Monday, June 3
June 3 and we had snow and sleet showers today. We left Jackson WY and drove through Grand Teton National Park once again, from south to north. There was one small piece of it we did not spend much time in, Coulter Bay, but otherwise we have covered most of it.
On our way through the park, we stopped at an overlook where Ansel Adams took a very famous photo of the Grand Teton. My picture did not come out as well as his, must have been the fault of the time of day and angle of the sun.
As we continued north to Yellowstone, the air became colder. We were climbing again from Jackson’s 4500 feet in elevation to 7500 feet for Yellowstone. (All elevations approximate and vary from location to location.) The skies became cloudy. We were back in mountains and forests, rather than looking at them from the valley.
You may not remember, but Yellowstone had a major fire in 1988. It burned over 30 percent of the park and generated great controversy and criticism of Park Service actions. 25 years later, the political and social climate has changed. We recognize much more that fire is part of nature and it is necessary for certain types of regeneration in the forest. But, we still look at downed trees and areas of shorter trees and can only imagine what it looked like 30 years ago.
We spent considerable time at West Thumb. This area is an arm of Lake Yellowstone and was created through a volcanic eruption. Fifty years ago, the West Thumb area was the heart of the park, this area came to people’s mind when Yellowstone was mentioned, not Old Faithful. Over time, views changed and much of the buildings housed here were taken down and a new complex created a little ways to the east, to what is now Grant Village.
We went on two ranger hikes around the West Thumb thermal area. No major geysers here, but numerous fumeroles (Steam vents), mud pots and thermal springs. Some interesting tidbits: a. the Park Service used to have a fish and cook program whereby people could cook the fish they caught in a hot spring; and b. a few days ago, a young elk wandered into one of the pools and died, you can still see some of its bones.
The morning hike was colder and mosquitoes have hatched. The afternoon hike was not as cold but we were very thankful we had hats,gloves and winter jackets. Evidently this type of weather is not unusual for Early June.
The percentage of international visitors remains high. We spent Monday night at Lake Yellowstone Hotal. There were a group of English people there who owned Bentley automobiles. They had 18 Bentleys of differing models that they had shipped over from England to L.A.. The group was taking a leisurely drive to Vancouver, British Columbia.
Dinner was at the dining room in the hotel. Several of the restaurants, hikes, and lodging accommodations are not yet open.
Trying to walk by the lake after dinner was not people friendly, more mosquito friendly.
Since Internet and cell coverage was almost non-existent, today’s post is delayed.
Ed and Chris June 5 8 AM