Monday, July 15, 2013

Following the Snake River into Idaho

This posting will involve a bit of this and that as I wrap up our visit to Grand Teton National Park and move on to Idaho Falls Idaho, where we are presently parked.  On Friday of this past week we drove to the southern entrance of the park where Jackson is located.  Until I learned better, I was referring to the town as Jackson Hole.  However, Jackson Hole Valley is the area encompassing the town of Jackson.  Before arriving in Jackson we drove up Signal Mountain to view the valley below.
The lake pictured above is Jackson Lake.  It is a dammed up lake of the Snake River.  We wondered how Signal Mountain got its name, thinking it had to do with Native Americans and their smoke signals.  However, the first thing we noticed at the summit was a large building and a tower filled with antennas next to it.  Strange that we did not even consider Signal Mountain having any connection with the past fifty years!  One more item before leaving the Tetons.  The range is comprised of three mountains;  the South, Middle and Grand.  Shoshone Indians called them "Teewinot" meaning pinnacles.  Canadian Frenchmen called them "Le Trois Tetons, or the three breasts.
Pictured above is a street in the town of Jackson.  In the lower right-hand corner is an arch of elk antlers.  They have been gates to the Jackson Town Square since 1960.  Elk National Refuge is located just outside of the town, and 7,500 elk winter there yearly.  The bulls shed their antlers in the spring, and local Boy Scouts pick them up in May.  They are then sold in a public auction.  The town is a supply point for ranchers and tourists.  Besides the usual tourist shops there are also up-scale clothing and jewelry stores as well as art galleries.  Outside one art gallery we saw some interesting life-like sculptures.
Pictured above is George Washington and Albert Einstein.  In other benches near them are Mark Twain and Abraham Lincoln.  On Saturday we drove further west from Wyoming into Idaho, following the Snake River.  We stopped at a  rest area and discovered that it overlooked a canyon through which the river flowed.   That scene is pictured below.  One thing we noticed driving further into Idaho are many  fields of potatoes.  Currently they are in bloom with white flowers. That evening we parked our rig in Idaho Falls.

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