Teton National Park & A Crazy Story! (WY) “DAY 89” – 10/1/10

October 2, 2010 - 9:55 am - (WY) “DAY 89”

Last night, when I got into Teton Village (Jackson Hole Area) it was so dark I couldn’t even tell what the scenery was around me.  So, when I woke up this morning and walked out my door... It was awesome to see how beautiful it was.

I know that sounds like I’m turning into a hippie... but it really was an amazing view!  Basically, I am staying right on a mountain.  If it was ski season, this place would be packed from wall to wall but I’m here in the off-season, so it’s very peaceful and calm.

After I took in the view, I went downstairs to a common area and wrote “DAY 87”.  It took me about 3 hours as I finished around 1 pm.

Lee

Nice, I still have a full day to go check out the National Park.  (A guy named Lee gave me a free pass last night, $25 value.  Thanks again!)

Teton National Park
The park is only 2 miles from the Hostel so it was quick and easy to get there.  When you arrive, you have to go to go through a gate where a park ranger is.  I asked this park ranger a ton of questions???  Hey, I’m from Jersey and haven’t been in the wilderness much. 😉

She told me to watch out for bear and to just be careful in general but... that I shouldn’t worry.  Oh.. OK... look out for bear... but don’t worry... Sounds easy! 😉  She also told me I could be stay inside my car or park and walk around, people do both.

At this point, I’m staying my car!  I’m not having this trip end “Grizzly Man style”.  Sorry Timothy Treadwell!

Mom and Me

Anyway, I called my Mom on my cell phone as I entered the park to tell her about what I was just told.  She’s a New Yorker (Bronx), so being in the wild is funny to both of us. 🙂

As I was on the phone with my Mom driving through the park, I was stopping and asking people if they saw any animals (Bear, Moose, Elk, Bison, etc...).  The first guy I spoke to said he didn’t see anything all day (he was in car but when I saw him he was getting something out of trunk).

Craziest Story of My Trip
The next guy I saw was about a mile further up the path and... he was on foot.  (Mind you, I’m still on the phone with Mom.)  I stopped, rolled down my window, and asked the guy if he saw any animals.  Heck, he was walking, he had to have seen something.

John

Then... this guy looks at me and my car and says... “Rooster!  Do you remember me?”  What???  I know a guy in the middle of nowhere Wyoming, who’s walking through the heart of the Teton National Forrest!?

This guy was laughing so hard and making so little sense, that I truly though he was just a crazy hippie who was on acid walking through the woods and when he saw a car with a rooster on it... he just wigged out and lost it. 🙂

My Mom is still on phone with me listening to what is happening.  She is asking, “Who’s that?  You know somebody in Wyoming?”

John in Minnesota

The guy then says, “Rooster, it’s John from the Hostel in Minnesota.”  Oh my God! LOL  This guy John slept right across from me while I was in Minnesota for a whole week!  No F&$king way!

We even hung out a few times and I already have pictures of him in my computer.  This is to crazy!  It would have wild enough if I would have re-met him at the Hostel I was staying at.

But... to have found him in the middle of the woods in Wyoming walking from Montana... is just to unbelievable!

Really... if I would have found anybody I knew anywhere in Wyoming, it would have been crazy enough but... in the middle of the forrest walking... Come on!

Anyway, John was so happy to see me.  As I vaguely mentioned before, he had been walking for the last 10-15 miles (coming from Montana).  F.Y.I - John is hitchhiking his way to wherever his is going and camps out when he has to sleep if there is isn’t a Hostel close.

He was tired from walking, so I gave him a ride to Hostel I’m staying at, which is where he was headed anyway.  Life is so unpredictable sometimes! 🙂

The Hostel
I pulled up to the Hostel and dropped John off but while I was there, I noticed a real hot girl working out in front of the place.  I had to get out and talk to her.  Plus... I was still so overwhelmed with laughter from finding John, that I had to tell somebody about it.

