We’ve set aside tomorrow for a trip to Yellowstone. Selected as an auspicious day by the happy collision of Memorial Day vacationers having left the park and the weather predicted to be the sunniest with pleasant not-too-cold and not-too-hot temperatures. Hayden Valley is about two hours away. The original plan was to stop there, but all of our neighbors think Lamar Valley further north is the place to go.
22 degrees at 5:15 on a Memorial Weekend morning — are you kidding me?? We stick close to home this time and decide to photograph one of the two Moulton barns that we can see out behind the cabin. Already the space for taking the iconic photo of the barn is colonized by a flock of photographers. Okay, so we find more creative places to wait for the sun to rise.
Just before sunset we went over the Blacktail Overlook where Dave had seen moose last week. The snake river meanders below the overlook. It was once a beaver pond which has now filled in with meadow and habitat favored by elk, moose, geese, ducks, hummingbirds, and yellow warblers. We got to try out new tripods — though mostly just on landscape shots.
Just a few miles up the road from the cabin is a place called Schwabacher’s Landing. More than just a highway turnout, it is an access road down to the Snake River. I mentioned this place in an earlier travel log. Well, the parking lot was packed and a few vehicles dropped off a dozen photo excursion attendees. Almost instantly the riverbanks which had the magic combination of being aligned with the Grand Teton and a quiet body of water are claimed by a wicket of tripods guarding massive camera bags.
Irrespective of hour or season, whether viewed on clear days or stormy, the Tetons are so surpassingly beautiful that one is likely to gaze silently upon them, conscious of the futility of speech. ~Fritiof Fryxell, 1938
After consulting the map over coffee we decided to drive some of the back country roads we’d never been on before to look for wildlife.
Thick and low clouds blanketed the hills to the east this morning, making us doubt that the sun could penetrate the gloom and light up the peaks this morning. But we got lucky and for a few moments watched dawn come to the Tetons. Over night snow visited the elevations around us and we could see fields that had been green yesterday look like cakes that had been dusted with powdered sugar.
The lodge has several dining facilities, our favorite being a throw-back to a diner with a serpentine counter and all seating is at the bar. The summer hire wait staff come from all over. Our server this morning came from South Carolina.
Months ago we set aside an entire month to spend at a cabin in Moose Wyoming, in the midst of our favorite park: Grand Teton National Park, making a long held dream come true.