If you're planning to be in Grand Teton National Park on Saturday, you'll be sharing the park with the vice president of the United States, the Department of Interior secretary, and the National Park Service director. All will be at Moose to dedicate the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center.
It's hard to say whether Dick Cheney, Dirk Kempthorne and Mary Bomar would have turned out for the dedication had the visitor center not been named after U.S. Sen. Craig Thomas, who died suddenly earlier this summer from complications in his fight with leukemia. That the three are crossing the country to honor the Republican from Wyoming is truly a tribute to the senator, who was a staunch advocate of the national park system and long campaigned for greater funding for the National Park Service.
Also expected to speak at the dedication are the senator's widow, Susan; Grand Teton Superintendent Mary Gibson Scott, and; U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, also a Wyoming Republican.
The 22,000-square-foot visitor center has long been needed at Grand Teton, as the Moose location is the main entry into the park. As a result, the visitor center there attracts large crowds of visitors searching for information on the park, books and gifts, campsites, and backcountry permits.
Dedication of the $18.5 million center is scheduled for 10 a.m., and if you're planning to attend it's recommended that you arrive between 8:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. and carpool if at all possible.