Our first morning in the park, we headed to Oxbow Bend. This spot is famous for the way the Snake River reflects Mount Moran on a calm day, and for the animals that congregate there.
We did get a calm morning to see the mountain reflected in the river, but didn’t see much in the way of animals, other than a bird across the river.
After the stop at Oxbow Bend, we headed to Taggart Lake for just over a mile walk to the lake. Once again, those gorgeous Tetons were in sight for most of our hike.
We arrived at Taggart Lake, and the boys played on the rocks and had a snack (of course!)
After the hike, we spotted an Elk near the road (wild animal spotting tip – don’t look for the animals, just look for the crowds of people looking at the animals 😉 ), then headed to the Visitor Center so the boys could get their Junior Ranger badges. It can be really interesting to meet the Park Rangers (for example, the one we met in San Antonio) and the Park Ranger who reviewed the boys’ ranger books was no exception. He was an older gentleman who got his PhD from UGA (as he said “go dawgs!”) and was telling us about his career with the National Park Service. He spent time at Grand Teton as a grad student and loved it. He moved on to eventually become the Head Scientist at Olympia National Park before retiring. He missed the parks so much that after 6 months of retirement, he returned to the NPS to be a seasonal ranger at his favorite park, Grand Teton. He went from a pay grade 12 back down to a pay grade 5. He said after they took his pension from his pay (which they do!), he was only making about $400/mo working at Grand Teton. But he clearly loved doing it! It was interesting to hear about his experiences in the Parks.
The last adventure for the day was a trip to Leek Marina, just north of our tent cabin, for pizza and ice cream (oh, and an amazing view of the Tetons!)
More on our Grand Teton hikes (spoiler: they all had AMAZING views!) and animals we spotted in the next post.