Friday, June 3, 2016

Grand Teton National Park

I slept shockingly well last night, considering it got pretty cold and I was on a dirt road in the middle of nowhere Wyoming.  For some reason, it gave me some peace of mind and comfort knowing there was another girl sleeping in her car right beside me.  My sleeping bag and insulated sleeping pad did the trick and kept me warm all night!  It's just that the night was too short.  Because I was still up at 10:30, and my alarm went off at 5:25.  That's definitely the earliest I've gotten up in a long time, but Bren wanted to see this famous Moulton Barn (just down the dirt road we parked on) at sunrise.  So we rolled out of the cars, mumbled good morning, then got back in and drove down the road.  Of course there were already photographers everywhere!

So we squeezed in among them and waited...and waited and the cold, for the sun to finally peak up over the mountains and shine on the barn.  I suppose getting up early was worth it to see this view.

Once we both got the shot we wanted (which took about 3 seconds after the sun came up) we decided to head to Jenny Lake for some breakfast, and then do a canyon hike or something along those lines.  Here we are, caravanning down the road in the Tetons!  (Bren bought this Dodge Caravan for $2,100 when she arrived in LA and has been in it ever since!)

We were just getting breakfast made - oatmeal with fresh fruit toppings - when Brens eyes for big and she said, "Oh no - you know what I did?! I left my GoPro at the barn!" There were lots of photographers there and i couldn't imagine one of them taking a camera, but we jumped in my car and raced back down there to see if we could find it. 

No luck. It wasn't there anymore. She set it down on a log to take a picture on her phone and then we were so cold we just ran back to the car. 

Clouds had since moved in and it was raining when Bren got out to ask anyone in the area if they had seen it. She really didn't care about the camera, but wanted the 3,000 pictures off of it more than anything. Her entire trip is on that camera - and no where else. 

Pretty bummed about that, but hopeful that someone would turn it in to the visitors center, we headed back to Jenny Lake and ate our oatmeal on the way. 

The "hike" from the parking lot to Jenny Lake took all of two minutes, and there wasn't a soul around. If you want places to yourself, you need to go before 7am. 

With so many clouds, the view wasn't spectacular, but it was still nice. (Also, it's no Lake Tahoe, I'll tell you that!)

We decided to head back to the visitors center to get a map and see if anyone had dropped the camera off yet. Bren was really worried about it, as I would have been too!

It wasn't there, but while Bren filled out a lost and found form, I had to sweet talk a guy in the giving me a map of the park. Apparently you're supposed to buy them?! Not happening. Thank you very much. 

So, map in hand and no camera, we decided to hike from Taggart Lake back to Jenny Lake, then up to Inspiration Point and in to the canyon behind it. 

I drove there and we left Brens car at Jenny Lake so we would have a way back to get my car. We set off from the trailhead a little before 8am, and there was like 1 other car in the parking lot. 

The trail started or nice and wide and flat, and we talked and told stories all along. 

It didn't take long to hit a mini waterfall / river crossing. And since Bren didn't have her GoPro, I pulled mine out and we played around crossing a very wet and very slippery log. 

At that rate, we were never going to make it to Jenny Lake. So we stopped a little less and picked up the pace. I'm already a fast hiker, and Bren was right on my heels the whole way. (We actually learned we have quite a bit in common, besides out fast walking pace.)

We hit Taggart Lake after a mile and a half or so. Snapped some pictures and kept on going. It was pretty, but you really need blue skies and sunshine for it to look good!

Xxx Lake was about another mile and a half further, except the trail was a little steeper. 

The next mile or so was mostly uphill, and we both agreed we needed a little break before making it to the top. 

And at the top, we ran in to a group of three guys from Michigan who we chatted with for awhile, before starting the hike down to Jenny Lake with them. (They hiked too slow of us though so it didn't last long.)

Somewhere along the hike down, Bren gave me another, "Oh no - you know what I did?!" -- I was scared to guess that time, but from the way she was cracking up, I knew it couldn't be that bad. She left the keys to her car in MY car at the other trailhead. So now we had no way back. Except to hitchhike, which we were both okay with.

