Mercer/Tupin Family Trip to Wyoming

July 30, 2005 through August 6, 2005

On July 20, 2005, Derek Mercer married Heather Honaker in Jackson Hole Wyoming (pics here).  During the following week, the Mercer and Tupin families vacationed in Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park.  These images chronicle (most of) the adventures that were had during this trip.

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PS - Sorry if I screw up spelling of some names; I didn't write them down!

The whole clan in Jackson, WY

This archway and another like it on the opposite end of the town park are made entirely of elk antlers

Matthew, his fiance, Elizabeth, and Benjamin

The Grand Tetons as seen from the headquarters of Grand Teton National Park

The river below Hidden Falls


Most of the crew

Steve and Sheryl at Hidden Falls

Hidden Falls

Inspiration Point

Steve and Tommy become overwhelmed by the amazing view and cling to each other for support.

The Grand Teton as seen from Inspiration Point

A chipmunk that crossed my path on the hike down from Inspiration Point

Glacier View Turnout

You get a good look at the largest glacier in the Teton range. Its the white thing in the middle of the picture.

Contours of the banks of the Snake River

Here you can clearly see the countours of the land that have been carved out by glaciers thousands of years ago. There are three "levels" where that can be easily seen from the banks of the river.

The Tetons from the Cathedral Group Turnout

The Grant Tetons from the Snake River Overlook made famous by Ansel Adams.

*Clearly* I am the next Ansel Adams.

Kyle, Debbie, Tommie and Melba

Dinner before our float trip down the Snake River

Before the float trip

L to R: Connie, Keith, Bret, Kyle, Tommie, Eldon and Debbie

Aren't they cute!

L to R: Sheryl, Melba, Kyle and Eldon

Ralph and Bret

The Grand Teton from the Snake River

A juvenile bald eagle

Another juvenile bald eagle on the banks of the river.

A mature bald eagle

The little brown blob in the middle is a beaver (I swear).

A blue herring

Keith, Connie and Bret

A beautiful sunset over the Teton Range

Another herring


So the boat we were on was made of black rubber. Black rubber + river water + Bret moving around to take pictures = one funny picture that will not go away soon.

Our first day in Yellowstone, a big bull elk came right up to the road!

Believe it or not, this was the first thing we saw in the way of wildlife after three days in the area.

He got *really* close before we left!

Yellowstone is famous for its geysers and other geothermal features.

It really is amazing to see all the geothermal activity in the area. Moving around the park, you know that the entire area used to be a giant volcano.

The Fountain Paint Pots

The Paint Pots are mud pits that constantly bubble due to the escaping gas and super-heated water esacping from the Earth.

Here you can see how the grasy plains run right up to the mineral-encrusted ground around the geysers.

A lone tree trunk stands in the runoff from the geysers

The trees cannot survive the calcification process that overruns the ground when geysers come to the surface.

The Pallet Springs at Mammoth Hot Springs

The colors you see are generated by heat-tolerant bacteria that live in the heated water (ranging from 150 to 200 degrees Farenheit) coming from within the Earth.

Palette Springs is on of the few springs at Mammoth that is currently active.

Minerva Terrace at Mammoth

Pallet Springs as seen from the top

This is one of my favorite pictures from the trip.

The base of Palette Spring

The ground has become so calcified in this area that water actually begins to pool in the various divisions. However, you can see that not all of the divisions have water in them.

The elk are plentiful at Mammoth Hot Springs!

Large herds of elk are known to roam the area in and around Mammoth. They also like to keep cool in the shade created by structures in the area.

The only bull in this group today.

There were a few elk that could not have been more than a few months old.

Angel Terrace at Mammoth Hot Springs

Another of my favorites.

The Noris Geyser Basin

The colors created by the bacteria a beautiful and have lots of variety

The colors created by the bacteria are contrasted against the dark sky of an approaching storm.

Many of the geysers and springs at Norris are constantly bubbling and spewing hot water and steam.

Green Dragon Spring

Steamboat Geyser

Steamboat is the world's tallest active geyser; it erupts more than 300ft in the air! But it only erupts every few years, so we didn't stick around waiting for it.

Firehole Falls

You can actually go swimming at the base of Firehole Falls, but it was *really* cold.

Old Faithful

Melba and Eldon

Sheryl began hunting butterflies while we were on Signal Mountain

The view from lunch.

On Wednesday, we ate lunch at Jackson Lake Lodge. This was the view of the Tetons from our lunch table.

Mt. Moran as seen from lunch.

A piece of history

The table this monument sits on was used to sign agreements reached by Secretary of State James Baker and Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze during a summit held at Jackson Lake Lodge in September, 1989.

Mt. Moran as seen across Colter Bay

A family of ducks on Heron Pond

A beaver dam on Heron Pond

There is actually a beaver going into the dam, but its very difficult to spot unless you know what to look for.

A blue herring on top of the beaver dam

Looking across Lake Jackson to Mt. Moran on the right and the Tetons on the left.

Sunset over the Tetons at Jackson Lage Lodge.

You can cross the Continental Divide several times while driving through Yellowstone.

Old Faithful eruption as seen from the Old Faithful overlook

Sheryl and I spotted several marmots while hiking down from the overlook. Some of them are really fat!

The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone

The south wall of the canyon is almost sheer cliff!

Looking east down the canyon and the Yellowstone River.

Tommie, Kyle and Sheryl

The Lower Falls are spectacular as they plunge more than 300 feet!

Where did the river go?

There is a trail that allows you to hike down right to the brink of the Lower Falls. Its quite a view!

Looking down the canyon from the brink of the Lower Falls

Bret and Beverly

We *finally* saw some buffalo after five days in the parks!

Some of the bulls were a little fussy with the women-folk around.

I think it was getting close to mating season up there b/c there were more than a few bulls that were somewhat contankerous.

This is just a small sampling of the buffalo

There were literally hundreds and hundreds of buffalo on this plain.

One of the many young-uns

The area surrounding Mud Volcano smells lovely with all of the sulfur coming up from within the Earth.


We *finally* saw a moose Friday morning. This one was right on the side of the road.

We saw another moose later that day.

This is a mama moose we saw that evening.

Here is her calf