Cross-Country Road Trip Vol III ~ Hot Springs & Grand Tetons

We headed towards the South entrance of Yellowstone – The Grand Teton’s were part of the planned trip and once finished we would loop back up into Yellowstone to see the north parts. I was just as excited as Jackie for the Tetons – as I had never seen them before either. But First – the Hot Springs.

I remember this spot very clearly (but likely only because of the pictures I took) from when I drove through with Reuben the year before; the colors and even geysers had changed a lot. Instead of an orange hue, this time it was green.

Bacteria Flow

Bacteria Flow

Contrasting greens. Maybe due to the time of year or other factors unbeknownst to me – the bacteria was many shades of greens and yellows with only a little orange here and there.

Contrasting Greens of the Bacteria flow

Contrasting Greens of the Bacteria flow.

Jackie & Rosie – with it being hot in the sun (made only hotter by the Black Dragon’s dark skin) the dogs couldn’t be left in the car for more than a few minutes. Yellowstone has a strict ‘no dog’ policy on most board-walks and trail areas (excluding service dogs of course). To keep both dogs safe and the Rangers happy – the girls toured in style – in the backpacks. Rosie took a few minutes to adjust to Jackie’s backpack – which wasn’t quite as dog friendly as mine; if your thinking of hauling a small dog in a backpack – get the kind that has a flap that buckles over the top instead of the traditional side zippers. Much safer and is more effective for keeping the dog where you want him.

Jackie & Rosie next to Silex Spring

Jackie & Rosie next to Silex Spring

Below: Teal Waters. One of my favorite things about the Hot Springs in Yellowstone is the abundance of bright blue and teal ones!

Silex Spring

Silex Spring

Close up of the deep teal. Absolutely mesmerizing!

Closeup of Silex Spring

Closeup of Silex Spring

Silex Spring Runoff

Silex Spring Runoff

Silex Spring Runoff

Another Silex Spring Closeup! If it wouldn’t boil me on the spot, I would love nothing more than to float in a spring just like this.

Another Silex Closeup

Another Silex Closeup

Paint Pots. The bubbling mud always makes me think of Sci-fi movies.

Paint Pots

Paint Pots

Red Spouter – huge holes that spout boiling mud.Red Spouter

Closeup of spouting hot mud – My old e-20 Olympus Camera still has it (in the right light and when it feels like it)!

Closeup of Red Spouter

Closeup of Red Spouter

Further down the boardwalk: Spasm Geyser.

Spasm Geyser in the Paint Pots area

Spasm Geyser in the Paint Pots area

River & I cruising the boardwalk to the Geysers.

Joannie & River

Joannie & River

Jackie & Rosie looking adorable.

Jackie & Rosie near Geysers

Jackie & Rosie near Geysers

Back in the Black Dragon, we did the Firehole Lake road which I hadn’t done my last visit to Yellowstone. With very few people around, it was very timeless feeling.

Firehole Spring along Firehole Lake Drive

Firehole Spring along Firehole Lake Drive

Closeup of Firehole Spring bubbling.

Firehole Spring closeup

Firehole Spring closeup

Next was the ancient White Dome Geyser.

White Dome Geyser

White Dome Geyser

The Actual White Dome Geyser – very impressive with the amount sediment built up. We didn’t get to see it go off but I imagine it is quite a sight.

White Dome Geyser

White Dome Geyser

First time I had seen a lake that really looked like it was on fire! Just imagine trying to tell ‘your people’ hundreds of years ago about the hot shimmering lake you had found that seem to be on fire – they probably would have forever thought you insane.

Firehole Lake

Firehole Lake

The colors made me think more of a Dr. Seuss world then our own.

Firehole Lake runoff

Firehole Lake runoff

Firehole Lake sediment formations – almost whimsical.

Firehole Lake formations

Firehole Lake formations

The picture of the famous Old Faithful Lodge we took this trip wasn’t very good (Jackie..) so I used the one from my previous trip for the full effect!

Old Faithful Inn - From 2012 trip

Old Faithful Inn – From 2012 trip

The Old Faithful Inn (I keep trying to call it ‘Lodge’) is a pretty impressive place to visit – not sure I would stay with the amount of traffic it sees though.

