Day 41 to 46: Grand Teton National Park (Part 4)

Our last day in heaven.  That’s what it felt like anyways.  After driving 5,500 miles or so in about 6 weeks it felt good to anchor ourselves in one spot.  In six nights here we hiked close to 20 miles and swam almost every day.  We also made friends with two families (both families included a Mike), ate out a few times, and slept in.  The storms came almost daily, but so did the sunshine.  We also visited Jackson Hole three times and by the final time (today) felt that we actually saw the small shell of a time shellacked by the great tourism world.  How we came about this core was through the usual methods; a haircut.

Woke up this morning around 5:00 AM and may have accidentally woken up Corey and Henna.  Instead of going back to bed we talked a bit and decided (with a strong dissent by Henna) to get up and take showers.  That is how stinky we were; Corey actually agreed to leave the tent before six in order to take a shower.  The nearest shower was Colter Bay (where we camped the first night).  So off we were a little after 6 watching the sun finish its rising and keeping an eye out for wildlife.  We saw many elk and a coyote and were clean and back at our campsite around 7:30.  I should mention it was in the mid-40s the whole time we were up.  I made coffee, Corey yawned a lot, and Henna went back to bed.  Around 10 we were properly caffeinated and full of yummy pancakes.

Feeling super clean I craved a haircut.  Back at the showers the nice lady in charge told me where all the locals went for a good, clean haircut (Teton Barbershop? It is on Gill Street).  There I waited my turn with a diverse collection of twenty year olds with long hair and tattoos (these are the ones piloting the tour boats, working at the hotels, etc.), older men with Stetsons, and the odd tourist (me).  My barber was nice, soft-spoken, and a little hard of hearing.  It did not matter as I did not give him any real directions as to what to do.  What counted with me was him not being intimated by my almost 2 month beard. Midway through my haircut he stopped and asked, “Can I ask you what I ask everyone from Chicago?”  Oh no, I thought, what.  “Do you ever go the Weiner Circle?”

After the haircut we hung out at the National Museum of Wildlife Art.  Although I was bummed my NPS pass did no good there and $12 an adult/$6 a child (or $30 a family pass) seems a little steep (my NPS pass which allows our family entry into any National Park for a year is $80) the museum really is cool and worth the money.  Henna got an almost hour long lesson on water colors with the resident artist and their exhibits are fascinating.  They are in the process of creating an art trail around the building too and when completed this will almost definitely be a premier destination as it is nestled just at the entrance to the park (and the building is a fascinating blend of stone).  I do wish they were more generous with their WiFi, but the people working there were friendly and the galleries were not crowded.  As the afternoon storm rumbled outside, I worked on these paragraphs while nestled into a plush leather couch with views of the foothills.  Not a bad way to spend my last day in heaven.

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