[14 August, Tanju] Grand Teton and Yellowstone are two neighboring national parks, Yellowstone is on the north.
We arrived at our hotel on the evening of August 13th after an eight-hour drive. Our hotel, Jackson Lake Lodge, was situated in the Grand Teton Park close to Yellowstone entrance as well. When we entered the lobby I was overwhelmed by the breathtaking view of the Grand Teton mountain peaks seen through the large panaromic window. I had chosen this hotel because of room availability and proximity to Yellowstone, so this was a very pleasant surprise. Our room was a cabin. [Note: We’ve seen many foreign students working in the National Parks through the “work & travel” program. In our hotel we ran into a few from Turkey.]
On the morning of the 14th, we headed early to see the Old Faithful at Yellowstone before it got too crowded. When we got there it had just erupted so we had to wait for an hour while we explored the other smaller more colorful and smellier geysers around there. The Old Faithful did its show reasonably on time.
Then we drove through the park where we saw some buffalo (“bison bison”) herds who even came by the car. These really interesting animals, they look quite docile but there were many warnings by the park service to keep a safe distance since they would charge if they get upset.
We visited some falls and lakes before heading back to Grand Teton. We had a late afternoon rafting trip down the Snake River. The river was named by the French trappers way back due to a misunderstanding. The French trappers and the native Shashoni people were using sign language for trade. The symbols Shashoni were making to describe fishing and basket weaving were interpreted as “snake” by the French so there is a Snake River, Snake Mountain etc. The French also named the mountains “tetons” likening them to the “tits of the earth” when approached from the west.
On the rafting trip we saw multiple American bald eagles, beavers, deer, moose, and various birds. We also had a very pleasant conversation with a couple from Florida. Some of the photos can be found here.