Saturday, September 16, 2023

Another day of sharing our love of Grand Teton National Park with Friends

It’s been ten days since I last wrote a blog entry. My excuse is that it has been a busy time with bear watching with friends, selling at a new show, and looking to purchase a park model, and hiking to the Periodic Springs. One of our dear friends Betty, who lives in Iowa, has been wintering at our rv park in Texas. There we have met her family including two of her daughters, Melanie and Alana. This spring Melanie mentioned to us that she was planning on taking a trip to Glacier and Grand Teton National Parks. Renita and I love to have visitors and told her to call us and set up a time to meet at the park headquarters in Moose Wyoming.
They told us that they had seen elk, antelope, deer, and a mountain goat but had not seen any bears or moose. The pressure was on! Renita and I talked it over and decided to take them to Sawmill Pond. The men rode in one vehicle and the women in another so Renita and I could regale them with our stories, mostly true. One of our favorite places,it was was not very far away, and as we neared the spot we saw cars, pickups, a large crowd of people and the parks wildlife management group. A bear jam in progress! Finding a place to park we joined the throng and had several people point out the black bear. It was under a tree, behind bushes, and difficult to see.
As usual I had the camera on autofocus. The bear was basically a black smudge in the dense brush. IT started to move, and I got one shot as it walked across an opening. Of course, the autofocus took a great picture of a branch and a blurry picture of the bear. Before I could change to manual focus the bear was gone from sight. Our favorite trail was still closed and so we continued along the road looking for more bears. While we didn’t see any bears, we did spot a cow moose feeding in a small pond.
In the first picture taken with a 75-600 mm lens you can see the bugs, (little specks), that are bothering her.
The second picture was taken by Melanie with her cell phone and the third by Renita with her 75-300 mm lens.
From there we drove the Teton Park Road without any success. Still we pointed out the places we had seen grizzly and black bears, and the rockslide on the mountain. Other points of interest were the Potholes where ice was buried during the last glaciation. It had melted during the last five hundred years, and settled forming depressions, which filled with trees, (not the same as sinkholes which form above cave systems) These depressions are places where the elk calve and are frequented by grizzly bears in search of an easy meal. From there we headed to Coulter Bay for lunch before driving past the dump road, Pilgrim Creek and one of our favorite trailheads, No bears, moose. elk were posing for pictures and so we next stopped at the location of Cattlemen’s Bridge, (long since gone).
Looking down the Snake River we could see American white pelicans, double crested cormorants, and common mergansers. All the birds were resting after feasting on fish. They must have a fishy breath as they tend to hang together!
A mature bald eagle perched on a tree but did not provide us with a clear shot! From there we drove to the Oxbow and then returned to where we had started. No bears were visible, and we took a last ride down the narrow road. The men’s car took the lead and soon after we had passed a spot the women had to stop to let a bear cross the road.
It ignored them and started to feed on the berry laden bushes. It was so close they had to keep their windows up! The bear was so close that the best picture was taken by Melanie with her cell phone. Driving further they spotted a moose, and a bull elk. We never got a good pic of the elk and when we turned around to see the bear, we only saw moving bushes. A Bear management person told me to roll up my window. The bear must have been in the ditch but none of us could see it. Our last meeting was at the Sawmill Pond, where a moose had appeared for more pictures. Our last wildlife enbcounter was of a herd of cow elk on the ridgeline and ended our great day in the park!
Everyone had seen black bears, and moose so now our friends had checked most of their animal boxes. They had not seen any grizzly bears, but we later learned there were two feeding alongside the Towgotee Pass Highway. Perhaps next time! Thanks for the visit, we love sharing our knowledge of Grand Teton National Park! Clear skies


  1. Nice Blog Mark looks like a great time. Nice set of photos

  2. So glad you found the other animals. Love the moose ones.

  3. You live a wildlife. Stay safe and healthy