When we awoke this morning we were already concerned on how the day would turn out because it was cloudy and thunderstorms had been predicted. Then, when we went to breakfast we were told that today was the first day of buffet breakfast and we could not order off the menu. We were not impressed because we both wanted the banana bread french toast with strawberries. Anyway, I’m pleased to report that the clouds cleared, the sun appeared and we have had a glorious day hiking, taking lots of beautiful photos and meeting some very lovely people.
We started with a 3.2 mile round trip to see Taggart Lake. We didn’t do our research very well and were rather taken by surprise when, first of all, it was all up-hill but not too steep and then we were confronted by snow and muddy patches! Needless to say, both of us did not have our wet boots on. On the way back down Simon stood on snow that gave way and he ended up with rather wet shoes and socks and I fell over and got my trousers wet!!
After being constantly advised to be ‘Bear Aware’ the whole way up we were, as advised, making lots of human noises and clapping our hands. Simon had seen some programme on television where a guy said to keep calling out ‘Hey Bear’ so the critter would not be surprised to see humans, so the whole way up he was repeating it over and over! We took the rather expensive bear spray but thankfully did not need to use it.
En-route to the top we passed the most amazing rapid water, at one point being the closest we’ve ever been, apart from when we did white water rafting. Si took a video.
Taggart Lake is a natural lake standing at 6902 feet above sea level and a 2005 study of the water quality of the lakes in Grand Teton National Park indicated that the lakes in the park were still considered pristine and that they had not been impacted by air or water pollution. This was very obvious to us when we arrived and saw how crystal clear the water was.
We meet a few people on our way to the top and must give a special mention to Terry from Oregon and her niece Traci, from Irvine, California. They were visiting the Tetons and then travelling on to Yellowstone before Traci had to fly home. Traci’s husband had arranged the trip for her as a Mother’s Day present. He’s obviously one very thoughtful husband. It was great meeting and talking with you both. Enjoy Yellowstone!
After our ‘work out’ we decided it was time for some lunch so went to the Trapper Grill at the Lodge at Signal Mountain where we were served by Kevin. He had spent some time studying in London so when we ordered sandwiches with chips he asked us if we knew that chips in the US were crisps and not fries. Bless! We told him we did indeed know that and he went on to tell us a story of how, when in London, he ordered fish and chips expecting fish and crisps and got …… fries. He laughed and said he then realised how so culturally unaware he was.
In the car park of the Lodge we saw some rather lovely vintage cars and after speaking to some of the owners we were told that they were part of a vintage car rally of 25 cars.
On our way to see Oxbow Bend, a haven for wildlife apparently, we stopped off at the Jackson Lake Dam and had the added bonus of seeing a moose in the trees. He was enormous and didn’t seem at all bothered by all the people taking photos of him. He just sat there munching away.
The Jackson Lake Dam is a concrete and earth-filled dam at the outlet of Jackson Lake. The Snake River emerges from the dam and flows about 800 miles (1,287 km) through Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon and Washington State to its mouth on the Columbia River in eastern Washington. The chief purpose of the dam is to provide water storage for irrigation in the Snake River basin in the state of Idaho as part of the Minidoka Project. Jackson Lake is a natural lake but its depth was increased by the dam to provide water storage.
The first Jackson Lake Dam was a log-crib dam constructed in 1906–7 across the outlet of Jackson Lake, a natural lake. That dam raised the lake level by 22 feet (6.7 m), but the dam failed in 1910. A new concrete and earthen dam was constructed in stages between 1911 and 1916, raising the maximum lake level to 30 feet (9.1 m) above the lake’s natural elevation, providing a storage capacity of 847,000 acre feet).
It was lucky that we saw the Moose at the dam because when we got to Oxbow Bend, there was no wildlife at all! In fact, we haven’t seen a whole lot of wildlife here, even though we’ve been told there is lots about. Hey ho, we can’t be lucky every time.
This is a photo of the complete Teton range. It’s 17 photos stitched together.
It’s been a rather long exhausting day so you will excuse me if I sign off now and go and enjoy a lovely meal and a couple of glasses of vino!!
PS: We went to dinner and ordered Kobe steaks. Well, once again we had to complain. Si’s steak was too salty (the chief agreed) and my ‘well done’ one was ‘medium rare” so once again we got a free dinner!