Friday, July 23, 2010

Day Twenty - Colter Bay, Grand Teton Natl. Park WY - July 18, 2010

We are in a beautiful setting among the pines and Doug fir with no hookups, which is not a problem, and we learned yesterday that no generators are allowed until 8A.  Ooooops!  We have a rocky start to the day when we remember that the generator will automatically start when the coffee pot comes on at 5A, so Herb has to set the generator on a delay.  Since we never have had to do that, he is not sure how it will work out, so as soon as the coffee is perked, he pours it into a pan and turns the coffee maker off.  We heat a cup at a time on the stove.

We arrive at the marina at 7A for the cruise to Elk Island.  We are greeted and helped onto the boat by Capt. Jim and First Mate Mikie, who is from Southlake TX near Dallas.   Once we are seated, Capt. Jim does a quick welcome, then as Mikie removes the lines, he smoothly backs the boat away from the dock and we are on our way.    

It is non-stop Teton viewing, and Capt. Jim points out a 'skillet' glacier formation with the handle pointing up, and a rock formation resembling a moose face in the center.   The Grand Teton is the tallest, most pointed peak.  

First Mate Mikie tells us a bit of history of the area and the adventures of John Colter, a beaver trapper, after whom Colter Bay is named.    Soon we are on Elk Island, where our work crew has already prepared our breakfast and built a campfire.  We are treated to yogurt, sausage, scrambled eggs,  mixed fruit, hash browns, pancakes -- and trout!  

Plenty of breakfast drinks and seconds of everything!  Did I mention that our tables face the Tetons?    What a treat!  And that we are seated at 'the Captain's table?'  Actually, the Captain came to our table, and that made it the 'Captain's table.'  

There are trails for exploring and we do a bit of that.  Then it is time to go and Capt. Jim recruits one of the young girls to ring the triangle to get the group together.  

 One of the young boys, Brooks, is seen with his sister, Rosemary, examining an ax on a stump and Capt. Jim tells him not to hit his sister with it.  He is heard to say begrudgingly, "Yes, sir."

On the return trip each child is given a chance to steer the boat, but the cutest is two year old Rosemary from Alabama, who not only takes her turn -- which gets cheers from the group -- but doesn't want to give it up for her brother Brooks, and sits in his lap steering for a time.  Each child gets a Junior Cruise Boat Captain license card, after completing the piloting.  

A surprise is when the Captain calls Herb Stark to try his skill at the wheel and presents him with a Certificate.  Herb will have it framed and mounted above the helm of his Ranger Tug, "Willie's Tug."

It is a wonderful morning with the added humor and ad libs by Capt. Jim that engage the guests and keep us laughing.  We recommend this cruise!

Later in the day we take Jake for an outing to Jenny Lake and Signal Mountain, where we find a Verizon tower and our Droids wake up.  We can really see our house from here.  Then on to Jackson Hole ski area and some narrow, winding roads.  There are lots of cars everywhere we go, which tells me that the economy is doing OK here.

We visit Jackson WY briefly and see the lodge where we stayed years ago, when we rode the BMW motorcycle through on our way home from National BMW Rally in Missoula MT.    Fond memories...............

Willie of Walldog, Willie and Jake

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