Wow-oming!

We were headed to Cody, WY, by way of Billings, MT. We stopped there to let Mel have some fun at a dog park. The cool thing about this dog park is that it’s owned by a veterinarian’s office. They have this 3.5 acre off-leash park as a courtesy to the community, and it was wonderful. Melbee got good and pooped just running from the back of the park to the gate when I was exiting!
We made it to Cody, uneventfully and thankfully. Dayne saw a tack and saddle shop, so we did a quick buzz through. Then we walked around downtown a little. Cody has a fun charm.It claims to be the rodeo capital of the world! We stopped by one more dog park, where Mel was the life of the party. Then to McDonald’s to try to catch up a little on this blog.

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This is not an RV lot. It’s what we woke up to the next morning in WalMart’s parking lot. There were at least twenty-five of us RVers parked there to sleep.

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Before leaving town, we witnessed history…a road crew of eight men, seven of whom were actually working — not the other way around!

Our drive from Cody to Grand Teton National Park was a beautiful one. Driving through this part of Wyoming is beautiful. Horse ranches everywhere (Mr. Bo, from the Ingalls’ Homestead, had told Dayne this was horse country, and Dayne was thrilled to see so many.) The tunnel in the photo below goes through the mountain for at least half a mile. Impressive!

To most people, our route to GTNP wouldn’t make sense, because we drove through Yellowstone. Yellowstone would be the next stop after GTNP, so why not just stay and do YNP first? Well, it made sense to us, and we’re glad we planned it that way. The boys enjoyed the trip through YNP, and it wet their whistle for our return.20180808_115454.jpg
Our goal was to drive all the way through GTNP down to Jackson, WY, and then start our way back up, enjoying as much as we could with our day and a half allotment. After several stops, we made it to Jackson. It had that same “wild west” feel to it that Cody did, just with more people.

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From the Teton Glacier Overlook, we watched the sun disappear behind the Tetons, and elk graze in the valley below near the Snake River.

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We slept in a dark turnout along Jenny Lake, and the next morning, enjoyed a walk along the water.

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We began our day’s journey up through Grand Tetons by driving down Antelope Flats and stopping at Mormon Row.

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Several Mormon families settled in the valley. You can still see the dwellings they built, and see the canals they dug bringing the river’s water to their crops.

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Then we drove along Hwy 191 and stopped at the Snake River Overlook.

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That’s Ansel Adams taking his famous photograph from this very spot.

Our lunch stop was Elk Ranch Flats, and it ended up being our whole afternoon.

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Buffalo herds grazed on both sides of the road.

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We watched from atop Big Boy.

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It was such a beautiful scene, even from my meager phone camera.

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Eventually, three males broke off from their herd on the west side of the road and started running for the fence line. Albert and the boys ran for a closer look. (Don’t worry, we still have all four of them with us 🙂 You can see the path they took. The guys could feel the fence wire vibrating from their hoof beats.

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Dayne is pointing out their tracks in the dirt.

While watching the buffalo (bison, if you want to sound more scientific), we met a young 20’s girl who’d been out backpacking the last ten days. It was a trip she and her dad had planned together, but instead, she ended up helping to care for him before he died. So this trip was an ode to him. Very, very touching. She had a rental car that day and was out trying to find some bison. We talked some more while watching. It turns out she lives off the BRP, which happens to be one of our favorite places now. She also mentioned how the previous night, she’d camped with a Dutch family of three who’re biking across America before their daughter goes back to school – how cool it that! It was really fun chatting with her while watching Albert’s favorite mammals. We pray she finds God’s healing in the loss of her dad.
After spending the afternoon in the sun, we headed for Colter Bay. You’re allowed to swim in every lake in GTNP, and we were happy to exercise that freedom in the cool, refreshing water.

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Many visitors to our national parks are international. Some of them have different ideas of what swimming attire is. On either side of these Malos are guys who felt swimming in underwear was cool. Yikes – TMI. I zoomed in as quickly as possible.

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Our last stop for the day would be the Oxbow Turnout. It’s known for being able to see some of the park’s wildlife, and we wanted to get a front row seat as the evening came on.

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Our front row seat to what we hope will be some “wild” action! If you look at our chair on the left, and its left corner specifically, you can see a faint trail in the grass across the river. Some large animal uses that path regularly to come to the river’s edge. We were hoping to see it…

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Dogs have very limited access in this park, so Mel enjoyed be able to be out of Big Boy for several hours while we waited and watched.

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a White Pelican

Eventually, after 2.5 hours of waiting, down the river, we heard people talking about seeing beavers. We could see their little tiny heads poking up above the surface. It was so special, but they were so far away. But then Dayne noticed one swimming to where we’d been earlier down by the river. The boys and I took off on a stealth mission to see what we could see. This is what we saw!!!!!!

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This beaver swam right up to our side of the river.

 

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Isn’t he darling?!?!

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Brodee and I were less than 10 ft away when taking this picture. The beaver had come back to the bank a second time.

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His waddling was adorable!

 

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Ean and Dayne are hiding just above him in the grass. They’re less than 10 yards away!!

 

We never did see the large animal that made that path across the river. But that’s OK. We got to see this precious beaver up close, and see the tracks he left. We got to see his other family members across the river. It was absolutely a God gift. And we’ll always be grateful. Grand Teton grateful.

 

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