I have a lot to catch up on with the blogs. We have been very busy the last few weeks, with visitors, wildlife sightings, packing up the rig, working 8 days in a row, and driving back to Wisconsin. I will split this up into several posts. First up: visitors and wildlife.
September is a beautiful time to visit Grand Teton National Park, as the colors are changing, and the wildlife are very active. It is the third busiest month in the park, and the weather can be hit or miss. We had some visitors of our own, Mike and Sue, friends since college, drove out from Wisconsin to visit. Mike was going elk hunting in Idaho, so he was only able to stay for one night, but Sue was able to spend several days hanging out with us.
We managed to give them a brief tour of GTNP, including a stop at the now peaceful String Lake. During the summer months, this is a very popular area for swimming, kayaking and stand-up paddle boards.
We went up by Jackson Lake, and were shocked by how much the lake has dropped since we saw it a month ago. It should be a good crop of potatoes this year, as Idaho has taken plenty of water from the lake! Idaho has water rights to remove water from the top of Jackson Lake and due to the lack of rain they took a considerable amount this year.
A short drive north of Jackson Lake brought us to the Berry Creek Fire area. It was sad to see acres of burned forest land, but it will be interesting to watch this area rejuvenate over time.
During our drive through the park, we spotted a lone female moose.
Along with a large heard of pronghorns, including a mama with two hungry babies!
After Mike left the next morning, the three of us headed out to a short 4 mile hike to Taggert Lake. GTNP has so many excellent hiking trails, and the views never get old.
After our hike, we starting driving around and noticed a number of cars pulled off the road, but we could not see what they were looking at, so we pulled over and walked about 100 yards to where the crowd was standing. And we were glad we did! At first, we just saw a head of a moose pop out of the willows. But then mama came into full view, followed by a pretty good sized baby. We watched them for a while until they walked back out of view.
Dan and Sue spotted a bull moose on the way to the airport the next morning, but it was too dark to get a good picture. So on our next day off from work, we left early in the morning to see if we could spot him again, and we were in luck. He was still hanging out down by the airport. The pictures are not the best, as it was early morning, and he was pretty far away.
I did remember to turn around and take one shot of the mountains while we were watching the moose. You can see the airport on the left. Jackson Hole Airport is the only airport located within a National Park.
We drove over to the same spot we saw mama and baby moose the prior week, and there was no one around (people that is), so we pulled over and started walking along the river. Dan was about 30 yards ahead of me, when I saw him jump up and quickly start walking backwards. Turns out he practically ran right into mama and baby moose, as they were on the opposite side of the river! Dan was less than 10 yards from the mama moose as she looked right up at him as she was eating some vegetation. Did you know more people are killed by moose than bears? I managed to take a quick picture of mama moose peering up at me, before we both walked away to a safe viewing distance. I just love the expression on her face!
We walked away from the moose to a safe viewing distance, and both of them got up and started grazing. The baby was very curious, and would look over at us.
We capped off our moose-filled day by having lunch with our friends Tom and Ellen. Ellen’s daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter were visiting with them up in Yellowstone, and came down hiking for the day in the Tetons. It was a great way to end a wonderful day!
It was a busy, but great week with visitors. We started packing up the fifth wheel and getting ready for our last stretch of work. (that will be for the next blog)
Quote for the day: “We do not remember days, we remember moments.” – Cesare Pavese