Yellowstone and Tetons

View from the cache!

I started my morning lying on the mountainside listening to the roar of the Yellowstone River below me and taking in the breathtaking beauty of the snow-capped Rocky Mountains across the river.  I came to this spot to find a geocache and as I lie there I mused upon how much enjoyment geocaching has brought to me.  After savoring this piece of paradise for a moment, I then decided to take a quick inventory of my body parts.  Toes move – check!  Fingers move check!  Hundreds of needles in my left side – damn!

 

I had come to this place to find a geocache to drop off a trackable and was immediately enthralled by the magnificence of the site.  I grabbed my bear bells and set out for the cache keeping a watchful  eye out for bear, elk, bison and wolves which are all in this remote area.  

When I got to the geocache site I discovered that it was tucked behind a large rock.  The rock was big enough to provide shelter for an animal on the lee side.  Being “Mr. Safety” I decided to check for wildlife on the other side of the rock before grabbing the cache.  I stepped up onto an adjacent rock and immediately went whoosh/bam….down onto the ground with my left side in the surrounding cactus.

It’s been almost 24 hours since the geocaching fun and I’m still pulling cactus needles out of my arm, hand and leg.  Good times!

 

Trail View

Mona and I then linked up for another day in Yellowstone.  We started with a hike along the north rim of Yellowstone’s Grand Canyon.  This is a beautiful area with the sounds of rushing water and incomparable views of waterfalls.  I’m still not sure if we wanted to encounter wildlife on the trail or not. Regardless, we didn’t see anything other than birds.

Mona loves buffalo!

 

Then it was time for another drive through Yellowstone’s Hayden Valley.  This is the area we’ve seen the most wildlife in and once again, we saw hundreds of buffalo and a large herd of elk.   In one spot the buffalo was within twenty feet of our car.  Love this!!!

 

Grand Tetons!

Now, we turned Red south and headed for the Grand Teton National Park.  We stopped at the first Ranger Station and asked where the best places were for wildlife viewing.   She recommended a gravel road by Moose Junction.  Off we go!

As we drive through Jackson Hole we see incredible views of the magnificent Teton mountain range.  These beautiful  snow-capped mountains, seemingly float on the water below them and pictures will never do this justice!  We don’t see much wild-life, even though there are lots of warning signs around.

 

Our first moose!

We start down the gravel road at Moose Junction and soon there is a pull-off.  There’s a sign here saying this is perfect moose habitat.  We agree it’s beautiful, but alas, no moose. We drive farther along the road and come up to a group of cars pulled off to the side.  We pull off and ask a passing driver what’s up?  He said, “Look behind you.”  We turn around and there’s a bull moose within 30 feet of us!   Our hearts pound as we get out of the car and start taking photos!  This is incredible!!!

 

After nearly exhausting our cameras’ storage we leave Mr. Moose and start farther down the road. Within 100 feet there’s another moose, a cow moose this time!  We were certain we’d never see a moose on this trip and now we’ve seen two!

 

Teton Pass

We pull into Jackson, Wyoming and stretch our legs a bit.  We debate staying here, but in the end we decide it’s just too crowded and not for us.  We head west, on a two lane highway, bound for Idaho Falls.  This route takes us through the Teton Pass which has very steep inclines of 10 degrees and which crests at 8600 feet.   More breathtaking views!

We’re not sure where we’ll end up tomorrow….can’t wait to find out!

(Still pulling out those damned cactus needles!)

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3 Responses to Yellowstone and Tetons

  1. Cristie June 9, 2012 at 3:31 pm #

    lol. so, did a bear push you into the cactus or did you dive into it voluntarily mr. safety? i never thought i would want to visit north but i'm loving this trip of yours. looking at water and islands is beautuful but so is this. pretty amazing

  2. MNM June 9, 2012 at 4:17 pm #

    No bear and the fall wasn't quite voluntary.
    The hardest part of writing the blog is picking the pictures. We have so many great ones!

  3. Sheryl June 9, 2012 at 9:51 pm #

    I want to see a picture of the bear bell. I think I would want I VERY BIG bell.

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