Headed to the Tetons to meet some friends for, most likely, one last Kayak trip in 2012. Took off Friday night after leaving work a little early. Decided to go up and over Pine creek and Teton Pass instead of the Alpine to Hoback to Jackson route. Its a little faster but you have to climb over the two passes. Heading up is no problem, but coming down, especially Teton pass is slow going.
Drove the Moose-Wilson Road into the Park and headed for Jackson Lake Lodge to meet up for dinner. Saw several small heards of elk. One of the heards had a large 6 point bull gathering his harem together. Got there in time for sunset at the back of the lodge. If you haven't been to Jackson Lake Lodge the view from the Lodge is fantastic. It overlooks Willow Flats, Jackson Lake and a great, unobstructed view of the Teton Range.
Got up early Saturday morning to get photos of sunrise at the Oxbow. The water level is low this time of year. They are not letting much water out of the dam. The trees were turning and probably a little past their prime fall color but what a great view.
We floated the Snake River from the dam, down through the Oxbow, and took out at Pacific Creek Landing, probably about 5 or so miles. Its an easy, relaxing paddle. Not much wildlife along the way but we did see 4 bald eagles and a beaver. Hoping to see some moose or elk but not this time.
After a late lunch our friends left and headed through Yellowstone on their way back to Island Park. Kris and I headed for the Oxbow and spent the rest of the afternoon along the river relaxing. Kris mostly napped, but I sat and listened to the elk bugle. There were three of them off in the distance, out of sight, and taking turns letting their voices be heard.
Once evening rolled around we headed for the hills above Triangle X Ranch on the east side of the Park. From there we had panoramic views of the entire Teton Range. Saturday night was a full moon. Twice every year the full moon sets in the morning over the Teton Range so we decided to spend the night there and see what sunset, the moon set and sunrise would bring. Here are a few pictures from that night and the next morning.
On Sunday, we made our way south along the eastern edge of the Park and then along the Gross Ventre River back west and up to String Lake. We recently bought some stand up paddle boards and spent several hours paddling String Lake. The temps were in the upper 60's and sunny and the water is always crystal clear at the lake. Had a great time and stayed mostly dry. No pictures of us paddling but a few from Sunday.
The large moose was on the north end of the Moose-Wilson Road. He was down the hill along a small waterway and was not cooperating very much for pictures. We finally gave up and were about ready to leave and saw him come up the hill briefly and into view. Would have been a good picture but he was several hundred yards away and a large crowd that was following him was already gathering.
Another fantastic weekend in my favorite park. Will get up there several times this winter for some snoeshoeing and photography. Will share more pictures then.
Mike and Kris