Wednesday, 10 July 2013

The Grand Tetons - was it a moose or an elk?

The Grand Tetons are the less well-known cousin of Yellowstone National Park.  We 'did' Yellowstone a couple of years ago with No.2 son. This year we thought we would knock off the Tetons.

At Yellowstone we saw elk, bison and a grizzly bear as well as bubbling mud and geysers.  We didn't see any moose. Someone told us that the Tetons were the place for moose, so here we are.


Day One - no moose.

I thought we'd bagged it for a while when we saw three moose-like creatures a few hundred metres from the side of the road.  Moose and elk, however are a bit like kangaroos and wallabies; very similar. If you want to see a kangaroo then chances are you'll convince yourself you've seen one even if what you are actually looking at is a wallaby. After much frantic googling on the differences between moose and elk I'm now sure that my moose were elks. Fortunately we still have tomorrow.

Definitely an elk.


Earlier in the day we almost saw a grizzly. Grizzlies are the grand prize of bear spotting, with much better bragging rights than black bears. Many years of wildlife spotting has taught me that the best way to see animals in the wild is not so much to look for the animal itself as to look for groups of people with cameras, binoculars and spotting scopes who look like they have found an animal. That's how we saw our grizzly at Yellowstone.

The thing about grizzlies though is that they are mean - very mean. You can't get too close and be sure you'll live to tell the tale. At Yellowstone our little crowd of grizzly watchers was about 150 metres from the bear. Several people kindly offered to let us look through their spotting scopes. Today, nobody had a scope and not that many people were even confident they could see the bear. I couldn't. I'm not certain there was a grizzly there at all, but no-one was offering to go any closer to check.

D and I got bored with the whole thing pretty quickly and went off in search of moose.

With or without moose the Grand Teton scenery is spectacular.

Useful link: - http://www.nps.gov/grte/index.htm



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For the next post in this series click - here

For all my posts on this road trip click - here

21 June 2013

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