A Travellerspoint blog

Grand Teton and Yellowstone national park - Aug 2014

Respect for Mother Nature - 3rd Wedding anniversary

For our 3rd wedding anniversary, we decided to go to Grand Teton and Yellowstone national park. In this blog, I don’t think I will be giving a day to day account similar to what I do in my usual blogs. I feel that if I do, it will be a: we saw a geyser, Bison, Elk, Bison, Geyser,Elk…….and so on..LOL..But no if you think the trip was repetitive and boring, you are wrong. It definitely was not.. Lets see how I can do justice to the places

Grand Teton National Park:

Our original plan was to spend all the 4-5 days of our trip in this park. But when we read about the park online, we figured out that 2 days was sufficient..and I think that is true considering that we didn’t want to do any strenuous hike. On the first day, we took the boat across Jenny Lake and went to the Hidden falls and inspiration point hike. It was a pleasant day and nice walk. The hidden falls was very pretty (Well, you have to see it in person to believe it –and NO..my photo did not capture it that well). I really enjoyed the falls view so much that I wanted to stop by and see it once more on the way back from Inspiration point. And then we proceeded to see the inspiration point – It was a full view of the lake..It was good too. I know I am not making these 2 points sound very interesting, but trust me, they were..this point is rated the highest in any itinerary to this park.
Apart from this hike, we just stopped at all the viewpoints and took photos and searched for animals. The only downside was that the sun was too bright that on the first day, lot of viewpoints were very hazy. Let me see which of the viewpoints I can describe about. The first that comes to mind is Mormon row. Mormon row is supposed to be a famous historical district and I have heard so much about this place from my friend and how it looks in photos. So we decided to go and check it out. Honestly, Arjun and I thought the place was sooo blah… that I didn’t even want to take a photo of the place. But I anyways went ahead and took it ..just for the sake of taking a photo at the “historical site”..I think that place does not deserve 3 sentences worth of description. Oh my….:D

The next view point is Elk Ranch=> I wasn’t really sure what to look at since the mountains look Hazy and as I was standing at this view point wondering the same…Arjun points at the opposite side and we saw soooo many Elks..yaay..”. That should be a tip for anyone who wants to go to the park. Definitely carry Binoculars and look at the opposite side for the Elks. Talking abt his animal spotting skills, the best was in a point called Blacktail pond. He found a moose that was really really far away. Good eye I must say:)

The most beautiful view point according to me was Oxbow bend at sunset.. Must see. It was really nice and calm. People had gathered there for many reasons, to see the sunset, to see if a Moose came to drink water and just to take photos. Then there is the Jenny lake view point and Jackson lake dam, which were also good. The beauty came from the fact that it was drizzling and cloudy when we checked it out.

I usually like to save the best for the last. So this was my favorite memory of the Grand Teton National Park. We decided to do a 9 mile hike at Colter bay to Hermitage point. This hike is relatively flat and you wouldn’t find too many people on the hike. We started about 9:45 in the morning. And as we were walking in the forest, we suddenly see 3-4 elks all walking. The feeling of seeing wild animals in the forest when you are walking ..and not having the safety of your car (coz one part of me tells me that I can atleast try to speed away in a car if an animals comes to attack me – though the other part tells me that they will outrun me..) or anything can be unnerving. The worse part, we could clearly see that the Elks were aware of our presence. They scanned us intently..And one of the elk started walking towards us in the trail..I still remember vividly how we started taking steps backwards for every step that it took forward. But beyond a point, the elks ran away. We proceeded in the trail. But our mind set had changed. The fact that we were walking in a forest, in BEAR country , without a BEAR spray, hit us..and I don’t think I have ever been more alert on a hike before. Every small movement/noise was noticed..(Mostly the movements turned out to be squirrels, 2 birds making a noise as if they were fighting or in pain, and trees creeking in the wind)..for sometime, I was hoping that I want to see more human beings..But yeah, nothing really came by after those elks in the hike..it was just an alert walk through the park..and the end point of the hike was just soooo beautiful. If I have to describe it, it was just mountains in the background of the lake, sound of water and wind..but the place was much more beautiful than that..it brought a nice feeling of peace and happiness to me..i loved it, just sat by the pebbles at the edge of the lake admiring the beauty..and after sometime, we left the place..for some reason, the alertness just disappeared on the way back. And I wanted to see animals..Interesting, how the human minds think.

