Have you ever wanted to sell everything you own and just "take off?" Travel the country's back roads, paddle down a meandering stream, experience breath-taking mountain views, walk among 100-year old trees, and just marvel at America's beauty? That is the dream that my partner, Betsy, and I decided to make a reality. This blog describes our adventure. The food we eat, people we meet, sights we see, and the enjoyment we find in traveling.

Monday, July 23, 2012

"les Trois Tétons" or "the Three Breasts"



We recently completed a wonderful trip to Grand Teton National Park to visit a high school friend of Betsy's and explore one of the country’s flagship parks.  After a few days, we began to wonder about the origin of the parks name.  Betsy’s friend Jane said that she thought they were named because they looked like breasts.  Yes, you read that correctly – breasts. We were a little perplexed because that did not cross our minds.  French fur traders came to the region in the early 19th century and they referred to the three large mountain peaks (Grand, South and Middle) as “les Trois Tétons.”

The jagged mountains are an awesome sight.
The park offers some of the most dramatic mountain views we have seen in our travels.  The jagged mountains rise from deep cold water lakes which graciously reflect the beauty of snow capped mountains.  I can only imagine what the pioneers thought when they first saw this sight (and I don’t think it was breasts). We camped at the Colter Bay RV Park which had nice long pull-thru sites with ample room between sites.  The campground is located on Jackson Lake and in just a short walk you are at the pebble beach looking at the glorious Teton Range. 

Our time went so fast as we enjoyed spending time with Betsy’s high school friend Jane and her husband Bill.  Betsy and Jane have known each other since the 2nd grade but had not seen each other in 50 years but they seemed to pick up right where they left off.  They introduced us to some of their friends they were traveling with and we liked them immediately.  Every night we got together for cocktails and dinner at someones campsite.  We were treated to excellent food (like roasted beef tenderloin, Cincinnati chili, and a Mediterranean feast), ample wine, and an enormous amount of laughter.  So much for quiet hours at 10 p.m.!

Jane and Bill posed for a picture during our cocktail hour by Jackson Lake.  
A couple bottles of wine, delicious food, and wonderful friends makes for a great evening in the campground. (Starting in the bottom left: Jane, Barry, Joellen, Teddy, Susan, me, Betsy).
Jane and Bill took us on a great hike up to Inspiration Point where we looked east over Jenny Lake and out into the expanse of land that makes this area so special.  Grand Teton NP anchors the southern portion of Yellowstone ecosystem which includes Yellowstone NP, three National Forests, a National Wildlife Refuge, and countless other natural lands which make up the largest continuous natural area in the United States. 
Betsy and I plunked the kayaks into Jackson Lake and set off in search of exploring the park via water.  Much to my dismay the fish were not biting but the beautiful water and vistas made up for my lack of fish!

We made it to Inspiration Point!
Were they trying to kill us?  
Jane and Betsy - reunited after 50 years.
One day we took a drive down to Teton Village with Jane, Bill and their friends Teddy and Susan.  Teton Village is a a small town south of the park which is known for its skiing.  We wandered around the village, shopped, ate lunch, and then headed back to the park.  On our way home, we encountered  a large bison herd leisurely grazing as a storm was impending.  The colors were stunning!


On our last day, Betsy, Jane and I headed to Jackson Hole to see the National Museum of Wildlife Art.  My parents had been there the previous year and told us to not miss seeing this museum.  The museum did not disappoint and we wandered around for a couple of hours with our audio wands thoroughly amazed and absorbed.  Since we were in Jackson, we had to do a little quick shopping (Jane was helping me pick out an outfit for the upcoming Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo and Reba McEntire concert) and have a drink in the famous Million Dollar Cowboy Bar.  On our trip we had a great wildlife sighting – a black bear with two young cubs right along the side of the road.
The National Museum of Wildlife Art
One of the most jaw dropping paintings is this bison by Robert Bateman.
The museum features over 550 wildlife artists and over 5,000 items.
The famous antler arches that adorn the town square in Jackson Hole. 
We had to stop in the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar for a beer and sit on the saddle stools at the bar.
Much to our dismay the campground in the park was full and we were not able to extend our stay.  As we drove east through Wyoming we wondered what Jane and Bill were doing at the campground and breathed a deep sigh as we missed them already, they are such dear friends.  We are already making plans to see them next year.

We never got tired of seeing the majestic mountains.
Bill and Spirit quickly became best of friends.
Lounging on the front porch of Jenny Lake Lodge.
The lobby in Jenny Lake Lodge was our favorite.
We never get tired of seeing moose...especially since our viewing attempts on the east coast did not pan out.

Thanks Jane for sharing many of your great photographs.
Colter Bay marina.
We look so small in our kayaks compared to the mountains.  Look closely, there we are!
Talk about feeling small.  




2 comments:

  1. These pictures are wonderful! I just can't wait to get out that way and see these beautiful sites.

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  2. We hope to do this area starting next June. Right now we are in our last few days of a month long stay in Nova Scotia. At present, sitting in the local Hubbards NS library where Melissa is going to read excerpts from her novel "The Christmas Village" to about 30 waiting children!!

    Great photos by the way.
    Dick & Melissa

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