Finding Beauty Everywhere…..Grand Tetons NP

 

“If you truly love Nature, you will find beauty everywhere” – Vincent Van Gogh
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Our first glimpse of the magnificent Grand Tetons 

It’s not hard to find beauty everywhere in the Grand Teton National Park. Today’s journey is devoted to these renown statuesque peaks. Thanks to Nature’s layout, these beauties can be seen in every section of the park.  I am in awe………

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Colter Bay

Our first stop, Colter Bay Village.  We’re not much on visitor centers, but we needed a pit stop and a map since we somehow missed the park’s entry station.  Notice the Tetons in the back?

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Grandpa and Grandson

This simple trail circles the lake, what a glorious place to stretch your legs. Fill your water bottle up at the visitor center with clear, delicious alpine water right out of the faucet – yum!

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Tetons cast on Jackson Lake

“The beauty you see in me is a reflection of you” – Rumi.  If Mr. Rumi is right, I’m a tall, strong, majestic woman with a little snow on top. Quite an accurate observation, old sage.

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Thomas Murphy barn & homestead @ Mormon Row

One of my aspirations was to visit to Mormon Row and photograph the old homesteads. I’m posting the Thomas Murphy barn in place of the noteworthy Moulton barn, which has been photographed a great deal.

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I believe this is part of the Moulton homestead

I can’t imagine enduring winters in the shadows of the Tetons. It really took a community and a pioneering spirit to survive and prosper. Unfortunately, I missed exploring a section of the community, which resides to the left.  Sounds like I need a return trip.

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The family @ the Jenny Lake Overlook

We bypassed the extremely crowded South Jenny Lake junction in favor of the less populated North Jenny Lake loop. North Jenny has a relaxing scenic loop drive and a spectacular overlook and lake trail. Make sure to use your Forest Gump voice when you say, “Jenny.”

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Time for a picnic

Most of the picnic areas reside near the visitor centers. We were lucky to find this spot with the Tetons in eyesight and Cottonwood creek running alongside. As the title to this post suggests, a trip to the Tetons will have you finding beauty everywhere you stop.

 

 

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The Lewis Falls, Yellowstone So. Entrance

Not wanting the day to end, we made one last stop and admired the spray and sounds of melting snow flowing down Lewis Falls. The grandson and I climbed to the top, sidestepping the slick snow still left on the ground.  The timing is right to see waterfalls in Yellowstone; they are overflowing this season.

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The Lewis River, Yellowstone South Entrance

Turn about face from the falls and you have a post card picture view of the Lewis River.  The Teton and Yellowstone landscape is so surreal, it feels like Shangri-la.

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Snack time!

A trip to Yellowstone isn’t complete with out a run-in with a bison. We were lucky – eating distracted them every time we drove through the park. On our first day in town, we heard park travelers were deterred for two hours by a bison roadblock.

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What can I say about Day two?  The Tetons were spectacular….. stunning…… breathtaking…. awe-inspiring and return worthy.  Next time though, I’m staying in the park, bears or no bears. If you have the opportunity to visit Grand Tetons National Park, please do it and remember to always take the scenic route.

Cascade Locks, Oregon – The Columbia River and Old Scenic Highway

After big hugs and long goodbyes, we left Medford and headed up the state to Cascade Locks, Oregon and the beautiful Columbia River.  The drive went well until we reached Portland, which like any metropolitan city has bad traffic after 3:00 p.m.  It was worth it once we checked into the hotel and were gifted these views from our balcony.

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The following morning we were up and out of there by 9:00 a.m., ready to tour the Columbia River Old Scenic Highway (30) and view some magnificent waterfalls.  True to Oregon’s weather, it poured rain as we stopped for every senior-friendly accessible waterfall, including the infamous Multnomah Falls.

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After coming down from the bridge at Multnomah Falls, the hub and I moved on exploring the pull outs and points of interest along the highway.  The old bridges, reminiscent of the 20s art deco era, were covered in moss and dampness, but still holding up strong.

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It’s our last morning at Cascade Locks. Before packing, I took advantage of the somewhat drier weather and headed out for a hike. I had read that the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) passed through the Bridge of the Gods and was hoping to find it. One of the items on my “bucket list” is to hike at least a portion of the PCT.  I’d love to follow the trail from Campo to Canada one day, if my body holds out.

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I started out on the historic state trail towards Eagle Creek, passing morning joggers with bright orange tags on their shirts.  After 1.2 miles of walking the paved state trail, I came upon the PCT Gorge Trail, thanks to a detouring jogger.  With a big grin on my face, I headed up the dirt trail, giddy with excitement to have my feet on the PCT. I kept going up and did not want to return, but it was 10 a.m. and hotel check out was at 11:00, so I headed back, vowing to return.

We’re moving on to Sandy, Oregon to visit the hubs brother and family.  The two brothers haven’t seen in each other in 15 years, so our days in Sandy will be spent catching up with family.  After that, we’re off to the coast with a stop at Tillamook and a stay in Yachats, Oregon. Happy trails!