Mike & Joyces Travel logs

Home ** 2006 Travel Logs**


Places Visited: Wyoming: The scenic Teton National Park

July 30 through August 5, 2006: Colter Bay Village Campground in Teton National Park near Moran, Wyoming: N43° 54.659' W110° 38.526' $15.00 NO hookups with paved interior roads and gravel spots. Nice, clean park and you really do not need hookups in the summer.

August 5, through August 12, Gros Ventre Campground in Teton National Park near Jackson, Wyoming: N43° 36.979' W110° 40.000' $15.00 NO hookups with paved interior roads and gravel spots. Nice, clean park and you really do not need hookups in the summer.

We moved the motorhome from Jackson Hole to Colter Bay Village in the northern part of Teton National Park. That entire drive was through Teton National Park Valley, with the mighty Tetons providing a backdrop on our western flank. A more scenic drive is hard to find. Eight days later we retraced our path and moved the motorhome south to Gros Ventre Campground just north of Jackson where we spent another week.





Joyce and I both enjoy our natural world and the wonders it bestows such as this stand of old aspen trees and this patch of pink buckwheat.







Mom merganser with her brood of seven in tow move away from us when we got too close. They are learning a significant life lesson. To the right is buffalo berry.








These buffalo are whiling their day away in the shadow of the Gros Ventre Slide (that barren spot) on the mountain is where the slide happened in 1925. Nice rack on that buck if I do say so.








Beavers play a critical role in the natural environment. Even when they gnaw down mature trees like these.

By chewing down the mature tree new sprouts will emerge that can be used as food by grazing mammals such as deer and beaver.










Check out the size of these chew marks. This beavers sharp teeth were able to take out huge chunks of the trunk with every bite.

One afternoon while at the summit of Signal Mountain near Jenny Lake this female Prairie Chicken stopped by to pose for us.








A group of elk seemed to live along the banks of the Gros Ventre River around our campground. At times one or more of these bull moose would amble through the campground to everyones delight. We never did see any in the campground but did stop our automobile and watch them feeding in the lush vegetation along the Gros Ventre River about one mile from the campground.




About this time I know you are wondering what Gros Ventre means and how did a river get named something like that. It is an interesting saga. Gros Ventre is French. French trappers (Mountain Men) working this area called the local Indian Tribe the "Gros Ventre Indians". Gros in French, so I am told, means BIG while Ventre has to do with VENT or nose. So the Gros Ventre River was named for the "Big Nose" Indians that lived along the river. Now you know the rest of the story as Paul Harvey would say.







Showy fleabane daisy is a member of the astor family. These picturea doesn't do it justice. We see it everywhere and it is beautiful.








Buffalo are a common sight in Teton National Park. Time and again we are seeing bulls pairing off with a chosen female.








A drive in the Tetons is always rewarding. These pictures were taken along the north south gravel road in the Park known as Mormon's Row after the farms & ranches Mormon settlers created along this road that connects Antilope Flats Road and Gros Ventre Road.










Fireweed is another brilliant flower that we see a lot of in the Tetons.














It has been hot and elk have taken to the high country were it is cooler. However, we did spot a few elk along the edge of Jenny Lake one afternoon.







These prairie chickens are pretty birds. Joyce did a good job snapping these pictures before they disappeared into the underbrush.









Joyce never did identify either of these unique flowers. the pink ones on the left were in a beaver pond while the yellow ones were out in the dry morrain.










We didn't see many elk on this visit but we did see our share of buffalo. This large group of buffalo were crossing the Gros Ventre River near our campground.










They kept coming out of the woods in numbers that surprised us.






Out of the woods and across the river then up the hill (morrain) on the other side.








This springs calves are still following cows at the same time bulls are searching out mates.








These must be confirmed bachelors! They are some of the few males that aren't pared up with a cow.






Just east of Moran Junction we took a side road through Buffalo Valley that was outside Teton National Park. This was a beautiful field of mowed hay. Some farmer has a lot of work to do picking up and storing all that hay.






While driving down Buffalo Valley road near Moran Junction we came across an osprey nest on a platform then spotted this osprey on a nearby power pole with a very nice fish.










Lupine, like the ones in the picture to your left, are beautiful purple flowers that we found growing in many places where they could find adequate water.


We do not know the identity of the flower on the left but the flower looks like it is in the "iron-weed" family.








At the end of pavement on Buffalo Valley Road we stopped at a bridge that was home to a large colony of cliff swallows. This was only a small section of their temporary homes.




This is a field on SR-22 (Teton Pass highway to Victor, Idaho) near Wilson that always has a huge flock of Canada geese feeding in it.







As one might expect flower beds at Jenny Lake Lodge featured columbine in full bloom.







You never know where a herd of buffalo will be seen.






This cow still has her spring calf in tow even as this bull has ideas about procucing another calf next spring with his genes.






These buffalo were moving across our view of the beautiful Teton Mountains.










We found these conifer cones to be both cute and unique in that they pointed up instead of down like most conifers. It appears to be a variety of fir tree. If anyone knows what tree this is please let us know. The picture was taken along Jenny Lake at the base of the Teton mountains at an elevation of around 6,300-feet if that helps.

Now look at the cones on the conifer to the right. Notice how these cones point down and to me they both look like fir trees. The tree on the right was deep in the Wind River Range at about 9,000-feet.


Joyce had her dancing shoes on while we were in Gros Ventre Campground, a few miles north of Jackson, where she took me to the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar every night. This time it is me that will never be the same. VBG

Until next time remember how good life is.

Mike & Joyce Hendrix






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