We woke up the next morning and broke camp. I like to say that: broke camp, broke camp. It makes me feel western. I am western, actually. I’m working on my horse skills. It’s fun, but I’m not sure it’s worth being sore in some parts. Yeah. So, we said goodbye to Grant Village Group Site D, and we made our way to some stinky geological sites on our way to the Grand Teton National Park.
We walked through the boardwalks around the Mud Volcano area which includes the Dragon’s Mouth and the Sulphur Caldron (P-Yew). I remember sensing the children’s weariness at this point, but there was plenty of boiling mud and acidic geothermal features to distract them. My brother-in-law Cole was videoing this day, and he kept asking each person for “words of wisdom.” No one had any real winners. “Don’t squat with your spurs on” was the most popular statement. I think someone else suggested a nose-plug for the region we were walking in, and another kid said it would be wise to not jump in the boiling mud. We have a whimsical group here if you haven’t guessed this by now. We enjoyed the amazing nature we saw at the Mud Volcano. The landscape there changes often because of the thermal activity. It seems like it would be an exciting job to monitor the science of this area.
We jumped back in our now also stinky cars and drove to the Grand Tetons. We had heard from the grandparents that they had procured several lovely camping spots for our group at Signal Mountain Campground, and we were excited to see them. I fell asleep on the way to the Tetons. Most everyone in our car fell asleep, so when we saw everyone else stopping at the Grand Teton National Park sign, I just couldn’t motivate myself to wake people up and make them get out and take a photo. I know by now that the entrance sign is usually a long ways from the destination. There will always be a part of vacation where you will want to have a bad attitude. Maybe you’re tired; maybe you’re rebelling against not having your regular schedule; maybe you just always have a bad attitude and you brought it with you. It’s best to just acknowledge it and move on from it. Don’t ruin an opportunity for greatness because of a few feelings.
When our eyes took in the mountains, it seemed unreal. It was a majestic view; truly it was one of the loveliest sites I have ever seen. The campsites were nicely arranged with forest all around. There had been a bear through our camp that morning, and everyone was in a tizzy about it. The Ranger said that it was a tagged bear that comes through often, and it seems to be a pretty nice bear who really just wants some food.
We set up camp again, and the kids played inside the bear box while we were pitching the tent. Then everybody walked down to the lake. My mother-in-law had already been down there, and she wanted photos of everyone by the lake. The lake had the same majestic view, and the bank was very rocky. The kids ran into the water which was good because we hadn’t had a bath in awhile, and then they ran out. The water was so very cold that they had to make themselves stay in it. The little ones didn’t last long. We stuck our toes in, but as adults we were content to drink in the view. Too bad because there was serious grease building up in my hair at this point.
A rock-throwing contest ensued, and the men went first. The ladies were next, but only Beth (my sister-in-law) and I competed. She beat me. She’s cool like that. We stayed as long as we had daylight, but then dinner was ready so we climbed back up the bank to our campsite. Our meal of grilled chicken and salad was waiting. My brother-in-law Clay and my sister-in-law Mattea had it ready for us. It was delicious, and we ate up every single bite. This is a hungry bunch.
After supper, we sat around the fire, but it wasn’t as spacious since we didn’t have a group site. We decided that the next time we came back, we would definitely reserve a group site. Group sites are really the only ones you can reserve in advance at the Grand Tetons. Otherwise, you just have to get here early in the morning and wait to stake your claim. Nana read a book to the children by firelight, and we all felt warm and cozy and full. We made plans for getting up in the morning and which hike we would do. Eventually everyone went to bed.
To be continued…