Category Archives: Teton National Park

Teton National Park

Morning Coffee After Overnight Dusting…

Here I go again!  Another morning coffee story.  The past couple of days have been leaving us with the feeling that our beautiful fall days had come and gone.  Last week we had snow in town, the first snow of the season, then rain, then wind, then more rain, you get the picture.  This morning when I woke up and peaked out my window it was really hard to tell how the day was going to be.  It gets dark early and light late these days.

So I climbed into my jeep and headed for the gym.  Still dark out but I could see stars so I was feeling good about the prospects of another beautiful fall day.  As night turned to day my expectations were confirmed.  I rushed home from the gym as I do every morning to pick up Peyton and Brynn and we headed out to drop Brynn off at school.

By the time we left her school it was clear that this was a morning we needed to get our coffee and find a place of solitude and enjoy the many wonders this valley offers.  So off to our favorite coffee shop, grabbed a bagel, a latte and a large coffee and we headed north of town.  There is a favorite spot of mine where we can park right in front of the Grand Tetons and this time of year you have this spot all to yourself.

For the next hour or so we sat in front of the Grand Tetons and this was our view this morning.  The sky was blue and clear.   The smoke from the summer fires were gone and it was crystal clear in every direction.  It had rained and snowed the day and night before this morning.  The clouds were all nestled against the mountains as if they did not want to leave.  Kind of magical in a way.  As you can tell from the last picture here there are still a few trees that are not wanting to give up their leaves but sadly in another week or so they will all be gone.  But what a morning and what a great way to enjoy a cup of coffee!

Fall Ends With First Snow…

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Not more than a week ago I posted some pictures that I took while up at Oxbow bend and then a few days later I post some pics from the Moose Wilson Road.  I was trying to share some of what we experience here in Jackson during the Fall colors.  The word on the street that we were hearing was that you needed to get your shots taken as the first storm of the season was moving in from the west.

Well the storm arrived yesterday in the form of a pretty solid rain.  Kind of nice since we had not seen much rain this summer.  But rain quickly turned to snow and for the past 24 hours it has been a mix of both rain and snow here in the valley.  This morning we took another drive out to the Moose Wilson Road in Teton National Park with hopes if showing the contrast from earlier posts.

This morning was cool as there were 3 black bears roaming around, 1 sow and her two cubs.  But the Park Rangers were closing the road and asking everyone to leave and let the bears feed alone.  Then this afternoon we heard that a Grizzly Sow and her cub made a visit to this same area.  Although this could be a rumor it would not surprise me with the snow fall.  They get pushed down looking for food.  You never know what you will see on one of your morning adventures.  Enjoy!

Cattle, Empty Roads and Heavens Above…

It is that time a year again when those of us who live in Jackson Hole have mixed emotions.  Summer has come and gone and the fall weather is upon us.  The beautiful colors that we all look forward to have changed and are quickly disappearing.  But if you keep a sharp look out you will see things here that can stir a man’s (or woman’s) heart.

Jackson Cattle Drive

On this morning after we dropped off our daughter at school we headed once again for the coffee shop and on the way we passed a typical fall morning where we passed some of the local cowboys moving their cattle from one pasture to another.  What better way than to just run the heard right down the highway.  It is kind of nice to have to stop on the road side as part of the American West passes you by.  Unfortunately for some of these cattle they are heading to the pasture to fatten them up before they hit your plate.  But for those in the city – this is a real as it gets.

Moose Wilson Road

After passing our bovine friends we headed again north of town for one of our morning coffee drives.  One of the incredible things about living up here is you never know what is going to jump out at you and speak to your heart.  As we headed north of town we turned into Moose Junction and made our way to one of our favorite morning drives, the Moose Wilson road.  Like I said you never know what to expect and as we made our way to the turn off – BAM!  We pass this spot all the time but for some reason I felt the need to stop and take this picture.  All alone on the road, just after a brief morning sprinkle, and the leaves starting to fall we stopped and gazed at one of God’s most spectacular works, the Grand Tetons.   Truthfully there are no bad views and all are worthy of taking a picture or two.  This picture does not do a good job of conveying how absolutely beautiful this morning was.  We are blessed to be able to see this on any given morning and we never tire of the views.

