Since last Thursday we have been here in Grand Teton National Park and it will probably go down in our memories as one of the more dramatically beautiful places we have seen this year. Right now it lives in our stomachs as well as our minds. We have been eating our way around this place like some sort of camping/outdoorsy food fanatics. I blame our friends, Matt and Jess. They brought the Doritos and cheddar brauts. And the Fig Newtons. Also the bacon.
Matt and Jess drove up from Colorado Springs to hang out (and eat, apparently) with us for several days. The very first thing we did (after throwing down burgers and chips and cookies) was to secure the backcountry campsite at Hermitage Point on Jackson Lake and hit the dusty trail. We hiked out the four flat miles to this gorgeous site and proceeded to make lunch. It was a bit hot so rather than hike around more we sat by the lake and played Hangman. The kids figured out that leftover bits of charred wood from the last campers plus a large stone are all you need for hours (about 90 minutes, actually) of entertainment. When Em set us up with the word “butterflies” and we had _ U T T E R _ _ _ E _ Matt hollered out, “Buttercream!” Then we made dinner. Then we had S’mores and a little bitty mouse showed up to pick up crumbs.
After dinner God treated us to a real sky show with a couple of great thunderstorms in the distance, complete with rainbows. The night sky was pretty amazing too. I’m telling you, backcountry camping is worth every mile and muscle ache and non-shower.
The next morning we arose before dawn for sunrise photos then hiked out and were back at the trailer by lunch, which we promptly set to demolishing (lunch, not the trailer). I will spare you the list of what we ate. The soda put me over the belching edge. I will also spare you what one member of our party did for a long while after, but it was sort of like art. Or if you prefer, “scooting.”
I am not sure what possessed us after our long hike out and huge lunch (other than this being a really awesome park and we wanted to see it all), but we then made for Jenny Lake and took a boat trip across to the hike up through Cascade Canyon. This is no easy-breezy walk in the park, my friends. It is an “out-and-back” so you have the option to turn whenever, but the first mile is all uphill. WAY HARD uphill. The pinnacle is Inspiration Point, where we were inspired to sit and take in the view over brownies, Rice Krispy treats and carrot sticks (give credit). While we were doing so, a nasty storm blew in and we beat feet for the boat dock, hoping to catch the last one back. We only had ten minutes to do a twenty minute hike so we sent the most young and fleet of foot, Joel, running ahead. We did indeed catch the precious ferry and it turned out to be one of those exhilarating experiences as we looked back across to the canyon to watch the wind and rain pelt the mountains while our captain floored the engine and cut the ride time in half. Ever have those moments when you get caught out in nature’s fury and you’re scared senseless yet you just feel so alive? That’s what it was like.
After all that we we pretty much agreed on pizza in Jackson. Okay, actually we had already sort of planned this one out earlier in the day. At some point in the evening Matt remarked that it seems like whenever we get together pizza is large on the scene. Then as we thought about it more we realized it really is just good food. After dinner we made the most of a drizzly evening in town and got ice cream. And coffee. Then on our way back to the park we caught this rainbow. That’s not edible, although it is a feast for the eyes.
We bid Matt and Jess farewell Sunday morning (after sunrise photos and monkey bread). It is already far too quiet around here without them. Time to go drown our sorrows in some buttercream.