Sunday, 25 September 2011

The Grand Tetons And Beyond

The first of many stuffed animals that we were about to see

We woke up early in order to make the last ranger led activity at Grand Teton National Park. It is the end of the season and we didn't want to miss out! We had to choose a walk and settled on Jenny Lake because 1) the lake was named after my mother 2) it included a boat ride. The boat ride was relaxing other than the fact that we had to convince Jonah that there were no sea monsters in the lake. He was pacified when told that if there was a monster, it would probably prefer to eat fish. Our ranger Mark, walked a really brisk pace! This was fortunately broken up by long intervals where he educated us on all things geological with regard to the Grand Tetons. Our destination was Inspiration point, going by Hidden Falls along the way. Although it was only 1.6km up to the top, our round trip took us 3.5 hours! Malcolm kindly omitted the fact that the last bit of the walk included a rather steep incline.

Heading towards the boat dock

The picturesque view of the Teton ranges from the dock

Nearing the range 

The children thought the expedition was highly exciting. They had participated to be junior rangers and so had to listen to our guide carefully! Once their worksheet has been filled out, they got to become a ranger and received a badge. They had boundless energy and manouvred the at times difficult terrain with ease. Mark concluded the tour at the top at around 12:15pm. We were too disorganised to bring lunch and so had to trek back down in search for food. By the time we left the Grand Tetons, it was already 1:30pm. Several places along the way had already closed for the season and so we continued onto Yellowstone National Park through the south entrance. Luckily Oma had bought some fruit which tied us over.

Lara taking the ranger program very seriously

Rest stops with amazing views

Climbing up along rock faces with no guard rail on the side

Ranger Mark

Made it! Inspiration point looking back onto Jenny Lake

The obligatory family photo

Stunning scenery everywhere you look

Can you spot us walking back down?

Waiting for Oma and Opa who had sore knees and hips

Yay, back on the other side of the lake  

Elliot and Lara signing the ranger register and swearing the ranger oath

Mission accomplished!

We pulled into Grant Village in search for some lunch. By this time, it was 245pm and it was ominous to see an empty carpark. The restaurant had already closed for lunch but were happy to give up soup and salad as take out. We agreed readily and set off with our pack complete with biscuits and bread roll in search of a shady spot. Our stop at the deserted Grant Village was not in vain for we saw a grizzly bear crossing the road! Feeling extremely satisfied with our spot, we pulled into the next turn off available which was West Thumb Geyser Basin. Lunch was relaxing, and we finished off with a walk around the amazing geysers.

Some of the amazing scenery in Yellowstone NP

Where we tried to have lunch

The view we would have had whilst dining;

We had an unscheduled picnic instead at West Thumb Geyser Basin


Soup and salad

Oh so difficult to get a photo of everyone that looks decent
We had one last stop to make we could head for the Three Bear Lodge. The Old Faithful was on the way to the West Entrance of the park. Our timing was good. We didn't have to wait long before it erupted. We were tired and glad to check into our home for the next 3 nights. Dinner was at the the Three Bear Restaurant next door. We managed to get some time to walk around West Yellowstone before settling down to get some sleep. A whole lot more planned for tomorrow!

The Old Faithful

Our home for the next 3 nights

The children LOVE their cubby room

Our generous balcony

Dinner venue

A beer with a very pretty label

Lara managed to polish up her plate of gigantic hamburger and fries

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