Jamie and Me "Rooster"

Ironically enough, this girl (Jamie) was from Minnesota, the same city that I had met John in originally.  I told her what had just transpired as we laughed about the odds of that actually happening.  (She is Dartmouth student on a 3 month geology trip for school, she probably could figure out those odds! ;))

After that, I told John I’d meet up with him later and said good-bye to Jamie.  I asked  her to go out with us later but she was just 20 years old and didn’t have an I.D.

Maybe, I’ll run into her next year when she’s 21 because after what happened today... who knows... I might see her again someplace down the road! 😉

Teton National Park Again
I was know headed back to the park to check out some animals, that is if I’m lucky enough to see any.  So, I entered again and was back on the road that drove right through the middle of the park.

I stopped a few times along the road to get out and take some pictures of the beautiful scenery.  (That’s all I could get, I hadn’t seen any animals yet.)  The rivers, streams, and woods were so peaceful that it was cool enough just to get those shots.

Seeing An Elk (I Think?)
As I drove farther into the forest, I soon realized that if there was an animal around you would know immediately because there would be a ton of cars/people with massive cameras surrounding the area.

The first of these areas was where I think I saw an Elk.  I definitely saw an animal, it’s just whether or not is was an Elk.?  Anyway, I pulled over on the side of the road and got out to take some pictures.

Serious Camera People Are Assholes!
Now, I know I’m from NJ, have never been in this setting before, and probably am acting a little out of place but these camera people acted as if they owned the park!

Let me explain, as I got out to take a picture of the Elk, I was on the phone with Jeremy telling him what I was seeing.  I wasn’t talking that loud but all the camera people started to shhh me.

Then, as I got close enough to take a good picture, they started yelling at me to get out of there sight line.  Hey assholes... I paid $25 (well got a free pass but they don’t know that)... I paid $25 to be here just like you, I’ll stand wherever I want and I’ll talk to whoever I want!

They kept shhh-ing me, so I took a few more pictures and left that area.  Then, I did get off the phone with Jeremy as I proceeded further into the park.  ( I don’t need any hassles.) 🙂

A Black Bear
About a mile or two further up the road, I saw another group of people gathered around an area.  So I stopped, parked, and headed over there.  As I got closer, I found out they were watching a Black Bear eat berries in a tree.

Yes... a 400+ lb bear was in a tree eating berries!  I approached the area on foot as there were at least 30 people within 30-40 yards of this bear taking pictures.

F.Y.I. - When I entered the park, I was truly scared of running into a bear but I when I got to the area where he was... I was mesmerized by his awesomeness!  Also, for whatever reason, I didn’t feel like I was in the wild because there were so many people around and there were orange cones on the side of the road.

Bear is in the trees to the left of cones.

I know the cones were there so the cars didn’t go of the road (not as bear protection) but like I said, I wasn’t thinking as I got engulfed into this bear’s world.

I started to take pictures from where the other camera people were, but they all had real cameras with telephoto lens and whatnot.  I soon realized... I wasn’t getting good enough pictures so I moved closer toward the bear.

Not to mention, these asshole camera people started to yell here as well for being in their sight line.  Do they think they own the forest?!  I listened to them this time but instead moving father away... I moved closer to the bear!

30 Feet From The Bear
Let me set the scene.  The bear was on one side of the road in a tree about 15 yards away from the road.  The camera people were on the other side of the road about 30-40 yards away from the bear.  I was with the camera people until I moved closer.

Then, after the verbal disagreement, I moved to side of the road the bear was on and even walked a few feet onto the grass, about 10-12 yards from where the bear was feeding (30 or so feet).   I even crouched down, so none of the camera people could yell at me as I started to snap pictures.

I was only there for a few seconds when I guy walked over to me and nicely said, “Hey pal, I wouldn’t get that close if I was you, you are entering his personal space.”  I looked at him like he was being one of those dick people I just walked away from when he sincerely said, “Buddy, really you’re playing with fire being that close to the bear.”

I took his warning seriously this time as I realized how foolish I was acting.  Heck... I’m in the wilderness, this isn’t a circus bear I’m sneaking up on.  As if I would even sneak up on circus bear! 😉

As I was walking back to my ride, I was happy just to be alive as I thought about how just 30 minutes ago, I didn’t even want to get out of my car for fear of being attacked by bear.  And then.. I’m the idiot who’s sneaking up on all 400+ lb of him!

