Happy New Year

As I’ve been reading and catching up on the blogs that I read regularly,  I realized everyone is recapping their 2012 year.  I also realized, for multiple reasons, that I did a horrible job of keeping up on my blog this past year!  This makes it about impossible for me to just try to recap the whole year in one blog post at this point!  LOL  I’ve been thinking for a little while what the best way was for me to get back into blogging again, and I’ve decided that even though it has all already happened I am still going to cover all that happened and what we saw and did over the summer of 2012 in the Tetons in the blog!  Who says that just because most everyone else writes about what is going on right NOW in their blogs that I have to do it that same way?  It seems I spend much of my life doing things differently than many others do anyway, so why stop now, right????  Besides, we had all kinds of wonderful fun that I still want to share!
A lot of the reason that blog posts didn’t get done over the summer was because we were spending all of our time, especially me, having so much that it took up all of our (my) time!  Winking smile  It was, by far, the most fun summer I’ve at with work since we hit the road almost 6 years ago!  I was lucky enough to get my dream job of working as a park ranger for Grand Teton National Park in the backcountry office.  I got to help people plan their backpacking trips and also got paid to hike!  How could I ask for anything better??!!  IMG_5083
Sal worked for the concessionaire again as an electrician.  So, for him, it was pretty much business as usual.  I did manage to get one blog post done fairly early in the summer on all the animal updates.  Be sure to check it out if you missed it.  There’s a lot of photos there for your viewing pleasure. 
We arrived in very late April this year.  The winter was a fairly dry one for the Wyoming area so there was a lot less snow up on the mountains than we were used to.  5.Teton.Reflections.Turnout.Jackson.Lk.05.08.12This allowed me the ability to start hiking the trails pretty much right after we got there and I still had a few weeks before I had to start working!  Woo Hoo!  So, my first hike, I hiked out to Trapper Lake by way of Leigh Lake.  Leigh Lake is named after “Beaver Dick” Leigh, a colorful mountain man who made his living trapping in the area canyons in the late 1800s.  It was a gorgeous day for my hike!!  25.Leigh.Lk.Reflections.05.08.12

And for those of you who like wildflower photos, there were quite a few colorful blooms waving in the wind.  IMG_4950


Even a couple of Flutter-butts decided to stop by and enjoy the day with me!  IMG_4975
And then on my way back home, I was even lucky enough to see good old Grizzly 399 and her cubs a ways off the road.  59.399&Cubs.Pacific.Crk.Rd.05.09.12What an awesome day!!!


So, the next day, I decided on a hike out to Hidden Falls.  Because of the angle of the chasm holding this 200-foot fall, it truly is hidden until you are just about right at it.  This is the most popular hike in the entire park, which is why my favorite time to do it is as early spring as possible, before it gets crowded.  76.Hidden.Falls.GTNP.05.09.12LOL

On my way back out I got to hang out with some Ruffed Grouse along the trail.  Each spring, they engage in very elaborate rituals aimed at trying to help them find a mate.  Unlike other grouse, the Ruffed Grouse uses a non-vocal acoustic display, known as drumming, to try to entice their significant other.  The drumming is actually a rapid wing-beating display that creates a low frequency sound, starting slow and speeding up (thump-thump-thump-thump).  You can hear this drumming up to a quarter mile away or more.  I saw a few of the females running around.  102.Ruffed.Grouse.Jenny.Lk.Trl.05.09.12

But I really felt lucky when I got to watch a couple of the males doing some of their thing.  They also strut around and do a little dance.  Successful males are able to mate with many females, while the less dominate males typically mate with a much smaller number, if any at all.  So, basically, it is Mother Nature’s version of “So You Think You Can Dance?” Contest going on.  94.Ruffed.Grouse.Jenny.Lk.Trl.05.09.12

So, then the next day,I took a hike up to Grand View Point, which was a new hike for me.  From the top, you could see down to Jackson Lake with a great view of the Tetons on the other side.  Beautiful!  14.Teton.View.from.Grand.View.Pt.05.11.12


If you walk over to the other side of the hill, you’re then looking east towards the Gros Ventre mountain range, and Two Oceans Lake.  17.Two.Ocean.Lake.Grand.View.Pt.05.11.12

And then as I was ending my day, I was pleasantly surprised to see a couple of Trumpeter Swans hanging out in Christian Pond.  They are the largest of all North American waterfowl, weighing up to 30 pounds!  Their wingspan stretches 7-8 feet, and they can fly at speeds up to 50 mph!  Magnificent creatures!!  58.Trumpeter.Swan.Christian.Pond.05.11.12Well, I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much all at the same time, so I’ll stop this post at this point.  I need to pace things for myself too!  I’m more apt to get more posts done that way.  Open-mouthed smile  I hope you’ll continue to hang out with me while I relive our wonderful times of the summer of 2012 through this blog.  Happy Trails!


  1. Welcome back.....it's about time. ;-) I always enjoy reading about your time in the Tetons. Do you hike by yourself? Do you carry a weapon or some kind of communication device? (I wouldn't think you could get cell service while hiking) Looking forward to reading more.

    1. Thanks, Pam! I hike by myself quite a bit this past summer. Sal came with me when he could, but I did many more trips alone this past summer. I don't carry a weapon except bear spray, but I usually carried at least a cell phone, and if I was working I had a park radio with me (and sometimes when I wasn't on duty too, just to be safe ;-) ).

  2. Great to hear from you. Hope you keep the blog up. Your pictures are always so great. Travel safe!!!

  3. Ah, I love reading about your adventures! Can I live vicariously through you and Sal? There's so much peace in those mountains. Your pictures are beautiful. Take care!


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