Dianna and Pat are in their first year of full-timing, and we had chatted via email last summer, finally meeting at Campbellsville KY where we all worked at Amazon together. We also got to socialize with them a couple of times this past winter as they were staying several weeks at Chassa Oaks in Chassahowitzka FL, about ten minutes away from us. They have been traveling this summer and finally made it out here to Grand Teton National Park. We had dinner one night with them and John and Carol Herr, at Signal Mountain Lodge, and made plans to do a short "easy" hike on Monday morning. We chose Lookout Rock, a 3.8 mile lollipop trail leaving from Jackson Lodge, winding past Christian Pond, overlooking Oxbow Bend, and going up to Lookout Rock on Emma Matilda Lake.Suitably attired with drinking bottles, cameras, hiking poles and bear spray, off we went.
Christian Pond was about a half mile into the hike. Supposedly a favorite haunt for moose, all we spotted were a few ducks.
The trail gradually climbed up, not a problem. We were taking it slow, stopping to take pictures. There was some huffing and puffing going on, nothing we couldn't handle :-).
Some really nice views as we hiked along the ridge, this is part of the Tetons with Jackson Dam in the lower right-hand corner. We hope to do a nice float kayak trip starting at the dam and going down to Pacific Creek turnout one day.
Mount Moran. The glacier has never disappeared since we arrived.
A short distance of the loop travels on the Oxbow Bend Scenic Trail, and gave us a beautiful view of the Bend.
We saw many interesting flowers and butterflies along the way.
Finally Emma Matilda Lake came into view, and we climbed the last uphill portion to Lookout Rock. At times the trees closed in around the trail, and as the area is a known location for grizzly bear, we made quite a bit of noise, talking and laughing, with Pat occasionally calling out "Hey Bear".....no sightings though.That's ok, I really don't want to see one while on foot :-).
Emma Matilda Lake. It was so nice and quiet there. It really surprised us that such a nice hike in such a busy park didn't have more people on it. We only passed one other couple the whole time we were out there. I'm not complaining :-).
We finally tore ourselves away from the peaceful lake and set out back to the trail head.
We stopped here in this open area to take a picture of the awesome views, and a flash of color caught the corner of my eye...
a beautiful male dusky grouse was checking us out! Isn't he funny with his orange eyebrows?
All of a sudden he started prancing about, and puffing up with grunting noises....I've never been courted by a bird before :-). He was great fun to watch.
Down we continued, coming back past Christian Pond again...again, no moose only ducks.
Once back at the trail head, we headed back to the ranch, with Dianna and Pat coming for a short visit to see our new trailer. They soon headed out as they wanted to check out Colter Bay Campground, their next destination, and we busied ourselves preparing for our trip to Jackson for groceries and gas.
We've had another busy week at the ranch, at full occupancy almost every night. Everyone is pretty well settled into their jobs and we're all having a good time together. Tonight our bosses took us out on a road trip for pizza at Leek's Marina, and we had a wonderful time chatting. I really enjoy hearing about their "pack trips" into the mountains, where they pack up the gear and head out on their horses for several days. Brad and JoAnn are real down-to-earth people and we are very fortunate to be working for them.
Sunday is our next day off, and we hope to have another new adventure to write about. We are planning to spend the day in the Canyon District of Yellowstone National Park with Pat and Dianna, and John and Carol Herr. We plan on hiking both the South Rim and North Rim Trails, and hope to get the iconic photo of the Lower Falls of the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone....so stay tuned!!