Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Tom in the Tetons: A Lasting Impression

Borrowed photo because this critter was MIA.

Atherton Creek in Grand Teton National Park. This was moose country, but Bullwinkle was nowhere to be found. I stayed here for quite a while, though, admiring the awesome beauty of the area.

With the Grand Teton mountains as a backdrop, buffalo are ready to surround me.

The log chapel.

I was determined to see at least one moose in the Yellowstone area, and by all accounts the best place to see one was at Grand Teton National Park, which is just south of Yellowstone. The last full day of my trip was spent at Grand Teton, but I could have easily spent an entire week there. Just unbelievable beauty. I stopped at a visitors center and asked where I could best see moose. I was given five prime locations, these by men who knew the area well. While driving to and from the areas, I had to stop while a large batch of buffalo crossed the road in front of me. I looked behind me and more buffalo had entered the road and stopped. Wonderful. I was surrounded by buffalo who had no intention of quickly leaving the road because there was no other traffic. I was isolated. No other car was in sight. Finally, most of the herd left the road. The gig was up: the buffalo were in collusion with area moose, delaying my moose "hunt". The moose were there all right, but my seeing them was just not to be as I drove all over the area and stopped at several locations and waited in vain.

The next day as I was leaving the Tetons for home, I noticed a log building off to the side of the road. A sign said it was the Chapel of the Sacred Heart. A quaint building set by a beautiful lake and the Teton mountains, I decided to take a break and walk around the chapel grounds. Now, I'm not a religious person, but I decided to see if the chapel was open. A sign told me that the season for services in the chapel was June 1-Sept. 30, but the door was open this second week in October. I walked in and by the entranceway was a sign: "Dedicated to the victims of 9/11." Choked me up. It was eerie in the chapel as sunlight poured in, yet it was quite cool in the unheated building. As did all the magnificent wildlife and scenery in the area, the silent chapel left a lasting impression with me.

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