Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The 4th

Getting up at 4:30 in the morning to take a photo is insane. But also a richly rewarding experience. The Fourth of July weekend was defined by what we did in those still early morning hours. On Thursday, we went to the annual hot air balloon launch in Provo at 6:30 am.

I could watch hot air balloons for hours I think,

but we had to head off to study before going to Barbri for a class on Community Property. Which, by the way, is a funny subject to study with Paul because we spend our time quizzing each other with hypos that usually start out, “Say you and I get divorced…” or “Now let’s say you die…”. Warms the heart, doesn’t it?

Anyway, as soon as class was over we threw our tent and sleeping bags in the car, then headed to Jackson Hole, Wyoming (studying Community Property law on the way up). What a beautiful place! It was only five hours away and I can’t believe I have never been there before.

The Tetons are amazing – more claw-like than any other mountains I have ever seen, reaching heavenward as though trying to tear open the sky.

We got up early every morning in order to try to get the perfect photo of these dilapidated barns on “Mormon Row”, named for the early settlers who worked the land there. The first morning was overcast and grey after a torrential rainstorm that kept us awake late into the night with lightning and thunder.

But finally after two more tries (and getting up before 5 am three days in a row) Paul captured the perfect image of the Tetons lit by the sunrise which also illuminated the weathered siding of the barn.

Just so you don’t think we are the only crazy people who tried this, every morning we were there at least a few other intrepid souls ventured into the early morning chill to try to capture the perfect image as well. This lighting lasted for mere minutes before either fading behind clouds or becoming too intense for the mountain peaks to show up well. I had no idea photography was so demanding an art.

I even tried my hand behind the camera lens and captured this image of the Grand Teton reflected in a beaver pond.

We actually studied every day for at least a few hours, but otherwise had a good time doing a six mile hike,

watching the Independence Day parade in downtown Jackson, and enjoying cowboy campfire music at the Bar J Wranglers Chuckwagon supper.

And if you ever get the chance, the fireworks show at Teton Village was one of the best we have ever seen. For every explosion, the echoing crack and boom off the Tetons made us think that the rocks and remaining snowpack was going to come crashing down on us. It was a great, mostly relaxing weekend despite the studying we had to do. Now it is time to get serious about the bar.


  1. I am so jealous I love Jackson Hole. We were talking about going for the 24th but I don't think it is going to work out this year. Oh well maybe next.

  2. Those are some nice pictures, especially that first cabin picture, and the beaver pond reflection; my favorite nature scene is a sky reflected in water. How funny about quizzing your spouse on community property.
    The Tetons are claw-like, aren't they? It makes me wonder why the name "Teton" stuck.

  3. I just watched some PBS special on the Tetons. I thought it was interesting how they got their name. Those dirty old Frenchies.

    Great photos! They're beautiful. I love the balloons.

  4. Wow! Awesome photos! Looks like you guys had a great time.

  5. Beautiful pictures of a beautiful place. Glad you guys had fun!

  6. Wonderful pictures! The animal shots are amazing too!

  7. Great pictures guys! And Amy, I'm glad to see you're getting behind the camera as well.

    So, when are you guys coming over for dinner?


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