Two and a half weeks into our employment with The Grand Teton Lodge Company and so far, all is well. As we mentioned in our last entry, we are not only allowed, but are encouraged, to take advantage of the activities that the park offers its guests. Some of the things we have enjoyed on the company dime are horseback riding through the pines and by the lakes and streams that are peaceful and colorful.  Another trip was the scenic boat cruise across Jackson Lake, that was very educational. Then there was our favorite, so far, the float trip down the Snake River. Outside companies have also offered us, one of which we have taken advantage of, whitewater rafting trips that are fun and exciting, but the float trip was so relaxing and full of wildlife (4 different American Bald Eagles) that we will repeat this trip often. Our guide – Mike told us that in early September the elk bugling on this trip is mesmerizing, so we hope to be able to experience this phenomenon of nature, but again, we know our situation could change at any moment.

It has been an experience being here for the fourth of July. The dry climate and extra dry summer has caused a ban on fireworks for fear of sparking a wildfire (one of which is already burning in the area).

We started our fourth with a beautiful boat ride across Jenny Lake that dropped us off at the trailhead that leads to Inspiration Point and a somewhat challenging hike into Cascade Canyon. Wow, what a hike. We can honestly say, you haven’t seen the Tetons until you walk up into them.

Anyway, after returning to the Jeep from our spectacular hike, we drove to Teton Village, which is a beautiful ski area town that still has plenty to offer even in the summer.

Next, it was off to the dusty trail that leads to Shadow mountain, where a lot of young people had gathered to tent camp and party to celebrate our nations independence.

Leaving Shadow Mountain, gave us another opportunity to shift to 4-low and see some real Wyoming back country.

We have learned, when you escape the hardtop road here, that it’s like driving through your own personal zoo. Bison, elk and deer are abundant with the occasional grizzly bear thrown in for good measure.

As nightfall comes on the fourth of July, you would normally look to the skies for Chinese made fireworks with brilliant flashes and booms and awe-inspiring shows of rockets red glare, but for us it was a magnificent sun setting behind the Teton Mountains as we watched from an abandoned barnyard in the middle of a ranch that is something you would expect to see in an old western film. As the stars filled the non-polluted skies with the cool, clear, thin atmosphere, a better fourth of July sky show would be hard to imagine.

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