Upper Teton View - Scott Hallenberg - Full-time Photographer | Surf and Snow Country Images (Everyday)

Upper Teton View

Having moved west in ’89 and living in Utah since ‘98, I have done an embarrassingly little amount of road trips to truly explore all the West has to offer!  Is it too late to make up for lost time?  I recently watched Ken Burns’ documentary series on the West and wondered did I just sleep through American History or perhaps, I was just in a coma then. Time to wake up!

My wife had booked a trip through Glacier National Park and Waterton Lake National Park (Canada) earlier in the month. One our way back during our stop over in Bozeman, we decided to make an excursion through Livingston, Paradise Valley through the northern entrance of Yellowstone, via Gardiner. I was reminded of how long it had been since I had spend time in this part of the Rocky Mountains. After a few days at home and catching up on Instagram, I saw a few inspirational photos, and I knew it was time to revisit old friends, the Tetons.

I logged into Compendium.com to checkout some suitable campsite options. After locating the ever popular Upper Teton View spot I thought my chance would be good given a mid week arrival after Labor Day. I packed Louise (1966 17ft Airstream Caravel), with some clean sheets and blankets. Did some food shopping for some easy items like cliff bars, peanut butter and honey sandwiches, and quesadillas that I would warm on a new cast iron skillet. As I would be in bear country, I was mindful of the type of foods as I didn’t want anything that would be too odoriferous and smoky. The eggs and bacon would be left for another trip. I retained the pepper spray canister from our Glacier Trip for good measure. I loaded Willy and his bin of kibble into the car and off we went, back window rolled down so he could take in all the smells with ears blowing in the wind.

About five hours later we arrived at the location. The directions were spot on from the reviews I read in Compendium. While I was not a lone at this location, others were there spread out to give others room to take in the magnificent views of the Tetons and Snake River Valley. We were just north of Jackson and just south of Grand Teton National Park.

Willy was quick to make friends with a few of the other camp dogs and as a result we were invited to a group campfire hosted by those in the front row. Willy has that kind charisma about him. Everyone was so nice and welcoming that it truly made for a terrific experience. Later, that night, the moon was taking its sweet sweet time in rising, which allowed some amazing dark sky viewing, something I had taken for granted for years and years. Now I’m on a mission to makeup for lost time. I am thankful for this excursion, the people we met and renewed appreciation for the majestic Teton Range.

The day we arrived we had clear blue skies with the Tetons in full view for the last hour of the drive. While majestic, there is something especially dramatic when clouds enshroud these granite beasts that rise straight up from the valley floor. Much to my delight, puffy clouds moved in over night and hovered over the mountain range. Now, I had the challenge of picking the perfect moment to get a clear view in camera. I did get close but did not get that elusive shot, so I must get back there once Spring arrives.

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