September 11, 2002 - Wednesday
Today we headed south to the Grand Teton National Park. We started in Colton Bay with an overview of the park sites. Then we walked the Lakeview Trail inner loop, observing how very very low three years' of drought had left Jackson Lake. Everywhere you turn, the Grand Teton mountains hover above you like a magnificent conscience. As we went further south, a new group of mountains seemed to pop up from the first series.
Jackson Lake Lodge had a panoramic glass view of the range, although the rest of the area seemed a bit too landscaped for the park. The Jackson Lake Dam is a very old (1916) example of pre-park water rerouting.
We took Signal Mountain Road up to the top where, from one side you have a complete vista of the Eastern Plain, while from the other side you have a panoramic view of Mount Moran, Mount Owen and smaller mountains both north and south.
Down again to North Jenny Lake Junction and the one way road into String Lake and the northern part of Jenny Lake.
We stopped at Jenny Lake Lodge which has fewer than 40 cabins at a nightly rate of $348 for one person and a mere $428 for two persons -- breakfast, dinner, horseback rides and bicycles included. Lovely spruce pine scents both indoors and outdoors. Beautiful site, if pricey.
Continuing down the east side of Jenny Lake, we stopped at the ranger station and found some books we liked on Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Teton Park, in addition to the Grand Teton pin to match our Yellowstone Park pin. So far, we have not spent too much on frills, but another Teton Seasons CD with piano solos helped entertain during the long drives between sites. The lunch from Jackson Lake Lodge tided us over well until late dinner back at the Lakeside Restaurant in Grant Village.
At South Jenny Lake, we grabbed a 10 minute boat ride to the opposite shore and began a hike inland and around the western lakeside to Hidden Falls. They are more like "cascades", according to Fereydoon. Deep in the wooded area you could see evidence of bear dining on beatles in old fallen trees and hoped the bears were content to travel further inland to rest afterwards.
We also met a group of rock climbers. There is a Climbers School southwest of Jenny Lake and a sheer rock face practice area just to the side of Hidden Falls.
We walked a little further toward Inspiration Point but settled on a mid-point area at which we'll call "Motivation Point" for lack of any other descriptive signs.
Going back to the other side of the lake by return boat ride was very cooling and refreshing after our medium length trek.
The last leg of our drive through the Grand Tetons took us down to just north of Moose where they have the Menon's Ferry and a couple of restored lodges. Maud Noble's lodge is where the idea of preserving an area for a public national park was concocted. Interesting photo gallery from the older days filled the lodge walls. We closed and locked the cabin after turning out all of the lights, at the request of the tour guide who left us browsing while he went home for dinner.
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