This was the view we had pretty much every day going to work and coming home. This was in early May and as you can see Jackson Lake still had quite a bit of ice. Temperatures then were in the 40’s during the days but the ambient temperature felt quite a bit warmer due to altitude (6700′) and bluebird days. One could just sense the oncoming unique seasons and the diversity in climate that they would offer.
The Tetons are located on a fault that extends for some forty miles north to south starting pretty much near the town of Jackson and ending on the Yellowstone border. A newcomer to the Rocky Mountain range, these mountains were formed only 10 million years ago, neophytes in the chronology of mountain range formation. But what makes them unique is that their formation was caused by earthquakes and seismic activity over the course of millions of years that caused the valley floor to sink on the eastern side of the range and the mountain ranges to extend – a confluence of nature that is somewhat over my pay grade but in real basic terms kind of understandable. The result of this kind of evolution is that what you do not see in this forty mile stretch of rock is any semblance of foothills as you see in other parts of the Rockies but rather the sheer enormity of canyon walls soaring from the ground pretty much straight up. To the west side of the range, in the Teton Valley, the mountains take on a completely different vibe, a more gently sloping series of peaks leading to a valley floor, totally different than those seen from the east side of the range.
You get a sense of the Tetons from the vantage point of the Moulton Barn, located across the Snake River in Antelope Flats. More on the barn in later posts. The northern part of the range has a series of peaks that collectively are sometimes referred to as the Cathedral Group. Others call the three peaks to the right of the picture the actual Cathedral Group, the Grand Teton (elevation 13,770), Mount Owen (12,928) and Teewinot Mountain (12,325). The others, no less majestic are Middle Teton (12,804), South Teton (12,514), Teepee Pillar (12,266), Cloudveil Dome (12,026), Buck Mountain (11,938) and Nez Perce at 11,900′. All of these peaks have trailheads in the valley floor that take you to fascinating hikes and views, each unique in what it offers. From the most traveled canyon, Cascade Canyon, to the ominously named Death Canyon, the views can make one seem like a professional photographer.
Seven lakes are to be found in the Tetons, all glacier lakes at varying altitudes and all providing amazing opportunities for day hikes, overnight camping and multi-day treks. One is exposed to an unbelievable array of trails that go around the lakes, trails that go up the canyons, and trails that leave you at the base of the mountains with their sheer walls always in your viewfinder. This is an outdoorsman slice of heaven and we took to it like salmon heading upstream to spawn. (?) Time to quit this post – getting silly with my metaphors.
So, here we are in the parking lot of Jenny Lake on our first day of work. All that mushy stuff about trailheads, glacier lakes, canyon hikes seemed a little bit farfetched. I mean – this snow wasn’t going to melt before the next snow would fly. We were going to need snowshoes and ski poles, not hiking shoes, shorts and sunscreen. Stay tuned.
It was pretty chilly up there in the Tetons in the early days of May and often at night, actually pretty regularly I would nip or sip or guzzle some alcohol to take the edge off. At least that’s what I claimed so as to delude myself from my real problem, that I could offer anyone pretty much anything out of my liquor cabinet including wine and what I affectionately refer to as fool’s drinks, those after dinner liquers that puts oneself into the land of Nod. Other RV’ers have wood for fires, guns for protection and satellite dishes. We have booze and Mexican Train dominoes. I of course have rum and this recipe of Bourbon Brown Sugar Salmon calls for a little taste of it. It was easier to get the booze, only two TBSP of alcohol which actually gets burned away in the cooking, than it was to get the salmon. And cheaper. Enjoy.