IMG_3061.jpg

Yellowstone National Park:

Yellowstone park is a hugeeeeee park with many little waterfalls and lots and lots of geysers, mudpools and geo thermal activity in general. It also has a loot of animals. We would have seen about 1000 bisons in the whole trip combining both the parks. I was really impressed with all the geysers. Seeing the holes and the hot water bubbling out, just made me realize how strong the earth is. Seeing the activity and the colors, I could help getting more and more respect for the power of Mother nature. The mammoth hot springs terrace was very pretty as well. We wanted to go to boiling river to dip ourselves, but didn’t find the time to do so. Grand Prismatic spring was disappointing. I had expected a lot from the place just based on the photos that I had seen on the internet. But all I could see was steam, not even the pool. Nvm..next time I guess.

IMG_3223.jpgIMG_3296.jpg

Oops..I had left the above draft incomplete after the trip. It has been 4 months now..and I think I might have forgotten the finer details. Hmm..let me see how much of it I can remember. Thinking back, I was pretty impressed with the Grand canyon of Yellowstone. Having visited the real Grand Canyon multiple times, both my husband and I very low expectations of the place. But it was beautiful. I guess the fact that you could see the waterfall flowing into the canyon (something that you can’t see in the real GC unless you hike down or something) contributed to the beauty. All the walks to see the waterfall were so worth it. I was completely blown away when I was standing at the rim and I could see the top part of the waterfall..wooow..It was so powerful and humungous. We even got to see a rainbow across the waterfall.

20140901_155323.jpg

One thing about the trip was we missed seeing bears in the trip and we would have loved to see one. I guess that is attributed to the fact that we saw a lot of bisons and elk only. Infact, we think we saw a lot of things Bisons do (not everything of which can be described here;)). So, on the last day, we went to Lamar valley with the hope of catching some new wild animals during sunset. And we saw this huge group of people. For a sec, we were pretty excited abt the idea of seeing some new animal. But it turned out there was a carcass of a bison and everyone was waiting to see if some other animal came to feed on it. Though the idea itself is gross, we ended up waiting too. We waited for nearly 2 hours. Nothing came and so we returned back in disappointment. The drive back was pretty scary too. In the forest with so many bisons roaming around and we had to be out on the watch and had to be extremely alert to avoid hitting one. We did see a bison walk in the middle of the road. I know it’s weird that I am putting in that detail. But the brown color blended so much in the dark that we felt lucky to have spotted it and avoided hitting it. As we were continuing the drive, after a long 1.5 hours of nothing happening, we suddenly noticed the road side geysers and it was spooky. To get an idea of what I am trying to explain here, just imagine that you are walking in a completely dark place with a torchlight, and suddenly a lot of white smoke (it is not fire – just white smoke) come out from the side of the road – We thought it was definitely spooky..lol..but yeah, after that we went back to the room and headed back home the next day.

In all, the trip was wonderful. Both the parks were beautiful in their own way. Getting scared in the hike encountering elk and ending up at one of the most peaceful hike end points was definitely my highlight of the Grand Teton Park. About Yellowstone NP, I really had low expectations for Yellowstone considering that I had already seen geysers in New Zealand and in Lassen Volcanic park. But Yellowstone is a world of its own. It completely blew me out of my mind. It made me realize the huge boiling fire on top of which all of us are living. It made me get real RESPECT for Mother Nature. In all, it was an amazing trip.

Posted by LakshmiE 13:38 Archived in USA Tagged park grand national yellowstone teton

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Be the first to comment on this entry.

Comments on this blog entry are now closed to non-Travellerspoint members. You can still leave a comment if you are a member of Travellerspoint.

Login