Jetlag and Whitewater
Sometimes, jetlag can be your friend.
Saturday, the plan was to go to the morning-after breakfast in Jackson, then chill out until we joined a bunch of folks from the wedding for a white water rafting trip on the Snake River.
Welcome to Mountain Time, eastcoaster. So, you're in Teton Village. It's 05:30 and you're awake with your camera equipment. Not too many options come to mind. Have to be at breakfast in Jackson at 10:00. Check.
I get the car, Laura gets coffee for me and tea for her from the cafe next door. By a bit past 6:00 we're heading to the park via Moose-Wilson Road. The recon from the day before pays off as we know there's a beautiful grove of aspens not too far from where we are.
We hike a little further up and catch our first spotting of big wildlife when I notice the antlers of a mule deer. We stop and appreciate it for a bit. I quietly curse that I packed, then unpacked a longer lens. We headed back to the car.
Moving further towards the park proper, Laura checked the map for scenic drives that wouldn't endanger making the breakfast we RSVPed to. Meanwhile, I looked for something interesting to take a picture of. It was about this time when the tandem cyclist buzzed by. All the panning for motorsports paid off in snapping a shot of these two. (To be honest it's a little softer than I'd like.)
From here we headed out of the park—out towards some drives in the general direction of the Gros Ventre Slide. Let's make it clear: You can't turnaround out here without seeing stuff that's amazing. Stunning. You almost get saturated. Being out early does add wildlife to the mix. Early bird really does get the deer and bison. That's one of two shots of bison I'll post. Seriously.
The first time you see one, you're stunned. I actually saw the one pictured here and thought: "Bison!" The next thought was, "Oh. It's just a rock." And then I stopped and waited for it to move. But even with that, the longer you stay in the area you realize they are Wyoming's squirrels.
Not that they still aren't amazing. They are. But, like I said, you get saturated. To get a real interesting shot of bison the right time to go must be winter. The fact these animals are out there. All the time. In that weather. I think the contrast would drive that home. And yes, plan on not lamenting the 400mm lens that you own, but don't have with you.
A little more driving to the slide proper and then back to the hotel to get cleaned up for breakfast. We hit the farmer's market in the center of town and then a grocer to get supplies for the big trip the following morning before heading back to the Inn and getting ready for the rafting trip.
The river is cold in July. But not so unbearable that some self-induced swimming couldn't happen. The highlights of the rafting trip would be Big Kahuna and Lunch Counter (and not just because of the photographic evidence from those features).
After all this, we met up for dinner at Snake River Brewery for drinks, some Donkey Kong and I had a chance to try my first cask beer: Custer's Last Ale. We retire for the night. It's going to be an early day Sunday.