Friday, May 29, 2015

Day 11 - Colter Bay to Jenny Lake

Weather:  Same as usual.....50's with spots of rain, but when we were out in it, it was lovely
Steps:  Shaun - 16,221; Shan - 16,372
Varmints:  White Pelicans, bald eagle, sandhill crane, chipmunks, elk, bison, mule deer, a ton of pronghorns, which is new for this area, northern shoveler (a duck that looks like a mallard but has a big shovel on its bill
Points total:  Shaun - 20; Shan - 20.....oooooooo, we're neck and neck folks......who will pull it off in the end?

Jackson the rain!

Fairy bells....aren't they cute?

Shannon feeling up the hairy moss

Today was a hiking day.  We started out with a 1.8-mile hike around Jackson Lake.  Most of the time it was raining, but it wasn't too bad.  We saw all kinds of wonderful flora but not much in the way of fauna.  We did see a cute chipmunk that was about twice as big as he should have been, but he wasn't marked like a what do we have folks?  Another conundrum!

As we headed south towards Jenny Lake, we did see this sandhill crane who was close enough to get a picture.  I know he's not as exciting as some of the stuff we've seen, but he's still cool!

Also on our drive south, we stopped to climb Signal Mountain.  Even though the skies were rather gloomy, it was still pretty, and we ate our picnic lunch up the car.




Our next stop was a place just north of Jenny Lake that had two lakes connected by rapids, and the second one could only be seen by hiking to it. The first lake was called String Lake, and the second was called Leigh Lake.  The weather actually started turning nice just as we had completed the 2-mile hike, so we got to play with the reflections in the water.  Aren't they cool?  We also happened upon a female mule deer relaxing in the meadow who wasn't bothered by our presence at all.

As the skies cleared over the mountains, we got some pretty spectacular shots of the clouds.

We also came upon a herd of pronghorns right near the road.  These are all females, and they're actually a little freaky when they're looking right at you, don't you think?

We had passed the Jackson Lake Dam on the way out, so we decided to stop there on the way back, and we're so glad we did for a couple of reasons.  First, they were drawing the water down while we were there, so that was seriously cool.  Secondly, there were thousands of swallows gorging on insects all over the place.  There's no way to capture them in a picture, but it was so crazy to see them all swooping and flitting around in the sky.  We said thank you to them and headed out.

Our final stop of the night was back at Jackson Lake Lodge because we wanted to catch the sunset over the Willow Flats and hopefully see some animals.  Unfortunately, we saw some elk on the way, but we were denied both the sunset and any other animal sightings. We thought there was a moose there, but we never definitely saw it, so we called it a night.  We did decide to eat in the famous Mural Room Restaurant with its incredible view, so it was a wonderful way to end a wonderful day. Tomorrow we leave Colter Bay and head back to Jackson.

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