Wednesday, July 19, 2023
Stats: 137 miles driven, 6 miles walked, West Yellowstone, Montana to Yellowstone National Park to Grand Teton National Park to Jackson Hole, Wyoming
We had a slow start this morning. I began the day with fighting a migraine. Thankfully it was gone by the time we left the hotel. It was obvious which way to turn for Yellowstone National Park because ALL of the cars on the road were turning in that direction, and the road was backed up due to the park entrance gate was nearby.
The plan was to do a hike around paint pots. We couldn’t find a parking spot in the area we had picked out so we continued down the road and found a spot at the next lot. We hiked up a high hill and could look down on a huge paint pot. Continuing on, we hiked to Fairy Falls which was beautiful and refreshing to feel its mist on our faces. The hike ended up being six miles.
We then drove to another crowded parking lot to try to see Old Faithful. The timing was PERFECT. It went off less than five minutes after we arrived. It erupts at various intervals, averaging 90 minutes apart. I couldn’t get over the fact that we got to see it without waiting.
As much as seeing the geiser blow, we enjoyed watching the crowd. When the wind blew the geiser water toward them, they screamed and ran. It reminded us of an amusement park when the flume ride splashes water on the spectators. Too funny!
Continuing south, we enjoyed the scenery. Today we saw one bison which conveniently decided to cross the road around the time we were driving by. We also saw three caribou. Two were walking on the road and a third popped out of the brush and joined them.
The going was slow, as there is a good bit of road construction going on. There were flagmen directing traffic and we’d have to sit for long periods of time before our lane could go.
Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks have a common border so there is no ticket stop between them. As we neared the border, we could see tall mountains with icefields on them. Come to find out, it was the Teton Mountain Range. They were magnificent and breathtaking.
I wonder if this is what the Canadian Rockies would have looked like, had there not been smoke. I was surprised to “feel” more awe as I gazed at these mountains. They were not that different from others we’ve seen this trip. We’ve been in Jasper, Lake Louise, Banff, Glacier National Park, and Yellowstone. Yet, the Tetons are my favorite so far.
They may have seemed larger because they seem to rise up out of a plain or water. Everything around them is flat. If there is a lake at the base, the water was dancing and glistening as though it was celebrating the beauty above.
It was also curious that the Grand Teton park seemed to have a different vibe from Yellowstone. It was more chill, relaxed, homey, inviting to me. It seemed like a nice place to hang out. The Tetons are very bike-friendly with many designated bike paths. It also helps that the terrain is flat.
Outside the Grand Teton Park, we drove a bit further south to the town of Jackson in the Jackson Hole Valley. We’re at a Hampton Inn there tonight. It, too, is a bike-friendly town and has a nice variety of stores and restaurants.
We walked half a mile to a restaurant. I had chicken pot pie which was featured on Diners Drive-Ins and Dives. It was delicious. Gregg had mac and cheese with pulled pork on it. We were too full and it was too late for ice cream – if you can believe it!
Tomorrow will mainly be a travel day into Colorado. We’ve decided to see a bit more of the Rockies before heading east. It’s almost tomorrow already. Hopefully this makes sense. zzzzz