Day 11! The Grand Tetons

Well, here we are at the Teton Village staying in a ski-lodge which I have to say is wonderful. We once again have all the comforts of home.

Our day started with a lovely breakfast and for the benefit of and as requested Steve, here’s a photo of Simon eating his banana bread french toast with strawberries and another one of him at dinner tonight with his short rib. He said both meals were delicious!

Si at breakfast

Simon at dinner

Simon at dinner

Our first full day here has confirmed what we already knew, the Tetons are magnificent. No matter where you are you can see the mountains.

Grand Teton, at 13,775 feet (4,199 m), is the highest point of the Teton Range and the send highest peak in the state of Wyoming. The Teton Range is a sub-range of the Rocky Mountains, which extend from southern Alaska to northern New Mexico.

Grand Tetons

Grand Tetons

We visited the site of the ‘John Moulton Barn’. This is very famous and anyone who comes to the Tetons stops to take a photograph hoping to replicate the classic view of the barn. It sits in Mormon Row where 33 homesteaders from Salt Lake City first started a community at the turn of the 19th Century and clustered their farms to share labour and community. Some of the homes and barns still remain today as do some of the ditches they dug by hand to water their crops.

The John Moulton Barn

The John Moulton Barn

One of the original homesteaders was John Moulton and his grandson and family still own the homestead he built and it really is a beautiful place. We were lucky enough to meet Iola Moulton who showed us around and was obviously very proud of how the property has remained in the family all these years. The surrounding area is owned by the National Park Service.

Simon at the John Moulton Barn

Simon at the John Moulton Barn

Mormon Row Outhouse

Mormon Row Outhouse

Mormon Row Barn

Mormon Row Barn

Mormon Row

Mormon Row

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ground squirrels live underground near the barns and they may be small but the noise they make when warning others of impending danger is amazing. They are like very small meerkats, they even sit bolt upright on top of their burrows to warn others of danger.

Ground Squirrel

Ground Squirrel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are hoping to see lots of moose here but just in case we don’t Simon took a picture of me with this one at the Visitors Centre!

Sand and Moose!

Sand and Moose!

We then visited Jenny Lake. It was formed approximately 12,000 years ago by glacier activity. It is estimated to be 423 feet (129 m) deep and encompasses 1,191 acres. Jenny Lake is considered to be a major focal point in Grand Teton National Park, with many hiking trails, scenic boat rides, and quick access to the major climbing routes onto the tallest peaks of the Teton Range.

Jenny Lake

Jenny Lake

Jenny Lake

Jenny Lake

By the way …………… does anyone now the cost of bear spray? We paid nearly $50 dollars for a can that they say will last for about seven seconds!!!!! Still, one can’t put a price on safety! Let’s just hope we won’t need to use it.

 

 

Day 10! Yellowstone to the Grand Tetons

Today was a driving day. We left Yellowstone for the Grand Tetons. It was a very pleasant drive, mostly through forests still with winter snow. We had a lovely lunch near Colter Bay eating Teton cheesesteak. We first had cheesesteak in the form of a pizza when we visited with our dear friend Nat in Pennsylvania many moons ago and have loved it ever since.

Lone Tree on Lake Yellowstone

Lone Tree on Lake Yellowstone

Leaving Yellowstone

Leaving Yellowstone

At one point, Simon looked in his rear-view mirror and there crossing the road was a bear! We quickly turned the car around but we couldn’t see where he’d gone to in the forest. If we had been just a few seconds later we would have come face to face!

Entering Grand Tetons

Entering Grand Tetons

Grand Tetons

Grand Tetons

Tetons from Signal Mountain

Tetons from Signal Mountain

From what we have seen on our drive into the Tetons, it’s going to be a wonderful stay.

 

Days 9! Yellowstone

Today we are going to finish off our tour of Yellowstone. I think it’s fair to say that after today we will have seen just about all we can see on a driving tour. We have some great photos for you to see.

First of all however, it’s breakfast! I must say that the Dining Room does a fabulous granola strawberry parfait which I’ve had a few times. Simon was into omelettes and a bowl of fruit. Steve B. this is for you. Sorry I don’t have photos!!!

Our start was somewhat delayed because two bison thought it would be good fun to stroll and then run along the roadway to find a suitable place for breakfast and in so doing did a grand job of holding up the traffic for quite some time. Great patience is need when visiting Yellowstone.

We eventually arrived at our first port of call, the geothermal features known as Artist’s Paint Pots. There are colourful hot springs, two large mud pots, a fumarole (an opening in the planet’s crust, often in the neighbourhood of volcanoes, which emits steam and gases such as carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, hydrogen chloride and hydrogen sulphide ………… this is the lesson for today folks!!) and a couple of geysers. The mud pots were fascinating so Simon took a video which I hope captures the wonder of it all.

