Friday, July 31, 2009

Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton National Park. View from Jackson Lake Lodge.Second part of our road trip was dedicated to exploring Grand Teton National Park which is located directly south of Yellowstone. We left out most of Wednesday (excluding the small drive to reach it in the morning) and an early part of Thursday for this task.

Cabins at Flagg Ranch Resort.We started the day off by eating a breakfast at Grand Village and driving south to our next lodge — Flagg Ranch Resort, picking up 2 last Yellowstone stamps on our way. Check-in was quick, but we were quite shocked when we got to our cabin. It was completely infested with mosquitoes. About 40 of them at least. We tried killing them off, but they would just not end, and they kept biting us in the process. Alena especially.

Grand Teton mountains. View from Leeks Marina.I was really angered by this, so I called the front desk. I was informed of the fact that they can not spray mosquitoes because they are located inside the national park and that I can have my money back. mad shock Luckily after that they connected me with a manager, who switched out our cabin. Quite honestly we expected to see the same thing, but the other room was good. I guess somebody left the door open in the other one, hence the problem. Either way I would think twice before staying there again.

Grizzly bear.However for all the time that we wasted there we were handily rewarded. We got into the car and drove off in the direction of Jackson Lake. Right when we got onto the main road I noticed that there was a traffic behind us. I don’t remember any construction being there, when we passed that piece of road an hour ago, I thought to myself, and then it clicked. “Turn around!” Eldar made a U-turn and we started looking.

Grizzly bear was not more than 2 meters away from the road.People were cautious. Everyone was taking pictures, but nobody was getting out of the car. And they had a good reason not to! There was a grizzly bear right by the side of the road! We couldn’t believe our bear luck. We took another a million photos yet again, and made several video clips. He was not 2 meters away from us. This encounter made it all worth it. And if it wouldn’t be for the problems at the lodge we would’ve left long time before that and would’ve missed everything.

Hiking around Jenny Lake.After that we made a bunch of stops at all visitor center collecting the stamps, and took some photos of the mountains from the outlooks alongside the road. Our next point of interest was Hidden Falls. Half a mile hike from Jenny Lake.Jenny Lake, where we were planning to take a 2 mile hike around the lake and another half a mile to Hidden Falls. There is a ferry running for those who want to avoid this 2 mile hike, but we enjoyed it a lot. We did take the ferry back.

Now for all the falls we’ve seen inside Yellowstone this one impressed us much more. It wasn’t the fact that it was bigger or wider, but we were standing right at the bottom of the follows starring right at them. The others we saw from quite a big distance and it was OK, but this was certainly impressive. A big river crashing down from the top of the mountain right at your foot. Well worth the trip. The only annoying thing were swarms of blood thirsty mosquitoes all over the place.

Grand Teton Mountains reflecting in Jackson Lake.At this point we drove back up, ate a nice dinner at Flagg Ranch restaurant and turned in for the night, for tomorrow we had a long drive ahead of us, back to Colorado.

Grand Teton and Middle Teton mountains in the background.Thursday morning we made another pass through some outlooks to take shots of the mountains while they were lighted by morning sun from the east. We also stopped by Jackson Lake Lodge and I imagine it would be a hell of a place to stay at. The views from there were magnificent as well.

Rainbow in the sky. I've never seen anything like this before.Soon after we left the great parks of Wyoming and set out on our way. We took a slightly different route back and the views where great for the most part of the drive. On the way there we were driving mostly through huge plains and here we were surrounded by ever changing mountains. I don’t remember anything more about the drive back, but the fact that we placed through a “town” called Muddy Gap. Must be a nice place to live at. o.O

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