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#43 Grand Teton National Park, WY

Grand Teton National Park was established in 1929.

As you might imagine, since Grand Teton National Park is right next door to Yellowstone National Park, there is a lot of volcanic and earthquake action here too. Although it might not seem like it; the landscape is always on the move.

Our first afternoon we did some hiking in the Jackson Lake area. It was warm and sunny, so much so, that we caught a coyote snoozing on the side of the trail. He got up as we approached and got some distance from us and looked like he was going to finish his nap in the woods...good choice.

He seemed a little miffed at us that we disturbed his nap.

Jackson Lake Lodge is a wonderful place to get a little dinner and watch the sun go down. There was a large herd of elk in the meadow, although with the dwindling light it was too hard to photograph, but it certainly added to the ambience. You would think I would be tired of elk. They are in my yard eating all the landscaping; they are on my patio looking in the windows; they create traffic jams in our little town; and yet I still like seeing them strut their 1,000 - 1,200 pound bodies.

We saw this pretty girl near our

campground as it was getting dark.

The next morning we went to Jenny Lake and rented a kayak and paddled across the lake to The Hidden Falls area.

We had taken Anna here as a child. She liked the falls but was quite taken with a guy who was hiking with his cat on a leash. Gotta say, it was the first and only time I have seen a cat hiking in the backcountry!

Grand Tetons is the perfect place to see Buffalo in large herds.

What a handsome guy! Why is he looking at me like that?!?All of a sudden my car door doesn't seem as good of a barrier as it did from back there.

And of course, Antelope...loping across the prairie.

I highly recommend visiting Grand Tetons and Yellowstone. Where else are you going to get two incredible National Parks right next door to each other? There is a plethora of sights and activities for all age groups. If your kids say they are bored here, then I would strongly consider trading them in for different kids...just 'kidding'.

It's always evocative going to a National Park (or anywhere) where we had taken Anna. We cry, and wonder why she had to leave us so soon, especially when we loved her so very much; and we laugh some, remembering all the cute things she said and did. These memories are our true treasures in this life. The thought of growing old without her light in our lives is almost unbearable. I hope you will indulge me as I share some pictures of Anna at Grand Tetons National Park as well as a couple from Yellowstone. She was such an adventurous little girl!

Anna getting her National Park Passport stamp.

The doll's name was Julie, and yes, we still have Julie.

She was a mountain girl, through and through,

and loved the quote by John Muir...

"The mountains are calling and I must go".

Perhaps Heaven called too and she had to go.

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