On the drive north to String Lake parking area, Susan exclaimed, "Wow! Look at that!"
I said, "What?" thinking she had seen a moose or elk.
"The mountains! There are mountains today!"
|The Grand Tetons in all their splendor|
We were on the trail by 7:50 a.m. The temperature was 37 degrees and was supposed to go up to 61 degrees.
I wore long jeans, heavy winter socks, waterproof boots, a warm winter hat with ear flaps, a sweatshirt, and a light windbreaker.
Rushing water coming from String Lake into Jenny Lake made a great first impression. The volume of the water and the sound was sweet music to our ears.
|First view of the Tetons over Jenny Lake|
|String Lake Outlet flowing into Jenny Lake|
|Darren and Susan, fresh as daisies|
|Blue Virgin's Bower; Blue Clematis|
|String Lake Outlet flowing into Jenny Lake|
|The trail overlooking Jenny Lake|
|Resting (photo by Victoria from Minnesota)|
|We made it to Cascade Canyon|
(Photo courtesy of Victoria from Minnesota)
|Darren posing to show big, snapped trees|
in a field of snow
|Snow and downed trees|
|Hiking along Cascade Creek|
|Susan and Darren in Cascade Canyon|
|Victoria from Minnesota|
|Silky locoweed (Oxytropis sericea)|
|A cascade coming off the mountain|
|How's this for trail scenery?|
|So much dramatic scenery|
|Hiking boot issues|
We hiked into the canyon until we had hiked long enough, then we turned around and headed back down the same way we had come in. A lot more people were coming up the trail as we hiked out. We were glad we started early!It was cooler AND less crowded.
|Cascade Canyon in the Grand Tetons|
|Back to re-cross the avalanche snowfield|
|Another snapped tree|
|There were two marmots playing around here,|
but I could only capture one of them in my photo
|Cute and curious yellow-bellied marmot|
|Looking back at the trail along Jenny Lake|
The parking lot was packed. Susan and Darren were raring to go because we had a seven-hour drive to Cheyenne, Wyoming ahead of us, and people were waiting for a parking place. It was 11:30 a.m. I wanted to change my shoes outside so I would have room to put on my comfortable shoes, but they insisted I do that in the van as we had to leave! Now!
Off we went, leaving the Grand Tetons in the rear-view mirror. The van nose was pointed first to Moran Junction and then on US 26/US 287 through the Bridger-Teton National Forest on our way to Dubois, Wyoming. Again, the scenery was stunning. I took photos from the back seat of the van, so they may be a little blurry.
|Gros Ventre Mountains|
On the east side of the mountains, the landscape changed to painted hills with no trees. These hills lasted all the way to Dubois, Wyoming and beyond.
Remember how much we like to eat after we hike? Well, it was about 1 to 1-1/2 hours before we ordered lunch at Cowboy Cafe in Dubois, Wyoming. I had their lunch combo which is a burger, fries, and a piece of pie for dessert. Lunch was very good and service was great considering every table was full. I had to get my warm boysenberry pie a la mode to go so we could get moving again.
|Dubois, Wyoming downtown|
|Inside Cowboy Cafe|
I kept oohing and aahing from the back seat. No one was listening. Darren had his headphone earbuds in and Susan was engrossed in reading a book. Oh, well, to each their own.
We crossed the Continental Divide again and were in an area called the Great Divide Basin. I have no idea what that is, so I had to look it up. Here is what I found on Wikipedia:
"The Great Divide Basin or Great Divide Closed Basin is an area of land in Wyoming's Red Desert where none of the water falling as rain to the ground drains into any ocean, directly or indirectly. It is therefore considered an endorheic basin, and it adjoins the Continental Divide in southern Wyoming. To the west of the basin is the Green River watershed, draining to the Gulf of California/Pacific Ocean; to the east is the North Platte watershed, draining to the Gulf of Mexico/Atlantic Ocean...
"The basin is a high desert dominated by sand dunes, bluffs and alkali flats. Flora and fauna include small trees in some ravines and the occasional shrub, along with many birds (e.g., sage grouse and pheasant) and pronghorn, mule deer, feral horses, and the occasional elk."Very interesting.
Our next stop was a rest area which had all kinds of interesting signs. If you'd like, you can enlarge and read them, otherwise disregard the next few photos.
|Sandhill cranes summer along the Sweetwater River|
More cool stuff to look at on the way to Cheyenne.
In Cheyenne, we stayed in officer's quarters at F.E. Warren Air Force Base, home of the 90th Missile Wing. Both Susan (Army) and Darren (Air Force) are retired officers. Our lodging was wonderful here. The rooms each had full living room, full kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom--all completely furnished. It was a whole apartment! Very nice, indeed! Thanks, guys.
|My apartment was on the bottom right.|
|Antelope are protected on base|
because "they were here first."
|Our lodging for one night|
|At the entrance to F.E. Warren AFB in Cheyenne, WY|