Out of nowhere as we approach the end of our two days hard driving they pop up in the horizon. Even though it was getting to the end of daylight and, we were driving in and out of rain and fog, the Tetons, specifically Mount Moran, sneaked up over the forest wall and we knew we were there. Or, so we thought. As we drove closer and between rain showers the majestic Tetons grew bigger. And, the grew bigger for the next thirty to forty minutes.
Again, we thought our destination, Coulter Bay, must be close when we saw the roadside warning of bear etiquette; stay in vehicle and do not feed the bears. Yep, you guessed it Coulter Bay and Tent Cabin seven was still a journey but finally we made it and was reunited with our oldest son, daughter-in-law and the star of the show, our grandson Hudson. After the reunion we settled in for the evening.
For the next five days we were overwhelmed with the natural beauty of the youngest of the Rocky Mountains, the Tetons. Each focal mountain seems to shoot up out of a beautiful lake. Lake Jackson and Jenny Lake are perfect settings for these massive granite expressions of the Earth’s violent nature. It may be morning coffee with Mount Moran in the background or sitting on a gravel beach enjoying the fresh cold water we found solitude even with others around us.
Traveling through the area and into Yellowstone we wanted to see nature. The big wide-open meadows held the promise of exposing its treasures. Like most Teton/Yellowstone pilgrims we wanted to see wildlife but having heard story after story of those who somehow missed seeing it we would not let ourselves be disappointed. We might see Bison out in the distance, maybe the stray coyote and of course we saw Pronghorns on the way, but the meadows proved bare.
But we would not go home with only stories of the beauty of the land as seen in the waterfall of Artist Point. While we were on one journey to the viewing platform of the Grand Prismatic Spring we walked up to a human traffic jam caused by a huge bull Bison standing at the entrance of a bridge crossing the river. He just stood there, people before him and people behind, as if mocking the crowd. For several minutes he allowed all of us the chance to get our pictures and admire his brute appearance.
While relaxing on a land bridge to a small island we heard there was a mother bear and cubs on the island. While relaxing we were all “bear aware”. Then further “up the bridge” we began to see people coming out of the island saying the bear is coming. Making her appearance on the coast f the island she stopped and took a long drink of water gathering her three cubs around her. Somehow, she had her cubs stay in that area while she made her way down the trail and around the corner to the land bridge. She stopped and surveyed the crowd on the bridge and took a couple of steps and stopped. Those closest reacted in different ways. Some simply backed away and others ran off screaming. Satisfied she controlled the crowd she took several more steps backing the people off the trail even farther. Now assured her cubs would be safe she went back, gathered them up and stately walked down the path of the land bridge with her cubs behind her. While many would be ecstatic with seeing a bear in the woods or one of the meadows we had the opportunity to see one just yards away and for an extended period of time.
Twice, while in camp two different fox ran through our immediate area. Both close enough to be worrisome. Evidently both of these had been fed by previous campers. We saw Mule Deer, the close up of a huge bull Elk, numerous Marmot, and several other Bison. While fishing we were graced with three River Otters and Landall actually saw the successful fishing expedition of a Bald Eagle. Speaking of successful fishing expeditions, well I still do not know what a successful fishing trip is and we once again did not harm any fish in our attempts.
We count ourselves blessed in that we have had the opportunity to see part of the beauty of what is in our very own backyard. This just “wets the whistle” for our eventual move into retirement and going full time in our 28 foot Rockwood. Until then we will travel in our immediate area and request you join these adventures by visiting and subscribing to our Youtube channel (Destination to be Determined), our Instagram gram journal (destination_to_be_determined) and our Facebook page (Donny n Debbie).