Jackie in Old Faithful Inn

Jackie in Old Faithful Inn

Jackie was quite taken with it – he is a die hard fan of all things western and log cabin. A Cowboy at heart my brother is.

Inside of Old Faithful Inn

Inside of Old Faithful Inn

Standing 7 stories and with a roofline of 65 ft, the main room is pretty cool. The detail of the wood is pretty awesome.

Floor Detail of Old Faithful Inn

Floor Detail of Old Faithful Inn

Good timing had us out to the Old Faithful boardwalk right after checking out the Inn. She started pretty quick.

Old Faithful Starts

Old Faithful Starts

Almost to full strength!

Old Faithful!

Old Faithful!

And there she is!

Closeup of Old Faithful

Closeup of Old Faithful

Soon as Old Faithful had finished, we got back on the road to avoid the increasing traffic (both on foot and cars). As we winded our way to the south entrance, I spotted an Elk cow and her new fawn in the trees.

Female Elk on the Road

Elk on the Road

The fawn disappeared deeper into the pines when Momma Elk crossed the road with out it, realizing that the baby hadn’t followed she quickly came back to find her fawn – which is how I got this nice shot.

After the Elk excitement, we left the park and cruised south to the Teton’s. Our first sighting had us both on the edge of our seats with the magnificence of the Mountains.

Tetons in the Distance

Tetons in the Distance

The closer we got, the more enthralled we became. I have seen a few mountains ranges in my short life, but none quite as distinctive thus far as the Tetons.

Grand Tetons & Jackson Lake

Grand Tetons & Jackson Lake

Jackson Lake being in front of the range just made it that much more exquisite.

Closeup of Tetons & Jackson Lake

Closeup of Tetons & Jackson Lake

I’m sure people will be bored long before either of us were with taking pictures (and then looking at them later) of the peaks.

Sagelands & Tetons

Sage lands & Tetons

Personally I really enjoyed the sage lands scattered through the valley.

Teton Range

Teton Range

Makes me think of the ‘Spirit of the West’ postcards that I would see in history books.

Left to right - Teton Peak

Breath taking Teton Peaks

Above: One of my favorite shots of the higher peaks. Almost a painting in a photo.

Jackie thrilled to be in the Tetons!

Jackie thrilled to be in the Tetons!

I have another shot of Jackie that doesn’t have the car in the background..but he isn’t smiling in that one as he was asking something..so I used this one with his happy smile to be ing the park.

Joannie & Tetons

Joannie & Tetons

Above: A great shot by Jackie of me – using the new Tough Camera!

Arrowleaf Balsamroot

Arrowleaf Balsamroot

Early June meant many of the wildflowers were out!

Little Larkspur

Little Larkspur – Purple

Jackie and the dogs weren’t as into the plants as I was, so I kept my plant pictures to a minimum.

Vast Teton Range

Vast Teton Range

Meditation in a picture.

View from the Cabin,Grand Tetons WY, June 2013, Jackie road trip, Tough Camera,

View from the Cabin

Kathy Gardner had called me to inform us that she had gotten a cabin on the Lake for two nights in the Tetons at Signal Mountain Lodge – that took dogs. Greatly humbled by her gift we had a beautiful stay and rested up. We had dinner that night at the Lodge’s grill – yummy burgers and beer! Watched a stunning sunset over the range (I of course forgot the camera for that sunset..). The next day was spent exploring and picture-taking with the girls.

Jackie in front of Lake Jenny

Jackie in front of Lake Jenny

Above: I purposely took this photo in a high contrast with the Tough Camera. We liked the different effect. We drove south towards Jackson Hole and meandered through some of the ski resort towns – I know where I am going if I ever have the money!

Joannie in front of Lake Jenny

Joannie in front of Lake Jenny

A high contrast shot of me! Thanks to Jackie for his pictures of me – who would have thought my big fingered brother could take such nice shots?!

Dramatic Tetons

Dramatic Teton

Above: Teton Peak shot in high contrast – really highlighted the drama of the land.

Below: We went to String Lake for a picnic lunch with the dogs – who were drooling over every squirrel and chipmunk in the vicinity.

String Lake

String Lake

A truly amazing spot for lunch! I took another high contrast shot of lake. The water was quite teal naturally, but didn’t show much in the original picture.

