Do you have a place or places that are special to you? You know what I mean – those places that give you a sense of contentment, of joy, of awe and excitement. For me it has always been the mountains. Born in Wisconsin, I didn’t see a mountain range until I was 11 (Rib Mountain doesn’t count). But once I saw my first mountain range, I was hooked. The mountains touch more than my eyes and heart. The mountains smell different, you hear different sounds and, I swear, I can taste the mountains!

Before you think I’m completely weird let me show you the greatest mountain range of all: the Grand Tetons.

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Most people go right past these mountains either going to or from Yellowstone National Park. They are so spectacular that I don’t know how anyone can see them and not just stay. The range is along the northwest corner of Wyoming and is equally as beautiful from the Idaho side. On the Wyoming side, the range has been protected by the National Park Service.  And, it has all the things we love about the national parks: good campgrounds, ranger-led hikes and other activities, interpretive centers and museums and an ability to go back in time.

tetonsForty plus years ago my husband and I camped here on our honeymoon trip and it’s been a sentimental favorite ever since. We camped at the Jenny Lake Campground which has since lost many of it’s pine trees to a beetle that has ravaged so many western forests. The campground is still there but takes only tent campers.

If you like to hike this is a great place for you. There are many trails that can get you right up into the woods. The Park Service Rangers lead many good informative hikes. Back when our kids were in elementary school, we took a three day backpack trip that we still talk about. We took a ski lift (near Jackson Hole) to the top and hiked the back-country from there. The Ranger who registered us for the trip said it was “all down hill from there”. And he said it with a straight face, too!

We almost always take a float trip down the Snake River which runs right through this area. Of course it’s a lot more exciting if you go in June than in September. You can also ride horses and boats and get in on some world-class trout fishing. Another one of our favorite things to do is look for wildlife. Finding moose is our favorite and we’ve never visited without seeing at least one. The easiest places to spot them are behind the big lodge and at Oxbow Bend (just down from the lodge).

As the buffalo herd has grown it is very easy to see them. On our last trip we sat by the side of the road100_0351 and watched the herd gradually coming toward us. We watched them jump over the fence, cross the road, and then jump the fence on the other side. My husband estimated there were between 100 to 150 buffalo. It was great entertainment.

If you need a mountain “fix” or are looking for a majestic landscape, I’d recommend a visit to The Grand Tetons. For more online information go to: http://www.nps.gov/grte/ 

**Sorry about the date in my photos. I finally learned how to turn that off on my camera. 

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