September, 2014 – We had a lot of dark rainy days during our stay at Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park, and one afternoon we looked out the window to see a very bright rainbow dramatically piercing through the black sky in the distance.
We were waiting for sunset at that particular moment, kind of resting up a bit and relaxing.
We’d been taking so many photos and running around so much that when we saw this stunning rainbow, we greeted it with a shrug.
“It’ll never last,” I said.
“Yeah. It’s way over there, and there’s nothing in the foreground but grass,” Mark added.
If it had been in the opposite direction, over the mountains, we would have leaped into action. But it wasn’t. So why bother?
Talk about blasé!! Our stay in this gorgeous park had totally spoiled us!
“It would look great with the Mormon barns,” I suggested after a while, wishing we were closer to those classic buildings.
But Mormon Row was a good ten minute drive away, and rainbows last just a few minutes, at best.
We went back to doing whatever we were doing — nothing really — while we each secretly kept an eye on this incredibly vivid arc that was flooding the land with light from the heavens.
Finally, we couldn’t take it any longer. We jumped up, grabbed all the camera gear we could find, and dashed out to the truck.
Mark floored it, and we zoomed onto the highway in hot pursuit. Unbelievably, the rainbow just got brighter.
We stopped at the most famous Mormon barn, along a dirt road of century old buildings, but the crowd of swarming photographers was thick. No way!
We raced back to the truck. I was running so fast over the uneven ground that I tripped and fell flat on my face — but I saved the camera!
I got up, brushed myself off, and saw that the rainbow was still there. So I kept running!
A bit further down the road we found some less picturesque but still very cool log cabins, and in this quiet spot we instantly busied ourselves taking a zillion photos.
We worked frantically at first, and then a little more calmly and with a little more thoughtfulness once we realized that our special rainbow was here to stay.
The sun fell lower in the sky, and the rainbow shifted, showing first one side and then the other, while the sun played with its shadow on the buildings and the land.
Mark cracked a wry smile and lined up the perfect shot, making the rainbow come right down onto an old outhouse.
He’d found the true pot of gold at the end of the rainbow — in the pot!
Now that the rain had scrubbed the air clean, the nights became brilliantly clear, and Mark got another stunning shot, this time of stars.
While I snoozed and mumbled something unintelligible into my pillow at two in the morning, he snuck outside with his camera and aimed it at the sky.
A few minutes later he’d caught the Milky Way in its ethereal glow, rising out of a pair of silhouetted trees.
Next time I’ll make a point of joining him. That was much too good to miss!!
We did end up getting some photos of the classic Mormon barns at dawn, just as the peaks of the Teton Mountains were glowing pink.
The park has lots of other intriguing historical buildings, and one is an Episcopal log church that dates back to 1925.
Services are still held there, and what a heavenly view the congregation has through the windows behind the altar. It’s a wonder anyone ever hears a word of the sermon!
The Tetons are known for wildlife too, and in between our moments spent in enraptured communion with the landscape, we had quite a few wildlife sightings.
I saw my first badger, a little raccoon-like guy who waddled around in the grasses, perfectly camouflaged.
One day, out on a dirt road somewhere, we suddenly saw a bushy-tailed fox go by.
We weren’t the only car on the road, but the fox didn’t seem to mind.
He trotted right down alongside all the slow-moving cars for quite a distance before he darted into the woods.
We often saw bison grazing in the distance, and a few times we got hung up in traffic jams when the herd decided to cross the highway.
The leader of the pack was a huge brute of a beast, and one day Mark saw him take aim and jump over a fence.
This big guy eyed up that fence for quite some time, pacing back and forth, which gave Mark just enough time to get ready for the shot.
And then he went for it — and cleared it like an expert high jumper!
We really wanted to see a moose, and we got word that there was a big one with huge antlers that hung out by the bridge at Moose Junction (how fitting!).
Sure enough, one morning we saw him, just fifty yards from his bridge. He was with another moose friend — perfect!
But we had set our alarm clock so we could wake up before dawn to go take photos of the little log cabin church at sunrise. Moose weren’t on our agenda!
In our sleepy state, somehow we didn’t grasp the gift of the moment, and we kept on driving to the church, totally intent on our mission.
Silly us. The church was there every morning, but the moose in the Tetons play hide-and-seek. Unfortunately, we never saw them again.
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