Photos from Grand Tetons

by | Sep 19, 2014 | 37 comments

Photos from Grand Tetons

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If you can open your heart, a sight like this can flood you with joy and bring tears to your eyes.

If you can open your heart, a sight like this can flood you with joy and bring tears to your eyes.

I always try to break up my posts and have some variety so today I’m going to post photos from last July when I was in the Grand Tetons National Park. For a long time the Grand Tetons have been on my Bucket List of places to intensively photograph but the opportunity just had not come up  before. At this point in my life I am making a determined effort to do as many thing on the List as possible, so this is another one checked off.
I love Fireweed! I missed it in Alaska but got back just in time to see it at the Grand Tetons!

I love Fireweed! I missed it in Alaska but got back just in time to see it at the Grand Tetons!

If you’ve been reading my blog for long you may remember that I had shots from there last June on the way north to Alaska but we also stopped by in July on our way back from Alaska. These photos are very different from the ones in June so I felt like it was worthwhile to post these for you as well. It also serves as a great example about Bucket Lists in general: doing them once is often not enough!
The Tetons are the main show, but they aren't all there is.

The Tetons are the main show, but they aren’t all there is.

My good friend Scott is the manager of a RV park just 1 mile outside the East entrance to Grand Tetons National Park and he had very graciously offered to let us stay at the Park for no cost. We stayed a week in the beginning of June but when Judy and I got there we discovered that  there was still a lot of snow on the ground. In some ways that was good because the snow forced a lot more wildlife down int the Teton Valley so I got to photograph them. But it also meant that there were many photos that I simply couldn’t take.
The Valley around the Tetons explodes with wildflowers in summer!

The Valley around the Tetons explodes with wildflowers in summer!

I had originally intended to leave my van in storage at a Storage Lot in Idaho Falls, Idaho but Scott insisted that it would not be a problem for me to leave it at the RV Park. I could see it wouldn’t be an imposition so I took him up on the offer. That meant we had to return the GTNP at the end of the trip to pick up my van. But that was great with me, because I knew by then the wildflowers would be in bloom and that is when the Park is at it’s best as far as I am concerned!
GT-purple-flwrs
The great thing about photography as a hobby is that it can be done year around and anywhere you happen to be. Each season changes the landscape dramatically and offers all new opportunities. The Grand Tetons are a perfect example of that:

  • winter has a quiet majesty,
  • spring brings wildlife and waterfalls,
  • summer has fantastic wildflower blooms.
  • fall has spectacular colors.

GT-reflections
Because they are all so very different, and beautiful in distinct and varied ways, one trip there is not enough enough to say you’ve seen it. If you’re just notching off things on your proverbial belt, then you can check it off your Bucket List, but if your intent is to fully capture the joy that can come from a Bucket list, then it’s not enough! I still need to get fall color photos of the Grand Tetons NP, so I will be back!

The Grand Tetons NP and Yellowstone NP (just 30 miles to north) have the best wildlife viewing in the lower 48!

The Grand Tetons NP and Yellowstone NP (just 30 miles to north) have the best wildlife viewing in the lower 48!

I hope you enjoy these photos one one-hundredth as much as I enjoyed taking them! I also hope you always remember that finding joy is the primary purpose of your life and that a Bucket List is just one tool to help you do that.

Previous Paria Campsite, Utah–Alaska Trip
Next Photos from Leadville Colorado

37 Comments

  1. klbexplores

    Spectacular photos. Great point, it is about the joy in the moment and so many things including time of year can change the experience. I choose to embrace the joy of the moment what ever that moment brings.

    • Bob

      klbexplores, we agree totally! Every moment is perfect and can’t be improved on. But I can still plan for the future and learn from the past.
      I fully enjoyed both trips to the Tetons, and when I go back in the Fall, I will enjoy it just as much!
      Bob

  2. Al Christensen

    Vary nice shots! Obviously, one of the keys is to go looking for scenes rather than expecting them to fall in your lap.

    • Bob

      Absolutely Al! I bought two books on photographing the Tetons and even then went off exploring everywhere I could.
      Bob

  3. LaVonne Ellis

    Beautiful, thank you! The Grand Tetons were the first mountains I ever saw, when my mom and I took a two-week car camping vacation to Yellowstone when I was a teenager. It was love at first site, and I have been wanting to go back ever since.

