Grand Teton National Park

As much as I love traveling by myself, long solo trips are a lot more fun when I can mix it up by meeting friends and family along the way.  Marie, who also lives in the Bay Area, let herself be talked into joining me for five days in and around Yellowstone National Park.  I drove from Moab to Salt Lake City to pick her up at the airport, then we continued on to Jackson, Wyoming, just south of Grand Teton National Park.

Marie had been thoroughly warned about my habit of waking up before dawn to take photos.  Considering that she has little interest in photography and isn’t a big fan of rising before the sun, I assumed that at most she would be game for one early morning outing.  Nope – she was right there with me in the pre-dawn dark for three mornings in a row, including an attempt to get some interesting clouds in the classic/clichéd Ansel Adams view of first light hitting the Tetons with the Snake River in the foreground.  As you can see, the clouds (once again) declined to make an appearance.


Sunrise on the Grand Tetons and Snake River


Sunrise at Oxbow Bend

After taking sunrise photos Marie and I decided to hike around Jenny Lake.  Before starting out on the trail I looked at the map and confidently declared it to be a two-mile hike.  Four miles into the hike we hadn’t yet hit the halfway point, and, to her credit, Marie’s sarcastic remarks at my expense were subtle instead of blatant, demonstrating exceptional restraint.

On our second morning we were greeted with the same cloud-challenged sky that foiled us the first morning, so we decided to skip the Snake River Overlook and instead drive over to Mormon Row for sunrise photos with the famous (among photographers, at least) Moulton Barn in the foreground.  Several other photographers decided to start the day at the same location, as did a herd of bison that was thoughtful enough to make the scene a little livelier.


Sunrise on the Moulton Barn


Marie at the Moulton Barn

After a day and a half in Grand Teton National Park, our wildlife-spotting checklist was pretty lame:  just some bison, a couple elk, and a few marmots.  We hoped to do better in Yellowstone.