From Hungry Horse, Montana to Rexburg, Idaho and on to the Tetons

We encountered mile after mile of outstanding scenery as we traveled toward our destination of Grand Teton National Park.  South through Montana and into Idaho, my camera was constantly clicking, beginning with the drive around the east side of Flathead Lake.  Flathead Lake

Running along the lake is the Flathead Indian Reservation.  This is the first time, even in a reservation, that I’ve seen road signs in a native language, as well as in English.

Mud Creek

The day began very cloudy, with a few raindrops, but the skies soon began to clear.   IMG_7563

IMG_7625We spent the night in Butte, Montana.

As we entered Idaho the next morning, we began to see less rocky inclines, and more farmland.IMG_7654

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We chose to stay in Rexburg, Idaho.  We could have stayed closer to the National Park, but it would have meant pulling the rigs over a narrow, curvy road, and then coming out the same way.  Staying in Rexburg meant that we had a 90 mile drive to reach Jackson, and the entrance to the Park.

To reach the Tetons, we drove over Teton Pass.  Many of the early explorers first saw the Tetons from the west before they struggled to cross over Teton Pass using ancient game trails.  The road is still steep, climbing a 10% grade, with the pass at 8,429 feet.  At its summit you can look down onto the town of Jackson Hole.  We’ve had some discussion among the four of us as to whether the town is Jackson Hole or Jackson.  Jackson Hole seems to be used interchangeably with Jackson for the community, which lies within the valley of Jackson Hole.

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The Grand Teton National Park 

Jackson Hole is the hub of the southern entrance to the park.  There’s some of the old west flavor left in the town, but it has also acquired the tackiness of modern tourist destinations.IMG_8043

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The entrances to the town park are arches constructed of elk horns.

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From Jackson Hole, it’s a short drive to the park entrance, and suddenly the entire Teton range fills your sight.IMG_7838bThere are no foothills to these mountains, just the abrupt rise of the range from the valley floor.  In ancient times, earthquakes caused the peaks to rise up as the valley floor dropped.  We hoped to encounter wildlife, and finally spotted the elusive moose (we’d been watching for moose through several states).  These were not antlered, but fun to watch, just the same.  There were at least 3 in the copse of trees.IMG_7875 A 33 mile scenic loop winds upward through the park.IMG_7861 IMG_7865 

Several glaciers are visible.IMG_7884IMG_7883IMG_7913bIMG_7917

IMG_7892IMG_7905 IMG_7934In the midst of the grasslands, Jenny Lake comes as a pleasant surprise, adding color  and a sense of coolness to the landscape.

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The view of the landscape from atop Signal Mountain is vast.IMG_8023

With the 90 mile drive back to the campground awaiting us, we decided to bypass a couple of sites we would have liked to see:  the Indian Arts Museum and Mormon Row, a historical community.  But then, it’s always good not to see everything in a location you love… keeps you coming back for more!IMG_8028

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