July 5th started with the slam of the bear-proof dumpster door. It was chilly and overcast. I hooked up the dead battery to the solar panel, hoping it might charge enough to start the van. Michelle and I walked down to the lake front and checked out the marina at Colter Bay. The visitor center was nice, and we looked in to renting a boat, but the weather didn’t inspire confidence.
We headed back to the campground and had breakfast. The girls had cereal and some gigantic and delicious blueberries that Kathy had brought, and Dave made cheesy breakfast sandwiches for us. What a great way to start a morning.
Michelle and I then tried to sort out the cooler, where we discovered that lots of the contents had frozen, even things like the lunch meat, eggs, and yogurt. We removed food that we wanted to eat the next few days. So in a way, the dry ice was successful, but maybe a little too successful.
The girls and I went back down to the lake to explore for a bit, then on our way back to camp (it had started to sprinkle), we saw a scruffy fox running down the road, listening to the grass on the roadside. Then, it pounced in to the grass, pulled out a mouth full of greens, and dropped a vole on to the pavement. The fox quickly picked up the vole, took a couple big bites, then swallowed it. And with that, it kept running down the road. What a sight!
We all piled in to the rental van and headed towards Jenny Lake for a hike. We encountered a large herd of elk near the Moran Junction, and went for a hike along part of Jenny Lake. We took some photos, but then headed towards String Lake for another hike. We ate lunch before the hike at the trailhead, and the girls played the classic game of walking from fallen tree to tree without touching the ground. They befriended a couple other kids who were there with their family, but had to leave when they got their kayaks and headed for the lake.
As we hiked up String Lake towards Leigh Lake, we encountered a bull moose cross the trail, then cross the lake. I was able to grab the girls so they could see it as it crossed the lake. While it was on the far side of the lake, munching on greens, there was a snap of wood and the moose jerked its head and looked in to the trees. I looked where the moose was looking and saw the back of a grizzly bear as it fumbled through the brush and soon disappeared in to the trees. Its fur was wet from shoulders down, and it’s back line was so very recognizable. Michelle wouldn’t let me cross the bridge to see if I could find it again.
We hiked the rest of the way to the Leigh Lake portage, which was an amazing view. The portage is right by Boulder Island, which is a very picturesque scene with the Tetons rising behind it. We goofed around on some boulders, and the girls were able to climb to the top (with some help). We slowly made our way back towards the car, still hoping for another glimpse of the bear.
It kept threatening to rain, so Michelle, Kathy, and Dave hung out at the campsite and the girls begged to go swim. I stopped by the marina to try and get a fishing license, but in Teton, you need both a park and a Wyoming state license, and they only come in 1-day and 1-year options. At 4pm, and knowing the girls were going to be swimming, it wasn’t worth the money. The girls did swim in the lake, which shouldn’t surprise me since I did the same at their age. But as they swam, I watched a huge bank of clouds slowly engulf the Tetons and pulled the kids out of the water as the weather turned ugly.
We had Salmon two ways for dinner. Brown sugar glaze, and mayo/garlic rub. Both were delicious, and you can never go wrong with grilled asparagus and couscous. I love how well we eat while camping.