There's so much to do here in Jackson Hole we extended our two nights (with one full day to explore) into three nights. It gave us time to do laundry, catch up on some blogging because I have internet finally (none in Yellowstone's campground), and just enjoy gazing at the mountains and hiking along the river. We settled in on Sunday afternoon with enough daylight to walk down along the Snake river which runs in back of the campground. The tenters are right on the river overlook. Wow!
The next morning we dawdled a bit over breakfast then made a stop at the Visitor's Center to get hiking information. We decided to take a flat walk on the levee along the Snake River near the town of Wilson. At the .5 mile marker there were two female moose nibbling on the trees. Unfortunately, I couldn't get a clear picture because they were in behind the trees. We probably would have missed them entirely except for several other walkers who pointed them out. They really blend in with the scenery. We stood and watched them for a few minutes and then went on hoping they would come up on the levee to cross to the river for a drink. No luck. But the three mile out and back walk was delightful with all the fall colors and the bluest sky I've ever seen. We also came across a few young people with a border collie who was trying to catch his shadow. What a sweet little animal (reminded me of our Shaley who lived to be 16 and was our "circus dog" who would jump through hoops and do all kinds of tricks). The river is clearly down now and there is driftwood all along the dry places in the river. People tell us in the spring when the snow starts to melt it turns into a raging riot. I sure wouldn't want to take a whitewater trip then.
|Dad with Grand Teton peak in back.|
I'm not sure what "landscape architecture" is, we didn't get into that, but we've seen lots of buildings here in the west that are designed to fit into the landscape. I imagine that's what landscape architecture means -- designing buildings in comformity with the surroundings. There's definitely a different look here. The visitors centers and museums are often made with local stone and in different designs from back east -- simpler and more rugged. Lots of the log cabin type look in the restaurants with cowboy decorations: ten-gallon hats, saddles, dear and buffalo heads, antler chandaliers and door handles. It's really different from what we're accustomed to. And bronze sculptures, big bronze sculptures are everywere: bison, groups of elks, bears, moose, etc.
The temperature at the top of the mountain was about twenty degrees colder than the bottom. Brrr...ice and snow in the crevices. A sign at the top showed pictures of wildflowers and called the area an "alpine meadow." There were still flowers blooming among the rocks and it made me think of Heidi living with her grandfather on the mountainside and running barefoot in the summer meadows with Peter and the goats. The view down into the valley was breathtaking once I could look farther than my feet. I think I could get used to being that high. I never get vertigo on our own beloved Virginia mountains but they are an entirely different breed. I think the Massanutten is about 1500 feet as it rises from the dam below our house -- quite a bit smaller than 10,000 foot Mt. Rendezvous. And people ski off Rendezvous. Someone on the tram was talking about a teenager who was killed last winter when he fell head first into a snow well under a tree. Apparently the snow under the trees doesn't get packed down and he must have smothered when he couldn't get out. I hate to think of such things.
We looked for wildlife on the tram ride down but didn't see any. We did see lots of beautiful fall colors, but I kept hoping for a glimpse of mountain goats or bighorn sheep. No luck, only the shadow of the tram preceding us down the mountain.
Then back to the campground for a campfire. What camping trip would be complete without an occasional hot dog cooked on a stick over an open fire? The stars were brilliant in the dark, clear sky. So I've decided to name our little home on wheels la maison de les etoiles, the house of stars. We haven't spent much time there except at night sleeping under the stars.