Rain Showers over Antelope Flats

Thunderstorms Over Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Yesterday was truly an interesting day for me. Much of the morning was spent preparing and buying supplies for a backpacking trip up to Delta Lake. The weather, however, was not very cooperative and I didn’t get on the trail until about 4:00pm when it looked to be clearing up, still plenty of time to get there and have dinner before dark. A couple of miles in and thunder was back, roaring in the distance. Hearing it in the south, I was hoping it would stay down there and simply pass through, not realizing yet that storms in the summer move northeast through Jackson Hole. I kept on moving and by the time I was about 100 yards into the Delta Lake trail cutoff, lightning began striking frighteningly close. I took shelter for a bit and realized waiting a storm out on a remote, seldom-used trail wasn’t the best place to be. I headed back to the main trail with lightning striking only a couple of miles away and rain beginning to come down steadily. I was checking my phone for the weather reports and it said that southeastern Idaho was under a severe thunderstorm warning with frequent lightning heading northeast. Being on the eastern side of the Tetons, I wasn’t sure if this was the storm it was talking about or if there was another coming. I called it quits and began running down the trail frustrated that the backpacking trip I’ve wanted to do for a year now was getting rained (and lightninged) out. Back at the trailhead, I saw clearer skies, but then again that was what it looked like when I started hiking which got me a little frustrated.

I picked myself back up and decided to head out into the park to scope out a good spot for sunset since I knew such dramatic weather would leave something nice behind. I drove up to Oxbow Bend, wasn’t too thrilled at the prospects there and began making my way back down Highway 89. I was approaching the Teton Point Turnout when I noticed some interesting looking clouds. I had a feeling they were going to light up beautifully so I pulled out and waited for the sun to hit them. Sure enough, moments later, they began lighting up in amazing ways even bringing out rainbows with them.

Sure I could have gone home frustrated that I didn’t wait out the storm on an overnight trip I’ve been wanting to do, but by just accepting the decision I made, I was able to catch this amazing sunset with plenty more images to come! The lesson here is that the next time something doesn’t turn out quite as you had hoped, just get over it and make the best of wherever it brings you to.

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