The Grand Tetons (Night One and Day and Two)
In June, (yes, I am finding time to write about this now), I took a trip to the Grand Tetons in Wyoming. I had always had an interest to go to Wyoming, but I never EVER imagined how completely beautiful this state was. I still dream about the beauty of the Grand Tetons, and because it is so absolutely picturesque, I think I may try to get a summer job up there next year. I can’t even fathom how incredible it would be to work in a place like this for two months. I only had two full days here, but they were two days I will not ever forget.
As we pulled into the Tetons, there was snow, and I had not packed for snow. Thankfully, the snow was just due to the elevation, and not the cold. Our campsite was pretty sweet too. They were these “tent village” cabins where two sides of the structure were log, and the other two sides were canvas. Inside, there were 4 “prison style” beds and a wood burning stove. It was a good way to get me to acclimate to camping, since I can’t tell you the last time I went (although I’ve been dying to to go). Camping wasn’t to bad, because there were heated restrooms directly across from our site, and there was a little sink to wash dishes. Since I’ve never stayed in a National Park before, I really didn’t know how they cater to those who travel through the parks. They have little grocery stores, gas stations, recreation rentals, and pay showers. You could live here for weeks!
Day one in The Tetons was an explore day. My friends and I went on a little bike ride around the park, and stopped at Jackson Lake for a little exploring. We meandered around, but the crowd was so thick here, we didn’t stay long. We decided to head towards Jackson Hole, because besides the crowds at this particular stop, we were being eaten alive by little bugs, and I don’t really care for little bugs!
I fell in love with Jackson immediately. I mean, the view from this little roof top restaurant was so incredible. The hills that surround the town were lush, green, and spotted with wildflowers to add dimension to each crevice on the hill. The little town in certainly a tourist spot, but the over all feel of the town just felt like home. I think if the winters weren’t so brutal in Wyoming, that I’d get a teaching job in Jackson, and be a small town girl for the rest of my life. We walked around the town for hours, breathed in the fresh air, hit every little shop, and gawked at the scenery that engulfs this little town.
On the way back from Jackson, we were beat. We drove past a little herd of buffalo, and I practically shrieked with joy seeing their hunch back bodies lumber across the reserve. I was more than excited to see baby cows along the road, but buffalo? Astounded! Little did I know how up close and personal I’d become with the buffalo, just a few short days later. Not 15 minutes after the buffalo sighting we were slowed down by a few cars on the side of the road in the park. 2 little Grey Wolves were frolicking through the grass. I quickly learned that at a National Park, if the traffic slows down, and cars line the road, you have to stop and see what kind of wildlife is visible from the road, and take out your camera.
After the animal encounter, we headed back to camp to pack a backpack full of drinks, and went over to the shoreline of Jackson Lake to watch the sun go down. Sitting on the sandy banks, the sounds of nature surrounded us, and the Tetons took on a whole new shape with every second the sun dipped lower into the sky. If I could have stayed here forever, I would have.
Back at camp that night, we sat around the fire, and tried to reminisce girl’s camp, and boy scout camp songs from our childhood. We roasted marshmallows and cooked chili over the fire. It was cold outside, but bundled up next to the fire, sharing friendship, I couldn’t have been warmer. To end the night, we invited some neighboring campers over for a few drinks. We talked to a man and his son who were from New Zealand, and were hitting some of the National Parks around the West coast to celebrate his son’s graduation with his P.h.D. It is so neat to hear about people’s lives, especially those who don’t live in the U.S. They didn’t stay long, but the conversation was fun. That night, before bed, I heard the most awful sound. I thought that there were aliens landing in a field a mere half a mile away. Thank goodness, it wasn’t an alien, but an elk making a bugle sound. Who knew that dying sound came from an animal. I am just grateful I was with people who understood about the outdoors, because I may have not had a good night’s sleep thinking there were green men riding Grizzly Bears into my camp site.