So yet more parks. 7th state and 7th park. Here is another park or two to return too. I could not bring myself to spend $50 for a bear spray and after seeing the size of 700lbs grizzlies thought that maybe waving my walking poles around in the hope of looking bearish was not as exciting as I first thought. Okay I chickened out, but those bears are big!
We spent our time in Teton fishing and doing the Junior ranger programme. The national parks all run a junior ranger programme, they are excellent. They engage our children in the park that they are in, each one a bit different. We count it as schooling, the children think they are collecting the badges -win – win 🙂
Teton is stunning, huge granite slabs reflected upon blue lakes. Snow on the peaks, sun in the valley. We hired a canoe and a kayak. Louise and I took the canoe and went fishing. Louise had a spinner on and got two strikes, one a good one. We had the gear loosened on the reel and the fish shook the hook out (they are barbless in the parks) before we could strike hard. We mucked around, discovered bear island, as evidenced by the huge amount of scat.
Jacob and I (Angela) hired a Kayak for two and also explored the beautiful lake with the snow capped mountains in the background (see photo above). Memories of Laos returned as I continually asked Jacob to help paddle, while he thought he could get away with putting his feet up and letting his mum do all the work! Perhaps I was a bit ambitious as I thought we could paddle the long way back, out in the open lake. The wind picked up and as the power boats passed us by the waves became stronger and I thought better of it and turned back the way we had come. Perhaps a lesson for me to be learnt there.
On our last night in Teton we were privileged to see two young male grizzles digging up the soil near the edge of a road and we gathered with others to watch them ‘routing’ up the grubs. I have lots of photo’s of their rear-ends as they weren’t prepared to turn around and face the camera! The park wardens appeared more concerned that we would get knocked down by road traffic than attacked by the grizzles and I was very tempted to get closer for the best photo shot. Perhaps not!
Yellowstone national park is on the door step of Teton (or is that the other way around) and so within 30 minutes of leaving Teton we were within Yellowstone. It’s huge, approximately 100 miles in length and sitting upon a volcano. The many fascinating Geysers won the day here and we all got too much sun while walking around the boardwalk exploring these amazing natural features. This is where the kids undertook their ‘young scientist’ programmes which kept them busy for a very long time and as John says passed as a month’s science school work for us. One observation we have made as we have engaged the kids in different educational activities is that they prefer focusing on one subject / project at a time rather than continuously changing focus, as in a typical school day. I do wonder if other children would benefit from this approach. Perhaps a suggestion for the school education system.
After seeing beautiful Elk with their huge velvety antlers and Buffalo (or are they Bison) we left Yellowstone with a longing for more and a promise to return for a hike one day. They is just so much to see in so little time and we are running out of time to reach Calgary on schedule for the Calgary Stampede at the beginning of July.
Next stop, Glacier National Park and I still have a longing to see Moose and Black Bear. We are making progress as we have left Wyoming behind and have driven into Montana. Last night we treated ourselves to a motel room in Butte ( I desperately needed a comfortable bed to sleep on), which apparently is famous for it’s copper mining. Anyone in need of a copper bracelet?