Did I mention that these trips move fast? Well, they do. And if some of you were worried that I would not reach my goal of 40 hikes for this trip, you can stop worrying. I will catch you up as best I can below:
Hike #2: Wind River hike in Dubois, Wyoming.
We had origionally planned on heading straight into the Tetons, but as usual we were lured by the beauty of a place and decided to pitch our tent. The specific lure of Dubois Wyoming, a cute town along route 26 with a few mountains separating it from the Tetons, was the wind river. I am a sucker for a quaint rolling river, that will lull me to sleep inside my tent. After setting up for the night, we took a walk along this river, albeit along a paved trail, (I do not plan to discriminate what I call a “hike” on this blog). We dipped our feet in this frigid river and made plans for buying an inner tube to dip into future rivers along our travels. On mine and Noel’s first trip together, we had rolled into this town at 11:00 p.m. only to battle the winding road down to Jackson hole in the pitch dark. We are wiser now, and have learned to listen to what calls us to stop.
Hike #3: Taggart and Bradley Lakes, Teton National Park
Although we have frequented this park many times, there is always something new to mix in with our old favorites. As we are all friends here, I can admit embarrassingly, that sometimes at Hennacornoelidays we make quick judgments’ about things. We have been known to mistake a busy trailhead along the main road in a national park as the “easy” hike those other tourists do. But, we were eager to get in a hike, and took a chance. As always, we were wrong about this being an “easy” tourist hike. We soon realized that us flatlanders were out of shape, and this 5 mile hike was a great start to getting us acclimated to the thin air and elevation gain. This hike took us from the meadows that lay at the foot of the Teton range, with the main road in plain site, to rise up over to rest at a glorious lake. We found our own secret rock along the edge, dipped our tired feet while one of us took an almost skinny dip. The plan was to then follow the loop up to Bradley Lake and back to the safety of our car. Well at least that was the plan. We did begin the ascent up to Bradley Lake, yes more climbing, but about half way there, Noel spotted a baby black bear cub about 20 feet ahead on the trail. And if we’ve learned anything from hiking it’s that if you spy a baby black bear cub, turn slowly, drop any plans you had and head back the way you came. With our hearts pumping, we arrived at Taggart Lake, to learn that folks we had passed along the trail coming towards us had heard growling…but they obviously did not think that was relevent. But, all’s well that end’s well they say, and I’m glad that we once again learned to not judge a trail by it’s presumed easy accessibility. This one made our heart pump for more than altitude reason, good lesson learned.
Hike #4: Lake Solitude, Teton National Park
To be quick, this hike is an old favorite of ours. Noel and I initially back packed this hike almost 14 years ago. Then when we first took Henna here we travelled only part way. Last year we got just a bit closer. This year we had originally planned to back pack it with Henna. After realizing that we were not in mountain climbing shape just yet, we decided to go lighter, only carrying our food along. As we reached the place that we stopped at last year, and 2.7 miles from the beautiful Lake Solitude (all up hill), Henna decided we needed to continue. And then again, higher up the trail as we encountered a volunteer on the trail, to which he said something to the effect of knowing your limitations, Henna again turned and left him and her parents in the dust. When we finally made it to Lake Solitude, on the other side of the mountain, we all knew our painful descent was well worth the trip. Such is life I think.
Below is a poem that Henna to elouquently wrote about this hike.
Lake Solitude Trail
Switch backs, switch backs few.
To inspiration point whew.
Hidden water fall
In a canyon, wow.
At Lake Solitude, oh my!
Whew what a long day.
There is still more to go.
Feet hurt on way back.
Oh no catch the boat or else
we go two more miles.
We have walked 15 miles.
It was all worth it
We also saw a moose too.