Saturday, November 28, 2009

Heaven on the Earth - Grand Teton

When our airplane was landing at Jackson Hole Airport in July 2008 - we were pleasantly surprised to see the glacier covered, vertical raised rocky peaks - the famous Teton Ranges and the snake river ruining in a valley dotted by glacier lakes.

The very next day we went to Jenny lake at the foot of the Teton Range. The lake's water looked so green due to reflection of dense pine trees on the shore. It is not too big and is a perfect place for canoeing and kayaking, we would kayak/canoeing in the lake later. We rode a boat crossing Jenny lake to have a short hike in the mountain with two other families. Walking on the trail by a rushing stream, seeing white water flying down, listening to the sound of nature, then passing a rocky cliff section, we reached our destination - inspiration point. Jenny lake was at our feet, the broad valley and the snake river was in front of us. All were under the bright morning Sun. Back down, we took a detour to check out the hidden water fall. In between mountains, water gushing over a ridge, flying down between tall pine trees, spread mist all around it. At parking lot, we looked at the snow covered mountains again, saw two mountaineers in the glacier covered peak.

At lunch time, our friends went to a restaurant, we went to the shore of Jackson Lake for a picnic. Jackson lake is much larger than Jenny lake. The water is crystal clear at the shoreline, a few kids were playing in the freezing cold water; it is dark blueish farther away reflecting the blue sky. Teton range was on the other side of the lake from us, lush green trees all the way to tree line, then grey spiky rocks, white snow, blue sky - a story book fairy land.

The next day we came back to watch the sunrise and then drove on to Yellowstone National Park. A turn in the road, I was absolutely amazed by what I saw while driving: mirror-surface water reflecting lush green trees on a island and Teton Range from afar. We arrived at Ox Bend of the snake river.

At this early morning, we had all this beauty and tranquility to ourselves. Just then a duck flew into the water, and then swam toward the island, breaking the seemingly absolute stationary water, producing ripples in its wake. If Teton Range is the fairy land, then Ox Bend is the Heaven on earth.

Note: In addition to its amazing beauty, Grand Teton has everything else, mountains, water falls, lakes, river. We hiked into the mountain, ran river rafting in the snake river, kayaked at Jenny lake, picnicked by Jackson lake, or just like the morning at Ox Bend, sitting or standing there to take everything in.

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