The Tetons: Utterly Wild, Utterly Magnificent4 min read time

I have been VERY excited to put this blog together. It’s taken so long because there are so many images I love from the Tetons part of my trip. I confess I have been binge processing them in my computer’s dark room, rather than writing. Now comes the second best part of being in the blog world, I get to try to put this ultimate experience into words. No easy task. So let me know in the comments if it takes you there….

The Tetons and its park is a place of utter awe and wonder. It is one of my favorite places on the planet. And it’s practically in my back yard! I’ve gone there the last two years in a row now and plan another trip this fall. Next fall, stay tuned for a way to join me for a tour of this, and other wonders of a loop road trip through Idaho, Wyoming and Montana. If you are a member of Travel Obscura, where my blogs regularly appear, there will even be a discount! It would be a dream come true to share this with you live. But I digress…

After leaving Craters of the Moon, I moseyed along (with many photo op stops along the way),

The Drive In

making my way to Jackson Hole Wyoming. The drive was glorious.

Snake River wending its way

Jackson Hole was cute, but crowded. And you know me by now, I imeeeediately headed out for the hinterlands.  I found a campsite at one of the only campgrounds still open in October. I felt lucky to waltz in without a reservation and find something at the Signal Mountain Campground. Don’t try this in the summer months! (Use this link to see all the campgrounds available in the Park and make reservations). It was almost dark and socked in with weather, so I settled in the Swiss Army Van with a nice hot bowl of soup and Grand Marnier to sip for dessert and hoped for a view of the Tetons in the morning.

But oh, calamity. The next morning barely dawned at all with clouds so low and fog so thick you’d think you were in the middle of an ocean. Dejected, I slunk back into town for a great breakfast and gallery tour (you gotta check out David Brookover…amazing photographer). By afternoon I was done. Since no let up of the rain or fog seemed apparent, I resigned myself to returning to my camp spot and hunkering in for some dark room processing (on my computer of course!) beneath the down quilt. *sigh*.

Instead, as I drove north, I felt I was witness to a miracle. The rain ceased, the fog began to lift and my world…was…rocked. It was transcendent. In fact, my best all time image I ever made (imho) came from this jubilant afternoon of photographing, and is named Ascendance.


Finally. I see the Tetons. I am drawn into their magnificence. I am once again transformed by the wildness of a place. I enter the dance of it, hoping to write its spirit into my images.

Colors exploded as the fog ascended

The entire four days I spent there continued to thrill me. I am reminded of an old Yes song lyric (anyone remember that band from the 70’s?), “Mountains come out of the sky, and they Stand There.”

Stand There

There were more foggy days to come, but I love moody scenes, and besides, there were the animals to photograph! Who knew? Well, probably everyone but me…

Busy as a Beaver

These beavers were tireless in their pursuit of building up their home against the oncoming winter. They didn’t seem to mind my presence at all, although they kept one eye on me just in case.

S/he’s got his eye on me as he paddles serenely past

There was another local photographer standing with me telling stories of these beavers coming out of the water and trundling right under his tripod legs…

I think I mentioned back in my blog about photographing birds in the Malheur that I had decided wildlife photography was probably beyond my means, in terms of lenses it requires and the money they cost. But I also think I most enjoy photographing animals in their milieu. In the landscape of their lives that so tells the story of how they live.

Coyote listening for prey

I’ll leave you with my second favorite image of this visit, another animal, one that is actually quite ordinary, made extraordinary by its surroundings.


Join me next blog to see where I end this remarkable journey…yet another wild place to be treasured.

And because there were so many images I couldn’t include in this blog, I hope you’ll visit the gallery to enjoy those that aren’t here. What’s YOUR favorite image?

Spread the love