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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Grand Tetons Adventure


After four full days in Yellowstone we venture to the Grand Tetons. This mountain range is only 40 miles south of Yellowstone but seems much farther due to the unique shape and size of the mountains. Little did we realize that the Tetons would capture us. We have seen the Canadian Rockies and the Tetons mirror the size and shape. What we did not realize is the lower number of visitors in the Tetons which was welcome.

The Colter Bay RV Park was a welcome location. The park is near the waterfront on Lake Jackson and includes full service hook ups. The sites are wooded, spacious and all should stay here. Another campground, Colter Campground adjoins the RV park and well suited for tent camping. The park adjoins the general store and visitors center. Baily and Bella and I ventured to the general store each morning for coffee and their beef jerky breakfast. They are watching their cholesterol now. I continue to drink my red wine to combat the arterial clogging.

The only Internet and cell service was obtained at the Lake Jackson Lodge. The bar is welcoming and serves very affordable drinks. The view of the Tetons from the lodge is spectacular. If you choose to stay at the Lodge, bring barrels of cash. The Grill Restaurant was good and much more affordable than the upscale dining. So, have a few drinks, enjoy the view and dine with the common folk.

Bring your camera for the views and wonderful moose. These majestic creatures are found more readily in the Tetons than in Yellowstone. At least that was our experience. Hike the trails and drive the roads and you will be beckoned for a return visit. Jackson Hole is 40 miles south and is worth a day or night visit. Be aware on the return drive for those large creatures on the highway. The Snake River awaited us.

Now we are beginning kayaks but the local ranger recommended the drift below Jackson Dam down to the Oxbow in the Snake. Sounded great to us. We ventured to the dam and put the kayaks in for a float. We gently floated down river for a hour, estimating the paddle up river that the ranger said would not be a problem. However, after viewing coyote, otter and the wonderful views we turned about and began the return journey. Now, it was about 6:30 pm and time for a well deserved beer. We made it easily for a short while till we encountered a large bend in the river. Past the bend we encountered a real river current. Little did we know that the dam had opened gates and greatly increased the current. When we paddled like mad for 15 min. looking at the same stump we determined the work was futile.

Like the brave explorer I am, I paddled to the rock shore and decided to summon help. Fortunately several souls were viewing the river nearby. The first "gentleman" I asked for help informed me they had just arrived and would not be leaving soon. Now, the drive back to the dam was all of 5 minutes by road. Offended, I asked another couple and they agreed and the Wife remained to visit with Denise while I attempted the rescue. I only hope the Jerk that declined to help us would encounter a situation in which he needed help and can be declined.

We avoided the long night on the river, fighting off bears, coyote, wolf and all other creatures. The Snake River was beautiful and we recommend all try the float. Just remember to plan ahead and have a pull out drive arranged. The skeletal remains float away soon in this part of the river.

All things considered, we enjoyed the Tetons and will return. Yellowstone was wonderful in its own way, but something draws us to the Tetons. We are on our way to Boulder and Golden, CO to visit Becky who we have not seen in 8 months. We well venture to southern Wyoming along Hwy. 191 finding a stop along the way. Please, please, make this trip. Your soul will feel the mountains and replenish the body.

Happy Trails,

Barry & Denise

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