Photos and story by STEVE HARRISON
Day 2 was an exciting one to say it best. The trusty camera was ready for things it had never seen before!
First up was a 5:30 a.m. wake up call in order to get to the Moulton Barns. Arriving before the crack of dawn, I thought for sure that i would be the only one out there.
Boy was I wrong!
As I pull in, I can see cell phone lights out in the fields. I assumed either there was a rock concert and everyone was waving a Zippo lighter, or that I was in the right place to photograph the most photographed barns in the world!
Venturing out in the dark i was able to get to a location and then the long wait for that morning burning glow of sunrise to hit the Grand Tetons and find its way down to the barns. Below you can see that with the peaks in the background there was no doubt why these barns are so famous!
After a filling breakfast, it was off to the National Park and Jenny Lake for a hike. Just inside the parks entrance sits the tiny church that holds two services on Sunday mornings. As you can see in the gallery below, the church sits with the Grand Tetons in the background. Once inside you see what a beautiful view the congregation must have each and every week during Sunday service.
Next up was Jenny Lake and the hike that would test the strength of these old mailman legs of mine. I am so use to walking miles a day, but going hiking is completely a different story.
About a mile into our hike we crossed paths with another couple who said the moose are in the lake. Having no idea what that meant, we asked ‘how far?’ It was another mile.
So up the path we trekked. We finally reached a spot that had a sign that said ‘Moose Lake Trail Head,’ so why not give it a shot and see how we do.
Yes being in Upstate New York, we find wild animals out on country roads. But to be backpacking and seeing these amazing creatures is memorizing. From about 150 feet up we stood overlooking the small lake or really a pond. With no hesitation, I found the path the the shore line and sat there photographing the bull and cow moose. The cow was searching for grass along the shore and the bull stood back just grunting at times. Below are a few photos that I will forever cherish.
After an hour with the moose, it was time to hit the trail once again. After a couple more miles we came to our first destination the Hidden Falls of Jenny Lake. They were nice and they are so far into the terrain that it makes it kind of magical. Being from New York where I feel is the greatest waterfalls, if it wasn’t for the fact the falls were such a hike to compare, I don’t think I would have attempted to make the trip.
As we sat watching others pass, we look up and see the dangerous passage that frankly I didn’t have any intentions of making. The incline was vertical and the switchbacks took your breath away.
As you can see in the one photo below, the gagged rocks and straight drop offs had many hikers turning back and not attempting the climb.
Once we reached the top it was nothing but total silence, okay other than my heavy breathing, as the elevation and not as fit as we should be took its toll upon us.
As night fall was a few hours away, we knew we had to head back in hopes to get out before the darkness set in.
I am so thankful for was that we bought hydration backpacks to carry water. Without that, I am not sure I could have made the trip. With never having tried anything such as this before, I learned water is so important as well as some sort of protein to eat along your journey.
I tried to capture the sunset but again the color fairy didn’t want to show its powers as the fog rolled in
Day 3 is going to once again take us on another adventure. Stay tuned and come back and check out the Hornell Sun for what adventures await.