish!!  In fact, one fish was caught practically bare handed as the little trout squirmed off the hook and jumped around our rocky terrace.  But we caught him and two others. A fabulous, fresh fish dinner was assured!

On our hike back out, two deer jumped onto the path right in front of me. They were oblivious to our immediate photo frenzy at this close encounter!IMG_7553.jpg The next day we travelled all over Grand Tetons National Park, stopping for views, short hikes, animal sightings, and pilgrimages to favorite spots from Greg’s previous trips. All we had to do was have our iPhone cameras at the ready.   By late afternoon, we drove to Jackson Hole where we explored its glitzy galleries and chic shops and ended our journey with dinner at Bin 22, a charming wine bar featuring tapas like grilled octopus, potatas bravas, fried cauliflower and more.
On our last morning, we rose early and drove two hours back to Idaho Falls for our flights home. There really is no place quite like Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons especially for city born and bred folks like us.  Exploring these grand open wilderness spaces really gives you perspective…and breathing room!

 

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