The second in a series of photo essays of Grand Teton National Park.
I have to admit Cora was quite the trooper that first morning in Jackson, Wyoming. The predawn temperature was in the brisk mid-twenties when we left our snug bed to drive 32 miles so that I could photograph the panorama of Oxbow Bend in Grand Teton National Park. That was my own mission. Cora’s was to simply try and retain body heat. There’s really nothing that compels Cora to go on these sometimes crazy little sorties of mine other than to keep me company.
“Do you want me to go with you?”
“If you want. I always like your company but if you want to sleep in that’s no problem.”
We headed north in a pitch black predawn along route 191 where a number of signs warn motorists to keep speeds down and to be aware of wildlife crossing the road. That’s no joke. A bull elk bounded out of the dark right in front of our car. That wouldn’t have ended up well for either the elk or the car but luckily the end results were only pounding hearts and a slower speed.
Oxbow Bend is, as the name suggests, a bend in the Snake River fronting majestic Mount Moran. The calm water of the Snake reflecting the snow capped peak is one of the most photographed scenes in the park. We were there in early October and the park was dressed in autumnal yellows, oranges and golds.
There was certainly no doubt that we’d found the place when we came upon a line of parked cars and crowds of people on the bank of the river with cameras that ranged from cell phones to pricey DSLR’s on tripods.
“Well, I reckon this must be the place,” I remarked dryly to Cora.
I got out of the car, pulled out camera, tripod, monopod, and any lenses I thought I would need and staked out a likely vantage point. Cora opted to stay in the car to concentrate on staying warm.
A thin veil of fog hung over surface of the Snake River. On my immediate right was a full morning moon hanging over Mount Moran (below).
The big mountain is the main draw at Oxbow Bend but to focus too much on the peak is to miss other photo opportunities. Off to my left a line of ducks cruising the frigid river appeared out of the fog (below).
Straight ahead, a tree line vibrant in greens and orange (below).
To the far right, right of Mount Moran another autumn tree line (below).
And then there’s the mountain itself, a feature that dominates from almost any place in the park’s 485 square miles.
Cover photo: Dawn fog on the Snake River.