Grand Teton National Park | Summer 2016

Turning the bend and catching a first glimpse of the mighty, imposing Teton mountain range cannot be adequately described any more than pictures can capture the majesty of the peaks, seemingly erupting from the plains without any warning. Annie Dillard says you can "heave your spirit into a mountain". I feel like this is my first and only response when I look at the Tetons. My eyes go wide, my breathing stops for a minute.

I've read a lot of Dillard lately - I think because I recognize that she "gets" something. “Go up into the gaps. If you can find them; they shift and vanish too. Stalk the gaps. Squeak into a gap in the soil, turn, and unlock...a universe. This is how you spend this afternoon, and tomorrow morning, and tomorrow afternoon. Spend the afternoon. You can’t take it with you." My afternoons in the Teton wilderness were well spent, with my friend Jake (who lives out here, and is an insane photographer - follow him!) and my new friend Skeeter, hiking and photographing the still-wild lands of Wyoming. It was wonderful and refreshing, and most of all it was wild.

America was once characterized by a frontier spirit. The frontier was where civilization met wilderness. It was where, through hardship, through grit, through pure force of will, you could forge a new life, or die trying. The American frontier was definitive. At some point our country formally recognized the Western Frontier no longer existed, because we had "civilized" right to the west coast. But if you look carefully, and wear the right boots and clothes, you can still find and "go up into the gaps".

Grand Teton National Park became the 20th National Park on February 26, 1929, and is located near Jackson, WY.

All pictures by Karl Magnuson
Canon 6D, Canon 60D

Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L, Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L