This summer was again spent in the Tetons, and was delightful, but finding a series of new photos just wasn’t happening. There were a herd of Bighorn sheep in the spring, but they were at some distance. When the weather warmed, they disappeared, presumably for higher elevations.
With the weather turning cold again, two things are happening. First, fall colors are emerging.
Second, I heard that a few Bighorns had been seen to the west. With a sunny day yesterday, I grabbed my camera and got in the car. At the end of the campground driveway, as I am about to turn left, I look up on the hill to the right and saw a pair of young male Bighorns walking east. I decided to follow and turned right.
Moving slowly, I paced them. They were cautious, eyeing me at first. Then, they seemed to relax and got closer to the road. I took full advantage of that opportunity.
They were pretty close to me, 20 to 25 feet away, and seemed quite comfortable, browsing, and not worried about me.
At one point, a 4-wheeler ATV, quite loud, was approaching. Both rams quickly moved into the brush and disappeared.
I was about to move on down the road, when they re-emerged, coming within 20 feet of me.
Thanking them for the opportunity, I continued east. I had avoided this part of the road, because I knew from past explorations that it was miles of washboard road. I had nothing more pressing, so I continued, slowly, for 22 miles, the furthest I had been along the road.
It was worth it. The vegetation was beginning the transition to full fall colors.
After 22 miles of washboard, rutted road, I reached a broad valley with Crystal Creek winding through it. I looked ahead, then turned around and started back.
The rock strata were a mix of pale chalk color, medium greys and reds. Each twist in the road seemed to offer a different palette of color.
After 45 miles of washboard road, I was back at Slide Lake, feeling very thankful for the creatures, the scenery and the light that had given me this delightful day.