What a magnificent painting THASC artist Eddie Two Bulls has given us. The powerful pinnacles of the Teton Mountain Range form a perfect backdrop for the beautiful teepees at their base and the serenity of Jenny Lake, which surrounds them. The Tetons are a range of the Rocky Mountains which lie on the Wyoming western border with Idaho, just south of Yellowstone National Park. The Range, which is 40 miles long, is the youngest range in the Rockies and perhaps some of the youngest in the world. While granite comprises many of the central peaks, the geological process, which led to their current composition of the oldest rocks found there, began about 2.5 billion years ago. Eddie Two Bulls’ dramatic precision in depicting the pinnacles of the Tetons main summit, referred to at times as the Cathedral Group, gives credence to the range once being called “Teewinot”, or “many pinnacles”, by the Shoshone people. The Grand Teton, or highest peak, soars to 13, 770 feet. Unlike many mountain ranges, the east side of the Tetons lacks lower peaks, which can obstruct the view.
Grand Teton National Park is located just 10 miles south of Yellowstone and encompasses 310,000 acres. In 1929 President Calvin Coolidge approved the original smaller park (96,000 acres), which protected the Teton Range and six glacial lakes, but not Jackson Hole.
Ignoring public approval to expand the national park, President Franklin Roosevelt created the Jackson Hole National Monument in 1943. After many years of fighting over the proclamation, finally in 1950, the national monument was added to the original park and it was finally re-established in 1950.
Glaciers have given the Grand Tetons their unparalleled character and there are still twelve small glaciers in the Grand Tetons as well as six lakes: Phelps, Taggart, Jenny, Bradley, Leigh and Jackson. The largest glacier is Teton Glacier found on the north side of the Grand Teton peak. The powerful Snake River originates in Yellowstone Park and takes a rest in Jackson Lake where you can find abundant birdlife and wildlife including elk, moose, bison antelope, black bear, and grizzly. Bald Eagles, Trumpeter Swans (the largest waterfowl in America) and the smallest bird in North America, (the hummingbird) can both be seen throughout the area. Marmots, beaver and coyotes are also numerous.
Wildlife and wildflowers along Snake River
The first recorded American to see the Tetons was America’s first mountain man, John Colter, a member of the Louis and Clark expedition, in 1807. A human head-shaped stone found in Idaho in 1931 is engraved with “John Colter” and “1808”. Colter was also the first American to see the Yellowstone. The Grand Tetons served as helpful landmarks for the region during the mountain men era because they are visible from so far away.
The Grand Teton National Park ranks with ten other national parks by welcoming over 2.5 million people each year. Eddie Two Bulls majestic painting attests to the fact that in spite of its size, in comparison to Yellowstone, and Yellowstone’s historic significance, seeing the Tetons rise out of Jackson Hole, makes you realize how nothing dominates these soaring peaks. What a beautiful vision of our abundant country on this Thanksgiving Day!
Have a wonderful holiday and weekend!
See you Tuesday.