Quilt Gallery

Monday, March 17, 2014

Moosely Mornings, Snowy Days

One Thursday evening last month we arrived in Jackson Hole in the midst of a snowstorm and I was more impressed than ever with the skills of pilots who fly large jets in and out of the Jackson Hole airport.  Situated within Grand Teton National Park at about 6,000 feet of elevation, surrounded by mountains (hence "Hole" in the name Jackson Hole), and having only one short runway, which, by the way, cannot be salted due to park regulations, the airport has more than its share of exhilarating landings, especially when the weather is bad.

Fortunately, Jackson Hole has plenty to entice the winter visitor to put up with potentially scary travel.  Abundant wildlife, magnificent scenery, and fabulous skiing combine to set Jackson Hole apart from other ski destinations.

So much of the valley is national park, national forest, or other protected land that it has an abundance of wildlife.  During our short stay we saw a variety of waterfowl as well as deer, elk - both inside and outside the National Elk Refuge - and moose.  In fact, we saw moose every morning of our stay, the most notable being a large bull browsing right outside the house in which we stayed.

Moose are incredibly well adapted to cold climates.  With seemingly leisurely strides, their long legs move them rapidly even in the deepest snow.  More remarkable is how they survive by eating the young parts of trees and shrubs.

Bull moose browsing on aspen branches

Cow moose on the lookout for tasty branches

Jackson Hole is, of course, well known for its scenery.  During this visit heavy snow obscured the big peaks of Grand Teton National Park and made us focus on the valley's more intimate scenes. 

Dinner time along Spring Gulch Road

Bar BC Ranch fence

I used the snowy day palette of pale blues and white with brown and green highlights to make another top to practice my long arm quilting skills.

Practice quilt, machine pieced and machine quilted

As a ski area Jackson Hole stands out for its extensive, varied, and steep terrain and for its snow.  We were fortunate to have from 6 to 18 inches of fresh snow each day that we skied.  Wow!  With almost non-stop snow the light was rather flat so we stayed mostly in the trees, which afforded better visibility and numerous beautiful lines through uncut powder. 

Along "Slalom," one of the few open runs we skied

I imitated the sinuous curves of ski tracks for some of the quilting.

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