"There is nothing so American as our national parks. The scenery and wildlife are native. The fundamental idea behind the parks is native. It is, in brief, that the country belongs to the people, that it is in process of making for the enrichment of the lives of all of us. The parks stand as the outward symbol of this great human principle." Franklin D. Roosevelt

Thursday, September 3, 2009

I decided to head to the Grand Tetons today. First stop was Hayden Valley to try and capture the foggy goodness of the valley. The fog was rolling down the river as if on a current. It was a beautiful scene. After being dazzled by that I continued on toward the Tetons. There is some pretty heavy road construction going on starting at Flagg Ranch and heading south for about 8 miles. The road is completely torn up and heavy machinery is moving earth as everyone creeps along on the one lane open. I stopped at Colter Bay to look around and then proceeded on to Moose Jct. I decided to stop in at the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center and when I crossed over the Snake River I saw a mama moose and her baby. Moose are much more numerous in the Tetons than in Yellowstone so it had been quite awhile since I had seen a moose. Some people I work with are still waiting to see their first moose.

In John D. Rockefeller Jr. Parkway there are a series of signs that are reminiscent of the old Burma Shave signs:

I saw wildlife
From afar
Until I hit them
With my car
Slow Down!

1/8 of a mile from the last sign there was a guy pulled over. Pieces of his bumper were scattered on the road and in my lane was a dead deer. I've hit a couple deer myself so I really know how they jump out in front of vehicles. Sometimes it is totally unpreventable. I just thought about the irony of the location.

I had to stop at the intersection of Fishing Bridge when a painting crew painting the yellow lines had spilled paint on the road. The fire dept. was called in to spray the road clean. I was the 4th car in line and I ended up waiting 45 minutes until we could proceed. I did get to watch quite a show as the ranger stopping traffic had to deal with line jumpers from behind me. They decided that they didn't need to wait so they would drive north in the southbound lane so they could turn east at Fishing Bridge. Unfortunately for them, the ranger had opened the east bound lane to the west bound traffic who were going to turn south. The ranger was furious for the jumpers for nearly causing accidents and preventing the fire trucks from moving to fill their tanks with more water.

After the spill was cleared and we could all continue north I ended up in a couple bison jams. Once again I watched line jumpers maneuver around vehicles in both lanes of traffic (using pull outs on the opposite side of the road). This came to stop as one final car tried it and nearly stuck the bison in the road. I was mortified at their actions, as was the person in front of me who yelled out a few choice words at the driver. The moral of all this is line jumping is bad.

Oh yes, the Tetons were gorgeous because it was a clear blue day and the sun shone brilliantly on them.