Our Pine Butte staffers had another area to show us and that was on the north fork of the Teton River.
Pine Butte guest ranch sits on the south fork but, as the crow files, they aren’t far apart. Two guest ranch vans traveled to the north side of the river, then west going deeper in to the Rocky Mountains. We passed the entrance to a local ski area and beyond that, I was slightly unsure of which direction we were going, southwest I think.
We went in to a fairly wide open box canyon area that had seen a small 2,000 acre fire a year ago.
With the cool weather and low-hanging clouds and mist, also the blackened fire-tinged trees, the area had an eerie feel but it was also starkly beautiful. The new-growth grass was emerald green, providing a stunning contrast to the backdrop. Mother Nature does have her ways of creating variety in the landscapes. I liked it so much I took quite a few photos.
The river was really flowing and, at this point, I can’t say if it was the north fork, south fork or west fork of the Teton River. For such a small stream or fork, it was bringing a considerable amount of water down the mountain. If you’ve ever purchased a CD of moving water – babbling brooks, bubbling springs or gushing rivers, the sounds could have been captured here. An amazing sound!
Because of the small fire the year before, this area will probably see some diversity in bird species. I know that cavity nesters seek fallen trees so I made a note to pass the information along to my bird watching friends.
Our drive back also produced some excitement when we saw a bighorn sheep overlooking the road. He posed for awhile so some of the group could get photos, then clambered up the rocky cliff. I thought he looked very thin but he had shed a coat of hair and was in summer mode.
All in all, it was a great outing planned by the Pine Butte guest ranch staff.