I debated greatly on which park to include in today's blog. I knew right away the park I wanted to finish with tomorrow. But I've had the pleasure of seeing many national parks, so deciding on the top 4 that I've actually spent time in. Wasn't hard, overall because 3 of them came to me right away.The problem came in with choosing the final entry I've probably been to 10 National Parks & as I mention yesterday each of these park are a jewel & have something wonderful to offer any visitor. After much debate (with myself) I decided on Grand Tetons National Park. The majesty of the mountains always draws me to this park.
Grand Tetons National Park is located an easy hour to hour & half drive south of Yellowstone National Park via state highway 89. State highway 89 South from Yellowstone is not open during the winter (Nov.-Mid May) so the only way to access the park in the winter is driving North from Jackson Wyoming.
The most vivid memory I have of this park is the beauty of the mountains as I walked on the trail around Jenny Lake. The crystal clear water of Jenny Lake was the perfect forefront for the amazing peaks of the Teton Mountain range. The wonderful thing about this hike is you can walk all the way around the southern half of the lake & when you get to the other side you're able to take a boat back to where you begin. I hiked this trail to Inspiration Point & the view was simply breathtaking.
The wildlife viewing in this park is also very good (being in the same general area of Yellowstone) & as I returned down the trail from Inspiration Point I ran into a large male Elk. I've mentioned before in this blog that I've always had a connection with animals. I've never understood exactly why or what it is that I have but this event was a great example of that connection. As I returned from Inspiration Point, as I mentioned, I ran into a male Elk. I was within 3-5 feet of this beautiful animal, he looked at me & I told him how beautiful he was & that was just going to sit here & watch him until he wanted to leave. That is what I did, I sat down where I was standing (3-5 feet) from this beautiful animal. I sat there for at least 10 minutes he looked at me & I looked at him. He would occasionally eat some of the grass between us but overall we just stayed there looking at one another. The situation only changed when more people came down from Inspiration Point, as the crowd began to gather (probably in the 10-15 minute time frame, the crowd became approximately 10 people) he looked me then looked at the others & turned & left. It was an amazing encounter for me, something I will forget in my life.
That's how close you can get to the wildlife in some of the National Parks, it's an amazing experience to see wildlife in their own natural setting. There is no place in this country to experience wildlife more vividly then our National park system. Reconnect with the land take a walk in nature & if you're lucky enough to live near a National Park take time to enjoy the beauty of the park near you.
Quote of the day:"In core of every human is a connection to the land that goes back to our beginning, rediscover this connection & find the deep & lasting joy inside yourself."