    • Bob

      LaVonne, you are so right, they take your breath away and capture your heart!
      Better put that on your bucket list!
      Bob

  4. LaVonne Ellis

    SIGHT. Love at first SIGHT. Gah.

  5. Openspaceman

    Bob_
    Pro quality as always. The exact opposite of staring up at a hi-rise behind a garbage truck.

    • Openspaceman

      Bob_
      How do you keep track of all these photos? Do you store them on SD cards or store them in a Cloud? That’s probably the easiest way, right…

      • Bob

        No, the cloud is too slow and SD cards are too small. Windows comes with everything you need except the one critical thing, determination to use it. I just use folders and subfolders. Each year gets a new folder, each part of the year get it’s own sub-folder. Events in part of the year get their own subfolder.
        Then some things that aren’t time based get their own folders and sub-folders. Van conversions, readers photos, product reviews, sunsets-sunrises-rainbows etc.
        That’s easy, then you have to make sure and do it every time. That’s hard.
        Bob

    • Bob

      Yeah, I prefer this view too!
      Bob

  6. Ming

    nice photos, Bob. Thanks for the reminder of past trips – some of the most spectacular fireweed I’ve seen was in previously burned forests. I remember a thick blanket of pink flowers at the foot of a forest of black skeletal sticks. It felt ghostly and ethereal and beautiful all at the same time.

    • Bob

      Ming, I’ve noticed the same thing. Forutnately this wasn’t burned recently.
      Bob

  7. Scott Cotner

    Fall is my absolute favorite time to be here! We have a fresh coating of snow on the higher elevations of the Mts and the aspens are putting on quite a color show. Not to mention that the crowds have finally thinned out!!

    • Bob

      Oh no Scott, don’t say that or I’ll be really tempted to drop everything and run up there and see the fall colors, and you, again!!
      And to think, you get paid to be in one of the most beautiful places on the planet and watch the seasons roll around! You are a very lucky man!!!
      Bob

  8. Elizabeth

    i will start by apologizing. everybody has their own language to communicate ideas, whether through facial expression, body language, social nuances, radiance………..or language. i know these are just words that people use to convey a thought or idea, but………..but………..the term “bucket list” drives me insane. it’s like fingernails on a chalkboard every time i read it or hear it. it makes me want to unsubscribe, yet it gives me an opportunity to breathe and let go. i know it’s just a way of saying………make a list and live it! live your dreams, your joys, your life!
    but, it’s all about me……..LOL. and hearing people pick up a term from a movie, no matter how wonderful, is, is………….nothing. nothing. my response would just be words, opinions, categorizing ether.
    the timing is perfect. i will be seeing a sibling who uses this phrase, as many boomers do, and it will remind me to breathe, and be joyful, to know that words are not important………it’s the intention, and yours is always love. as always i am humbled (or should i say humiliated) by the awareness of my own ego and willing to learn and laugh………..i always laugh at myself, so that’s a really good thing!
    thank you for being a teacher in so many ways……….

    • Bob

      Elizabeth, no need to apologize or feel bad, those are your feelings and they aren’t subject to judgement. I could argue that they are illogical, but that’s redundant, they’re feelings not thoughts! It sounds like you are coping with them very well and that’s admirable!
      I “feel” just the opposite about movies, I love movies (and TV shows) with hidden and subtle moral and lessons. From the moment humans began using language we have used stories to communicate not just facts but our deepest truths and innermost person. The history and accumulated wisdom of each tribe was encapsulated by the story-tellers who usually became the wise-men or shaman.
      To be a human is be a story-teller and story listener.
      Movies are that ancient wisdom combined with modern technology. There are no new stories, they were all first told a million years ago, we just have found a way to bring them to life in a way our ancestors could never have imagined. They simply would have sat around a fire and told nearly that same story and each person would have understood and interpreted it for himself and their lives would have been changed and improved in some tiny way.
      The “Bucket List” is simply the Hero’s last journey; a journey that is both entertaining and wise. I’m delighted and grateful for such a well-crafted story. I try to weave them and their lessons into the very fabric of my life.
      But let me emphasis again that there is no understanding or explaining our emotional reaction and none are right or wrong. Mine is certainly no better than yours. In this one rare case my emotions and my reason agree, more often they don’t!
      Bob

  9. Calvin R

    Wow. I may have to add photography to my bucket list.

