Wednesday, August 13
The crew and I leave Hoback Campground and travel northwest to Jackson, Wyoming, the place to which zombies make their annual pilgrimage. Gripping the steering wheel, I maneuver the Perfect Tow Vehicle through the hordes along the main thoroughfare. I avert my eyes from their vacant stares. What is the big “tourist attraction” anyway? I don’t get it.
My original plan was to receive Amazon packages at the Jackson UPS Customer Center.
As you know, I need to order a replacement for my damaged camera. One drive through the town of Jackson is enough to convince me to make another plan. I don’t have the fortitude to return to this!
The PTV carries us to Grand Teton National Park.
This is our second trip to view the Grand Tetons and they are, as one would expect, as magnificent as they were the first time I saw them. Unfortunately, my many attempts to photograph them without a viewfinder are pathetic. I somehow manage to make the majestic peaks look like ordinary, pointy rocks with clouds.
I’ve long heard that there’s great boondocking on Gros Ventre Road. One glance at the traffic is all it takes. Nope. Not going there.
Further along, I park in an empty turn-out to take photos of the peaks. Unlike the photo below indicates, the PTV and BLT are dwarfed by the mighty mountains.
What the heck is that?
Oh my gosh, bison!
In frustration, a large bull bison breaks from the others.
He runs back and forth along the fence, coming toward us and going away from us. Finally he jumps over the fence, followed by the others. A calf squirms under the bottom pole of the fence.
I turn my lens toward the road and manage to capture this bull as he pauses in the road in front of a car and looks at me.
I’m clicking away right along with them.
What I don’t realize is my aim is way off. Later I discover I have 14 photos of blue sky, 6 of grass, 3 of hooves in grass, and 1 of a bison’s tail. Oh, yeah . . . I also have a pic of the right front quarter panel of an SUV, suitable for framing. Anyway . . .
The bison keep coming across the road and jumping the fence.
What a sight! At one point, as everyone is engrossed in the spectacle, I turn and look toward the mountains. In that instant I’m transported to a time when bison didn’t cross highways or jump over fences, when they weren’t gawked at and photographed by excited tourists in a national park.
I stand transfixed.
The heads and humps of bison rise and dip like black dolphins in a golden sea as they gallop through tall grass toward the dark green forest at the base of the Grand Tetons. A passing glimpse of the American West gone by . . . .
Onward to our new camp!
At Moran Junction we turn east, climb up and through Togwotee Pass (9,658 feet) until we reach the rock formation called the Pinnacles.
We don’t return, however, because the road is blocked. Later I learn from Joe and Debbie, who have been camp hosts in this area for twenty years, that access is restricted due to the many pines killed by a beetle infestation.
Instead we pull into nearby Falls Campground.
I pay $30.00 for four nights ($15.00 regular/$7.50 with senior pass). I choose a site that opens onto a large field of grass. I’ll be able to let the crew run free here and no one will care.
The air temperature is comfortable on Thursday, our first full day at Falls Campground.
We manage to take a morning walk between rain showers each day. I bring the stroller that Bridget used when she hurt her leg. Spike appreciates being able to ride for the last third of the walk around the campground loop.
NOTE: I’m extending my “vacation” a while longer by not responding to comments as it is difficult to do so from our camp. (I drove into town to publish this post.)
I THANK YOU FOR SHOPPING AMAZON FROM MY BLOG . . .
especially during my absence.