March 13, 2013: Today was heavenly…WOW!! I spent the day with my niece and her husband and we traveled east from Rexburg over Teton Pass to Jackson, Wyoming and then north to Grand Teton National Park.
Our first stop on the road to Jackson was in Tetonia, ID. We made a stop outside of Horn Mountain Living to get the shot of the “Mountain Man” sculpture above, which was done by Steve Horn. Steve moved to Teton Valley over 30 years ago and lived as a mountain man prior to that. He is completely self-taught and gives his Creator full credit for his abilities. He has since become one of the country’s top hand carved furniture makers and his favorite medium is stone. Another item we saw outside the gallery was this bear…
I also got a kick out of the sign below:
We also saw a nice mural at the Teton Mountain View Lodge in Tetonia.
From Tetonia we headed southeast towards Driggs, ID.
Driggs is really at the base of the Tetons on the Western side and has the unique small town feel yet also a touristy place.
Just south of Driggs is the fairly famous “Spud Drive-In Theater.” The theater is one of only two drive-ins theaters listed on the National Register of Historic Places. One claim to fame is the big spud on the back of a 1946 Chevrolet flat-bed truck.
The Spud was a lot of fun!! But, we needed to move on to Victor, another small town on the way to Jackson. We made a quick stop at the Victor Emporium to get a shot of the mural on their wall. They are known for their Huckleberry Milkshakes, which they have been serving since 1950.
From Victor we headed up the Teton Pass, which crests at 8432 feet. Along the way we crossed into Wyoming.
At the crest of the pass we were granted a spectacular view of the Jackson Hole valley below. The first white man to see this view was John Colter, in 1807. As a member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, he returned to the area and recorded descriptions of the valley and its features in his journals. Colter was also the first man of European descent to see the Yellowstone region. Much of what he wrote about was unbelieveable to many due to the fantastic nature of the scenery. There is a great write-up of Colter’s history on Wikipedia.
From the summit we made our way into the valley and came into beautiful Jackson, Wyoming. Last time I was in Jackson was in 1975. I came with some other guys from church while living in the Salt Lake City area. We came to Jackson to go canoeing down the Snake River for a three days. My canoe partner, John Janssen, and I lost our canoe in a log jam after running a rapid. A memorable time.
Our first stop was breakfast. We found a place called E Leaven Food Company and had a good breakfast. Their bagels are awesome!! Thomas, my niece’s husband, ordered the biscuits and gravy. Check this out!!
After breakfast we took a walk around the town, saw some fun statues, the famous Antler Arches and other things. There are some sites that indicate that it requires nearly 10,000 pounds of antlers for each arch. Many of these come from the National Elk Refuge north of Jackson.
The statue above is in the middle of town and is the symbol of Wyoming and sits atop the Veteran’s Memorial in Jackson. The bronze was created by Bud Boller, a registered member of the Shoshone tribe. The Cowboy depicted in the sculpture is “Stub” Farlow and the horse’s name is Deadman. It was completed in 1976.
Across the street from the town square is the Mountain Trails Gallery which offers some unique and large art work. In front of the shop are a series of works by artist Gary Lee Price. Entitled the “Great Contributors“, there are life size bronze works of Abraham Lincoln (above), George Washington, Mark Twain, Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein.
After our stroll through town we headed back to the car and prepared to head north to the Tetons. We made a quick stop at the Jackson Hole Visitor’s Center to get road information in for the park, since many roads were likely closed due to snow.
Finally, we were on our way to see a place I have always dreamed of – the Grand Tetons. It was a beautiful clear day with a few clouds, but the mountains were magnificent.
Once in the National Park, there are signs you see occasionally that warn travelers of bears. The “Food Storage Required” means that you need to pack up your food securely so bears don’t sniff it out.
We continued north until Moran and then headed west on the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Parkway. This roadway links Grand Teton N.P. to Yellowstone N.P. We took the road to Teton Park Rd. and then along Jackson Lake to Signal Mountain Lodge, which was as far as allowed. This crossed us over the Jackson Lake Dam. The snow was deep in this part of the park. Jackson Lake was frozen and there were guys parked at Signal Mountain that had hiked out on to the lake to do Ice Fishing…
On the way back to the main highway we saw a fox out on the snow. So stark and unique.
After getting back on the road, we continued north as far as the Colter Bay Village turnoff. The road took us along the completely frozen Jackson Lake and then to the village visitor center, which was closed except for one restroom…that was heated!!
After these scenes (and feeling again like I was in heaven), we headed back to Jackson on the same path. There were dozens more photos taken of the beautiful mountains before we got to the next turnoff near Jackson at Gros Ventre Rd. Here are a few more shots that were taken along the way.
We eventually got to Gros Ventre Rd and headed towards Kelly, WY. We took this drive both for the scenic appeal and for the opportunity to possibly see a moose, as we had heard that there were some sightings.
In Kelly, we did NOT see a moose, but we did see one of my favorite things… a metal creature
On the way into Jackson there are more neat sculptures. As we passed by the National Elk Refuge on the way into Jackson, we could see a bronze herd of buffalo
And, as we finally return home past the Victor area, just a couple of more interesting photos of fun stuff…