Saturday, August 31, 2013

From Yellowstone to the Grand Teton

August 30th,  2013 and we have now traveled 5,119 miles.

At 8.24 a.m. we left West Yellowstone.  It is to be a short drive to the Grand Teton National Park as it is only about 60 to 70 miles.  We passed by a few of the hot springs we've become so accustomed to seeing.  We said goodbye to Old Faithful until the next time.  We saw the sign and drove on by remembering the lovely time we had there. I am not sure when we will return but we will be back one day.

We also said goodbye to the now familiar 1936 touring buses from the Old Faithful Inn, which I read have been converted to run on ethanol.  It still has its semaphore turn signal on the driver's side, a requirement for buses operating in Wyoming.

At 8.40 a.m. we took yet one more photo of a buffalo lumbering along at a very slow amble, to where I have no clue.  You wouldn't know by looking at them how fast they can move if they need to.  We saw one run across the road in front of a car.  Both driver and beast looked startled as he had just come out of the wood. We were glad the car was sticking to the suggested speed limit as he was able to slow down enough for safe passage.

9.00 a.m.  we saw a Great Blue Heron.   Not a very good photo, too far away but I think I'm going to add another line to the Traveler's Code, "At least it's something!"

10.09 a.m. We are driving by Lewis Lake.  We stopped by to look at it and saw shoes on a log.  Where are those people?  We saw no sign of a family, no sign of a car and it will have to be one of life's puzzles.  Who would go for a walk on that rocky 'beach' without their sneakers and flip flops?  It's interesting that three pairs belonging to children face in one direction and the only adult ones in the other.  Yes I notice these things.

10.22 p.m. and driving by Lewis River having just passed Lewis Falls.  It looked really pretty but all the parking spots were taken and we had to be content looking at the Falls from the road.   

We are out of Yellowstone and now in the Grand Teton National Park, and no it didn't seem to take that long.

10.30 a.m.  We stopped at the first visitor center we came to in the park,  Flagg Ranch.  We were going to have a late breakfast/early lunch but it would be another half an hour before they opened the dining room.  We didn't want to hang around that long.  Gregg is now, however, officially retired he says as at the center he bought a knife.  "Why on earth have you bought that thing?" said I.  "Because I am retired now!" said he.  It is one of those fold-up ones you can take on camping expeditions.  I think he thinks I am going to go camping and sing around a campfire, and we'll need a knife to cut up wood.  Not going to happen but he's smiling.  He never gives up and I might add, thank God I put the first-aid kit in my emergency pile in the boot of the car.  I don't like knives very much but he is after all retired now.   Maybe I should buy an even bigger knife and tell him, "A knife, you call that knife?"  And pull my bigger knife out and say, "Now that's a knife!"  Remember the scene from Crocodile Dundee when someone tried to mug him in New York with a tiddly little knife?  Good old Mick brought one out the size of a machete and the muggers ran in the opposite direction.  But it's not going to happen, I don't like knives, plain and simple.  But then I have knives in my kitchen so I can't say much, though having cut myself on them occasionally I guess that's why I am so wary of them.

We stopped off at a view point overlooking the lake.....

and as we were standing there this chap on a motorbike rolled up.

We met Paul at 11.20 p.m.  He is from Chipping Camden, England.  We detected each other's accent and of course I had to ask where he was from.  Friendly fellow with a big warm smile.  He told us he is with a group of 36 people, all who have hired Harley's for their road trip over here.  He was away on his own for a bit.  Paul has a camera on his helmet and turns it on and off via a switch on the handle bars of his bike.  I have seen several riders with helmet cameras on our trip.  Paul was a very nice chap, Gregg said he's the kind of guy you would enjoy a beer with down at the local pub.  Off he went to join his 36 mates and we wished him a great holiday.

We met a young German couple at another overlook but did not get their names this time.  They must have been in their early 20's, from Borun (?) I thought he said but I must have misheard as I couldn't find it on Google Maps.  He did say it was near Cologne.  We took their photos and they took ours.   The young man said it was his second visit to the States as he went to school a few years ago in Philadelphia and that the Grand Teton reminded them of the Alps.   I asked them if they skied and they said in unison, "Of course!"  Everyone seems to ski in Europe.  

At the same viewpoint Gregg was asked by a Chinese gentleman to take a photo of a large group from Beijing.  He joked with them that he wouldn't charge much at which they all laughed.  They laughed at another joke of his but neither of us can remember what it was now.  He is very happy that he made a group of Chinese tourists laugh at his jokes!  

These cheery meetings are a fun part of the trip.   

We arrived at our accommodations and we were able to check into our room early.  It has a lovely view of the mountains and some trails we can take later on.  

In the afternoon we took a ride to see the area and one of the places we stopped at was a pretty little church we remembered from our last trip.  It is called the Chapel of the Transfiguration and you can read more about it here.   It's a favorite spot for photographers and sightseers.  Couples also get married here.  

Originally built in 1925 it still functions as an Episcopal church and services are held at the Chapel from late May to early September each year.  If you ever saw an old movie called "Spencer's Mountain", it was filmed in Jackson Hole in 1963, and this little church was featured in the movie.  The stars were Henry Fonda and Maureen O'Hara.

There is a very pretty print on the wall that I remember from our last visit.

As you can see from where Gregg is sitting, the size of the congregation would be very small.

There is a large window behind the chapel where the full beauty of the Teton Mountain Range can be seen in all its splendor. 

I told Gregg he is getting very artsy as he took this photo of me standing in front of the window as I was reading something on the wall.

This is one of the stained-glass windows as you walk inside.

