Summer Trip to USA North of 2021 Day 1

Grand Teton National Park, June 26-27

As the awesome summer of 2021 started, my family and I were bored out of our minds. Then we got into thinking; what if we went on another great trip like the one from 2019. (For those of you who haven’t read the 2019 trip click one of the 2019s). Well, this time we did not go west or east or south either. This time we went north.

There are a total of three parks that we were going to that year. I will tell you the first one that we are going to, which is The Grand Teton National Park. The second one is close by and the third one is close to the Canadian Border. We had tons of fun during this trip and I hope to share it with you guys. So let’s get started.

We took a fast route to our first National Park of that summer.  It was a drive for two days (from June 25-26), during which we got to the town of Riverton WY on June 26 evening. Along the way we did stop at rest stops to eat and sleep. We saw our first wildlife sighting that way at a rest stop. It was a small rodent.

Oklahoma Sign
Wyoming Sign
The Small Rodent

When we got to the hotel, all of us collapsed in exhaustion. When you are taking a trip or going on it, you can be exhausted even if you did nothing (like riding in a cramped car full of supplies for the trip with a sister who yells in your ear for most of it 🙃). After we got up, early in the morning, (which means grumpy me time), we checked out of the hotel. 

As we got closer to the park, we saw the park entrance sign:

Teton Entrance Sign

We got into the car and went to Grand Teton National Park through the Moran entrance station. Then, it was to Oxbow Bend, which had a small army of the tiny rodents we saw earlier milling around, and a great view which was also a good photo op. A fun fact about the Oxbow Bend is that it was literally named (Oxbows are a crescent-shaped section of river lying alongside a flowing, winding river.). On a calm day, you can get a good picture and we entered the park on a calm day. Here’s the pic.

Oxbow Bend

As we trudged deeper into the park, we met two friendly park rangers who were informing people about how to identify black bears and brown/grizzly bears from each other, and how to stay safe from them. They had a van with a stuffed black and brown bears. Okay, since I heard about black and brown bears, I asked the rangers if one could identify the bears from the color of their fur: black fur for black bears and brown fur for brown bears.

The park rangers said it was not as easy as that because some black bears had brown fur and some brown bears had black fur. But they also said not to worry, since we had other ways to tell black and brown bears apart. Some examples are that black bears have more of a straight flat snout while a brown bear has a slightly curved J-like snout. Black bears have pointy ears while brown bears have curved ears, and black bears have short claws while brown bears have long ones. 

As for the facts about staying safe from bears, is that you should always walk while making noise, because bears try to avoid humans. If you see a bear, back away slowly while not startling it. If the bear charges at you, try to look big and intimidating. I don’t know how I will look intimidating if a bear sees me. The reason why the park rangers were talking about bears was that a bear was spotted near one of the trails close by.

My sister in front of the bears

Then we went all the way in the other direction to Jackson Lake Overlook (the one near the lake; I got confused about which one when I searched “Jackson Lake Overlook up”). Fun fact, Jackson lake has a depth of 438 feet. Jackson Lake is also one of the largest high altitude lakes in the US. We took a lot of photos at the lake, but it was windy at that moment, so the reflection was not that great and the calm day turned into a windy day.

After that, we went to Colter Bay Village. When I got inside the visitor center, it was then that I realized I didn’t have my National Park passport with me (It was at home, not the hotel or car). This meant I could not stamp my passport to signify that I had been to Teton National Park. Luckily, there were pieces of paper at the stamping station, so I stamped the stamp on the paper and took the paper with me. Once I got home, I was going to tape it to the passport. Colter Bay Village has a dock. The dock is connected to Jackson Lake.

Colter Bay Dock

The next place we went to was the Signal Mountain Summit. From Signal Mountain we could see the Jackson Lake and the Grand Teton Mountain Range looking down at us like we were specks of dust before their immense size. Even Signal mountain was big, with a height of 7,727 ft. The view was incredible too. Some facts about the Grand Teton Mountain Range are that the biggest mountain in the range is the Grand Teton, with a grand height of 13,775 ft. And the total length of the Teton Mountain Range is 40 miles. Also, it takes 6-8 hours to climb the Grand Teton.

Some facts about the Teton range

Next stop was Jenny Lake. We just stopped there on our way to the visitor center, to see the lake and the scenery. Jenny lake has a depth of 423 ft and a length of 2.175 mi. Jenny Lake was named “Jenny” because Jenny was the wife of a The Teton Range guide on the Hayden expedition of 1872.

Jenny Lake

Next was the visitor center, our last stop for the day. All of us wanted to go but my sister, Advi, was sleeping. So my mom and I went to the visitor center while my dad and my sis stayed in the car. But when we got there we learned that the visitor center was closed. So guess what we did? We went to the gift shop, which was surprisingly open and full. All of the people, including us, were like sardines in a can! We got a magnet from the store. There were also animal heads in the shop.

From there we went to a place in Idaho where we were staying. Riverton was only for one night. Before we got out of the park, we saw a moose. It was a juvenile moose because it had small horns that meant it was a boy. Wildlife sighting #3!

The Moose we saw
We saw this Silly Sight on our way to Idaho through Jackson
Idaho sign
The Place in Idaho we stayed at

That was it for Day 1 of the Summer Trip to US North of 2021.

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