Today we made for Thermopolis and our motel for the night before we got nearer to Denver. To get there we drove through Yellowstone National Park although this time the only wildlife we saw was Bison on the way. Yellowstone leads directly into Grand Teton National Park via the South entrance so we had a lovely drive ahead of us. The Teton range is a mountain range of the Rocky Mountains that flows through this National Park. We headed South alongside Jackson Lake with magnificent view of the mountain range. We left at check-out this morning, 11am, so by this time it was around lunchtime, having been on the road for around 3 hours. There was an open mountain lodge bar still serving lunch so we headed on in and had some chilli and a bison burger. Have to say you can’t beat beef for a burger, was interested to try some Bison though.
With lunch out of the way we headed West further into Wyoming and through the Togwotee mountain pass with a high point of 9,658 feet. Thinking we had seen the last of bears, we were surprised and pleased to stumble across another couple. Here was a mother and cub grizzly bear playing in the snow on a hillside beside the road, only around 50m away. We stayed near the safety of the car, needless to say. It was so funny to watch the cub playing and jumping on his mother with the mother seemingly joining in, chasing then running away from her cub. We watched for a few minutes before making our way. Around five minutes later we spotted the last animal on our North American ‘list’, a moose. It was a male moose grazing beside the road and was quite content to have us observe for a while. The animals aren’t the least bit interested in humans, albeit that’s the impression I get.
The road from here was downwards and deeper into Wyoming and towards Thermopolis. The scenery was breath-taking. We didn’t quite know what to expect from Wyoming but weren’t expecting landscapes on this scale and of this colour. It was as if the hills and valleys had been painted in an array of greens, browns, reds and yellows. At one point we drove through an Indian Reservation (Wind River) which had canyons, rivers, open plains, overhanging rock formations and green pastures. The final few miles into Thermopolis led us through a canyon following the Wind River. Thermopolis seems typically like a Wyoming town, with a focus on hunting. Our motel is called the ‘Elk Antler Inn’ and has a definite theme of elk head busts, antlers and various hunting emblems decorating furnishings. Our light fitting is even made of antlers. Perhaps the most unusual item though is a framed picture of bambi in the kitchenette.