Heaven Shines On The Grand.

As we got back in the car we headed down the road a bit and we came to this place only to see the clouds break open and heaven shined upon the Grand as you see it here.  The weather has certainly changed in the past few days and it is clear what Mother Nature has in mind for us in the coming months.  But for a few more weeks we will have days like this where we only need a light jacket to help ward of the chill, a hot cup of coffee to keep our insides warm.  And, more important to share a moment with our creator that has blessed this valley with some of the most spectacular scenery in North America.  Every day we see a new painting on the canvas set before us.  It is our hope that by sharing some of our mornings with you it will inspire you to come visit Jackson Hole Wyoming and come see for yourself what a simple morning drive with a cup of coffee in hand can do for you well-being.  Enjoy!

In The Trees At Oxbo Bend…

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This morning a friend of mine, Robin Elledge and I went into Teton National Park to see if we could get some pictures of the Fall colors. Because of several fires in the area there was a strong haze in the valley making picture with the mountains in them not possible. So we decided to venture into the trees and take some pictures of just the trees. These are a few of the ones I took this morning.

These were taken at Oxbo Bend in the park.  This is one of the most photographed places in Teton National Park because of a beautiful bend in the Snake River happens here with an incredible view of Mount Moran in the distance.  Today was about trees.  Spectacular morning.  Enjoy.

Early Morning Coffee in Jackson Hole…

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Just about three or four days a week my wife and I drop our daughter off at school and instead of going straight home we venture out.  First we visit one of the many coffee shops in town and head out for a drive home – the long way.  On this morning which was yesterday morning, we headed north past Teton Village and traveled the “Moose Wilson” road that connects you from the western side of the Snake River to Moose Junction which is north of Jackson Hole about 15 miles.

Moose Junction is where you will find the main entrance to Teton National Park as well as the new Visitor Center which is a must see if you come to town.  Moose Junction gets its name I am sure from the many moose you can see on any given day.  On this morning we simply made the loop home via this route and then back to town.  The picture you see here are nothing special from the stand point of the camera we had with us.  But it is proof positive that this valley is one of the true wonders of the free world!  Enjoy!

Riding Somewhere South of Heaven – Jackson to Boulder Colorado…

Sorry No Pics on this trip as I forgot my camera

Once again it’s time for a post that has nothing to do with insurance and EVERYTHING to do with quality of life, peace of mind, a calming vibe – just a really nice morning! For those of you parents that have children in college, this is also the time of year when they are finishing their finals and getting ready to come home for the summer. For us this week was our time. Our daughter finished out the week and her sophomore year at CU Boulder.

Now for those of you who don’t look at maps, Boulder Colorado sits almost exactly 500 miles south of Jackson Hole, Wyoming only on the eastern side of the Rocky Mountains. This post is just a snippet of my trip and it takes you from my home in Jackson Hole over the Absaroka Mountain range up to the point I reached Dubois, Wyoming.

I left on Thursday morning a bit later than I normally do. I was so excited to get my little (19-year-old) girl and bring her home for the summer. Not so sure she was as excited as I but I would like to think so. From Jackson Hole to Dubois is about 90 miles or just under two hours of casual driving. I grabbed my morning coffee and I headed out-of-town.

Now for those of us that live in this valley we have basically two options for this drive. You can travel south out of Jackson down through Bondurant, Pinedale and ending up on Hwy 80 in Rock Springs or you can head North for a short distance and pop over the mountain range which takes you through Dubois, across the Wind River Reservation and then Lander and beyond. I chose to go North this morning.

