Silent Reflections: A Tranquil Moment in Grand Teton NP

A raven is my companion as I sit beside Jackson Lake eclipsed by the magnificent Teton Range. Ripples upon the lake are the only known movement, until the honk of two Canada Geese turns my gaze upwards to catch them flying overhead. Their ruckus causes the raven to take flight. For now, it is only me and my shadow taking in the silent reflections this magical place has to share with me. 

Silent reflections in Grand Teton National Park

It is not often one gets the solitude of these silent reflections in Grand Teton National Park, especially in the middle of the summer. 

One needs to be an early riser for this experience. This park holds a magic all to its own. I know better than to let the stillness and quiet fool me, for I know just beyond view critters of all sorts can suddenly appear.

Silent reflections a coyote dance Silent reflections a badger stare down

Prior to this moment, I welcomed the sunrise with a pair of horses grazing in a field only to realize we were not alone.

First to appear was a coyote prancing ever so secretly past one of the horses. The horse, completely undisturbed by his presence, never lifted its head.

Then, at the edge of the field along the fence line, a badger on a mission caught my attention at the same time I caught his. Even though there was a good distance between us, being stared down by a badger is a tad bit unnerving!

The wild-ness is not always what it seems, but it always has the ability to take one’s breath away.


If you were here with me now, this is what the silent reflections would reveal…

A treasure trove of smooth pebbles and rocks painted in the hues of a painter’s palette embrace you. They stretch for as far as the eye can see cascading gently into the crystal-clear lake. Ripples dancing across the lake’s surface carry you off to a distant shore dressed in varied shades of green. Beyond the green rise, a regal mountain called Mount Moran rises with its broad shoulders brushing against the sky. Upon it, Skillet Glacier dating from eons ago, nestles within a deep eastern facing valley.

As your gaze pulls away from Moran’s monumental view, mountains stretch in both directions as they reach the horizon showcasing a mired of shapes and sizes. Thick solid granite rock rising majestically toward the vast expanse of the clear blue sky.

Rough and rugged.

Steadfast in their message.

To the left of Mount Moran is the infamous Grand Teton looking dwarfed by Moran’s bulk. The Grand, with its jagged neighboring peaks scattered about, looks almost fragile to the touch. Numerous glaciers cling to life within every available crevice. From the peak of the Grand you look south and the imposing pointed range gradually recedes downward till it becomes lost in the horizon.

Behind me the sun continues to rise shedding the cool morning air. Long ago trees in the form of driftwood rest like sculptures amongst the sea of rocks – still holding their own.

Silent reflections wooden beach sculpture

In the stillness an unseen fish jumps to greet this new day, and with that unexpected gesture, a silent morning gives way to the activity surely bound for this rocky shore.

The first tourists shuffle down the boat ramp to soak in the beauty of this spectacular place. A small speed boat zips past in route to the far-off Elk Island. With time suspended, minutes later the wake from the passing boat collides with the shore with a loud gushing sound.

The raven returns for a quick overhead flight. Her silent reflection making her presence known as she circles and turns taking her leave. I follow in suit grateful for my solitude and solace in such a grand park.


Silent reflections in Grand Teton National Park


Grand Teton National Park Facts:

Jackson Lake is 15 miles in length, 5 miles wide and 438 feet deep sitting at an elevation of 6,772 feet above sea level. This natural lake, a remnant of large glacial gouging from the neighboring Teton Range to the west and the Yellowstone Plateau to the north, was enlarged by the construction of the Jackson Lake Dam in 1916.

Mount Moran was named for the famous landscape painter Thomas Moran who was part of the 1872 Hayden expedition into Yellowstone. He visited the west side of the Teton Range but never saw the mountain named for him. The elevation of Mount Moran is 12,610 feet.

The Grand Teton is the highest point of the Teton Range at 13,775 feet. It is the second highest peak in the state of Wyoming after Gannett Peak found in the Wind River Range. The Tetons received their name from French-Canadian trappers who accompanied early British expeditions into the territory. Viewing the range from the west, three towering mountains stood out in which they named “Trois Tetons” or three breasts!

Clark the Mountain Beaver climbs the Grand Teton

Clark the Mountain Beaver climbs the Grand Teton!


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15 Responses to Silent Reflections: A Tranquil Moment in Grand Teton NP

  1. Lynn Zilinsky August 24, 2023 at 7:48 am #

    Beautifully written, I felt as tho I was right there with you, I could smell the pine and the lake!

    • Karen B. Shea August 24, 2023 at 12:14 pm #

      Great! Then mission accomplished with this post. Thanks for your comment.

  2. Joyce August 24, 2023 at 8:50 am #

    I enjoyed your thoughtful observations. Yes to be still for a few minutes and observe is amazing.. Hugs, joyce

  3. Chris August 24, 2023 at 9:22 am #

    Thanks for taking me away for a moment to this grand place. Now I can start my work day with an new sense of calm and energy.


  4. rick August 24, 2023 at 9:43 am #

    great post from beautiful Grand Teton Park. Say hello to Clark for all of us. Hope he enjoys his time in Wyoming.

    • Karen B. Shea August 24, 2023 at 12:12 pm #

      Clark is on quite the Grand adventure himself! More to come…

  5. Patti Anthony August 24, 2023 at 10:50 am #

    Beautifully written Karen, love how you describe the pebbles along the shore and the morning light.

    Hope Clark is safe, he really should not climb alone on such a steep mountain. Love your humor too.

    Where’s the baby moose??

    • Karen B. Shea August 24, 2023 at 12:10 pm #

      The baby moose it with its Mama! Literally, have only seen one baby moose and it was with its Mama.

  6. Tim August 24, 2023 at 11:23 am #

    Wow! That may be one of your best ever Karen!! Maybe because I miss that place or I really need a vacation or I really need a vacation in that incredible place. Next year for sure!!!

    Isn’t it time for your next book? There are a lot of words and stories in that head of yours itching to get out on the pages, beyond your wonderful blogs!!!!

    • Karen B. Shea August 24, 2023 at 12:11 pm #

      Thanks, Tim! Actually do have a few ideas for a book or two…get your computer reved up for some new book designs!

  7. Patricia August 25, 2023 at 7:36 am #

    I’ve always told you Karen that you paint the most beautiful pictures with your words. And you…you thought you were the only one in the family who wasn’t an artist.

    Your words are your art. They fill the mind with the most beautiful images, transport us to places we’ve never been or are rarely able to go. They replenish the heart with joy and peace with every intricate detail that captures your eye.

    The world around you is your canvas and each post a masterpiece. Thank you for sharing your art with us. I can hardly wait for your next creation!

    • Karen B. Shea August 25, 2023 at 7:57 am #

      Thank you, Patricia! You have left me speechless.

  8. MaryBeth August 28, 2023 at 5:30 pm #

    Lovely story. I felt the air and sun as if I was there with you. Xx