Artist's Paint Pots

Artist’s Paint Pots

Artist's Paint Pots

Artist’s Paint Pots

Mud Pool at Artist's Paint Pot

Mud Pool at Artist’s Paint Pot

Sand at Artist's Paint Pots

Sand at Artist’s Paint Pots

At Fountain Paint Pots in Lower Geyser Basin we and about 500 Japanese tourists were lucky to see Clepsydra Geyser erupting.

Simon at Clepsydra Geyser

Simon at Clepsydra Geyser

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sand at Clepsydra Geyser

Sand at Clepsydra Geyser

 

 

Next we visited Biscuit Basin Loop to see more hot springs but we first of all saw two pretty blue birds (haven’t been able to find out their real names) who had made a nest inside a tree. For small birds they were making rather a lot of noise.

Black Opal Spring at Biscuit Basin Loop

Black Opal Spring at Biscuit Basin Loop

Blue Birds

Blue Birds

One of the most magnificent and famous sights in Yellowstone is Grand Prismatic Spring in Midway Geyser Basin. Simon took photos last year but was disappointed with how they turned out. Photos of Grand Prismatic are best taken from above in a helicopter but alas our’s wasn’t available today!! The colours are out of this world.

Grand Prismatic Spring

Grand Prismatic Spring

Onward to West Thumb Geyser Basin one of the smallest geyser basins in Yellowstone yet its location along the shore of Yellowstone Lake ranks it as the most scenic. It derived its name from the thumb-like projection of Yellowstone Lake and the name was given by the 1870 Washburn Expedition. It has less geyser activity than other basins but for its size, has it all, hot springs, pools, mud pots, fumaroles and lake shore geysers.

West Thumb Lake

Fishing Cone at West Thumb

Fishing Cone at West Thumb

Bluebell Pool at West Thumb

Bluebell Pool at West Thumb

We also saw two Japanese tourists who had gotten married and then were visiting the Basin. How wonderful.

Wedding Couple at West Thumb

Wedding Couple at West Thumb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We called into Grant Village for refreshments and ended up having pizzas!! They were delicious but again Steve sorry, I don’t have any photos! This will be rectified very soon! I did however, take a photo of Simon enjoying a few moments in a rocking chair while he waited for me to complete my shopping. He’s still not wearing a hat and I’m afraid you can still see his little ‘lilly whites!!’

Si enjoying his rocker!

Si enjoying his rocker!

On the way back to our hotel I was looking at the map when something caught my eye and I knew immediately we would have to stop off to visit and take photos of …………… Mystic Falls!!!! To all the Vampire Diary fans reading this, and you know who you are, you will appreciate my excitement. We had to do a two-mile round trek to get there and back but when we arrived a most magnificent sight greeted us. No, it wasn’t Damon or Stefan and in fact the Mystic Grill was missing too but we did have a magnificent waterfall to look at!!!!!!

Mystic Falls

Mystic Falls

Sand holding up a tree trunk on the way back from Mystic Falls!

Sand holding up a tree trunk on the way back from Mystic Falls!

Last but not least on our travels today we came across signs for the Continental Divide. The Continental Divide of the Americas is the principal and largely mountainous, hydrological divide of the Americas. The Divide extends from the Bering Strait to the Strait of Magellen and separates the watersheds that drain into the Pacific Ocean from (1) those river systems that drain into the Atlantic Ocean (including those that drain into the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea and (2) along the northernmost reaches of the Divide, those river systems that drain into the Arctic Ocean.

Though there are many other hydrological divides in the Americas, the Great Divide is by far the most prominent of these because it tends to follow a line of high peaks along the main ranges of the Rocky Mountains and Andes, at a generally much higher elevation than the other hydrological divisions.

Do I sound as though I’ve swallowed Wikipedia? It’s such a good source of information! Anyway, taking all that into account we of course had to stop off for a photo opportunity.

Sand and Simon at the continental Divide

Sand and Simon at the Continental Divide

One interesting thing we’ve seen whilst travelling around the Park are snow sticks. These are poles that measure the snowfall during the winter. They are all along the side of the road and some we saw in the southern part of Yellowstone were about 12-15 feet tall! They sure do have some magnificent snow during the winter months.

One thing I keep forgetting to mention is that we are again doing the Licence Plate Game. Some of you will remember we did this on our trip last year and for those who don’t know it involves a board with every state of the US on it and we have to try and see all the licence plates of the 50 States and mark this off on the board. Last year we got down to needing just two, Hawaii and Delaware, but were told the chances of seeing those States was very unlikely.

Licence Plate Game

Licence Plate Game from 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, I’m pleased to report that as of today, only eleven days into our holiday, we already have 44 of the States!! All we need now is the board to mark them off on as we are writing them down on a piece of paper!