We made it to the Lupine Meadows trailhead, but then somehow missed the turn for our next trail over to Jenny Lake. So we pulled out the map and looked at GPS on the phone, and decided to make our own trail bush whacking through the trees over to Jenny Lake. It looked so close on the map, just over a ridge.

And sure enough, we were right! It was pretty close and we found it and the trail easily. 

We had both actually had enough hiking / race-walking by that point. It had been a few hours, we were hungry and tired and hurting. So we decided to cut out hiking in to the canyon, and just hike around Jenny Lake and back to the trailhead there to catch a ride to my car. 

It all sounded good...except we somehow weren't on the trail we thought we were on. So when we came to a parking lot, we were both like, where the heck are we?!

Confused, we decided to just walk down a dirt road and see where it took us. And thankfully, there was a semi truck pulling out of a construction site. So I did what any normal person would do and literally chased him down. I mean I ran down the dirt road waving my arms at him, with Bren laughing behind me. 

But it worked. He stopped, and very confused asked if we were getting attached by a bear! HA! No, sorry, just lost and want a ride to the road. To which he obliged.

He was going the opposite direction that we needed to go at the highway, so we hopped out and hitchhiked along the main road through the Tetons.

A couple of cars passed us by, but it didn't take long to at all for a car to pull over and we hopped in. Two workers from Yellowstone spending there day off in the Tetons. And they dropped us off right at the car!

We drove back to Jenny Lake, got some food out of our cars, and faced the drones of people around the lake to find a quiet rock out in the middle of the river to eat our lunch. 

More tuna packets and chips for me. Bren had rice cakes topped with cottage cheese and sliced deli meat. 

Our big mountain plans were over. We were tired. So we decided to go in to the town of Jackson to walk around, shop a little, and find some wifi at a coffee shop. 

We ended up at an organic juice bar, and each had $8 smoothies. They were good, but that price is a little high if you ask me!  I mean, they weren't THAT good!

I spent some time updating the blog, and Bren researched ways to find bet GoPro. We eventually had enough online time, and decided to shop a little around town. It's such a cute area, lined with shops, but man, everything was so expensive! 

So you know where we ended up?! K-MART! Haha! Bren is my kind of girl!  Bren needed some new jeans (she lost hers) and I needed some Visine for my eyes.

Neither one of us found what we were looking for (but Bren did set her phone down and almost lost that, too!), so we ended up at an Albertson's grocery store just down the road.  Got some groceries (bananas and chips) and I found my Christmas tree ornament:  three in one:  Yellowstone, Grrand Teton, and Jackson Hole!  Perfect!

We had seen all of the Tetons we wanted to see (or had time to see), and the weather wasn't the best, so we decided to head up north towards Yellowstone to try and find a free camping site for the night.

Of course we had to pull over several times for these scenic overlooks!  So many beautiful spots!

We eventually turned off the main road, and then on to a dirt road...and then another not too well maintained dirt road...and followed it along the river before pulling up to out spot for the night.  A free "campsite" - complete with a picnic table, and fire ring, and a port-a-potty!

Bren had the whole set up for dinner, and I had the food!  I brought some freeze dried camp meals and had some veggie burgers in the cooler.  With a little added salsa, both were actually pretty good.  

The only down side of being out in the middle of nowhere was the mosquitos!  They were SO SO SO bad.  Seriously.  We were both constantly swatting them away, and spent most of our time - even while eating - walking around to try and avoid them.  Such a pain!

We went on a short walk down the road after dinner, through a valley and along the river, and then decided to call it a night before the sun even went down!  I think we got in our cars to go to bed at like 8:45.  I got up to pee a little after 9 and saw this sunset:

The only other semi downside is the lack of reception.  There is ZERO reception anywhere around here.  So we are hoping we don't get attacked by bears.  But we were smart and put clllll the food and toiletries we had in to the bear box outside, so they should leave our cars alone if they come this way!

My bed for the week :

No comments:

Post a Comment