Got bear spray?

I arrived in Jackson Hole yesterday afternoon after spending the last few days in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. And I am happy to report that, with the exception of the 2,763 mosquito bites that I sustained, being in the parks was awesome.

If there was any kind of theme, it would be the title for this post.  Because anytime I spoke to anyone – ranger, fellow hiker, etc – the question would always be the same… “Got bear spray?” And every time, I would answer “Of course!”  Because the only thing that would have ruined my time in the parks would have been getting attacked by a bear. Personally, I think it was my horrible singing of Duran Duran’s Reflex at the top of my lungs while I was hiking that kept the bears at bay.

For this post, I thought I would switch things up. Instead of day by day recap, I’m dividing my pix into three categories with minimal description – animal (including selfies with or without Juno), vegetable (all scenery) and mineral (geysers and thermals). Minimal description because the pictures speak for themselves!

Starting with vegetable, here are my favorite pix from Yellowstone – Eleanor Lake, Lewis Falls, Absaroka Mountains, Mystic Falls, Lewis Lake.

And my favorite pix from Grand Teton NP – various shots of the Tetons… Fave is the reflection shot with the kayakers on the right:

Next up – animal pix.  First, there was this little guy.  I came across him while climbing Observation Point next to Old Faithful. Not sure what he is…

Then there was the lone bison chilling by a stream. Note the bird perched on his back.

A few pix of Juno and me by Yellowstone Lake and the Continental Divide.  Plus a couple of me solo – in front of Mystic Falls and while hiking the Taggett Lake trail…

And now, the money shots.  Yesterday morning I got stuck in two bear jams.  For those that don’t know, a bear jam is a traffic jam that occurs when there’s a bear near the road and everyone slows down to look at it.  The first bear jam didn’t amount to much.  I parked, ran back to the site of the bears but they were far away so no good pix.  The second bear jam?  Bingo!  Mamma grizzly and her two cubs. Watched the cubs climb a tree, watched mom forage for food – but the best was watching one of the cubs snuggle with mom and also watching the cubs play with each other. Not the best shots since I could only zoom so much but you get the idea…

Finally, mineral pix. I spent all day Thursday on the west side of Yellowstone checking out the “thermals” as they are called.  There are boardwalks to keep people above the ground (and safe).  Some of the smaller pools look like colorful hot tubs with their constant bubbling and I really wanted to jump in.  But then I learned the temperature is around 199°F so best that I stayed on the boardwalk.

I ended up watching Old Faithful erupt twice and videotaped both – once from Observation Point and once from ground level.  You be the judge but I think the view from up top was way better:

So that just about does it.  It’s cold and rainy here this morning so a good day to be in the MoHo…  The plan is to reach Elko, NV tonight and Oakland, CA on Sunday evening.  I’m excited to get back to NorCal – Juno needs to get groomed and I am in desperate need of a mani/pedi after all the hiking. In other words, we both have mangy paws.  I’ll be doing a final recap once I’m back home so be sure to tune in again early next week.  Leaving you with a final pic of Juno and me here in Jackson Hole at one of the famous antler arches on the Town Square.

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Have a great weekend!

3 thoughts on “Got bear spray?

  1. Thanks for all your very interesting recaps and beautiful picture taking. Your have made it very enjoyable traveling with you.
    Bill

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  2. What an extraordinary way to conclude an extraordinary trip around the USA. You’re to be commended for doing what the rest of us can only dream about … having new adventures, meeting new people, tolerating extremes in temperature, and seeing places that most of us know only through National Geographic. Whether you realize it now or not, you have had a life-changing experience. As Mr. Rogers would say, “I’m proud of you, I’m proud of you,” dah de de dah dah dah “and hope that you are proud of you, too.”

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