Trekking into alpine country, the Dey’s America the Beautiful tour during the third week of September was Wyoming’s spectacular Grand Teton National park, where the Teton Range towers to nearly 14,000 feet. Small glaciers still remain in the peaks and under the massive canopy are 310,000 acres of incredible vistas, nearly pristine wilderness and ecosystems. Lakes, meadows, rivers, valleys and myriad of wildlife and plant species cover the expanse. The beauty and resources have attracted humans since the end of the Ice Age. Rocks in the park have been dated at 2.7 billion years, the oldest found in any U.S. National Park.
“Grand Teton National Park is just amazing” said Molly Dey, as it is reported to be some of the most spectacular scenery in the nation.
The entire park and region is rich in history, from the early Paleo Indian inhabitants to Lewis and Clark expedition explorer John Colter, who left the group and visited the Tetons in 1807. Fur trappers flocked to the beaver-rich waters, followed by the late arrival of homesteaders and ranchers in the 1880s because of the region’s challenging terrain, harsh weather and difficult access. Starting in the 1920s wealthy Americans traded their urban garb for chaps and boots to enjoy the burgeoning dude ranch tourism. The allure of an authentic American West experience replete with horseback trail riding, cattle drives, fly fishing, hunting, camping and much more thrives to this day.
“The town of Jackson is a western style Aspen, less glitz and more mountain culture in people’s dress and casual attitudes” said Ted Dey, Founder of Armed Forces Reunions, Inc.
The establishment of the park to protect the range and habitat from development took years before it was made official by Congress in 1929. The refuge was expanded in 1943, including the erection of Jackson Hole Monument. John D. Rockefeller, Jr., conservationists and other parties helped spearhead the park to its current size and scope in 1950.
The next stop on the Dey’s America the Beautiful tour is Moab, Utah and its Arches National Park, nearby Canyonlands and much more, so stay tuned.