Thursday, January 17, 2008

Grand Teton National Park

At the southern gateway to Yellowstone, proudly and abruptly rising above the valley floor stands the Teton mountain range. Its highest peak, Grand Teton, is a mighty 13770 feet above sea level. (Grand Teton is the more whitish-gray peak in the center of peaks in the photo above.) Having already scaled one mountain on this road trip, Flat Stanley opted not to climb this one.

The Grand Teton got its name from some French trappers that were hunting in the area. In French, Teton means a female mammary gland, also known as a breast. I think the Frenchman was in the wondering around in the wilderness for far too long!

This area played host to several glaciers in its history. As the glaciers progressed, they pushed along all sorts and sizes of rocks, as well as huge quantities of dirt. In some cases, the glaciers ceased to move forward due to changes in the weather. Massive mounds of material at the head of the glacier, called moraine, remained behind to capture the water from the melting glaciers. This captured melt-water yielded lakes. Flat Stanley took a hike around one of these moraine lakes, known as Jenny Lake. At roughly the halfway point are a set of waterfalls which can not be seen from the regular trail going around the lake. They are called Hidden Falls. Go figure!

I saw this on the way to Jackson, WY. How would you like that backyard?

Grand Teton Mountains

Hidden Falls

Jenny Lake and the Grand Teton Mountains

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