I secured a campsite at the Colter Bay campground last night, then wandered aimlessly for a bit, stopping for photographs as the mood struck me and kept an eye out for a place to set up at sunset. I found what I thought was the perfect place during my drive, but when I went there an hour and a half before sunset, I found that access to the area I wanted to photograph was a little less than ideal. I would either have to cross a wide-ish creek that was deep enough to hit my shins or I would have to stand on a busy bridge. I worked with what I had for a bit then realized that I’d misjudged how much the trees would block the light as the sun set. Thankfully, I still had an hour or so before sunset, though the sky was already changing.
I had found a location earlier in the day that looked promising, but I wasnt sure if I could find a shoreline on the lake near where I wanted but outside the area where boats and buildings sat. I found a side road, then a trail, and then a beach with the perfect view. The light was good and I ended my evening with the perfect (I hope) panoramic- a long exposure that brought out the colors of the sunset and blurred away any ripples in the water while keeping the reflection of the Tetons.
After that it was an early night and an early morning. I was up at 6. It was 35 degrees out, but felt colder than the 31 of the other morning. I kind of wanted someone to grumble at besides myself over having to get up so early and in the cold.
I had a general area in mind for the morning and I lucked out by having stunning views in all directions. There was a good bit of cloud cover with rain expected all day, but enough blue sky still remained to make for the most amazing light I’ve seen this trip. The light lasted for several hours, ending in a rainbow over the Tetons as the storm clouds rolled in. Very quickly after that the clouds blocked out the light and it became a very grey day.
And back to the visitor center and camper services I went. Happily, the park has pay showers for $3.75. Even better, the showers are not limited to 6 minutes like the ones at the Grant Campground in Yellowstone, or 8 minutes like the showers in Glacier National Park. I think the park is well aware of how thankful campers are for this…its likely said out loud every time someone pays the cashier for a shower.
The restaurant and bar at this campground was a pleasant surprise. They have a sustainable menu, offer tofu scramble on their breakfast menu and provide free wifi. As thankful as I am to have a vegan option on the breakfast menu, I should probably leave tips or a better recipe for the kitchen. I dont think they know about having to press out the excess liquid in the tofu. It was still quite edible.
I’m not sure what my plans are for the rest of the day, though I think I’ll head to another campground.