Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

The Biathlon

Monday August 8, 2011
Gros Ventre Campground Site 104
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

When it warmed up into the 50’s on Sunday
morning, we went for a run.  
I went up and paid for 3 more nights
in this site after having checked out Colter Bay Campground
on Saturday and deciding it really wasn’t my kind of place.
Chances are good that we will just stay here
our entire 10 days. 

It was mostly a lazy day. 
We walked down to the river which
is pretty much right outside our door beyond the trees.
In the evening, David walked over to the ranger talk
on bears at the amphitheater on
and found out that very few people
see the 100 or so grizzlies who live here.
Many times more black bears are here but
the park takes GREAT care to have bear proof
trash cans and “protect the bears don’t leave food out”
signs everywhere.  
Be Bear Aware is the slogan.

I was having trouble posting the Friday blog
due to the weak internet signal so I stayed behind
and did the dishes and fiddled with the wireless.
I’m actually amazed we have any signal out here
but it is quite temperamental.  I never did get that
blog to publish.  But there’s always tomorrow.

Today David was anxious to get out and do something.
He had a day of hiking and biking planned.
So we drove off to leave the bikes
at the Taggart Lake Trailhead and then drive up
to the Lupine Meadow Trailhead and hike back.

His distance estimation
4.3 mile hike.  5.3 mile bike.
I can handle it.

On the way, he discovered he’d left
his camera behind.  UH OH, that means
only my set of pictures.  Compromised
zooming capability for sure.
Oh well………..

Bikes and helmets secured.

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After turning at the Lupine Meadow sign
we found a mile or so of gravel road.
Hmmmm we actually have hybrid bikes that we have
found do not do so well on road gravel.
Oh well, too late now.

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Our intended route was one he’d made up.
Lupine Meadow trail to Bradley Lake Trail to Taggart Lake trail.
So off we went, into the woods.  Wildflowers on every side.

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Mother Nature seemed to have done a little
over drive on this poor pine which apparently
broke under the weight of all those cones.

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The views were very nice on both the right and the left

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but the climb was up, up, up
– all 1.7 miles of it
until we got to the Bradley lake trail.
Hmmm  he didn’t mention that straight up part.

And he didn’t know that the mosquitoes were out
and so there was no stopping on this section.
Still it was a lovely trail with terrific wildflowers.

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Click the album to see all 22 of the
wildflowers, they are just lovely.

The trail turned down – YEA

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and there was the first view of Bradley Lake

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Glacial erratics were everywhere.
All of the lakes in Grand Teton were carved
by the glaciers.

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Wonderful views from the trail continued

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We made it.
Bradley Lake elevation 7022

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The perfect spot for lunch

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Here’s our lunch time view.

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How about that glacier??
Hope he doesn’t think I’m gong to hike up there.

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Back on the trail

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Just can’t resist these views of Bradley Lake
and the peaks.

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On to Taggart Lake

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Stop for a vista

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Through more wildflowers

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First views of Taggart

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There are at least 5 biotic communities on
this hike.  And here we came into the aspens
which have come in since the 1985 fire
that burned 1000 acres around Taggart.
I love their white bark and the  rustling sound of their leaves.

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All of this area was burned in the fire.
Nature’s regrowth in 25 years is amazing.
See how tiny the trail is.

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As we neared the lake I smelled something
distinctly cinnamon like.  We finally figured out
that it was the leaves of these bushes
which based on their numbers
are apparently also one of the main
understory returnees after a fire.
We haven’t been able to ascertain for
certain what they are although we think
they may be snowbrush.  If you know for sure,
let me know.

You can also see that we are entering
a pine forest.  The main trees burned in the
fire were lodgepole pines which have
2 types of seed cones.  In addition to
their biennial cones they produce a special
cone which only opens at temperatures
exceeding 113 degrees F.  These cones
may stay on the trees for 20 years or more
waiting for the forest fire to release their seeds.
Nature is just amazing!

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These leaves smelled SO good,
and have a waxy sticky side

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We decided to wear them
while we hiked so we could have that great smell. 

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We arrived a second beautiful lake.
Taggart  Lake’s elevation is 6902

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The trail went around one side of the lake
with great views all the way.
I went through the new lodgepole pine
forest.  Studies have shown that lodgepole forests
can produce up to 1,000,000 seeds per acre
following a fire.  And boy were they thick.

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As we left the lake the lodgepoles were
even thicker.

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Definitely looked like a million seeds
were fighting for the sunlight.
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We left the pine community as
we continued back toward the trail head.

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The trail moved back into a more mixed woods

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and along side a sweet stream

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Now here is where the absence of David’s camera
REALLY made a difference.
We came across the stream

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and there on
a scag just beside the trail at the very top
was a marmot posing.

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This is about the best my little camera could do.

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But the very next thing was a bridge
over this GREAT creek/stream/river.
(not sure what they’d call it out here)

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Don’t think anybody wants to kayak this
white water.

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We made it to the trailhead
after 6.4 miles not  4.3.
JBut that did include 1/2 mile walk
from where we parked the car at Lupine Meadows.
We picked up the bikes here.

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This is a closer view of the map of this section
of Grand Teton National Park’s
VERY FINE bike path which they are
lengthening to run to Jackson this summer.

I need an arrow here.
We are going from the “You are here” sign
at the bottom up to the second set of black
symbols on the left, Lupine Meadows.
Notice the long road (mostly gravel) from the bike
  path to the trailhead parking lot.

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The bikes had been waiting for us so
Off we go for the second event.

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We had passed behind this
ranch on the trail just before we got to the bikes.
Mules, I think, they looked a lot like our
Burros Fred and Ginger – same ears. J
There appear to be several private 
ranches, houses, roads within the park.
Remnants of the original argument I suppose.

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On down the path
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We turned down the road to the trailhead
crossed the one lane bridge and the road turned
to gravel.   We decided we didn’t want to have
to deal with the dust and grit on two chains
so David rode down to get the car while I
”amused myself” down by the water.

There he goes

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After 11.8 miles total
I got the best end of this biathlon.

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  1. Didn't that make for a long day? You guys must be in GREAT shape!!! Such wonderful views.

  2. Just read your last two posts. Honestly, will y'all ever be satisfied in Charlottesville again? I love that ducky got to have a swim -- *so* cute by the lily pads. Love the wild flowers. Love it all. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Great wildflower pictures and what a gorgeous spot for lunch. Can't wait to be there tomorrow and see those mountains for real!!

  4. Your camera did just fine, of course you find all these great places where it's almost impossible to take a bad picture.

    Love those Aspens!

  5. Love everythng including the photos:o))

    Just would love to ride bikes out there. It looks so clear and fresh. A far cry from the heat and humidity around here:o((

    Glad to hear Carrie is coming. I know you will really enjoy spending time with her in such a beautiful place!!!

  6. Great pictures, I almost feel like I was there too, beautiful :)

  7. You need to get Mr. Handy to rig a contraption that snaps a picture with every step. It wouldn't even matter what the camera aims at. Looks like with that scenery, there are NO BAD SHOTS! Wow!

  8. You look cute with a cinnamon moustache. :-)

    Lovely wildflowers!

  9. I am totally exhausted after going with you on that triathlon! But it sure was some pretty scenery!


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