Tuesday, September 18, 2012

First taste of the Tetons (for this trip)

The word of the day is Smoke! The Horsethief Canyon fire is being contained, but the smoke in the Jackson valley is heavy. It has really obscured the mountains from view, but promises some great sunsets. The scratch in my throat reminds me of the Khumbu Cough and Nepal.

Usually the mountains are distinct, but they can only be seen close up and even then they are very hazy. It adds a little mystery to the Tetons and highlights some of the features, but the camera does not capture them well.

On the wildlife side, chalk up several pronghorn, a bull moose, a bull elk and a large herd of buffalo. And the Common Tourista-Photographus which can often be seen along roadways. One way to identify the Cluelessous-Stupidous subspecies is their frequent proximity to large wild animals, such as standing several yards from a 1 ton bison. While they respond to 'Yo! MORON!' by turning and looking at you, they fail to behave responsibly and it is not uncommon for them to be injured or killed by other wildlife.

I'm staying at a little cabin in Kelly, Wyoming. It has great views of the Teton range and good access to Grand Teton National Park. Being on this side of the Teton range also provides great views of Grand Teton and rest. 

For those of you unfamiliar with the Teton Range, they are not your usual mountain range with foothills. They are uplift mountains with the fault line on the East side. They are nearly vertical on the east side and very dramatic. When hiking in the Tetons there is very little warmup, elevation gain is the name of the game! Fortunately, there are also several canyons and valley hikes that provide a more gentle hike.