Ah yes, le GRRAAAAANDE Tetons, spoken as if you had a terribly thick french accent as aged as fromage. I had heard a lot about the Teton’s after growing up in Denver, those legendary craigy peaks, the climbing, the hiking, the wild life, where my best friend’s cat got his name – just eight-ish hours north of Denver. It seems it took me a little while to get here but it’s been on my list for a long time.
The Teton’s are rugged. They look imposing and impossible to cross, as if a knights quest existed to find the key to happiness and the charge was to cross to the other side of those peaks, if only one could trudge their treacherous trail to their eternal bliss. Actually if you are a lover of Jackson Hole and the mountain life then, really that’s all you need to do, you found your trail to bliss, get going. But if you are there to marvel at the scenery and hope to see an elk or a moose then you are more my speed. Our eight hour drive lasted closer to ten and it was dark and almost freezing by the time we arrived. We found a spot in a fairly crowded RV campground just inside the park. The next morning we went to check into the site and book another two nights. When we found out how much the cost per evening of the site was ($37 a night!) we decided to try our luck elsewhere. We were tipped off by a local who worked at a boat ramp that camping in the national forest was the way to go.
Armed with directions we set off for the national forest border and to find the best campsite ever. It was set back from the main road, the remaining banks of the river at its widest spring flood point, huge cotton wood trees and a bear box. We were set, and no while we were there we didn’t see any grizzly bears. Although we were thoroughly warned by two hunters each armed with a large can of bear spray, and, now that I think about it no guns. They told us the dangers of grizzly bears, which we knew all about and knew how store our food properly, but they still managed to get into my head and freak me out. What were we to do should a giant bear take interest in our humble little campsite? In order to sleep we came up with a contingency plan that if and when a bear rambled our way we would simply light our fire props, scare the bear away, extinguish the props then drive away in our chariot of safety. Seemed fool proof to us. Luckily it never came down to that daring scenario and we remained undisturbed at our peaceful campsite.
We only had two full days in the Tetons and I fell under the weather for one of those days. We took in as much as we could. We explored rolling valleys, we woke before the sun to watch mists rise off of lakes and plant life that had frosted over and sparkled in the morning light. We followed the sun and moose tracks across the hills. We took in the indian days of summer and spent them in sweet seclusion. Never rushing, just taking it all in. As always you wish you could spend more time in these beautiful wilderness areas and get to know the lay of the land, the best views and so on. But we had to move on to the next stop on our road trip. Maybe in the next life when my soul doesn’t feel so rushed to see everything. For now, the pictures remain.