Leigh Lake Part 2
After we ate lunch, the children settled in at the beach to make a shark out of sand, swim, fish, and frolic.The shark turned out lovely, and they named him Mr. Jiggles. If you read my Yellowstone trip blog, you would remember that they did the same thing last time we did this hike. Same name for the shark and everything. Creatures of habit these children are. And now I’m typing like Yoda. I watched in wonder at the beauty mix of mountains, water, sunlight, and children. The boys found some large logs, and I found myself transposed into the Swiss Family Robinson novel. I just want you to know that my family would survive if we were on a deserted island. We figure things out. We would probably thrive too. I mean, if there was fresh water and food sources.
Beth and I discussed hiking down the trail a little further. No one else was interested, so we set out just the two of us. It was quiet walking after leaving our bunch, and we chatted softly or not at all as we wandered down the path eager to see more wildlife.
We walked through with the lake on our left and changing meadow/forest on our right. I remembered that we were heading toward Bearpaw and Trapper Lakes when we saw the burned part of the forest on the right. Finally, we came to the meadow that I remembered from two years before. The forest opens up, the lake is distant, and you must choose your path. I feel like this is my life right now. Have you had a season like that?
I’ve got to get some socks like hers. Beth’s my cool-meter you know. Except sometimes at the bayhouse when she wears this leopard headband with red trim. Then, I have serious questions about measuring my fashion against hers. Also, sometimes we have these weird moments like this past summer when we ordered the exact same swim suit in different colors without planning it. We don’t live in the same town and I never discussed my swim suit shopping with her. It happened two years in a row. Odds, please? Then once we showed up at the bayhouse both reading A Wrinkle in Time. Huh? But, Beth has trouble finishing books. I finished it that week. That was in Summer 2011. Beth still hasn’t finished it. Love ya Beth!
We moved on down the path toward Trapper Lake. The meadow ends soon after you make your choice, and then you are in the forest again. We came to some sites that were backcountry campsites. They were very pretty with access to pretty streams. We began to make plans to come back next year. It was so quiet there. I could hear the water rippling.
We kept hiking, and the path to Trapper Lake wound around past Bearpaw Lake. On the left side of the path huge rocks rose up, and I mentioned that this would be good mountain lion territory. Beth thanked me for that thought, and we hiked along silently for awhile. I had the feeling we were being watched, and I was wishing I could see what what watching us (from a distance of course). Beth had her bear spray, and I was behind her. It was very still in this forest. “I feel a little creeped out,” I told her. She said we could play our ring tones on our phones. Yes, we did. Wow. Why didn’t we just play music, you ask? Well, she did for awhile, but then we were running out of battery. So I kept hitting the alarm ringtone on my phone. It occurred to me that we might be annoying the bears and they might just come attack us so our phones would shut up. We are so dorky even in the middle of the woods. I think I laughed so hard that I snorted. Then we arrived at Trapper Lake and I was in awe. I wanted to sit down and stay for a while.
There was one family there with a couple of kids splashing in the water. And there was a British couple who asked us to take their photo. We got them to take ours, and then the husband of the couple told us that his great wish on this trip is to see a bear. At this time we got a text from our husbands telling us that there was a bear headed toward the path we went. I told the British guy, and he was quite excited. They packed up and left.
Beth and I washed our faces and hands in the spring that fed into Trapper Lake. It was very cold water, and it felt so good. We imagined together that our families would love this place, and we were sorry for a moment that they weren’t with us. We decided we should probably hike back to them especially since there had been a bear on the beach with them heading our way.
The hike back seemed to go so fast, and before I knew it we were in the meadow again. Two forest rangers were coming our way, and we waved and stopped. They asked where we were going and where we had been, and then we introduced ourselves. Her name was Jean Reagan, and she told us that every summer for the past 12 years, she and her husband come as volunteer backcountry Park Rangers to the Grand Tetons. Jean likes to keep a running bear count so she was happy to hear about our bear report for the day. Jean told us that she is a children’s book author, and Beth told her about my writing. We exchanged information, and I found out that she had just released a book called How to Babysit a Grandpa. Jean told me that she would send me the book and I could tell you what I think about it. So, my next Grand Teton post will be a book review on Jean’s book. I won’t tell you any more about it for now!
Can you believe this encounter in the meadow? Beth and I loved meeting Jean and her husband, Peter. They live in a cabin off of the trail we were on with no electricity all summer. I hope someday to visit Jean in that cabin, but that day we needed to get back to our group. Sorry for this information, but I had to stop in the burned forest part to take care of some business. Back on the trail, we caught up with our group finally. They were ready to leave the beach.
My brother-in-law Will had been fishing, and a bear had come very close to him. Then the bear walked through the beach campsites, and a family who had just arrived found the bear going through their things. They packed up and left in their canoes paddling as fast as they could. The kids were all keyed up from all this bear activity. Our hike back was just as lovely, and we found another bear eating some berries along the way. The bear would not cooperate with me for a photo, but I will tell you that it was big and orange-brown.
Someone needs to tell this bear to quit turning his butt in my face when I am trying to take a photo. Dude! Seriously!
Really, we were so happy our bear count was five after this hike. By the way Jean recently told me that her final bear count for the Summer of 2012 was 18! She said she even got to watch a bear scratch its back on a tree for a while. Her life is so cool.
We stopped at the store to do a little shopping for souvenirs. Beth bought socks, and of course I bought some too. They have moose on them, and they are so softy. I love to wear them.
Back at the campsite, we decided to have French Toast for supper because we had a lot of eggs and bread left over. The kids loved it, and I had never seen them eat so much. We were all worn out and happy and full. Oh, and we had showered. It’s the little things.
To be continued….look for the Book Review coming at you next!!!