Tagged: traveling

Beautiful Tetons

During our week of camping in the Tetons, followed by my daughter’s wedding, we were audience to the continually changing beauty of the Tetons. I wanted to post a few photos of the Tetons, to show how different they looked at various times of day, but rather than just “a few,” decided to post all of the best photos.

MORNING:

After unzipping the tent each morning, the Tetons were always my first sight. It became a game each morning to discover how the mountains would look that first hour of the day.

Foggy Tetons

Our first morning’s view, before the fog had lifted in the valley

Teton view from the campsite

This was the view from our campsite.

Teton Dogs

Tetons as backdrop to my dogs, Shasta and Nevada

Tetons with Popcorn Clouds

The clouds were different every day we were there

NOON:

The afternoons were very warm, and the sunshine at altitude was intense. Everyone got sunburned the first day within the first hour. Each afternoon seemed to bring dramatic weather, with winds and dark clouds, though many times the rain never hit the ground.

Tetons after the rain

Our first view, after a huge downpour

Teton Rainshower

It wasn’t unusual to see rain and sunshine at the same time

Tetons and low clouds

After a hard rain storm

Tetons with rays of sunshine

Rays of sunshine beaming down from the clouds. It never stayed cloudy for long.

Tetons and cloud shadows

I love the way the cloud shadows danced across the mountains.

Teton Wedding

Tetons as backdrop to my daughter’s wedding

Tetons from the south

Evening Tetons on the south side of town, towards the ski resort

and NIGHT:

The evenings were simply gorgeous. Each evening was different from the one before, depending on the clouds and colors. Our first night there, the Milky Way arced across the sky like a white rainbow.

Teton Sunset

Our first sunset

Teton colors at sunset

The photo doesn’t do justice to the incredible colors that night

Tetons in early evening

Early evening

Evening Tetons with wispy clouds

The wispy clouds against the indigo sky were beautiful

Nighttime Tetons

Time for the stars to take over

Going Home to Wyoming

There are places in the world that feel like home even if you’ve never lived there. Places that feel immediately familiar, where your shoulders relax and you sigh deeply. Places that deeply touch some part of your soul and beg you to stay. Places you yearn for when you’re away. Places where you don’t have to be anything other than who you are.

For me, that place is Wyoming.

Wyoming Rainbows

I’ve traversed America countless times to return to Wyoming. Each time is like a homecoming.

On a flight to Oregon once we flew directly over eastern Wyoming. It’s expansive nothingness was unmistakable. I looked out the window and thought, “My heart is down there.”

I don’t think I’ve ever said anything more true.

Eastern Wyoming

For years, my family made summer road trips to Montana and Wyoming. My daughter worked as a park ranger in Yellowstone, then a geologist in Jackson Hole. This summer we returned for her wedding overlooking the Tetons.

Tetons

On our first trips, Wyoming seemed so far away. Two full days of driving with two bored kids in the backseat almost didn’t seem worth it. The fights, the restlessness, the boredom. But once we got out of Texas (which is over nine hours of the entire trip), and the drive became more scenic, even the kids couldn’t complain too much.

Nowadays we avoid Colorado and sacrifice mountain views for the easy, monotonous drive through Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska. I ponder the emigrants of the 1800’s walking through these arid places, following their wagons, ready to start a new life. I wonder what it would have been like to be a woman, coming to such a place and raising a family.

Kansas Barn

This year we drove up through southern Utah, another place I think of as home. Still clinging to our stressful, fast paced city lives, we were anxious to reach Wyoming and help with wedding preparations, and made no stops in Utah. It was tough to drive past Canyonlands and Arches and not enter the parks. For me, southern Utah and the four corners area is like the center of the world, and if there is such a thing as “sacred space,” it is found in Utah.

Southern Utah

Regardless of which direction we enter Wyoming, I’m in love the moment we cross the state line. From the lonely, empty landscapes of the east, to the mountains of the west, it’s all magical to me. The sky is huge and never remains the same. Weather changes are dramatic and sudden.

Western Wyoming

We camped on Shadow Mountain, across the valley and overlooking the Teton mountains. We camped five nights on forest service land, and I couldn’t have been happier. We had only planned on camping three nights, but the choice between a hotel room and sleeping outdoors was an easy one. Despite a fire ban, which meant no evening campfires, every minute spent on the mountain was priceless.

Tetons from Our Tent

My daughter was married there.

Teton Wedding

The Tetons wear a different face every morning. Its face changes throughout the day. It’s fascinating to watch those changes. I could never grow tired of the view.

Sunset Tetons

One could sit for a lifetime on Shadow Mountain and grow old, watching the changes sweep across the mountains, and know that despite the changes, nothing really changed at all. This is the mountains’ greatest lesson.

I used to think of Wyoming as being someplace far, far removed from my Texas life. It isn’t. Even if I never physically live there, I will always carry it’s songs and pictures in my heart.

Teton Bison

When I’m back in Dallas, in my air conditioned house trying to escape the 100+ degree temperatures outside, I can close my eyes and imagine myself standing before the Tetons. I know all the roads that will take me there. I imagine one long road, a tether, an umbilical cord, between myself and the mountains. I know that at any moment, if my everyday life ever becomes too overwhelming or artificial, all I have to do is start driving.

I’ll be there soon enough.