    • Bob

      Calvin, of course I’m prejudiced, but I think it should be on everyone’s list. Today’s point and shoot digital cameras are amazingly good for very little money. And you can get a great DSLR for under $500 which will take pro-level photos.
      Every time I go back through my old photos it’s like I re-live those magical moments. That’s an experience I wish for everyone!
      Bob

  10. joezurlein

    You can,t go wrong with that area i could just enjoy it all day long super photo.s you have a keen eye ,thanks for sharing

    • Bob

      Thanks much Joe! Yeah, it’s a spectacular place!
      Bob

  11. Gloria Brooks

    Yes, I’m definitely adding the Tetons to my list!! Woweee! And so close to Yellowstone too. That’s also on the list. Fall is here, and I can’t wait to see you both again! Yaaay!

    • Bob

      Us to Gloria! We are moving to the Grand Canyon this week to your/our old spot. Probably be there two weeks if you are headed this way.
      Even with all these big storms the weather here has been very, very good with very little rain.
      Bob

  12. Ming

    I just noticed that this is a national park. What did you do with your dog when you were there and out on your photo excursions? Or did you not have Cody yet on this trip? Would you feel ok leaving him in your van on hikes where he was not allowed?

    • Bob

      Ming, that’s always a problem. In this case I didn’t have Cody yet but I went to lots of National Parks with Homer in our 6 years together and yes, he just always got left in the van. Because I am a snowbird I am only in the NPs when the temp are reasonable so he has always been okay.
      The Tetons are at 7,000 feet, so even in the summer your dog will be okay in the van.
      Bob

      • Ming

        thanks Bob. That helps. I find it a confusing thing – not sure if they check to make sure there are no dog in cars; also there was a highly publicized case locally of a dog walker leaving her charges in a hot truck, all the dogs died, she tried to cover it up…
        I have left my dogs in cars before and it’s been fine as I leave either a wide open sunroof while parked in the shade, or take other equivalent measures and have always found the car cool upon my return. I’ve just never done it to go on a hike without them.

        • Bob

          Ming, well, the key is it can’t be too hot. I love my dogs and don’t want to hurt or even kill them. But if it isn’t too hot, I don’t have a problem with them being left in the van alone. It’s their home, it’s not a sacrifice to spend time in it just like it isn’t for me.
          Bob

  13. Cindi

    FABULOUS PHOTOS!!!

    • Bob

      Thanks Cindi!
      Bob

  14. Jan Cook

    Just beautiful! Hope to experience the Tetons in person. This is a long waited dream and I’m sure I will be in awe of the overwhelming emotions these majestic mountains evoke. Jan

    • Bob

      Thanks Jan, you can’t help but fall in love with the place!
      Bob

  15. John

    Great photos Bob, thanks for sharing… I also hope to be there taking photos as well

    • Bob

      Thanks John, if you read a few books and take lots of pictures, you can!
      Bob

  16. Elizabeth

    thanks for allowing me a venue to air my “illogical” foibles. i have to say them out load to listen to how ridiculous i am, laugh at myself, receive much needed awareness from others, and move on. i appreciate your thoughtful response, not only to my emotional self, but the intellectual as well. i love the notion of movies being part of hearing stories, from which we can glean a little wisdom. a movie along the same genre that i liked even better was THE INTOUCHABLES, no, not the untouchables.
    anyway…….i’m grateful that photography and many of the places i hope to visit are on your bucket list, so that i can learn from those who go before me. thank you………always.

    • Bob

      Elizabeth, your musings are always welcome here!!
      Bob

  17. Tina

    Such amazing pictures Bob! When I visited a few years ago in August I could not get over all the flowers and wonderful views. On the last day I saw a double rainbow over the Tetons, great memories will need to visit again.
    Take care,
    Tinabeane

    • Bob

      Tina, the Tetons are one of my favorite places and August is one of the best times to be there!
      You were fortunate to be able to visit and see a double rainbow, I’m jealous!
      Bob

Table of Contents

37 Comments

  1. klbexplores

    Spectacular photos. Great point, it is about the joy in the moment and so many things including time of year can change the experience. I choose to embrace the joy of the moment what ever that moment brings.

    • Bob

      klbexplores, we agree totally! Every moment is perfect and can’t be improved on. But I can still plan for the future and learn from the past.
      I fully enjoyed both trips to the Tetons, and when I go back in the Fall, I will enjoy it just as much!
      Bob

  2. Al Christensen

    Vary nice shots! Obviously, one of the keys is to go looking for scenes rather than expecting them to fall in your lap.

