Bucket List Destination #4: Verticals, Views, and Vacancies

We had a slow start to the day today, which meant I was able to fix breakfast for everyone (in addition to being far away from the park, our hotel doesn’t offer breakfast) and get a little work out in before the day officially started.

Grandmother stuck with her decision from yesterday and decided she wanted to stay in the hotel for the day. She said her biggest concern was the altitude–she said it made simple tasks like walking more challenging for her yesterday, so she thought it better that she just relax in the comfy chair in our room and finish her book with an occasional look out on our deck over the pine trees. Add the altitude issues to the long drives we’ve done and the long drive to the Grand Canyon coming up, and she was perfectly content to stay behind. I felt bad leaving her, but she insisted that we go on. And anyway, she hoped to have a “visit” with her sister by telephone while we were gone, and that would take at least an hour of her day. 🙂

Tim and I headed back toward Jackson and stopped for some supplies before returning to Grand Teton. Our first stop was Jenny Lake where we caught the ferry to the west shore for a hike up to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point.

DSC_0482All I can say is WOW! Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! The views of the mountain range were amazing, and Tim said looking at them made him want to go home and read The Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit… or better yet, bring one of the books there and sit and read it. He said the scenes were straight out of the books, and reminded him of the mountains in New Zealand used for the film.

Hidden Falls... the sheer force of the water coming down these falls was amazing. Tim kept wondering where all the water originated... he couldn't believe it could just be ground water or snow melt.
Hidden Falls… the sheer force of the water coming down these falls was amazing. Tim kept wondering where all the water originated… he couldn’t believe it could just be ground water or snow melt.
Inspiration Point with Jenny Lake in the background
Inspiration Point with Jenny Lake in the background
Tim was "inspired" to make friends with this chipmonk
Tim was “inspired” to make friends with this chipmunk at the point…

After the hike and another ferry ride, we took a detour up Lookout Mountain for panoramic views of the park before heading back to the base of the range to do some animal patrol and catch some more views of the mountain range.

DSC_0503I think the animals must have heard Grandmother stayed home and decided to stay home as well because we did not see any animals until we were almost out of the park on our way back home! There was a large herd of bison near the park exit that offered a farewell to us, but no moose or eagle or goat or bear or wolf or any other creature had the same courtesy. 😛 The guide book made it seem like we’d see oodles of animals, so it just set us up for disappointment!

A final stop at this historic site before heading back
A final stop at this historic site before heading back

DSC_0507Once we got back to the hotel, we headed to dinner at the lodge restaurant and ate on the patio. We had a view of the ski lifts and other ski village activities the hotel offers in the winter and tried to imagine what it would be like to be here with snow on the ground… but agreed we were glad not to find out. One of the waiters said that there was snow here two or three weeks ago! I think, after the winter we had, I might have cried if it snowed while we were here. 😉

Tim did laundry tonight so that we’d start the next leg of our trip with clean clothes, and Grandmother and I looked at all the pictures from the day’s adventures. We also looked up some possible stopping points of interest in Utah to help break up our trip toward Grand Canyon tomorrow and the following day.

We decided not to rush out tomorrow, and try to do just seven or eight hours of the fourteen hour trip to our next stop. We will still have an evening and a full day at Grand Canyon with this itinerary, which should afford us at least a taste of what the canyon has to offer.

It’s crazy to think we’re halfway through our trip. I know the next half of the trip will be over in a blink!
L

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