Snake River & Moose,Wyoming
After my close encounter with a bear of the 3rd kind, I kept driving further up the path until I came to a river.  It was named the Snake River which made me laugh because one of my NJ best friends is nicknamed Snake.  (I sent him a picture of the river, sweet!)

Then, as I passed the river, I spotted a building in the distance (about a half mile away).  It was post office and the town’s name was... Moose, Wyoming.  So funny, another one of my best friend’s from NJ is nicknamed Moose, so I sent him a picture of it as well!

Now, I’m looking a for Monkey National Park, a Buck Camp Ground, Minotaur University, followed by Rooster Town USA.  LOL

A Bull Moose & Baby Bull Moose
I had reached the end of the park’s trail (there is park for 100’s of miles in every direction but the trail ended) so I turned around and headed back.  On my way back down through the trail, I saw a bunch of people again off to the side of the road.

So I pulled over, parked my car, and walked toward the area to investigate.  When I got to the place where all the people were, I saw a massive Bull Moose in the water with her/his (like I know) baby Bull Moose right behind her/him.

I took a bunch of pictures of this massive animal as it just stood there and looked back at me.  I really thought it was staring right at me so I moved to back of the animal and took some pictures from behind.

It was 5 pm, so it was time to go.  I saw an Elk, Bear, and a Bull Moose along with some of most beautiful country in the entire USA.  A sight everybody should try and see sometime in their life!  🙂

Jackson’s Hole
On my way back to Teton Village, I stopped in Jackson Hole (10 miles away). The first place I went was to the visitor’s center.  There, I spoke to a nice lady named Carolyn as she guided through the town and the activities it had to offer.

On my way out of the building, I couldn’t resist as I took a picture with a few statues of the animals native to the area.

Back To The Hostel
I got back to the Hostel around 6 pm and was so tired, I took a nap.  I woke up at 7:30 pm to a phone call from John (wandering hippie :)).  He was wondering what I was up to for the night.

I got up and went downstairs where John and I played ping pong as we decided what we were gonna do.  He was tired from walking for miles earlier and I wasn’t in the mood to rage so we just went to the bars in the area (Teton Village not Jackson’s Hole).

Mangy Moose and The Other Bar
The first bar we went to was the Mangy Moose.  It had a bunch of people there but they were all in a wedding party and only talking with each other.  Not to mention, they weren’t serving food any longer and...there wasn’t any cute girls there.

So after one drink, we headed to the other bar to get some food.  This bar was dead but they were serving food and we were hungry so we stayed.  (We knew it wasn’t be crazy out, it’s the off season in a ski resort ;).)

I took the bartender’s advice and ordered the buffalo meat sliders while John ordered some wings.  I knew it was bad call for me because I don’t like many foods and these sliders had all kinds of weird stuff on it (arugula, a weird tomato, a funky bacon, not american cheese, and some kind of special mayo which I didn’t get).

I didn’t like it although I could tell most people would have loved it!  I’m just a very picky eater but I never had buffalo (I think) so I gave it try.

John picked up the tab as a thank you for the ride earlier so at least it didn’t cost me anything.  Thank you John!  Karma is real, Earl was right! 🙂

It was 11 pm and the bar was closing, so we called a night and went back to the Hostel.

I had a great time today although I didn’t do anything to exciting... well except almost getting mauled by a bear.  (The picture is blurry but that's what it would have looked like had he been eating me! ;))

This week though, I plan on horseback riding (I’ve never been on a horse) or para-gliding, or canoeing... something out of my comfort zone!

Thanks for reading!

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Comments (3)

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  1. G says:

    Cool shit dave

  2. Jeremy says:

    Just a FYI Dave, there is no Rooster Town USA but there is a Roosterville in Missouri!!

  3. Gene says:

    So random! When I was in Europe in 1996 I ran into the same dude 3 times in 3 different countries, so I get it. But in the middle of the woods in Wyoming?

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