Greetings from Grand Teton National Park

Morning Ride By Tonya McQuade, July 19, 2017

As I climbed on to the saddle, I felt my heart flutter With eager anticipation. A morning ride on horseback Through the Grand Tetons Was definitely something I had been looking forward to, And now, on this beautiful Sunny day, the morning ride Was about to begin.

Feet in stirrups, reins in hand, My horse Holly at the ready, We set out with our wrangler On the trail toward Swan Lake, A name that brings to mind Graceful ballerinas with fluttering hands, Accompanied by sweet Yet somber music, But this Swan Lake Was covered in lily pads, Some still showing hints Of the yellows blooms That weeks earlier Had covered the watery scene. No swans graced this lake, But mother ducks with their ducklings Glided through the ripples, Undisturbed by the train of riders On the trail beside them.

Next, we approached Heron Pond – Also lacking any presence Of its name sake, But featuring Canadian geese Swimming gracefully Against a backdrop Of the towering Tetons, Mount Moran, St. John, The Cathedral Group, And the Grand Teton herself, Prominently showing off their

Pyramid peaks, rocky crags, Snowy patches, and lingering glaciers, Making our little party Feel small by comparison.

All around us, As a result of this year’s Prolific super bloom, Fields of flowers Overwhelmed our senses – Vibrant purples, pinks, oranges, Yellows, blues, and whites. Desert Parsley, Scarlet Gillia Thistle, Yarrow, Blue Harebells, Indian Paintbrush, Mules Ears, Mountain Dandelions, and Spring Beauties burst forth From the various grasses, Sagebrush bushes, And Lodgepole Pines That made up the Expansive landscape.

It was that kind of day That just makes you Burst with happiness, Joy bubbling up inside And awe overwhelming you At the beauty of this earth And the freedom that is ours.

Sincerely,
Tonya

Grand Teton National Park

This spectacular destination preserves a dramatic stretch of the Teton Range bordering the Snake River. One of the unusual features of these distinctive mountains is the absence of foothills, meaning that there are no smaller mountains blocking the view. The park also features glacier-carved lakes, a historic district of weathered buildings made by 19th century Mormon homesteaders, and an abundance of wildlife large and small, including nearly 1,000 bison that roam the grassy fields in herds.

State(s): Wyoming

Established: 1929

“My family and I love hiking, camping, and enjoying the beautiful outdoors. Every summer, and sometimes during the school year, we make a point of visiting both state and national parks and historical sites - and we've still got lots more places we want to visit. We just got back a few days ago from visiting Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. Last summer, it was Crater Lake, Manzanar SHP, Bodie SHP, and Columbia SHP. Next February, it will be Joshua Tree. I've been a visitor and supporter for years, and I plan to continue for many years to come. I would love to be able to share my recent experience through this poem I wrote about our beautiful morning ride" our of Colter Bay inn the Grand Tetons.”

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