A Window on the Grand Tetons

Grand Tetons (2)As we drift in and out of layers of mid-altitude clouds, we are resigned to the weather and the absence of scenery. We examine our charts and see that the Tetons are beneath us and, hoping for a glimpse of the mountain range, we scan the horizon for a hole in the clouds. As we pass over the Palisades Reservoir, our path aligns with a break in the clouds as if a window opening on a new world. We have seen these mountains in famous photos taken within the park and from the banks of the lakes on their eastern face. This view is different. These mountain peaks do not dominate the skyline as they tower over the earthbound viewer, but they do pop out of the of the landscape. As they do this, they take our flat dimensionless perspective and make it pop in three dimensions. The more we gaze at the peaks silhouetted on the lake below, the more entranced we become. These mountains speak to us, they announce their presence with authority and they scream “look over here!” A few minutes later, we are gone, the window closes and the peaks of the Grand Tetons are emblazoned in our memories where they stand stoically awaiting the next break in the clouds.


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