It was about 9:15 am when I left and as I left town I drove past the National Elk Refuge, past the Grand Tetons on my way to Moran Junction (Gateway to Yellowstone Park). From Moran Junction you head directly east over what is called Togwotee Pass (pronounced toe-go-tee) which was named after a subchief under Chief Washakie of the Sheepeater tribe, a branch of the Shoshone Indians. Togwotee lead a U.S. government exploratory expedition over this pass in 1873 – but that is another story.

Before I reached Moran Junction which is about 35 miles north of town I saw many different animals. I saw large numbers of elk that were starting to move slightly north as the snow packs in the valley are finally starting to diminish. I saw 6 moose, many deer, buffalo, fox, and 4 or 5 eagles watching over me as I traveled. Just short of Moran Junction a lone wolf jumped right in front of my vehicle and looked at me as though I was out of line or something. This was a real treat as we see quite a few large coyotes here and many fox but to see a real wolf in the wild is soo cool. So I pulled over and stopped and watched him disappear into the distance.

Moran Junction is simply a beautiful area because you have the Snake River right next to the road and the Buffalo Fork river which is one of Wyoming’s finest locations for fishing, and clear waters that drain the Teton Wilderness. Over 80% of the Buffalo Fork river is in a wilderness setting, and is the highest drainage in the Jackson Hole area and drains much of the area around Togwotee Pass.

As I headed up the pass I realized that I had the road just about to myself. As I climbed the snow pack continued to deepen and in places was still over 10+ feet deep. There was an eerie calm this morning and the sun was out and it was simply beautiful. I pulled over towards the top of the divide and got out for a few minutes to simply take in the unbelievable vistas. I was looking to the northeast at huge cliffs that line the drive. The drive from Moran Junction to Dubois is simply 56 mile of heaven or in this case Just South of Heaven. In the summer this stretch of road would be a motorcyclist dream. In the winter this area is one of the best areas in the world for snowmobiles.

Once you cross over the Continental Divide you make your way down into the small town of Dubois, Wyoming. A charming little town with great Wyoming character. Almost the whole part of this trip you will travel along rivers and streams which bring great opportunities for wildlife. Be careful though if you travel this in the summer as this is bear habitat and Grizzlies are spotted all the time in this area. One of the things you will pass as you come into Dubois is the turn off for Union Pass (Google it). Union pass has tremedous history for those of you who are interested. I plan to take a trip this summer over Union Pass and I will post this day sometime later this summer.

At risk of blogging too much and boring you I will stop here. But I need to tell you that there are times and places that you will find in your life where I believe God speaks to your heart. 90 miles from Jackson Hole to Dubois on your way to Boulder Colorado may be just the time and place for you as it was for me this morning. Seek this stretch of road and I challenge you not to be inspired. This truly is a road worth traveling that in my eyes is just south of heaven!

Morning Coffee With My Buddy…

Morning Coffee With The Locals - Tatanka

Just about every morning I start my day by going to my local gym.  After I get finished with my morning workout I almost always make my way to my favorite coffee shop for a cup of morning joe.  Now most mornings after getting my needed cup I head back home to read the paper and check my email.  But about 3 days a week I get in my jeep and head north of town to see if I can find some of my favorite neighbors.

We are blessed here in Jackson Hole to have a fairly large number of wild buffalo (Tatanka) available to us.  Just drive north of town and you might be surprised at who you might run into.  On this morning I drove north of town and finished my coffee with one of these very beautiful creatures.  Although there were many buffalo to visit with I especially like this guy.  He was a large male that probably out weighed my jeep.  I am alway cautious when I am around these awesome animals but on this day we kind of hung out together and when he had enough of me he just mosied on by and headed to the rest of the herd immediately to the west.  Pretty Cool!

Moose On The Loose In Jackson Hole Wyoming…

Click Pictures to Enlarge….

This is a re-post from earlier this year.  This post appeared on our health insurance blog @ http://insurancesimplified.wordpress.com.  Before we started Jackson Hole Tim we would post articles about Jackson there and because this post has been read many times and received well I wanted to run it again as I think Jackson Hole Tim is a more appropriate place for it to live.  Enjoy!

