This was our second trip to the Grand Teton National Park and it was every bit as spectacular as the first time. One main difference was the weather which is obviously still clinging to the last gasps of winter even in late May. It rained, snowed or both every day and the mountains were often not visible at all. This time we had the pleasure of camping close to Jackson Lake which gave us several opportunities to photograph some reflections of the Teton mountains.
The park’s brochure makes a statement about this place that we can appreciate but did not experience. They wrote, “For centuries humans have viewed South Dakota’s celebrated Badlands with a mix of dread and fascination.” For us, the place was simply fascinating! We did not sense the dread, but perhaps it is because we came in spring when the temperatures were mild and the grasses lush and green. In this place one can marvel at the eroded peaks and pinnacles, gullies, buttes and wide prairies. The skies were interesting and the light played with colors that seemed to change by the hour. There is a sense of vastness. Best of all, this is a great place to photograph!
Rockport got its name from the rock ledge that runs along the shore of bay. Its main economic drivers are tourism, shipping, and fishing. We have been here for three months and spent many hours at various marinas and scouted out interesting piers. Here the marinas are filled primarily with what we call ‘working’ boats. Very few boats are fancy. Boats go out to dredge for oysters and then when the shrimping season opens they trade their dredging buckets for shrimping nets. Both activities are highly regulated and areas where either oysters or shrimp can be harvested are limited and the quantities are also restricted. Both industries have suffered major setbacks in the past few decades from the effects of flooding (too much fresh water dumped in the bay), pollution such as oil spills and then hurricanes! On August 25, 2017, Hurricane Harvey made landfall over Rockport. The devastation was horrific! While some areas in Rockport are fully recovered there are many areas where one sees destruction that can only be attributed to a major hurricane.