I load everything in the car and drive back to the Jackson Lake Lodge to check my email. As I am driving further to the south afterwards, I suddenly notice a lot of cars and people along the road. A clear sign that there is something to be seen.
Yesterday one of the photographers told me dat bears can often be seen here, sometimes even with babies. A Grizzly is wandering around some 100 meters from the road. Despite the fact that my lens falls a little short to get it full frame, I can shoot some nice photographs.
A couple of times he stands up right to see what’s going on around him (-;
After a bit of sniffing around…
…he goes back into the forest.
A man tells me that has he seen a bear chasing after a little deer a couple of days ago. Exactly on the road he jumped on top of it and dragged it back into the forest. Children that were watching started crying. ‘Bambi is dead!’.
Bears can run faster that a horse. Hardly to imagine, but it really is the case.
Time to get some sleep
Further to the south, in Jackson (everything seems to be named after one called Jackson) I find a motel and hope to get some sleep. That appears to be impossible, because the room is not ready yet. Better to get something to eat first then, a hamburger this time. After lunch the room is ready and I float in the Land of Dreams for two hours, until I wake up at 16:00.
Next objective is to get to Jenny Lake for a walk to Hidden Falls. Because it is already quite late in the afternoon, I take the boat to the other side of the lake, saving 4 kilometers in the walking department. Because this is the last boat for today, taking it implies that I have to walk back. The boat leaves and I stay behind with only a couple of fishermen on the shore.
The waterfall can be reached via an ascending path of around 800 meters long. A bit cautious and alert I shuffle into the forest.
Somewhat later I encounter some people that have visited the waterfall already. Soon after that, I arrive myself. Again those well known signs to watch out for bears.
Photographically speaking there is not much to do here. The waterfall is quite wide but mostly ‘hidden’ behind the trees. Who could have guessed that? (-; I decide it’s better to return. There is another intersection going up for a nice view on Jenny Lake. But as it is getting late already, I leave it as is.
On my way back I stop once at a little bridge crossing the stream, but there is too much water to shoot good photographs. The variations in light are also too large. I end up with a couple of acceptable photographs.
I walk back the 4 kilometers via a nice sloping path between lush green vegetation, along the north-west bank of Jenny Lake. The worries about bears are always there, but making noise still seems a bit awkward, in particular because only sometimes I run into other people. Although I should better make some noise.
Almost back at the boat house, I spot a cute little deer only 2 meters away from me in the vegetation. Amazing how good the camouflage patterns on these animals are. By just standing still they can hide themselves almost completely from sight. I almost missed it. The deer seems relaxed and I put down my bag very slowly to get the camera. But this is a bit too much and she walks about 15 meters away from me. From that distance I am allowed to make some photographs of her. She doesn’t look all that healthy to me, but I can be mistaken.
Funny Woodpeckers and Maddening Mosquitos
Back at the car I decide to explore a bit more in the Jenny Lake area. I get out of the car several times to look around and take photographs. At one particular spot I chase a pair of Woodpeckers for a while. Funny birdies.
There are a lot of mosquitos here. After a while I am getting really crazy about them and start waving wildly with my arms to get rid of them. The Woodpeckers are not particularly happy about this and move on also (-;
This reminds me about a comparable event in Canada about a week ago. There were lots of yellow/black striped mosquitos at Dawson Falls. As it was quite warm I walked into the forest to the falls, only wearing a thin shirt without sleeves. Close to the waterfall I was attacked by a whole squadron of these little bastards. Many of them did not survive their little party, but I left with a couple of good stings.
The next day, I had two huge bumps on my arm. When I bent my arm, it was like having three elbows (-; Happily enough, they went away after a few days.
On the way back, I visit Antelope Flats Road to explore the old mormon barns in preparation for the tomorrow morning shoot. The sky has been completely clouded as of mid afternoon. Since I do not expect special light anymore I return to the hotel.
Maps, Charts & Downloads
GPS Map with color coded altitude information
Color coded distance/altitude chart
Download the original gpx file here.