Grand Tetons II: In Which I Might As Well Be Elsa

photography, pnw & travel

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We woke up fairly early this morning again – I gotta admit, I’m tired. I have not slept hardly at all on this trip, and I am really looking forward to our real bed again.

But anyway, back to reality: it snowed!! The first real, real snow. I was very excited. It was a light, feathery snowfall, & it clung to most of the chilly morning and afternoon. We saw some beautiful Trumpeter swans & geese on the national elk refuge. Supposedly there are over 40,000 Trumpeters now, but in the 30’s there were only 70 of them in the lower 48, until they discovered thousands in Alaska, and repopulated the Yellowstone/Teton/Jackson area. So they’re still technically endangered, but they’re making a comeback!

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We saw these moose in the frosty morn. I didn’t realize until I was editing this photo that there were actually two moose out there! Do you see #2?

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We went back to Cunningham Cabin to get some better shots, maybe even a Christmas photo. We worked SO hard to get this stupid Christmas card photo, so if you receive one, cherish it for life, even in its mediocrity.

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I didn’t want to mess up the pristine snow in front of the cabin, so we had to set up the tripod, then cut around the back, giving a wide berth, climb in through the broken back wall of the cabin, and edge along under the eaves. Then the phone remote clicker disconnected. Dah! So I had to go back through the broken wall, give the property a wide berth, reset the camera, retrace my steps around the cabin, squeeze under the eaves, after which it disconnected AGAIN.

It was pretty cool that we were the first people there that day – no one messed up the snow but us!

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Sooo, after we finally left the cabin, we checked out Cattleman’s Bridge (where it used to be) which was a pleasant little area with only the swans to keep us company. We’ve seen hardly *anyone* here (and the one dude we *did* see may very well be trampled in a field near Moose Junction). We drove to Colter Bay campground to check out the winter camping situation. We didn’t see any info posted, so we checked with a park ranger, and it turns out we can’t camp there until the winter camping opens up in December. The best option he had was to pull off the side of the BLM road and camp, where he said no one would bother us. We’re going to motel it again. The poor motel clerk is going to think we’re crazy.

Colter Bay

Colter Bay

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In the early afternoon, we took a hike. We wanted to do Jenny Lake, but guess what? That part of the park is closed – the story of our life on this trip. We could only do Taggart Lake, which actually turned out to be pretty awesome.

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It was about four miles, a little bit of climbing (enough to shed our coats) through snowy forests, with wintry creeks, lots of hills with Snowbrush, a shiny mountain lake, lots of fresh powdery snow to eat, and hardly any people! It was cold, the air was fresh, we saw all sorts of animal tracks – deer, moose, rabbit, squirrel… and we think, a dog. A tiny one. Definitely more our style than the crowded Emerald Lake hike at Rocky Mountain.

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So now our time here is drawing to a close. We are going to wake up really early tomorrow to try for some more bird photos at the elk refuge before we head to Idaho & Oregon.

Cheers.

Anna & Jim

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