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Member since: Thu Apr 29, 2010, 02:31 PM
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The American West, Part III - The Grand Tetons

After breaking camp at Yellowstone, as recounted here, Crystal Dancer and I headed for Jackson, Wyoming to visit Grand Tetons National Park. As the south road out of Yellowstone still hadn't been opened, we exited the park to the west, then went south through Montana and Idaho, then back east into Jackson. This turned a two-hour trip into a four-hour trip, but we didn't mind, mostly. The downside was a maniac, who passed us and two other cars, crossing the double-yellow on a blind hill to do so. I was holding my breath when he got back in the right lane, not 30 yards from the crest of the hill. Fortunately, there was no oncoming traffic.

The upside was getting a look at the Grand Tetons from the Idaho side ...

These are spectacular mountains, the youngest range in the Rocky Mountains. As such they are marked by steep inclines, knife-sharp ridges and the absence of foothills.

The Teton fault extends 40 miles along the base of the Teton Range. About ten million years ago, this region began to stretch and the Earth's crust cracked forming faults. Each time the crust broke; an earthquake up to magnitude 7.5 shook the land tilting the mountains skyward and dropping the valley floor. These sporadic bursts of energy created the abrupt front of the Teton Range as it towers above Jackson Hole. At 13,770 feet, the summit of the Grand Teton rises 7,000 feet above the valley floor. Total vertical displacement across this fault may be up to 30,000 feet. The floor of Jackson Hole may have dropped over 20,000 feet, roughly three times as much as the mountains rose. The jagged skyline, vertical relief and lack of foothills make the Teton Range a sight to behold.

Beginning two million years ago, glaciers repeatedly scoured and sculpted the Teton landscape. Large masses of ice flowed from the topographic high of the Yellowstone Plateau down across the valley of Jackson Hole numerous times leveling the valley floor. At the same time, alpine glaciers flowed down from the high peaks carving U-shaped canyons and gouging out valley lakes. Grand Teton National Park contains many features created during the ice age such as piedmont lakes, U-shaped canyons, knife-like ridges, kettles, and moraines.


Our first day was overcast and we were prepared to be disappointed, but ended up with some fantastic views of the mountains.

As seen from the Snake River overlook, where Ansel Adams took a better picture ...

By the time we got to Jackson Lake, the mountains were cloaked in clouds and a snowstorm was brewing.

We watched it roll down the valley, confined by the steep walls ...

...then head towards us across the lake.

That night we had dinner in Jackson, then went to the Wort Hotel for some live music. That place was rocking!

The next day we awoke to mostly clear skies, and another fantastic day for sightseeing and photography ...

There are over 230 miles of hiking trails in Grand Tetons National Park. We chose a 4-mile round trip hike with a modest 400 feet of elevation change (at nearly 7,000 feet already, us 60-somethings have to pace ourselves).

The trail crosses, then parallels this mountain stream, rushing with snowmelt at the time of our visit ...

This led us to beautiful Taggart Lake ...

A fantastic place, with fantastic views of fantastic mountains. Truly breathtaking and wondrous. Go see them if you can.

Saboteurs of Sanders Campaign Lead to Clinton National Security Think Tank


There is mounting evidence that Hillary Clinton supporters have been sabotaging the Bernie Sanders campaign, and the trail leads to the Democratic National Committee and a “national security” think tank made up of current and former Clinton supporters, staff, and contributors.


The presence of Caiazzo and Dew in the Sanders organization raises deeper questions about the Clinton campaign. Both are also employed by the Truman National Security Project, a quasi-liberal think tank populated by a gaggle of neo-conservatives who believe foreign policy should be “grounded in a strong military.”


The organization’s mission is to “unite next-generation veteran, political, and policy leaders to develop and advance strong, smart, and principled solutions to the global challenges Americans now face.” Their members include “military, policy and political leaders at the national, state, and local level, many of whom have served their country in conflict zones around the world.”

In a 2012 article on antiwar.com, Kelley B. Vlahos called this group little more than a “re-election campaign that promises to keep the war machine humming no matter who is elected to office.” On closer inspection, Truman’s Board and Advisory Board are a who’s who of representatives from the billionaire class Sanders is consistently referencing: defense contractors, private security, venture capitalists, tech investors, multinational realtors, Big Pharma, and the lobbyists who connect them:

The article goes on to show the deep ties between the Clinton campaign and military contractors. Kudos to Barbara With for her research on this.

