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Race for the Sun

letter to family written 24 May, 2016

We have a new ritual. Dave sets an alarm for oh-dark-thirty, gets up, and checks the sky out the east cabin window to see if there are clouds in the sky. This morning, it is the clearest morning since we’ve arrived. Throw on clothes, throw our gear in the car, and start scraping windows. It is 25 out and the frost is thick. 

first light through a frosty windshield

 We thought we’d catch first light from Schwabacher’s Landing, but we didn’t start early enough. We made it to the Glacier Point turnout and caught a few post alpenglow photos. There was a photographer at the turnout when we arrived. He picked up his tripod and left shortly after we set up. After taking photos for 15 minutes or so we decided the light ‘wasn’t right anymore’ and packed up, just as carloads of other folks arrived with their tripods. Funny, everyone has their own idea of what qualities of light they are willing to capture — or not capture. 

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
make a wish!

Heading back to the cabin we decided to go see what kind of light was hitting the barns behind the cabin. A string of cars was already leaving the site — their optimal light already gone! We just wanted to play, and had one of the two barns almost all to ourselves. I had fun playing with different angles to photograph the barn from. If you were to google Moulton Barn images, you’d see a strong resemblance among the images as far as where they stood to take the photos. I just played with the composition, grateful for the low light angle that I did have. Dave discovered the foreshortening power of the telephoto lens he received for Christmas. It really does a nice job of tucking those mountains up close to the back of the cabin. 

one of the famous Molton barns on Mormon’s Row
Dave working on his landscape composition. Patience is key here.
I live this view of trees, water, barn, fence, and the valley

Soon we heard coffee calling and headed back in, anxious to see what we’d captured. Dave wanted to get even just a short hike in before a pre-arranged business call so he walked to a turnout near the cabin to see what was there. It turns out it was a great place to watch for wildlife. He saw a yellow warbler, a moose, and then a moose with calf down the ravine. So we confirmed, on his own Dave has now seen five moose on this trip and I am the jinx — he never sees them with me and I have seen zero.

 The internet was especially non- cooperative today so we headed over to the Visitor Center to see if we could connect over there. It was slow but reliable so that was good. By now it is noon and my tummy is rumbling. We trot over to Dornan’s for a sandwich, which we eat on their back deck watching the clouds build and darken the skies as the next band of cold rain heads up the valley to us. We get back to the cabin just as the rain hits the windshield. For the rest of the day we pretended to be aviators — eat until you are tired and sleep until you are hungry. I curled up under a quilt from home and ‘read’ with my eyes closed. I love my one-handed Kindle! 

Happy Birthday Mom!

I had Mom’s card already and silly me forgot to get it to the post office in time to get to NY for her birthday. We went into Moose today to go to the visitor center to use their wifi and look for map updates. While puttering I saw the table with the national park passport stamps … and couldn’t resist. So I hand stamped Mom’s envelope with the special centennial stamp and the regular park passport entry stamp. Then walked to the post office and handed it to the postman.

It rained most of the day. We didn’t even see any animals through the binoculars in the fields behind the cabin. As far as adventures go, the day was pretty non descriptive — except of course for calling Mom and hearing about the plans for a lobster dinner. I got a little sewing done.

Kathy doing embroidery for Karen next to cabin window looking out on Teton Mountain range
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