Back to Grand Teton NP -- What's that sound?

We now return to our roadtrip vacation to Yellowstone and back, taken last month. We left off in the middle of a hike in Grand Teton National Park, where we had seen a small lake, some hot, dry fields, a wonderful creek, and were now approaching another lake.


This is where we heard a strange, haunting sound... but more on that a bit later.

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I've finally found a decent map of the trails we took, so wanted to share with you the route as well as the actual names of the lakes and creek we saw.


That's part of the National Park Service map of the Grand Teton NP, Hermitage Point trailhead.

Starting at the little house icon (the campground), see that little figure 8 loop trail that goes out to the point I marked with a red "A"?  That's the short hike we took upon first arriving here.

The hike I'm currently telling you about started at the same place but went south until we reached "B", that really pretty small lake which is actually... a pond! "Heron Pond" to be precise. Then we continued down to point "C", which was the very hot, dry portion of the hike. Then the creek was at "D", and as you can see it is creatively named "Third Creek" -- I saw "Second Creek" on the map, but I'm not sure what happened to "First Creek".

After the creek ("D") we finished the loop back to "B", then veered off toward "E", and that's where today's post occurs.


We knew there was a lake coming up somewhere ahead from our map ("Swan Lake"), but while still surrounded by trees we heard a haunting sound. Of course it had to be birds of some kind, but when you're in the wilderness (even a slightly-tamed version) and hear a strange, echoing sound seemingly coming from all around you, your heart races a little.

Have a listen:


The clicking noise after the middle was made by grasshoppers, and only adds to the alien atmosphere.

At the time the sound seemed to be coming from the treetops up ahead, and I couldn't figure out what sort of bird would be sitting in a tree making that kind of sound! After hiking a few more minutes we started to see the lake between the trees, and things finally made sense.

I'll show you that tomorrow.


Note that I've just realized I've been typing "Grand Tetons" plural when it's really just "Grand Teton" singular, at least when referring to the National Park. Rather than going back and correcting the posts that show this mistake, I'm going to leave them as I originally wrote them, leaving evidence to future readers that I am not infallible. :)

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