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Monday, June 27, 2011

But Wait, There’s More!

How often have we heard these words when listening to a commercial on TV or the radio.  That’s kind of how I felt this morning as we set off on our adventure today – our last full day here at Yellowstone.  We had pretty well covered the park already in our previous adventures, so today, we decided to go south through Yellowstone and do a quick survey visit to Grand Teton NP.

So, to beat the traffic again, we got up early and left the RV about 8:15 and headed into the park.  Two things we noticed – one, no traffic, which was great.  Two, no bison – wonder where they all went.  In previous trips between West Yellowstone and Madison Junction, we saw many bison on the side of the road and out in the meadows.  That is usually what caused the traffic tie-ups.  Today, we saw just a few along the way.

But later we did come across some really active thermal areas.  The temperature was 27 degrees when I got up this morning and the cool air really made the geysers steam more so they were really visible.

Along our journey we crossed and re-crossed the continental divide several times, all at different altitudes. 

One surprise we found on the road leading out of Yellowstone on the south side was Lewis Falls.  This waterfall, about 30 feet high, really had a high volume of water coming through it and it made for a high volume noise too!  Later on our return trip, after the sun had been melting snow all day, we noticed the water volume had almost doubled!

Grand Teton starts about 9 or so miles south of the Yellowstone boundary.  Interestingly enough, there is an entry station from the south for Yellowstone, but none for Grand Teton from the North.  When I asked a ranger about that, they said that if you enter Grand Teton from the North, you must have gone through Yellowstone and paid.  Makes sense.  But then why is it not also true that if you enter Grand Teton any other way, you already paid at entry, and if you head north into Yellowstone, you must have come from Grand Teton.  So why pay again in only 1 direction?  Weird.

The Grand Teton NP is all about the mountains and lakes.  The views are awe inspiring. 

The mountains are too big to fit into one picture!

Also, the meadows (and there are plenty of them) are filled with great looking wild flowers.

At the Jackson Lake Lodge, as you walk into their main lobby area, the mountains are framed in a great view.
Here is the same mountain view outside the lodge on the deck.
Note the highest peak on the left – that is Grand Teton.
We drove about 15 miles further southwest to Jenny Lake.  There the mountains appear so much closer and you can really see the detail.  These really look similar to the Alps in Bavaria.

This interesting formation below actually sits in the valley in the middle of the picture above.  I zoomed in with my video camera and was able to capture this peak.

After Jenny Lake, we headed home.  Total trip was 236 miles.  As you can see, the skies were almost totally clear all day which really gave great contrast to the snow covered peaks.

Tomorrow we head north to Helena for the night.  We were both sad leaving Yellowstone today and already are planning to return to both Grand Teton and Yellowstone for longer visits.


Judy and Emma said...

Yellowstone is a place that I found hard to get enough of! :)

Donna K said...

It's always hard to leave Yellowstone AND the Tetons but I'm sure you will find adventures awaiting in Glacier. Have fun you two!

Sue and Doug said...

spectacular photos!!..great vistas!!!

I.M. Vayne said...

Maybe them bisons said that they'd see'd yer vehicle before so there weren't no need to come out and pose fer y'all.

Russ Krecklow said...

Wow, lots of water in the rivers, and lots of snow in the mountains....makes for great pics!

Glad to see you didn't get turned around as you crossed the Divide!
Can you imagine how difficult travel must have been in that area years ago?

Nice pictures of the flowers and the lake. We enjoyed it there, but it was in the Fall when we saw it, and not so much snow on the mountains. Also, pre-motorhome days.