Teton Chaser

Teton Chaser

Everything in Jackson, Wyoming revolves around the Tetons. And proving this, I spent my day finding a variety of ways and circumstances in which I could see the Tetons. Starting at the crack of dawn.

The striking hues of a beautiful sunrise can do pretty fantastic things to the sky, so I knew it’d do extraordinary things to the Tetons. I jumped out of bed at 5:40 am, getting dressed in the dark so as to not wake up bunkees in my hostel dorm, and frantically headed into the Grand Teton N.P. I made a B-line to Schwabacher’s Landing to catch them Tetons at the first peek of sunlight, and to see the reflection off Snake River of this first peek of sunlight. A short walk from the parking area at Schwabacher’s Landing Road is more than well worth it. Watch as the the sun rising from the east turned the Tetons pink.

Sun’s a coming. First, she wakes up the mountain’s grey, subtly highlighting her glaciers.DSC_0010

Pink clouds moving in make their way to Snake River first.DSC_0013

A airy cotton candy moves on over.DSC_0015

Ok, more dramatic pink showing up on my Snake River gage.DSC_0018

The tippy tops of the Tetons get a light spraying of the sunrise.DSC_0026

Then they just get pinker…DSC_0037

And pinker…DSC_0039


Till they’re at their pinkest. Then it’s time to chase the sunlight elsewhere to wake other things up. Other things with the Tetons, of course.IMG_3658

Like that old barn at Mormon Row which I photographed in terrible light yesterday. It’s just down the road from Schwabacher’s Landing, so I wanted to see the early morning turn-out. It’s kind of astonishing that others were sleeping away all of this majesty. DSC_0070

Next, a shuttle boat across Jenny Lake shuttle boat to do some hiking… in order to see the Tetons from a different vantage point. The shuttle runs every 10-15 minutes. Hours are 7-7 during the peak season and a round trip ride for an adult is $15 (credit cards accepted!) Once across, there is  Hidden Falls and then Inspiration Point.

I wanted to do this early to save myself from the crowds. Though I managed a shot with no one in it, there were about 10 others on the boat.

Your tetons are showing.

Jenny Lake facing the east.DSC_0086

Light starting to spread. It was pretty chilly though. I had my insulated hooded sweatshirt on, too!

I made it up to Inspiration Point. This picture shows how large Jenny (say it like Forrest Gump) Lake is.DSC_0135

I hiked back down like a New Yorker, pretty darn fast. So I got the boat back all to myself.IMG_3688

More mountains in different light.DSC_0140

After some errands at Teton Village, where I was staying, I headed back into the park, flashing my Interagency Annual Pass like mad. I thought I would eat something. I headed to the Blue Heron Lounge at Jackson Lake Lodge. I tried to get the Heirloom Cauliflower Steak, grilled heirloom Cauliflower, baby greens, and kumquat marmalade, but after ordering and waiting, the Chef realized he had no cauliflower. It was a bummer. I wanted to eat with the Tetons. But I had big dinner plans, so it’d be okay. I enjoyed the nice views at the lodge.DSC_0148

PicMonkey Collage

Next stop would be climbing a mountain… in my car. Taking Signal Mountain Road to the summit of Signal Mountain would have been an easy way to digest a little bit before setting out on some more hikes.  But it wound up being another guise to find the Tetons in a new place.  The scenic drives and scenic turnouts always have more people with not the greatest traits. I guess it has to do with laziness? Or maybe I was just hungry.

Great views on top of Signal mountain.DSC_0157

You just have to find a way to crop the people out.DSC_0165


Tetons. So what. I love them.DSC_0189

In the August haze, they look like lightly painted backdrops.DSC_0212

And a few shots from a scenic turnout. The Cathedral Group. 8 of the 10 tallest mountains in the park are in this group, including Grand Teton (elevation 13,770), Mount Owen (12,928), Middle Teton (12,804), South Teton (12,514), Teewinot Mountain (12,325), Teepee Pillar (12,266), Cloudveil Dome (12,026) and Buck Mountain (11,938). Tetons!!!!!!!!!!!DSC_0224


Next, I tried to hike the Taggart Lake trail but gave up. My body told me to. I hadn’t eaten a meal since noon the day before and was running low on water. And hey, let’s be real. I’m pretty out of shape. There were pretty impressive ladies and gents of all ages marching with me on the trails who were far less winded and disheveled as me. I did take more pictures of the Tetons, real close as the trail went right in front of them. And I also fell in love with these odd, eye trees that are all around the park. DSC_0230

Look at that teat.DSC_0235

Eye want you to see these trees… seeing me.PicMonkey Collage2

My dinner plans set and highly anticipated, I had to make sure I fit the dress code (no shorts or flip-flops) of the high-end Jenny Lake Lodge, Grand Teton’s luxurious lodge. For dinner: A vegan 5-course fine dining dinner. Here we go:PicMonkey Collage

Amuse bouche: compressed honeydew with a date “leather” DSC_0009

Spiced beets: avocado puree, pumpkin seed crumble, carrot vinaigrette, and arugula. So delicious and flavorful. I could eat 5 more of these plates.  DSC_0011

The unphotogenic lentil soup. Despite looking quite boring, it was thick, creamy and so satisfying. I relished in restore so many lost proteins.DSC_0016

The Caramelized Fennel Salad: argula, dehydrated tomato, and a shallot vinaigrette. Again, they knocked it out of the park. My tastebuds rejoiced. (I didn’t eat the croutons. Highly suspect.)DSC_0019

The chef whipped up this vegan entree for me. He called it a Barley & Mushroom Ragout. It had lentils and barley stewed with mushrooms, topped with deep-fried mushrooms and french fried onions. And fennel. It was kind of a mixed bag, but I appreciated it very much.DSC_0023

Dessert: Pear & apricot sorbet.I could barely eat it!IMG_3750

It was a busy day of beautiful things, as will be the same tomorrow. So I need to rest up! Goodnight…