Thursday, August 14, 2014

Exploring Teton Park Road

This morning we changed camp sites to another loop here at Grand Teton National Park.  Our new loop has electric sites normally used by ADA folks (people with handicapped stickers).  But several spots were empty, and the park staff said we could have one.  Since Jim has a new toy he wants to experiment with (satellite TV) and the TV works better if we’re hooked up to electricity, we made the move.

Then we took off to explore the area of GTNP south of our campsite at Coulter Bay via Teton Park Road, which follows the historic first trails and roadways.  Teton Park Road is closer to the mountains than US 89/191, the other road that bisects the park north to south.  

We stopped at most of the scenic pullouts.  Some names:  Willow Flats Overlook; Potholes Turnout; Mount Moran; Mountain View; and Jenny Lake Overlook.

We stopped at Jackson Lake Lodge, the biggest and fanciest of the GTNP lodges and built in the 1950s by the Rockefellers.   

We hiked along Jenny Lake, a popular spot named for Jenny Leigh, the Shoshone wife of a trapper and who assisted with an 1872 expedition that explored what is now northwest Wyoming. We went to the Jenny Lake Visitors’ Center and saw where a shuttle boat takes folks across the lake to some primo hiking. And we drove Jenny Lake Loop, a scenic oneway road off the main drag.

Our last big stop was at the southernmost visitors center, the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitors' Center, where we watched a beautiful movie about the park.
After a minor scrape in Texas, we swore that whenever backing up our car with kayaks on top, one of us would stand at the rear of the car.  Here's the result of not following those directions at the Jackson Lake Lodge parking lot.  Luckily, the kayaks straddled the tree and nothing was damaged. (The scar on the pine tree must have been caused by someone less lucky.)
Part of the Teton Range seen across Jenny Lake.  The lake and nearby trails get so much use that a $16.4 million public-private restoration project is underway.  Jenny Lake was the one place we visited today that was overcrowded -- some people were triple parked.  The rest of the park has been wonderfully serene. 
A water fall in the mountains above Jenny Lake, as seen by my telephoto lens.

Bev and the only moose we've seen so far.  This one was at the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitors' Center near the south end of GTNP.  It's the only park visitors center open year round and is named for a former US senator from Wyoming who chaired the National Parks Subcommittee.

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