    • Bob

      Absolutely Al! I bought two books on photographing the Tetons and even then went off exploring everywhere I could.
      Bob

  3. LaVonne Ellis

    Beautiful, thank you! The Grand Tetons were the first mountains I ever saw, when my mom and I took a two-week car camping vacation to Yellowstone when I was a teenager. It was love at first site, and I have been wanting to go back ever since.

    • Bob

      LaVonne, you are so right, they take your breath away and capture your heart!
      Better put that on your bucket list!
      Bob

  4. LaVonne Ellis

    SIGHT. Love at first SIGHT. Gah.

  5. Openspaceman

    Bob_
    Pro quality as always. The exact opposite of staring up at a hi-rise behind a garbage truck.

    • Openspaceman

      Bob_
      How do you keep track of all these photos? Do you store them on SD cards or store them in a Cloud? That’s probably the easiest way, right…

      • Bob

        No, the cloud is too slow and SD cards are too small. Windows comes with everything you need except the one critical thing, determination to use it. I just use folders and subfolders. Each year gets a new folder, each part of the year get it’s own sub-folder. Events in part of the year get their own subfolder.
        Then some things that aren’t time based get their own folders and sub-folders. Van conversions, readers photos, product reviews, sunsets-sunrises-rainbows etc.
        That’s easy, then you have to make sure and do it every time. That’s hard.
        Bob

    • Bob

      Yeah, I prefer this view too!
      Bob

  6. Ming

    nice photos, Bob. Thanks for the reminder of past trips – some of the most spectacular fireweed I’ve seen was in previously burned forests. I remember a thick blanket of pink flowers at the foot of a forest of black skeletal sticks. It felt ghostly and ethereal and beautiful all at the same time.

    • Bob

      Ming, I’ve noticed the same thing. Forutnately this wasn’t burned recently.
      Bob

  7. Scott Cotner

    Fall is my absolute favorite time to be here! We have a fresh coating of snow on the higher elevations of the Mts and the aspens are putting on quite a color show. Not to mention that the crowds have finally thinned out!!

    • Bob

      Oh no Scott, don’t say that or I’ll be really tempted to drop everything and run up there and see the fall colors, and you, again!!
      And to think, you get paid to be in one of the most beautiful places on the planet and watch the seasons roll around! You are a very lucky man!!!
      Bob

  8. Elizabeth

    i will start by apologizing. everybody has their own language to communicate ideas, whether through facial expression, body language, social nuances, radiance………..or language. i know these are just words that people use to convey a thought or idea, but………..but………..the term “bucket list” drives me insane. it’s like fingernails on a chalkboard every time i read it or hear it. it makes me want to unsubscribe, yet it gives me an opportunity to breathe and let go. i know it’s just a way of saying………make a list and live it! live your dreams, your joys, your life!
    but, it’s all about me……..LOL. and hearing people pick up a term from a movie, no matter how wonderful, is, is………….nothing. nothing. my response would just be words, opinions, categorizing ether.
    the timing is perfect. i will be seeing a sibling who uses this phrase, as many boomers do, and it will remind me to breathe, and be joyful, to know that words are not important………it’s the intention, and yours is always love. as always i am humbled (or should i say humiliated) by the awareness of my own ego and willing to learn and laugh………..i always laugh at myself, so that’s a really good thing!
    thank you for being a teacher in so many ways……….

    • Bob

      Elizabeth, no need to apologize or feel bad, those are your feelings and they aren’t subject to judgement. I could argue that they are illogical, but that’s redundant, they’re feelings not thoughts! It sounds like you are coping with them very well and that’s admirable!
      I “feel” just the opposite about movies, I love movies (and TV shows) with hidden and subtle moral and lessons. From the moment humans began using language we have used stories to communicate not just facts but our deepest truths and innermost person. The history and accumulated wisdom of each tribe was encapsulated by the story-tellers who usually became the wise-men or shaman.
      To be a human is be a story-teller and story listener.
      Movies are that ancient wisdom combined with modern technology. There are no new stories, they were all first told a million years ago, we just have found a way to bring them to life in a way our ancestors could never have imagined. They simply would have sat around a fire and told nearly that same story and each person would have understood and interpreted it for himself and their lives would have been changed and improved in some tiny way.
      The “Bucket List” is simply the Hero’s last journey; a journey that is both entertaining and wise. I’m delighted and grateful for such a well-crafted story. I try to weave them and their lessons into the very fabric of my life.
      But let me emphasis again that there is no understanding or explaining our emotional reaction and none are right or wrong. Mine is certainly no better than yours. In this one rare case my emotions and my reason agree, more often they don’t!
      Bob

  9. Calvin R

    Wow. I may have to add photography to my bucket list.

