Thursday, September 17, 2009

Jack and Amy's Yellowstone and Grand Teton Vacation - Day 2

Jack & Amy’s 2009 Vacation to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons
Day 2 - Sunday, September 6th, 2009
Grand Teton National Park
Day 2 Photos:

Moulton Ranch Cabins and the Moulton Barn

I woke up just before sunrise, left Amy to sleep a little longer, grabbed my camera and tri-pod, and went outside. It was a bit chilly; probably around 35 degrees outside, but that didn’t stop me from taking in the awesome views from Moulton Ranch.
The backyard of the Moulton Ranch Cabins

I decided to walk down the road a little ways and was surprised to see about 10 vehicles parked along the road, and a group of people all geared up with cameras a tri-pods.

Little did I know that just down the road (Mormon Row) from where we were staying is one of the most photographed spots in the Grand Tetons; The Moulton Barn. Every morning photographers drive many miles and converge upon this spot. I just had to walk down the road a few hundred yards.

The Moulton Barn

Not only do the spectacular Grand Tetons make a great photo all on their own, by adding a rustic old barn to the foreground makes for some spectacular photo opportunities. Now all I need are some Buffalo to roam through.

There were some Buffalo hanging out a little further down at the end of Mormon Row, and by the time I walked back to the cabins a whole herd of them was grazing just outside the backyard fence. I decided that this was something Amy would have to see for herself, so I went and woke her up.

After playing with the Buffalos and fixing up some breakfast in our cabin’s kitchen, we hit the road towards Jenny Lake at the base of the Grand Tetons.

Jenny Lake Boat Ride - Hidden Falls - Inspiration Point - Cascade Canyon

Jenny Lake is at about 6,780 feet above sea level. The Grand Tetons rise 7,000 feet above the lake peaking out at 13,770 feet above sea level. Nothing like anything you will ever see in the Eastern USA.

The Grand Tetons rising above Jenny Lake

The hike to Hidden Falls, Inspiration Point, and Cascade Canyon was one of the ones on my must do list, and it sounded like one that Amy could handle.

We decided to skip the first 2-miles and take the boat ride across the lake. My thought was on the way out we would hike back and see the first 2-miles of trail we missed by taking the boat across.

The boat ride was much quicker than I expected. It only took about 5 minutes to get across to the boat dock at the Cascade Canyon Trailhead.

From the dock, its about a half mile uphill hike to Hidden Falls. I regretted taking the boat across, because we had a whole boatload of people on the trail all arriving at the falls at practically the same time. It’s a nice waterfall, but I didn’t really get to enjoy it because of the crowd of people.

Jack and Amy at Hidden Falls

As we continued on to Inspiration Point, the crowds thinned out and I was able to better enjoy the experience of hiking up some of the most incredible mountains anywhere.

Jack and Amy on the Trail to Inspiration Point

Inspiration Point is about 500-feet above the lake offering up some nice views. We continued up through Cascade Canyon for about another 2-3 miles. Amy decided to take a break and read her book at a nice scenic spot, while I continued on solo for about another mile before returning back to Amy.

Jack and Amy at Inspiration Point

If I ever make it back to the Grand Tetons, I would plan a nice long loop hike incorporating the entire Cascade Canyon Trail.

Along the Cascade Canyon Trail

We took an alternate trail back down to the boat dock. Amy was wearing out and we probably should have just taken the boat back across, but I figure the trail around the lake would be flat and easy.

Turns out there were a lot more ups and downs than I was expecting and Amy’s legs were hurting. Then a cold rain started falling. By the time we got back to the parking area, Amy was done with hiking for the day.

So we drove around the Grand Teton National Park checking out things like the Colter Bay Marina and Indian Museum, the Jackson Lake Dam, the Cunningham Cabin, and just about every roadside view that we passed.

The Snake River and the Grand Tetons

We drove into Downtown Jackson, WY for dinner at the Snake River Brewery

Amy under one of the Anteler Arches in downtown Jackson, WY

The Snake River Brewery turned out to be just the type of restaurant that Amy and I enjoy. Nice reasonably priced casual dining with fresh onsite brewed beer!

They proved that you can make good BBQ outside the Carolinas as the Pulled Pork BBQ sandwich was excellent! The pizza was a little disappointing, however even a sub-par pizza tastes good to me and there were no leftovers left on our plates! The two different types of beer I sampled were both outstanding.

After dinner we explored around downtown Jackson, WY, hit the grocery store again, topped off the tank of the rental car (about $0.40/gallon cheaper than inside the parks), and returned to our cabins for the rest of the evening.
Sunset over the Grand Tetons

Jack and Amy at Moulton Ranch

I took a few more photos around the Moulton Ranch Cabins including a few more attempts at night time photography before calling it a night!
Starry Sky over the Grand Tetons

Additional Photos from Day 2 of our vacation are located here:

1 comment:

Kim Robinson said...

We stay at Moulton Ranch every other year and have hiked all around the world, but we love the Tetons! Great pics! We are also childless by choice and hikers by passion. :-)