After another late night the previous day, it meant another late morning. It was ok since, we had concluded the Yellowstone portion of our trip and could dedicate the remainder of our time to the Grand Teton National Park, where we were staying. Driving out of Moose-Wilson Rd., we stopped at a small waterfall. When we got there, no one was there, but of course people instantly started to stop and take pictures. One guy even had the nerve to stop his car on the “narrow one lane bridge.”
Further down the road, we saw a bunch of cars, so we had to stop and get out and see what it was. It was a female moose. The lighting was pretty bad and I intentionally left my long lens at the hotel because I knew we were going camping. I was really kicking myself for it. Oh well, a good photographer makes do with what he has right?
We started off the day by driving through the main gate and road of the park (Teton Park Road, how creative). Just after entering the park we were flagged into a turnout. The park rangers were conducting a survey and wanted to get our opinion about the park rangers at the gate, how knowledgeable they were, their courteousness, and friendliness. Well since no one was rude and always greeted us with a “good morning” and “have a nice day in the park,” they passed with high marks!
Back onto the road we drove through the park stopping at Jenny Lake and the dam before turned around. Jenny Lake was really pretty, but all the big lakes (Jenny and Jackson) were rough with white caps from the wind. It would’ve made for some nice pictures with reflections I’m sure.
Coming back we made a stop at the Chapel of the Sacred Heart (they have mass there twice a week, Saturday evenings and Sunday mornings) and Signal Mountain. The drive up takes a few minutes and is full of tight turns and narrow roads. Once at the top, I realized why they called it Signal Mountain. It had a large cell site tower and my phone had full signal bars :), a rare site sight for T-Mobile in Wyoming. After taking in the view, we sat down at the only picnic table and had lunch, a ham and cheese sandwich and Pringles.
Chapel of the Sacred Heart’s View
After lunch, we came down the mountain and headed to the Taggart Lake Trailhead. Taggart Lake was listed as one of the short hikes I had read about in the Best of the Grand Tetons guidebook. Its a few mile hike that takes you in a loop through Lake Taggart and back out the other side to the parking lot. Out of the entire trip, I think it was my favorite hike. It wasn’t to steep going up and there was plenty of shade, beautiful mountain and waterfall views, and the lake itself was gorgeous. It was unbelievably clear and calm, especially for such a windy day. It was well sheltered by all the trees, truly a hidden gem in the forest.
During the hike, I lost my sunglasses. They had fallen of the strap of my bag where I was holding them when I took out my camera to take a picture. I backtracked probably half a mile in panic. You know that feeling you get when you lose something important and you have no idea where it is and you go crazy? Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. It’s not a good feeling. I was literally looking for a needle in a haystack. I was about ready to give up when I calmed down and found my sunglasses in the spot I was standing when I noticed they were gone.
At the lake, we ran into a few groups of people who were taking in the view. On our way out, one of them had mentioned in passing that they saw a black bear (which are apparently “more curious” than vicious) on the way up from the other end which we were about to go down. I was a bit concerned but also a bit excited at the chance of seeing one up close. On this side of the loop coming out, we only saw one other person, a trail runner who ran passed us and then a little while later, passed us again going back again towards parking lot, the same direction we were headed. I joked the first time that she was running away from a bear and then again that she was for sure running away from a bear to have switched directions. Unfortunately (maybe?), we didn’t get to see said black bear. We did our best to lookout for it, but it must’ve gone somewhere else.
When we got back to the parking lot, it was about 7PM and it was time for dinner. As for time, we were doing extremely well given the past 2 days of 10 o’ clock dinners. We went back to our hotel, dropped off our stuff, and went to the Mangy Moose for dinner. While chatting with some photographers at Jenny Lake, they had mentioned that they liked the steak at the Mangy Moose.
The Mangy Moose is a pretty fun place for dinner. When you go up the stairs to the restaurant, the bar area is to the left where they have live music and the main restaurant is to the right. The restaurant itself is pretty big with two large rooms and an upstairs overlooking one of the dining rooms. The decor is pretty crazy with lots of old movie posters, antiques, working traffic lights, and even an old airplane. Unique for sure. For dinner, I ordered the prime rib and a salad with mango vinaigrette. The salad with dressing was excellent. I have never had anything like it before but since I love vinegar, it was perfect! The steak was pretty good as well. I’d say not as good as the prime rib I had at McGuire’s in Destin. I only say this because that one had a better sauce and better color and texture. I ordered medium, but it came quite rare and almost mushy soft, but seemed cooked enough. Maybe I just like it cooked more firm?
After dinner, it was early to bed (11ish). Not as early as I wanted, but because I wanted to do my sunrise pictures the next morning.
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