Ouch! #HillaryArrestQuotes


"You have the right to remain silent..."
"But what difference does it make?!!!"

"You have the right to speak to an attorney."
"My attorney can't afford my speaking fees!"

But if a woman running for president does it, it is NOT illegal.

No worries, @maddow will make this look like Bernie's fault.

When I was at Yellowstone, I didn't see a Grizzly Bear. But my son did ....

While I saw lots of other cool critters at Yellowstone National Park (as recounted here) I did not see a grizzly bear.

But my son got up very early one morning and got this pic.

Both Hillary and Donald are afraid to debate Bernie.

No surprises there.

I wish Hillary was trustworthy. I wish Hillary was a progressive.

Unfortunately, she's neither, and it's hurting the Democratic Party big time.

If Hillary Clinton cared on iota about this nation she would suspend her campaign immediately.

I was told that when a senior party official meets a war criminal, she must be diplomatic ...

... and treat him like this:

Now I'm told that when a senior party official is booed by progressive protesters, it's appropriate that she treat them like this:

My question is: When did the Democratic Party start the policy of treating war criminals with greater tact and diplomacy than used for treating progressive protesters?

The Best Deal in America

After visiting Spearfish Canyon and Devils Tower, as recounted here, Crystal Dancer and I headed farther west, passed through the Bighorn National Forest and spent the night in Cody, Wyoming. We had dinner at the Irma Hotel, originally owned by William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody himself. Lots of cool old pics of Cody, Annie Oakley and others adorn the walls, along with a bunch of stuffed animals. In the morning we headed west again, passing through the stunning Shoshone National Forest.

The best deal in America is the National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Lifetime Senior Pass. This $10.00 lifetime pass provides access to more than 2,000 recreation sites managed by five Federal agencies. The Forest Service, the National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, USACE, and Bureau of Reclamation all honor the Senior Pass. All citizens age 62 and over are eligible for this pass. Ten bucks. Lifetime. Get one.

One of the places this pass gets you in is Yellowstone National Park, which was our destination for the next four days. It was my first-ever trip to Yellowstone, and I was not disappointed. We scheduled our trip for early May as a means to avoid the crowds. That worked, as we had many of the major sites all to ourselves; even the campground was less than full. Some park venues were not yet accessible, and cold, snowy weather was a threat, but all-in-all I would absolutely visit at that time of year again.

After entering the park and having a brief walk down memory lane with the Ranger at the gate (Cheeseheads are everywhere!) we vowed to get to the campground and set up our campsite before stopping. We kept this vow for all of a quarter mile when this little gem appeared.

Crystal Dancer’s cries of “stop, stop, stop” delayed us time and again as one picture-worthy scene after another popped up before us. Finally we got to the Madison Campground and set up our site.

Camp Scuba, Elevation 6,800 feet, all buttoned up for foul weather …

My son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter shared the near tent, Crystal Dancer and I the far one.

All food must be secured. There’s Grizzlies around!

The backyard at the Madison Campground, where the Firehole River and Gibbons River come together to create the Madison River …

Then it was on to four days of spectacular scenes. The vastness, beauty, diversity, colors and uniqueness of this national treasure cannot be overstated. It’s home to incredible rivers, steep canyons, pristine lakes and the largest collection of geothermal geysers in the world. A truly amazing place.

How the Firehole River got its name …

Some geysers are bubbling mudholes …

While others appear to be entrances to the center of the earth …

The number of geysers is astonishing …

No Yellowstone trip report would be complete without a pic of Old Faithful …

When Crystal Dancer sent a pic of the two of us in front of Old Faithful, her daughter replied with an apt title: “Two Old Geezers and an Old Geyser.” She cracks me up.

The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, where we watched a pair of bald eagles riding the thermals far below us …

Home of Lower Yellowstone Falls …

And amazing colors …

Some of the roads are a bit narrow …

A terrace of mineral deposits below a geothermal geyser …

My pic of two elk fighting on a mineral terrace deposted by a geothermal geyser, or as I call it, just another day at Yellowstone …

Stay tuned for Part 3: The Grand Tetons.

Camp Weathervane attacked Bernie's policies and it backfired.

So they attacked Bernie's character, but that backfired too.

Now they're reduced to attacking Bernie's supporters.

They got nothing.

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