These yellow flowers grow everywhere.

We left our little church in the hopes that we would also see it again one day.   

On our way back we saw more buffalo but these weren't wild like in Yellowstone and were fenced in, except for one.  This photo only shows a few of them.

On our return we went up to the main building and into their bar.  We ordered two ales and shared a sandwich.  The young man who took care of us was called Javier and he told us he was from Spain.  He was super nice and the three of us talked at some length.  Many of these young people who work in the parks are students who come over here to learn English and also to see America.

From there we came back to our room and watched the sunset go down over the mountains.  It was gorgeous.  Gregg read his book on his iPhone for a while and I checked on e-mails, but it wasn't long before we fell off to sleep, and so ends another day on the road.


  1. That brought back more memories since we saw all of that last Sept. However, your view of those fabulous mountains was much better than ours --since it was SO smokey when we were there last year. We want to go back. Hope you got to ride the boat on Jenny Lake and see the waterfall on the other side.


  2. The Tetons are certainly majestic and so is the park. I love the little chapel. I'll have to check it out next time I am in the area.

    I'm enjoying your travels.

  3. What a wonderful day you had and what interesting people you met up with. Love those mountains; love all mountains. I am still enjoying my ramble with you seeing the wonderful sights you are enjoying.
    Found the story about the 36 tourists all on Harleys very interesting. Way to go when the weather is fine.

  4. Beautiful Grand Tetons! I love that area. Your shots definitely do justice to the beauty and awe.

  5. pretty little church. neat about the motorcycle traveler. :)

  6. Hi! Nice captures. The mountain view photos are very beautiful. Wishing you a wonderful weekend.

  7. Wonderful photos Denise! It looks and sounds like you and your hubby are having a lovely time on your trip. By the way, thank you so much for adding all three of my logos to Today's Flowers. It was so sweet of you and such an honor for me. Thank you again!

  8. Ooh and aah. Again. Thank you so much.

  9. What a perfect road trip. Anyone who enjoys your photos as I do already understands that you do notice things :-)

    Asters are a lovely color and clarity too, D.

    from Honolulu
    Comfort Spiral

  10. Wonderful! Wonderful! Wonderful! I'm catching up on blogs now that it's the weekend. I recognize those places at Yellowstone. LOVE it!

    I love your views of the Tetons. And yes, Gregg did an absolutely gorgeously artsy photo of you. This is so much fun!

  11. You are both sounding very relaxed now and enjoying your meander across the states. So glad that you are having fun in retirement. The scenes and stories are fun to read.

  12. Denise I enjoyed this post too and the guy on the Harley was interesting I see equipment with speaker setup while travelling, no doubt to talk with his fellow travellers. I wondered if there was also a little video on the helmet, now wouldn't that be fun to record and talk while cycling

  13. Fabulous pictures, Denise, especially the artsy one. Fascinating to see all those shoes lined up ... did someone forget to pack them ... will they come back for them ...

  14. I just love the way you write. I could read all day long.

    The Tetons are close to my heart indeed. From Rigby, Idaho on our farm, we could see the tips of the Tetons all the time. It was a reminder that they were always there and only a short ride would take us there at any time. My mother was born in Teton, Idaho and what a wonderful of of them are there. I would live in that country in a second if I could.

    Jackson Hole used to be a neat little small town, but then Hollywood people took it over and it is not so much anymore. One of the best things about traveling is meeting people. I love talking to strangers and finding out their 'story'. We all have one.

  15. Lovely! It's so nice to meet different people and connect with them. What a lovely profile you have, Denise. The sunset was perfect.

  16. Denise, not only did I enjoy the travel commentary and photos and so now have put The Tetons on our "to see" list but that exchange about Gregg's knife purchase was fun to read. 8 am wife you on disliking knives, but especially guns. Then again, Gregg might need his weapon to ward off wild animals or skin a bear.

  17. What a stunningly,breathtakingly beautiful place! WOW!
    I'm guessing the shoes were drying out...perhaps were forgotten?
    Jane x

  18. I am so jealous of all you have experienced, but I so appreciate being an "armchair traveler" on your journey -- thanks Denise.

  19. I think the Grand Tetons is my favorite park. Got up that way when I was in training in Denver. Glad you have had such a wonderful visit. Loved the shots of the old bus and geysers along the way. Dianne

  20. I absolutely love your photos and commentary. With your folksy writing style, you should consider writing a travel book and memoir. You could even submit this as an article to a travel magazine, Denise. Please do consider this!

  21. I loved the Tetons almost as much as Yellowstone! Love the buffalo photos and the Teton mountain scenery is gorgeous. It is nice meeting tourist from around the world. Great post and I enjoyed the photos. Have a happy day and safe travels.

  22. Denise, I love the tetons and I have seen that movie as well as read the book! However, I did not know about that chapel! What fun! I will have to look for it next time I am there! What a great time you are having!

  23. A beautiful header with those far away mountains. I'm enjoying your posts (catching up after time away from the computer)and especially like today's. It looks very peaceful in that little church. Hope you go back there some day.

  24. OK, Denise...when you guys decide to take a drive, you take a DRIVE! :-) I honestly thought you'd get to the Blue Ridge, spend some time there, and head home. But, like true pioneers, you are EXPLORING! What an amazing vacation!

  25. I'd love to visit. It won't happen, but I'm happy you shared with us!
    My fave is the blue heron. I love the bird stretching in the previous post, too!

  26. I just scrolled back through all your Yellowstone pics. Looks like you had a fine time and saw some interesting wildlife. I loved the elk crossing the river.
    Beautiful header photo!