Hello from the Grand Tetons!
You will remember that last night I closed saying it had started to rain. Well, rain it did and so much so we ended up with a double rainbow. 🌈
So, to today.
It was another early start for us this morning …. up at 5.00 a.m. and out at 5.20 to photograph sunrise over John Moulton Barn. Regular readers of the blog will know that in the past we have photographed sunrise over the T.A. Moulton Barn hence doing the other one today!
We arrived at 5.30 and it was a rather chilly start, 36ºF in fact. There were already photographers eagerly awaiting and anticipating the sunrise. As always, everyone’s chatting with each other as we wait and wait and wait. There are stamping feet and clapping of hands trying to keep warm as we stand in wet grass. Crazy or what!?
Sunrise is supposed to be at 5.58. You can hear all the cameras clicking every few seconds as people start to record the build up and then the time arrives. Everyone’s peering rather nervously over their shoulders to where the sun will appear to cast the beautiful red shades over the Teton mountain range and down onto the barn below.
Only on this occasion a horrible black cloud moved straight over the sun and ruined the whole thing! ⛅︎ When it became apparent that today was not the day for the perfect sunrise most picked up their tripods and camera gear and slunk off muttering as they went.
Just as we were leaving one of the photographers rushed back to say that T.A. Moulton barn was in sunlight so we rushed down there instead and although it wasn’t a sunrise shot the barn did look lovely in the daylight.
Being a photographer and a photographer’s assistant can be very frustrating at times! There are many disappointments to bear before the one perfect shot is captured. 😔
We decided it was a good time to return to the cabin and go back to bed. It’s now 7.30 a.m. The next thing we knew it was 10.30e t a.m. We decided not to bother with breakfast but would have brunch instead in Jackson.
Before brunch we decided to do one thing we’ve been meaning to do for ages and that was to go up in the cable car to the top of the ski slopes as we’ve told the view is magnificent. En-route I look up what time they open and lo and behold they do not open until 31st May!
So we head off back to Jackson to the Snake River Grill, another recommendation and find they only open for dinner! It doesn’t appear to be our day! 😂
Instead we go to a place we had seen earlier called The Bistro. It looked very inviting and I see from the outside menu that one of the drinks they serve if a French 75. I conclude this eatery must be okay if they serve those to drink. One of my favourites.🥂It was such a lovely day we sat outside on a small patio.The food was excellent.
When I asked for directions to the bathroom I was amazed when I was told to head to the lobby and turn left. Lobby! In a restaurant. What we didn’t realise was we were actually eating in the restaurant of the Marriott Autograph Collection hotel called The Cloudveil.
We had quite a successful afternoon looking for wildlife! We came across herds of elk and bison and saw a uncommon bird.
At one point Si was in panic mode as he said there was something wrong with his camera as it wouldn’t focus. I pointed out that he needed to remove the lens cover to take photos everything was okay! 😂We all know it takes a woman …………..!
The news of the day is that Grizzly 399 came out of hibernation with one cub on Tuesday. Grizzly 399 is very famous and even has her own website. She’s very old at 27 years and people were worried she had not made it through the winter but she did much to everyone’s delight. She had four cubs in 2020.
Once she had been spotted at her favourite place, word soon spread and this is the result today. A bear jam!
Last of all on our agenda for the day was to visit a cabin we keep meaning to see but never do. It’s called the Cunningham Cabin.
The Cunningham Cabin stands as one of the valley’s few remaining structures from the homesteading era when settlers filed nearly 400 claims in Jackson Hole. In the 1880s, John and Margaret Cunningham staked a claim for the Bar Flying U Ranch. Cunningham built his cabin in 1888 in the Appalachian style, commonly called “double-pen” or “dog-trot.” John lived in the cabin until 1895 when he finished his main residence, and it later became a smithy and barn.
Cunningham ran a profitable ranch until drought ruined his crops and cattle prices fell at the end of World War I. As an agricultural depression persisted through the 1920s, Cunningham and other ranchers recognized the valley’s potential as a “playground.” Cunningham teamed up with neighbor Josiah David “Si” Ferrin to write a petition signed by 97 valley ranchers. The petition proposed a buyout of ranches to create a national recreation area for public enjoyment. In 1928, Cunningham sold to the Snake River Land Company who later donated 35,000 acres for park expansion.
A violent dark side of the ranch involves a gunfight at the Bar Flying U Ranch. Two Montana wranglers approached Cunningham in April of 1893 to purchase hay. Cunningham allowed the strangers to winter on his ranch. Rumors spread that the men were horse thieves. Next spring, a man claiming to be a U.S. Marshal, with three deputies, rode into Jackson from Idaho. Joined by Jackson recruits, the marshal’s men surrounded the ranch at night. In the morning, the posse gunned down the alleged thieves. The men’s guilt, the allegations and the marshal’s identity were never confirmed.
Finally, I’m pleased to say the snow outside our cabin has almost disappeared. We’ve noticed since we arrived how the landscape is changing.
Join us tomorrow for our last full day here in Grand Tetons.