Wednesday, July 28, 2010
It is hard for me to imagine approaching the Tetons from the northeast and not being awestruck as they come into view. There are no foothills or other obstructions to mask their size or beauty; just a row of serrated peaks lined up behind a series of wetlands, lakes, and the iconic Snake River. Darla, who was seeing this all for the first time, wondered aloud why it had taken us so long to visit this area given that it is only an hour south of Yellowstone.
Storm clouds were gathering over the mountains as we arrived at the Willow Flats overlook. Twenty-one years earlier I had taken a photograph of the moon over the Tetons from nearby. I wanted to see how much I remembered. We wouldn’t be here at dusk this time—and we wouldn’t be catching any views of a setting moon—but it was a dramatic and memorable scene nonetheless.
By the time we arrived at Oxbow Bend, a short distance further south, it was all but certain we would be seeing lots of clouds but no color as the sun dropped behind the mountains. As darkness fell and we continued on toward Jackson, the clouds opened up unleashing a violent mixture of rain and hail, thunder, and lightning. Some strikes were so close that they lit up the interior of the truck as if it were the middle of the day, eliciting a lively discussion about the likelihood of getting struck by lightning while in a moving vehicle.
[Click on a thumbnail to view the entire image.]
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