It’s just impossible to leave Teton National Park without “one more photo.” We woke long before dawn so we could catch the glorious sunrise. After two days here, we’re so jaded we thought it was just “meh.” Lots more interesting than anything we ever saw in Charlotte, however.
And then, we caught sight of a herd of elk in the breaking dark. A big buck didn’t bellow but made more of a keening sound to keep his herd of 20 lady elk together.
Later we saw a lone buck heading off into the hills. Our thinking is that he once had his own harem but lost them to Buck #1 in a dog fight. Elk fight?
This is the National Elk Refuge. In the spring Boy Scouts gather the antlers that have been shed over the winter and sell them in an auction in the square in Jackson.
Early morning is the best time for animal sightings. After the elk, we saw a few mule deer.
Interesting fact, courtesy of the National Park Service: Moose can dive up to 18 feet deep in the chilly rivers. Maybe most of the moose of the Tetons were under water and that’s why we have seen only one. No water on the mountaintop.
At mid-morning we went to see the T. A. Moulton Barn, the most photographed barn in Wyoming. It was built by a Mormon farmer in the early 1900s and creates a striking image before the Grand Tetons.
Only that wasn’t the Moulton Barn. It was an imposter that was surrounded by cars, meaning people taking photographs. The real Moulton was on the opposite side of Antelope Flats Road.
They do look pretty similar. It’s the Sunday newspaper picture quiz: How many differences can you spot? We wonder how many people have made the same mistake as us and missed the real thing. The only reason we figured it out is that our first pictures didn’t match the postcard.
Then it was on to our last views of the mountains before we leave this wilderness paradise.
We stopped for breakfast at 10 at the Jackson Lake Lodge, which was closing for the season at 11 today. (Big staff party at 5PM!) We’ve been impressed with all the lodges in the park and all the men and women from all over the world manning them. Each worker wears a nametag with place of origin. Laura from Argentina, an avid snowshoer, gave us our last farewell at the serpentine grill.
Overheard from a fellow traveler: “The best hotel lobby view in America.” Can’t argue with that.
We’re finally at the northern fringes of Teton National Park so we’re ending our obsession with mountain views…and moving on to animals and geysers in Yellowstone.