Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015
Mesa to OBX

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Jackson Hole to Moran Junction, Wyoming July 27 & 28

July 27---today was a cloudy rainy day that was perfect for checking out visitors centers and driving around, exploring our options. We learned about the park, toured  some roads by jeep, and ended up in Jackson for dinner and a drink at a couple of places right in town, that Pam  had memory of from her previous trip here, thirty years ago. The highlight of the day was in Teton Village, where we rode a tram car ski lift,  4200 ft in elevation, in two and a half miles. It took twelve minutes each way. It is the highest ascending, single ski lift in the US. We hiked around the top of he mountain, took pictures, and explored some ski slopes and chutes that are legendary to skiers. The craziest of which was Corbetts Couloir. Don't ask me what a couloir is. You can check it out on you tube and see what an outrageous jump it is. It is so outrageous that Buddy was awed by it, and says he probably wouldn't attempt it. It is listed as one of the top four slopes skiers should do before they die, and has a reputation as the 'worlds scariest ski slope'. When you jump in, there is a 10-30 ft drop before you even hit snow, and it is a fifty degree slope from there.

Bridge over Snake River in Grand Teton National Park

Snake River

Driving over to Teton Village, we saw this guy!

Base of the ski mountain where the tram departs

Tram car at the top of the mountain

At the top of the mountain looking down

Mountains behind us

Watching the tram going back down

Makes you just want to ski here, doesn't it?!

There is still some snow on the mountains

Corbett's Couloir

Marker on top of mountain in memory of ski patrollers who have died on the mountain

Looking down into Jackson Hole

Brave little flowers blooming up on the mountain

Can't ski off this cliff!

Corbett's Couloir view from the tram

Back down in Jackson Hole looking up

Ski runs at Snow King (the "small" mountain/ski resort)

Posing under the antler arch

Posing with Ben Franklin!

Mike and Einstein comparing notes
Statue in town

Famous Million Dollar Cowboy Bar

We were up on a balcony looking down on the local police!

July 28----53.27 in 4:14. Buddy wanted to do some rock climbing, so we found a guide at Exum Climbing, and scheduled a 9:30 am start. I grabbed my bike and put it on the back of the jeep, and we headed to South Jenny Lake Junction, which is a visitor center for Teton National Park, and the climbing guide and Buddy left from there. I headed out on the bike south, towards Jackson. No sooner than I got on the trail, a rainstorm came over the mountains, and not only did I get soaked and cold, it hailed. Hail really stings on bare skin when you are going 20 mph. In about ten minutes, I got out from under the cloud, and the rest of the day was partly cloudy with some sprinkles along the way. Buddy was only a few miles away, but did not get wet where he was. The weather is crazy like that here. Rain storms come out of nowhere, as has been the case a couple of times recently, there were storms all around, but I managed not to get very wet. Today I got pretty soaked, but rode into the sun and wind and dried out pretty fast. I followed the bike trail into Jackson, where I rewarded myself with a dip cone at Dairy Queen.
 I'd like to mention the bike trails in Jackson Hole (Jackson is the town, Jackson Hole is the huge valley below the Tetons and surrounded by other mountain ranges). Anyhow, of all the proclaimed bicycle friendly towns, and bicycle Meccas, Jackson Hole is number one in my book. The trails are everywhere, bike lanes are everywhere else, and there are a TON of bikers. I passed bikers traveling on the paths constantly today, and notice heavy usage all the time. And, you absolutely cannot beat the scenery and the cool weather for summertime riding. The only disadvantage for a biker here is the sudden storms that blow over those mountains, very quickly. I learned quickly to be prepared for rain every day, at any time, no matter how sunny it is right now.
      It was about twenty miles from Jenny Lake to Jackson, and I looped around town and headed back towards Jenny Lake on the Wilson-Moose Road. After riding the bike  trail, looking at the Tetons from a distance, the Wilson Moose Road takes a route, very close to the mountains. Teton Village is on this road, and that is where the Jackson Hole Ski Resort is. I rode through the village, and headed on to Jenny Lake. When I got back to the Jeep, Buddy wasn't back yet. There was another storm brewing over the Tetons, and Pam called and said that she was getting ripped by a hail storm, with dime sized hail. I had a storm ahead of me, and a storm behind me, and it was only a matter of time...
I headed toward North Jenny Lake, String Lake and Yellowstone, which is the way to our campground, just hoping to stay between the storms and make it another 20 miles and stay dry. The storms were closing in on me, and just when I was going to get blasted, Buddy came by in the jeep, so I aborted the ride and hopped into the dry safety of the jeep.
     My plan today was to enjoy a leisurely ride in the sun, take some pictures, and enjoy the beautiful, sun drenched mountains. Didn't happen. The rain kept me on the run, clouds covered the mountains, and rain obscured them, more often than not. I did see another moose, a herd of elk, two ospreys in their nest, and a abundance of birds. I also got stung on the leg by a passing wasp as I rode. I stopped many times and took pictures, because as the weather passed, the mountains took on a different look every twenty minutes. There are going to be alot of Teton pictures, but a camera still can't begin to capture their beauty.
Buddy also had a fantastic day, climbing some major cliffs, and doing some things that he has never done before, and really experiencing what the Tetons are all about as an adventure opportunity. There are things like that to do here, that Pam and I are too old to take advantage of, but are perfect for Buddy.

Mike's other moose!

Grand Tetons and the Snake River

Osprey nest

Teton Village and ski mountain behind it


Beautiful scenery

Glaciers on the Tetons - there are 12 official glaciers in these mountains

The next few pictures don't need comments!  Just enjoy the scenery!

View from the roof of our motorhome

Hail outside of our motorhome!  It hailed for a good 20 minutes - it hit so hard I thought it would crack our sky lights!

Remember, this picture was taken on July 28! 

Buddy climbing in the Tetons.  His guide took these pictures

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