From time to time you have a morning that is just exceptional and really enjoyable. Most of you know that I live in Jackson Hole, Wyoming – one of the most spectacular places to live in North America. Several time per week my wife and I will stop by the coffee shop just after we drop one of our children off at school. We then venture north of town to see what new sights we can find. Today was a great day as it turned out. Wildlife was just about everywhere you looked.

Jackson's Natural Museum of Wildlife Art

Now springtime in the Rockies is a period of transition for all that inhabit this area. Normally by now most of the snow has melted down in the valley and the animals – such as elk, moose, deer, antelope and other animals are starting to make their way up into the hills. This year we have had record snow fall and in the surrounding mountains we have had over 670 inches of snow. The snow pack is still very significant just north of the town of Jackson and very deep higher up.

Lower Gros Ventre River Looking South

This morning our journey took us north of town just north of the Gros Ventre River and then we turned east towards the Wind River Range heading to Kelly, Wyoming. Along the way we passed several small herds of elk that had started to move north from their winter feeding grounds towards their summer range. As you turn east off of Hwy 89 you travel parallel to the Gros Ventre river (one of my favorite waterways). Along this route you can run into wild animals at almost any point along the way. And today was no exception. Before you get to this turn off you pass by the National Elk Refuge and the highly acclaimed Natural Museum of Wildlife Art.

Three moose enjoying morning sun

Our first stop was to view three moose we spotted that were lying down in the snow and they seem to be enjoying the warm sunlight that was abundant on this beautiful morning. The snow pack north of town is still fairly deep for this time of year and these three looked as though they were tired from a long harsh winter.

Hot Spring Gros Ventre

We continued heading east towards one of my favorite areas in the valley – The Gros Ventre. The road travels up into the mountain range for many many miles and pretty much follows the path of the Gros Ventre river that originates deep in the mountains. Just where you turn to head back into the range is a small warm (hot) spring. Sometimes in the summer you will see tourist swimming in this spot as the water is warm all year round. This picture is taken looking back toward the town of Jackson.

Young Moose Calf Checking Us Out

If you ever visit Jackson Hole area this is one area you will want to drive to. The road that begins the drive up into the Gros Ventre is only about 10 mile north-east of the town. This water shed is sooo beautiful in the summer – put it on your bucket list of things to see. As we headed up the road we came across a very young moose calf – not more than a year old at best. He was laying down in the snow just soaking up the sun as the other moose we had seen. To see such a young calf so close was a real treat – but where was mama?

Mother Moose Just Chillin

Well as expected a few hundred feet further up we found her. She was lying right next to the road tucked among a small grouping of aspen trees. She looked exhausted. Normally you never want to approach a moose – especially a mother with her calf close by as they will simply stomp you to death. But in this case I just felt she was at peace and that she knew we were no threat to her. I was able to get within 10 feet or less to take a couple of shots. It is hard to tell from these pictures just how large and majestic these animals are. There coats look a little ratty as they are shedding their winter fur.

BIG Bull Moose On The River

Our final stop was a point on the Gros Ventre river that is truly a beautiful spot. I noticed from the road a BIG BULL moose having his way in the willows that line the bank of the river. He was about 300 yards away and so I hiked down to the river (as my wife said “I’m not going”) to get a closer view of this magnificent animal. After about 10 minutes I got within about 75 yards of him before he spotted me. So I took a few pictures and I thought it prudent to back off – so I did.

Then out of no where a giant Bald Eagle came flying down the center for the river (fishing) for breakfast. He came from behind me so I did not see him until he was right in front of me. And I mean right in front of me – maybe 50 feet at most?? I heard the flap of his giant wings but I had my camera turned off and I missed the shot. But WOW he was magnificent! I then climbed back up the hill to my wife and we headed home.

I know this has nothing to do with selling health insurance but I do think it has everything to do with quality of life. To see these snap shots of mother nature on a daily basis is truly a blessing that has been bestowed upon our family. I hope you enjoy this post!