We must be near the western edge of the mountain time zone, because it stays light later and get light later too. Monday are plan was to try for an early start, and head back up and over Teton Pass and into Grand Teton National Park. Our destination was the Laurence S. Rockefeller Preserve and a 2.9 mile hike to Phelps Lake. On the way we almost had an accident as some (insert your favorite driving cussword(s) here) in a pickup truck pulled-in right in front of us. Fortunately our rental SUV has good brakes.
Anne almost had another accident on our way to the Rockefeller Preserve, but this one involved a moose and not a reckless driver. In the park we noticed parked vehicles on the side of the road. A telltale sign that wildlife was present and was making itself available for viewing. The first stop was for a moose cow and her calf. They were at the bottom of a steep embankment and were also hiding in shadows. There was absolutely no danger, but there was also no good photos to be had either. Our second stop also involved a cow and her calf. We got out, there were lots of people about and the two moose were calmly drinking water in the stream. I stood with the rest of the paparazzi and got some good photographs. All of a sudden there was a commotion from behind. Someone yelled lookout and the cow’s yearling came down the hill from out of nowhere and breezed by Anne who was standing farthest from the other moose than anyone else there. A seemingly knowledgeable observer later said that the cow had been trying to run off the yearling, in favor of her calf. Great, Anne almost gets trampled in a moose family domestic dispute.
Anyway we made it to the preserve and hiked to Phelps Lake. We took lots of pictures along the way, so the hike took longer than expected. I had just taken the picture of the female Common Merganser when a park volunteer walked up and I asked her help in identifying it. It turns out the volunteer was the same woman, Carla, that had recommended this place to us the day before. It gave us the opportunity to thank her for her recommendation. I noticed the can of pepper spray on her belt and asked it there were any bears in the neighborhood? She said that one had been seen that morning on the trail that we were going to return on. We did not see any bears, but a chipmunk accosted Anne. I think, because she was eating trail mix at the time.
After our hike we drove into Grand Teton National Park proper, the part that you have to pay to enter. We saw the mountains. We had another picnic and then we went wading. Feeling a little tired at this point, we headed back over Teton Pass for an early diner at the Knotty Pine in Victor, ID. Anne had the buffalo burger and I had the elk burger. Dining west of the range was another of Carla’s recommendations. It is great to have your own personal guide.