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Where the moose reside

The Reporter's Notebook

 

Last updated 1/27/2021 at 8:41am



I guess if I had to name my favorite vacation spot it would be Teton National Park.

We first visited the park shortly after the park added thousands of acres that were gifted from the Rockefeller family. This added space was designated as a national monument to avoid a major fight with people who had opposed national park status in the first place. We probably have returned a dozen times or so.

The Rockefeller family had secretly been buying up acreage to preserve the Jackson Hole valley as an adjunct to the park.

One reason why it is our favorite place: it’s sort of a “two fer” thing with Yellowstone but an hour or two away.

I think it is the moose. While there, we drove around a lot looking for wildlife. At one location we could count 13 moose.

It’s also a place where you can have many different kinds of adventure. We have stayed at Coulter Bay and also at Jackson Lake Lodge.

Coulter Bay offers tent cabins and a community shower. Our last stay there was the final day of the season. We literally closed down the place. It was the final day of September, and it was so cold that we had to take the rug off the floor and put atop our bed to keep warm. It is probably our favorite place to stay.

Moose wander in and out of the camp area, and there’s an eating place nearby. Rangers give a talk every night. A great place for kids.

Jackson Lake Lodge, as you would suspect, is a bit classier. We stood in the lobby and watched a grizzly sow and young one poke around outside.

Here you have all the amenities you would want in a fairly costly place.

We took a boat across the lake to a trailhead where we walked for a mile or two and could look up on both sides, nearly straight up, and see the peaks. There was a creek running alongside our trail, and as we turned the corner there was two bull moose looking at us. The only refuge was a large rock, and we got behind it. But we were only an oddity to them. They were more interested in wading in the water.

We returned to the trailhead and when the boat returned, we made our way back to the lodge.

Jackson was only a short drive and a good place for food and shopping. At the time there were 62 art galleries in Jackson. You could get most anything you want in Jackson.

As fame for Jackson increased, it literally drove most residents out because of taxes, and other things. Housing costs skyrocketed.

But the overriding interest was moose. You could see two or three dozen in a day.

We have taken float trips on the Snake River in early morning hours, nearly freezing to death. What a backdrop, with the Teton Peaks in the background.

One thing I liked to do is scoop up moose poop and then put one or two in the purses of those who visited us at home.

The high altitude gave us pure air and the mountain range is spectacular.

There were elk and buffalo also in the park, but moose were the main attraction for us.

I think part of the attraction was that the altitude, scenery and wildlife made us feel whole.

This was our most popular place to visit over the years.

 

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