Sunday, June 02, 2013


5/20/2013: Yellowstone National Park to Grand Teton National Park.

Today we got up, packed, and went to breakfast.  Nothing of note happened until we walked out in the lobby, and we saw Al Roker!  I don't really know much about the man, as I'm usually at work when the show is on, but I thought it was neat. Don't worry, I didn't do anything weird in front of him, I promise. I wanted to get a picture of my foot with him, but that really would have been weird, and I'm trying to be on my best behavior.  Mr. Lee took a few pictures in the lobby, and we left.  It was very cold, rainy, and icy outside, which sucked. I never mind the cold, but the rain and ice was nasty. Plus, it was screwing up my pictures! You need a lot of sun for the colors of the geysers to come out, so gray skies and rain just don't help.  We decided to back track a bit since the rain messed up our plans yesterday. We went to one of the geyser areas, thinking that the worst of the rain had gone, but no. We got halfway down the walkway and the rain turned sideways. By the time we got back to the car, we were dripping wet and freezing cold.  We stopped at one other geyser area while the wind and rain were going on, and we almost decided to give up, but the sun decided to show its face and so we finally had some light to work with! You wouldn't believe the change a little bit of sun made in the scenery! We decided again to backtrack a little more to see if we couldn't improve on our other pictures. You may not be able to tell much by the two pictures side by side, but I blame my camera because it was a huge difference.

 No Sun

After that, we headed on with our plans, and had an epic Stop-and-Shoot (TM) for several hours. As we drove through the mountains, we stopped at the Continental Divide:

We saw some waterfalls:


and a lot more beautiful scenery.  It was still cold, but the sun had come out in force, so at least we weren't in the rain anymore.  The higher we went in the mountains, the more snow we saw, and that just made everything more beautiful to me.  It was kind of bizarre, because I'm used to snow disappearing when the sun hits it, but we were up so high that bright sunlight shine on it and it didn't budge. I came to the realization that, though breathtakingly gorgeous, Montana and Wyoming had yet to just knock me over in awe the same way our other trips out west had.  Don't misunderstand me! It was still amazing and I was loving every minute of what I was seeing, but even the alien-like geysers were more interesting and fun than awe inspiring.

We were hungry by the time we'd been doing this for a while, and decided to stop at the next town we came to for something to eat. Unfortunately, there were no towns in between Yellowstone and Grand Tetons! There was a whole lot of absolutely no civilization! Even the camping villages we saw were still closed for the season, so we couldn't even go to the general stores and grab something.  Since we couldn't find anything, we really had no choice but to go on to our next hotel, which was the Jackson Lake Lodge. On our way, we saw two bears! Mr. Lee said it was rare to see bears, but we managed to see two relatively close together.  Granted, they were far away from us, so my photo of it looks like a black dot in the middle of a field, but still...bears!

The correct distance to take a picture of a bear is "Very Far Away."
There is a bear in there, though, I promise.

The lodge is one of those places that you'd imagine retired couples or families might come and stay for a couple of weeks during the summer. There is a main lodge house and hotel-like cabin rooms all around it.  It made me think of that lodge in Dirty Dancing for some reason. It turned out that we were there on their opening day, which I thought was neato!  I offered to give the new employees a training scenario to see how they would deal with a guest wreaking havoc on place, but they declined.  Boo.  We put our bags away and went to the lodge house for dinner, and when I walked into the lounge area I looked to of the giant floor to ceiling windows. You know what I said in the above paragraph about none of the scenery being awe inspiring? I was so wrong.  I'd never seen anything like the view from those windows. I didn't think you could see so much from one window, but the Tetons spread out behind the lodge and it was gorgeous. Snow streaked the mountains, and a field of colorful grasses spread out in front of it. It didn't even look real, it was so beautiful.  It was more like someone's ideal of what the mountains might look like. It punched me in the gut. Oy.


We had dinner in the diner, and I'm pretty sure our waiter thought I was flirting with him.  I didn't mean to if I was.  Eh, that's fine, even though he was probably around 19 years old and I'm an old lady, you have got to give the young whipper snappers a thrill now and again, right?  We also had another waiter who found out where we were from and asked us if we "were all Roll Tide."  What does that even mean?  We said yes, thereby lying and perpetuating the stereotype of people of Alabama (sorry guys), but it was easier than trying to explain why we are more or less unaffiliated and very liquid in our collegiate football loyalties.

We were going to go do more picture taking, but by then the light was going and we were tired. I took a few pictures of the gorgeous mountains, and we came back to our room. So much fun! It's still so hard to believe the world can be this beautiful.

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