There has been a thick layer of smoke over areas of the Park lately. There are a few fires burning and the Lake area has been hazy and stinky at times. I can see the smoke plumes of the fire on the east side of the lake from the porch of the apartment. Sometimes the wind blows just right and Mammoth becomes smokey and the smell sticks to our hair and clothes. This morning is one of those mornings.
Andrea spent last Sunday in the Tetons. It was a beautiful blue-skied day but smoke from fires in that area obscured the mountains a bit so I didn't even bother to take any pictures. We wandered the streets of Jackson; popping in and out of stores and boutiques. We even stopped in a shoe store, tried some on and left without falling into temptation.
My alarm clock this morning was the bugle of an elk. There has been a bull and his harem by the Chinese Gardens and they wandered behind the store this morning. The rut is coming and I look forward to seeing the big bulls wandering the Mammoth area.
The temps can dip down into the 20's overnight but the days have been in the 70's and 80's. The grasses and ground vegetation are now turning an autumn colored brown/orange/gold. Some of the mountain peaks are still holding snows from this past winter. The herds of bison in Hayden are still grazing in large herds and the males are occasionally raising the clouds of dust as they roll. I hear very few roars of the males as everything winds down. I still get in jams in Hayden and I now wish I had carried a stopwatch with me so that I could have timed the jams I had been in this previous year. My jam time would be measured in many many hours.
There are only a few weekends left before the snow starts to fly and I want to cram so much in. I have included on my list of things-to-do a guided ATV tour and an overnight horseback riding trip. Though not overtly dangerous I feel a little wild when something I do involves signing a waiver.
I have been feeling a bit guilty lately. I have been ignoring my e-mails. I haven't had much of a chance to look through them in at least a month and a half. But I have had quite a few people stop in the store and say hi to me and I thank you for that. Summer is such a busy time and the slower paced winter season is so much more conducive to finding time to answering e-mails and posting. And right now I think I will start my winter to-do list: snowshoeing, cross country skiing, etc. So much to do!