    • Bob

      Calvin, of course I’m prejudiced, but I think it should be on everyone’s list. Today’s point and shoot digital cameras are amazingly good for very little money. And you can get a great DSLR for under $500 which will take pro-level photos.
      Every time I go back through my old photos it’s like I re-live those magical moments. That’s an experience I wish for everyone!
      Bob

  10. joezurlein

    You can,t go wrong with that area i could just enjoy it all day long super photo.s you have a keen eye ,thanks for sharing

    • Bob

      Thanks much Joe! Yeah, it’s a spectacular place!
      Bob

  11. Gloria Brooks

    Yes, I’m definitely adding the Tetons to my list!! Woweee! And so close to Yellowstone too. That’s also on the list. Fall is here, and I can’t wait to see you both again! Yaaay!

    • Bob

      Us to Gloria! We are moving to the Grand Canyon this week to your/our old spot. Probably be there two weeks if you are headed this way.
      Even with all these big storms the weather here has been very, very good with very little rain.
      Bob

  12. Ming

    I just noticed that this is a national park. What did you do with your dog when you were there and out on your photo excursions? Or did you not have Cody yet on this trip? Would you feel ok leaving him in your van on hikes where he was not allowed?

    • Bob

      Ming, that’s always a problem. In this case I didn’t have Cody yet but I went to lots of National Parks with Homer in our 6 years together and yes, he just always got left in the van. Because I am a snowbird I am only in the NPs when the temp are reasonable so he has always been okay.
      The Tetons are at 7,000 feet, so even in the summer your dog will be okay in the van.
      Bob

      • Ming

        thanks Bob. That helps. I find it a confusing thing – not sure if they check to make sure there are no dog in cars; also there was a highly publicized case locally of a dog walker leaving her charges in a hot truck, all the dogs died, she tried to cover it up…
        I have left my dogs in cars before and it’s been fine as I leave either a wide open sunroof while parked in the shade, or take other equivalent measures and have always found the car cool upon my return. I’ve just never done it to go on a hike without them.

        • Bob

          Ming, well, the key is it can’t be too hot. I love my dogs and don’t want to hurt or even kill them. But if it isn’t too hot, I don’t have a problem with them being left in the van alone. It’s their home, it’s not a sacrifice to spend time in it just like it isn’t for me.
          Bob

  13. Cindi

    FABULOUS PHOTOS!!!

    • Bob

      Thanks Cindi!
      Bob

  14. Jan Cook

    Just beautiful! Hope to experience the Tetons in person. This is a long waited dream and I’m sure I will be in awe of the overwhelming emotions these majestic mountains evoke. Jan

    • Bob

      Thanks Jan, you can’t help but fall in love with the place!
      Bob

  15. John

    Great photos Bob, thanks for sharing… I also hope to be there taking photos as well

    • Bob

      Thanks John, if you read a few books and take lots of pictures, you can!
      Bob

  16. Elizabeth

    thanks for allowing me a venue to air my “illogical” foibles. i have to say them out load to listen to how ridiculous i am, laugh at myself, receive much needed awareness from others, and move on. i appreciate your thoughtful response, not only to my emotional self, but the intellectual as well. i love the notion of movies being part of hearing stories, from which we can glean a little wisdom. a movie along the same genre that i liked even better was THE INTOUCHABLES, no, not the untouchables.
    anyway…….i’m grateful that photography and many of the places i hope to visit are on your bucket list, so that i can learn from those who go before me. thank you………always.

    • Bob

      Elizabeth, your musings are always welcome here!!
      Bob

  17. Tina

    Such amazing pictures Bob! When I visited a few years ago in August I could not get over all the flowers and wonderful views. On the last day I saw a double rainbow over the Tetons, great memories will need to visit again.
    Take care,
    Tinabeane

    • Bob

      Tina, the Tetons are one of my favorite places and August is one of the best times to be there!
      You were fortunate to be able to visit and see a double rainbow, I’m jealous!
      Bob