Thursday, June 15, 2006

June 9 06 Grand Teton Nat. Park

Arrived on Friday and tried a campground called Signal Mountain. The sites were too small so went up to Coulter Bay campground. We are in a heavily pine forest and Bob worked for over 2 hours trying to get our internet dish setup. We had to take it off the roof top and use the tripod. Was only able to get the Sat TV and not the internet. We arrived just as it started to drizzle. The views of the  mountain tops were hidden in the clouds. After a nice hot shower we dressed up in our western wear and headed to Jackson for our anniversary celebration. 6 months ago we met out on the desert of AZ. The restaurants were all jammed with 45 min waiting times so we went to the Elk’s lodge for a drink. One of the patrons suggested an out of the way Italian restaurant and we walked several blocks to it only to find it closed. Back to the restaurant near the Elk’s lodge we had a wonderful Chinese dinner. We were soaked from walking in the rain. On our drive today we saw buffalo, moose and deer.

Saturday we headed back to Jackson via the park road stopping at viewpoints and for an elk. We went for breakfast and to get our propane tank checked. It has air in it and keeps shutting off when we try to run the heater. By the time we found the propane place was closed and got to the restaurant the breakfast buffet was over so we had lunch while using their WIFI. There was a young couple and their mother in the next booth from Florida so we had a conversation with them about Wauchula/Bradenton area where I am a resident on paper. Bob spotted a camera store across the street and he bought a fantastic new digital camera that can zoom to 300 power. We then drove over Rt 22 toward ID to check out the views from the Teton mountain pass. Fantastic view of Jackson Hole. The “Hole” isn’t a town but the entire valley that runs north and south from the town of Jackson. We then took another back road in the park and saw a young moose near the road. Bob experimented with the new camera and wow what shots he was getting. We then drove another road to Slide Lake. In 1924 a mountain slid down blocking the Gros Ventre river and created a lake. We took a short interpretive hike to learn about the slide. On this side road we came across a herd of buffalo and a fellow Escapee who we stopped and visited with for about 15 minutes. They were boon docking by themselves along a turnout and we discussed a chapter of the Escapees called Boondockers we are thinking of joining. Back to Jackson for our afternoon whistle wetter at the Elk’s (our free drink) then we headed home along the park road. This time the sun was out and so were the mountains. We took another side trip up to the top of signal mountain for a fantastic view of the mountains, lake, Snake river and the hole. The evening was topped off by a shrimp fettuccine dinner I created and looking out the dining room window at Mt. Moran.

Sunday was a day of rest. Bob again attempted to get the internet and we visited with the new neighbors. A couple from Alberta who wish to go fulltime starting in January and another couple from Payson Az. After dinner we took the laptops and went to Jackson Lake lodge and sat in the lobby using their WiFi and looking out the huge windows at the beautiful mountain range. Saw several elk on the way back home.

Monday morning we drove up Signal Mtn road again for a fantastic view of the Mt. Range with the sun behind us. Met a man there who is a world traveler from Vancouver BC who also was a tour guide. We then went to the South Jenny Lake area boarded a shuttle boat that took us across the lake where we then hiked to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point. Beautiful hike and we saw a mama and baby moose. We had our dinner on the porch of Signal Mt. Lodge overlooking the mountains and Jackson Lake. A buffalo burger with elk chili. Delicious. A side note: we did two months of cost analysis and discovered we spent more money buying groceries and eating at home then going out to eat. Imagine that.

Tuesday we woke with the intention of going kayaking. But it would have been $20 to permit our kayaks for a few hours on Lake Jackson, so we opted to go rafting on the Snake River. We did a combo special of 8 miles thru a scenic canyon spotting osprey, eagles and moose, along with the geology  of the area. Then we had 4 miles of whitewater before stopping for lunch. After which we had 4 more miles of whitewater. Back in town we did laundry and Bob ran for diesel and a propane regulator. We stopped at the Elk’s lodge for our afternoon whistle wetter than to a Mexican restaurant before returning to the Elk’s for our second free drink. On the road home we came upon a group of bull bison and they were locking horns at times . Then we came to  a large traffic jam which always portends a wildlife sighting. Sure enough there was a huge grizzly not a couple of hundred feet from the road. It was the biggest I have seen in this area. Maybe matched the size of the ones I saw up close and personal when fishing with them in Alaska.

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