Sunday, October 11, 2015

A Wonderful Life in the Tetons

We woke up early the next morning in the Teton Village condo we were renting with Marc's parents and set out on our one hour drive to meet Achim and Maria at the Teton Lodge for breakfast.

We ended up being a little late because we saw some awesome wildlife and just had to stop for some shots.

This bull elk had quite the harem and was pretty upset with one of them that wouldn't follow the heard.
I only had my 200mm and no tripod so it's not great but it's better than an iPhone.

Then we stopped again when we saw a bull moose just walking out in the open. We had seen 3 a few minutes before but they were in the marshes and we couldn't get a clear shot. This one was just right out there.

We finally got to the Lodge a few minutes before breakfast was about to end. We were a tad late to meet our friends, but we were excited to show and tell about our animal sightings.

Over breakfast we talked about a grizzly bear that had bedded down behind the lodge over a recent kill and people were lined up hoping it would pop its head out so they could get a glimpse or a great picture.

Marc got this shot with my camera. You can see the dark blob in the center. That is the big grizzly. I really wish we could have seen it.

There was one point where we got to see the grizzly stand up and swat at a bird that was trying to pick at his kill and that was quite a site.

After waiting around for what seemed like an hour watching the bear and hoping for a good sighting we finally started off on our hike for the day.

This one was a bit tougher than the day before and was one of the routes around Jenny Lake.

I was really proud of Lynne on this hike, she was struggling, but was not giving up. She really can do hard things.

Maria in front leading the pack in the pink shirt followed by Lynne, then Achim, then Marc and last, Gary... well, I guess I was last since I was taking the picture...

Marc took this cool perspective shot on one of the short breaks we took along the way.

He also took this shot of me while taking a break. Maybe I'll use it as my new head shot

I love this picture of Marc along the Jenny Lake shoreline trail.

We got a group shot here at the boat harbor where we split off from Lynne and Gary to take a little bit more of a hike to "Inspiration Point."

Compare this picture with the one that was taken an hour earlier and you can tell I
was a little winded on this part of the hike. It kind makes me laugh to see the two. Marc started carrying the camera at this point so I let him take the pictures the rest of the hike.

This is a great shot he got of Maria at a cool spot at Inspiration Point.

Here's another great one of Jenny Lake. This picture only captures a slice of the view we had.

When we got back down we took the boat across the lake to get back quicker to join up with Lynne and Gary. It was a nice little ride back.
There were 360 views around the lake as we rode the boat to shore. It would have been fun to canon it...
we'll have to do that next time.

Marc thought he was funny getting this close-up of me... ha... ha...
Once we all met together after the hiking and boating were finished we went our separate ways to get ready for an evening in Jackson Hole.

We at a steak dinner at a local place called Gun Barrel Steak House. It was quite nostalgic as far as old west decor goes... or maybe like a taxidermy spot if you counted up all the animals that were displayed...

It was pretty good, but it was really the company that was the best.

We decided to change it up for dessert and go right into the town center of Jackson Hole where all the hubbub is and had ice cream at my favorite ice cream parlor there. I got the seasonal Apricot Sorbet and it was amazing.

After dessert we headed back to our spots of sleeping so that we could wake up early for a tougher, longer hike. This time it would only be Marc, Achim, Maria and me going. We all thought it might be a bit strenuous for Marc's parents so they made plans to do things at Teton Village where we were staying.

I had decided that I didn't want to lug my camera on this hike and Marc also opted not to. We both just went equipped with our iPhones and called it good. This is the part where I am really bugged about my laptop breaking down with my pictures on it... 

Much of the path was covered in golden yellow leaves that had fallen from the aspens.

This view of Phelps Lake was breathtaking. Most people hike to this point and turn around, but our plan was to take a longer adventure into Death Canyon.

While we were at this point enjoying the view and getting ready to move on a young couple that we had passed up earlier on the trail told us they had spotted a black bear and her cub right along the trail.

We had been discussing most of the hike that there were probably so many animals on our hikes and we just can't see them.

Marc, Maria and I got giddy with excitement and decided we would retrace our steps so we could see the if the mamma bear and her cub were still in the area.

Achim didn't think we would see it so he just stayed at the lookout point so as not to waste his energy.

Well, after being a bit spooked and a little on edge I spotted the bears through the brush!

They were just grazing and lumbering slowly.

This was the moment that Marc and I were kicking ourselves for not bringing my camera! If we got this close of a shot with our iPhones, I can't imagine how much better 200m would have been.

We sat and watched in humble, anxious and timid anticipation hoping that the mother bear wouldn't see us and charge.

That was exciting and that was what Maria really wanted to see was a bear.

It was so amazing.

We ran high on adrenaline for the next while as we hike the rocky, uneven trail.

On our way back down the path we had a few people tell us that they had seen a black bear and her cub just off the trail.

She was still there!

Maybe we would be able to see her again.

We scoped out the brush as we came to the spot we might see them and I was able to spot them in the aspens. They were really far away this time so there really was no way to get a shot through the iPhone. Marc was clever and put his iPhone up to his binoculars and it actually turned out pretty cool.

After the 13 mile round trip Phelps Lake/Death Canyon hike we met up with Marc's parents for dinner.

We all rode to our dinner destination together.

This is wear we said our first of 2 long goodbyes.

We knew our time had come to an end visiting with our dear friends as they had things to get off to.

There were many tears shed and goodbye his exchanged again before the official drive-off moment.

It's always hard to say goodbye to our dear friends.

We retired to bed fairly early that night having exhausted our selves physically and emotionally that day.

The next morning we woke up to this sight out our window.

I was still lying in bed so I had Marc take my camera out and get a good shot. I love it when you can see the moon in the morning.

This was also the morning  that I had heard about making it into the play, "It's A Wonderful Life" at the Scera! I'm in my 4th play at the Scera within a years time and I just can't be grateful enough for these opportunities I have been blessed with.

I am so excited to work with Michael Carrasco who was the son of my Junior High Drama teacher and he would come teach in her class sometimes. Michael was one of the beginning influences of my love for theater and performing.

I get to play the part of Mrs. Martini and I actually have 4 whole lines... woot!

"There are no small parts... Only small actors..." I'll just keep telling myself that.

I am really so excited to be part of this play and I hope a bunch of you get to come see it!

Days 272-273 of 365 Days of Up 

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