Uneventful flights from Atlanta to Denver and Denver to Salt Lake City. I get to the car pick up counter about 9pm, friendly people working the counter and I get an upgrade to a nice Chevy Cruze, with leather interiors, very welcome surprise :-). I check in to the Holiday Inn Hotel Suites Airport ($87, 1nght), unfortunately between checking in and checking out (after a great breakfast, it must be said) I lose my sunnies :-(.
After a quick stop at Walmart to stock up on water and snacks, I hit the road, although it’s not long before I have to pull over at a parking area to take in the wonderful views. Back on the road and I’m improving at combining photography with driving!
The wide open spaces and near empty roads are an absolute joy to drive. I stop at Afton, WY, for a stretch of the legs and to take in the the world’s largest arch made of elk antlers. Spanning 75 ft (23 m) across the four lanes of US Highway 89, the arch consists of 3,011 elk antlers and weighs 15 tons.
I get to Jackson Hole and make a visit to the excellent National Museum of Wildlife Art before wandering round the town and getting an excellent ice cream, Belgian chocolate & New York cheesecake – yummm! A drive by the Teton Range with a few stops to take in the majestic mountains. With no foothills to obstruct the view, the jagged peaks and deep canyons of the Teton Range rise abruptly from the Jackson Hole valley. Then it’s over the Teton Pass Hwy to Driggs, ID, to a little Best Western motel ($104, 1nght).
I beat the sun up and as I leave it’s just creeping over the mountains – off to Grand Teton National Park for a couple of hours. It’s wonderful to see all the wildlife around, completely different ecosystem to the Everglades but plenty to keep my eyes peeled for, both on the ground and in the sky.
The National Park protects stunning mountain scenery and a diverse array of wildlife. The elevation of the park ranges from 6,320 feet on the sagebrush-dominated valley floor to 13,770 feet on the windswept granite summit of the Grand Teton. Running north to south, the Snake River winds its way through the valley and across this amazing scene.
After a lovely morning in the Grand Tetons it’s up the John D Rockefeller Jr Pkwy the 10 miles or so to Yellowstone.