Trip Pictures

Jessica and David in

the Forest Service

cabin

Tracy @ the cabin

They survived the night!

Jessica @ the cabin

The cabin stove

Knox Stove Works

Geyser

River

Tracy in the snow

Goose Lake

Bald eagle

Pool

Frost from hot spring

Lewis Lake

Antelope

Moose

Slide Lake Cabin

Slide Lake Cabin

Slide Lake Cabin

Slide Lake Cabin

Lower Slide Lake

Bald Eagle

Tracy "cleaning" the

truck

Lower Slide Lake

Nest

Cabins

Lower Slide Cabin

Bald eagle

Lower Slide Lake

Walking

Jessica and David

Snow

Lake

Elk

Elk

Elk

Yellowstone and Tetons

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The weekend of 10 Oct 08, Jessica and David came to visit from Ohio.  Jessica had been to

the Tetons twice, but she always managed to come when it was snowing on the mountains,

and she still had not actually seen the Teton range.  I tried to tell her that mid-October was

probably still not going to be good, but she was bound and determined.

She still didn't see the range!  A good snow storm came through all weekend, and the range

was once again completely covered in snow clouds the whole time we were there!

But we had a really good time.  David saw lots of wildlife for the first time: elk, moose, bison,

antelope, and, best of all, we saw the Druid Peak wolf pack in the Lamar Valley of Yellowstone.

On Thursday night we stayed in a forest service cabin in Idaho, outside of West Yellowstone.  I

think David experienced some serious culture shock...so I didn't tell him about the wood

mouse I saw in the wood pile!  We eventually managed to get a fire going...without smoking us

out of the cabin...and we had a good night in the cabin.  The strangest part of the cabin for me

was I found a plaque on the wood burning stove that read, "Knox Stove Works, Knoxville,

Tenn."  We were 15 miles from the closest paved road in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest

in a cabin designated as a National Historic Site...and Tracy and I managed to find something

to make us homesick!

The next day we drove into Yellowstone.  Tracy and I hiked out to Goose Lake from Fountain

Flat Drive while Jessica and David went to do the touristy things.  It was snowing pretty good

on us, but the trail was nice and relaxing.  We saw a couple of bald eagles, so that was nice.

Jessica and David picked us up after a couple of hours, and then we started making our way

to Cooke City, stopping and letting David and Jessica take lots of picture along the way.  We

eventually made it to Cooke City after dark, and we found that we were the only ones staying

at the Super 8.  We also learned that the Beartooth Highway, where I wanted to take Jessica

and David, had closed the night before because of snow.  But we spent another uneventful

night in the one town on the planet we have spent more hotel nights than any other town...but

we really like Cooke City...it's fun there!

The next day we drove back into Yellowstone since the Beartooth Highway was closed.  In the

Lamar Valley we saw the Druid Peak wolf pack, so that was a good highlight for everyone.

Then we drove into Mammoth.  And after leaving Mammoth we almost died...literally.  While

driving up out of Mammoth in Golden Gate Canyon, David saw Rustic Falls and asked me to

stop so he could take a picture.  Well, for two days I had just been stopping whenever

someone wanted to take a picture, and it didn't occur to me until it was too late that the steep

road was slick with packed snow.  I was in 4 wheel drive, but when I gave it gas to start moving

up, the truck just slid 90 degrees to the left...straight to the the side of the road with no

guardrail, and only an old stone edging to keep us from plummeting down the gorge.  There

was nothing I could do to stop it except pray, and luckily the truck stop within 6 inches of the

edge.  I dropped it down into 4 low, and managed to get it going and to get up to the top of the

canyon.  It's hard to describe how close we were to having a REALLY bad day...so it'll have to

suffice to say that we came REALLY close to having a REALLY bad day!

But we kept going, and made our way down to the Tetons in some nasty snow conditions.

And, as mentioned, when we got to the Tetons, the range was completely snowed in.  But we

drove around and saw some wildlife and hiked around a little.  In the evening we checked into

the private cabin we had rented for the night on Lower Slide Lake just outside the park.  We

then drove into Jackson to get dinner.  We were in a rush because the snow was getting bad

and it was getting dark.  We didn't make it as quickly as I had hoped, and we hit white-out

conditions trying to drive back to the cabin.  But we made it back without dying, and we hiked

around the cabin at night in the snow, and just enjoyed the really nice cabin.

The next day we hiked a little more near Leigh Lake, drove around some more, and saw more

wildlife.  We then drove into Jackson and walked around town a little and had lunch.  In the

afternoon we headed back to Salt Lake and had an uneventful drive back home.

We had a great trip and learned one valuable lesson that I thought I already knew: don't stop

on a steep snow-slick road.  As Tracy said, "At least Darwin didn't have it out for us today."