Day 6: Thursday - Grand Teton National Park
We got up early and left the campsite at Canyon. Less than 10 minutes down the road we saw 2 cars parked half off the shoulder with their hazard lights on and not a driver in site. We pulled over to see what was going on and spied people with cameras at the top of a nearby hill. We both jumped out and were treated with seeing a grizzly rummaging around in some bushes looking for breakfast. He had crossed the road right in front of the cars in front of us!
After a while the grizzly disappeared into the bushes looking for more breakfast so we let him be and did the same. A few more miles down the road we pulled up next to the lake and cooked an awesome bacon and egg breakkie right by the lake. Thanks again JUCY!
That afternoon we saw a ranger talk about the history of the US national park service, had a picnic lunch down by the water and took a nice walk around a little peninsula out on the lake.
Although the spot was beautiful - on a hill overlooking a river with surrounding woods and a big open field - I was a little skeptical if we would see anything due to the large amount of people around. However, the ranger on duty had a large array of binoculars, and scopes to keep us busy and a huge basket full of antlers, and various animal pelts owned by the National Parks service to keep us busy if there were no breathing animals to be seen.
No need to worry though, because after about 15 minutes a giant female grizzly appeared through the scrub on the other side of the river for all of us to see. She was literally only 50m away from us, and thankfully due to the river this was deemed safe (normally you have to give bears and wolves 100m, for the safety of all involved). She cruised along the river bed posing for us for about 5 minutes before again disappearing into the bushes. 10 minutes later another grizzly, albeit smaller popped out of the bushes right in front of us. He then proceeded to swim right across the river towards us! When he reached the close bank he disappeared into the bushes to our left. Most people were pretty good and stayed back, but a few idiots proceeded to run towards the bear, despite the fact that a man had been killed and partially eaten by a grizzly in yellowstone just weeks before our arrival.
Anyway, when the bear eventually popped out of the woods luckily he was far away enough that nothing bad happened, but some morons proceeded to chase after him on foot with iPhones and selfie sticks to get some horrible photos. The bear managed to get away without having to eat anyone, and the ranger nearby breathed an audible sigh of relief before delving out a stern telling off to the idiots involved.
After this we hung around a bit more and were rewarded with seeing a huge beaver and a big herd of elk. We then headed back to the campground and had a little fire, a tasty dinner and a few bevvies under some of the most amazing stars I have ever seen before hitting the hay.
We got up early, packed up camp and drove down towards Jenny lake looking for a spot to have breakfast and for some daytime activities. After the bear frenzy the night before we were keen to stay close to the main areas due to our lack of bear spray. We ended up having a beautiful breakfast at a picnic spot looking out at the mountains before heading on to the visitors centre.
Here we did a little planning wifi session and realized that we probably had a little less time than we thought considering how much ground we had to cover. We decided to leave Grand Teton and put some miles in again, this time heading back south. We stopped for lunch in Jackson Hole, a super cute little ski town just south of the park.We had a little explore of the town, and discovered the best sweets and candy shop of all time, much to Bec's delight. After stocking up on a watermelon sized bag of candy and some delicious salted caramel fudge, we were back on the road.
We left Provo early in the morning and headed through the Utah desert to the little town of Moab. Here we reserved a campsite at a KOA campground, and headed back into town for a late breakfast at a cafe. After fueling up here, we decided to head into Canyonlands national park.
Canyonlands is cut into 3 separate sections by the fork of the Colorado and Green rivers, and as such needs some serious time, dedication, and a 4x4 to see most of the park. We had none of these, so we had to placate ourselves with seeing the northern section called "Island in the sky."
We drove around and took several walks to plenty of amazing viewpoints and saw some seriously crazy naturalrock formations. We should also mention that Bec was feeling a little under the weather here, and as the Mercury was over 100f (high 30's in celcius) thus wasn't helping. As our geology skills aren't suited to explain this amazing part of the Colorado Plateau sufficiently, we'll let pictures do the talking here.
We headed back to the campsite for an early dinner and relax, happy to get out of the sun.
We woke up late on Sunday after some much needed sleep. Bec wasn't feeling too great still, so we found a spot in the relative cool of the shade and made the most of the campgrounds immaculately maintained pool.That evening we drove just out of town to Arches National Park. Utah and the Colorado Plateau has some seriously freaky scenery, due to the great changes in daytime and night time temperature throughout the year, and also due to the regions history of having inland seas and lakes leading to a great variety of rocks found.
Again, geology knowledge isn't sufficient to do this amazing place justice, so pictures will talk for us.
We explored several areas and walked to the famed "Delicate Arch" to watch the sunset, that ended up being completely covered out by clouds, with some snacks and a few frothies. No worries, we saw some beautiful spots!
Back to the campground for a little dinner and a great nights sleep in the "Penthouse."