This morning, after eating breakfast with 20 of our closest foreign friends, we headed north through Jackson. The area surrounding Jackson's Town Square is architecturally styled to resemble the "Old West". Perhaps most interesting are the four arches constructed over the entrances. Each arch is made from hundreds of shed Elk antlers from the National Elk Preserve on Jackson's northern border.
Heading out through the preserve ourselves, we jumped on a beautifully maintained bike path that would allow us to escape road riding once more. The path afforded us fantastic views of the reserve (no elk sittings unfortunately), and the Teton Range. It had been a day since we left the Teton views in Idaho, and it was fantastic to be seeing the mountains from their eastern sides. The bike path eventually led us to Grand Teton National Park. We were disappointed to find out that bicyclists still get charged $12 each, just to enter the park. Equally disappointing was the big hill we immediately had to climb. The top of this hill yielded a large sage brush plain that we would follow for most of the day. Jonathan was lucky enough to spot an elk, while I still have yet to see one this trip.
Over the next few miles, the views of the Tetons became closer and more impressive. Eventually reaching South Jenny Lake, we stopped for lunch at the park convenience store. National Parks have a big draw with foreigners and so did the self-serve hot dog stand. Unfortunately one family didn't really understand what to do with their hotdogs and ended up carrying their bare hotdogs in soda fountain cups.
After lunch we walked down to the lake. Immediately we noted how impressively clear the water was. Walking a short distance up a trail we found picturesque lakeside views which we thoroughly photographed. Leaving Lake Jenny we hopped back on the main road and continued our northern trek. Much of our ride today was a slow uphill climb, making our progress well-earned and slow.
While we thought our shots of the Tetons from Lake Jenny would be unbeatable, Jackson Lake had other ideas. At the Jackson Dam we took in amazing panoramic views of the entire Teton Range. The contrast between these snowcapped mountains and the lake water below was incredible. Visible still on some of the peaks are slowly receding glaciers.
Reaching Jackson Junction we headed west towards Colter Bay. No longer in the sage brush plain, the landscape now resembled an evergreen lined New Hampshire road. 44 miles after we had begun, we arrived at Colter Bay Village and quickly found the campground. Now that we're in bear country, reminders and bear food boxes are everywhere. Essentially everything must be locked either in a vehicle, or metal box to keep curious bears from tearing into tents and belongings. The bear spray I bought back at a Jackson pharmacy no longer seems out of place here.
Following an early dinner we headed down to the lake. Colter Bay has a full service marina and mooring field, as well as many hiking and walking trails. Walking around the bay, we reached the main part of the lake, where we were once again rewarded with fantastic Teton views.
Grand Teton National Park (Colter Bay Village Campground)
Photos by Jonathan Kobles