Grand Teton National Park

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In our final month in Wyoming we visited the Grand Teton National Park. It was not our plan to begin with, we had been to Yellowstone twice and thought that would be the end of it, but after hearing person after person say, “Yes, Yellowstone is nice, but have you seen the Grand Tetons ?” Everyone seemed so enamored with the park, we had to see it for ourselves.We were not disappointed.

The Teton mountain range was named for the Teton Sioux Indians who lived in the area and they have a look about them that is different from any other mountains I’ve seen. As though they’ve grown up over night, like mushrooms.  Or some giant dropped them where they stand.

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The scenery was so breathtaking that we came back a second day and spotted this adorable little guy.

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The Million Dollar Highway

Million Dollar Highway

 

I thought roads like this only existed in third world countries; used only by colorful buses with fringe hanging in the windows  and way too many passengers, teetering on the very edge of a quickly eroding mountain road. But they have nothing over us because we have the Million Dollar Highway!

After hearing about the lack of guardrails and the certain-death drops we had decided that no matter how inspiring the views it wasn’t worth plummeting to the jagged rocks below just waiting to introduce us to our Maker. Now, looking back, I guess only I had made that decision because Jim was being tormented by the idea of missing those mountain views and so decided to take the risk.

So one Sunday afternoon, after many fervent prayers, we started our ascent of the Million Dollar Highway. The first town we came to was Silverton. With a population of 629 people it wouldn’t still exist if it weren’t for the Durango to Silverton train. We were lucky to find an open restaurant as the last train had pulled out of Silverton the day before and the majority of shops were closed for the winter.

Brown Bear Cafe

 

Brown Bear Cafe

The Brown Bear Cafe was charming and the food was delicious.

Oliver and Willow Brown Bear Cafe

With our bellies full and our spines stiffened we were ready to take on the last half of our journey. The cruel thing about the Million Dollar Highway is that it really isn’t all that bad from Durango to Silverton. You’re convinced that its reputation has been highly exaggerated, but the the ride to Ouray lives up to the legend.

Jim had nerves of steel, never once did he give us the slightest idea that he was even concerned over our safety. I, on the other hand, was nearly hysterical and could barely bring myself to look at the terrifying precipice that lay only inches (truly, only inches) from the tires on the passenger side.

But with Jim’s nerves and God’s providence we made it there and back again. It was all I feared it would be and all I hoped it would be. The mountain views were breathtaking.

Million Dollar Highway

Million Dollar Highway

Here’s a video that Jim asked me to take while he was driving; but I couldn’t bring myself to look out the window.