Dramatic Shot of String Lake

Dramatic Shot of String Lake

There was a ‘beach’ at String Lake – more like a pebble area really. I parked the Black Dragon in the shade for the doxies since no dogs on the beach and we dipped our toes in. It was COLD!!!

Jackie trying to adjust to frigid water

Jackie trying to adjust to frigid water

The water was glass clear, and absolutely frigid. My bones hurt and I found myself wishing my limbs would just go numb…

Rocky Bottom of String Lake

Rocky Bottom of String Lake

We saw a person paddle boarding – which after being in the water for five minutes made so much more sense than swimming it – I would dearly love to paddle board the clear cold lakes of the Tetons one day.

Joannie in Lake String

Joannie in Lake String

No need for bathing suits – you won’t stay in long enough for them! It was nice to cool down after being in the sun though.

Jackie in Lake String

Jackie in Lake String

Jackie posing in the lake.

Clouds passing over the Sun

Clouds passing over the Sun

Above: A normal setting of the clouds passing over the sun above the peaks.

Below: The high contrast setting – Both with the Tough Camera.

Dramatic filter of the clouds passing over the Sun

Dramatic filter of the clouds passing over the Sun

We started back towards the Lodge – windows rolled down of course! The girls really like the 45mph breeze they got with their snouts out the window.

Rosie gazing

Rosie gazing

At some point during the day – they had gotten water dumped on their heads for barking. The breeze dried them of nicely – but left rather rumpled looking doxies…

Wet Rosie & River

Wind ruffled Rosie & River

Our next stop was Signal Mountain. A ‘small’ rise roughly in the middle of the valley standing around 7200ft above sea level.

View from Signal Mt

View from Signal Mt

It was beautiful! Able to see in almost every direction – Jackie declared it one of the best spots yet.

Jackie atop Signal Mt

Jackie atop Signal Mt

Rolling landscape behind me, sun on my face, wind in my hair – was wonderful (as long as I had my hat on for the sun).

Joannie atop Signal Mt

Joannie atop Signal Mt

The flowers were in full bloom on the mountainside – even Jackie wanted a picture of it!

Wildflower Mountainside

Wildflower Mountainside

The fields of yellow had smaller treasures hidden amongst the larger flowers.

Spring Beauty ~ Claytonia lancelolata

Spring Beauty ~ Claytonia lancelolata

I believe this is Claytonia lancelolata or ‘Spring Beauty’ – I certainly hope it is with the amount of time I spent researching it!

Arrowleaf Balsamroot atop Signal Mt

Arrowleaf Balsamroot atop Signal Mt

Swaying in the breeze – the Arrowleafs seemed to me to be the ‘West’s’ sunflowers!

Overlooking the view

Overlooking the view

It was pretty thrilling to stand on the railing and look out over the valley.

Mountains in the distance

Mountains in the distance

The formation of the mountains was endlessly fascinating to me.

The Teton Range from Signal Mountain

The Teton Range from Signal Mountain

Above: High contrast shot of the Tetons as seen from Signal Mt. It had gotten a little hazy with the afternoon sun, I don’t have a polarizer for my e-20 but the high contrast with the Tough Camera handled the haze well.

We headed back to the Lodge for our final meal in the Tetons and to watch the sun set. Sadly it wasn’t nearly as colorful and stunning as the evening before – but still pretty.

Sunset from the lodge

Sunset from the lodge

Jackie and I ate in the ‘fine dining’ restaurant of the Signal Mountain Lodge – it was a very nice meal of Bison and Elk, our waiter great and the view amazing!Mountain Sunset from Lodge

Mountain Sunset from Lodge

The walk back to our cabin the last light glowed from behind the peaks, the first stars came out and the sounds of the wilderness settling in for the night (or waking up) was like a dream. Such a perfect day with my two dogs and big little brother.

Last Light

Last Light

To say that Jackie and I are grateful for Kathy’s thoughtful gift of a cabin is a huge understatement. We have memories, stories and pictures of this trip that are beyond priceless! So thank-you Kathy G – your one of the best and most caring people I know♥

I mentioned the Tough Camera – an Olympus point & shoot I got right before Jackie came to Seattle – throughout the post as I do with my others – along with my original Olympus model – an e-20.

Closeup on Signal Mountain

Closeup on Signal Mountain

Journey long & hard – but with good people! ~ J

 

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