Grand Teton National Park Day 2:
That night around the fire, there had been some planning for moose-hunting at sunrise. I didn’t really listen because I was too tired to think about sunrise. There was the usual bantering and calling of wimps of the people staying behind. I exited the conversation with no regrets. I’m happy to tell you that I continued to have no regrets when I heard the story of how it went.
My husband, my daughter Maile, three brother-in-laws, and three nephews got up about 4:30am. Ugh. I was warm and cozy in my bag and unaware this was occurring. They asked around where there had been a recent moose sighting, and they were directed to a marshy area. There was supposedly a trail that was unmarked and hard to find, so our group just blazed out into the marshy thicket trying to move as quietly as they could. I can imagine this was difficult for them. There are not many of us in this family that move quietly. Their shoes were quickly soaked by the dew-drenched grass and the crossing of the meandering creek that went through there. They walked and searched for a couple of HOURS until they reached a place they could go no further. They turned back and tried another potential moose venue. They didn’t see a moose there either, but they did see a really large mule deer buck.
They returned to camp as we were getting dressed with soaked pants and shoes looking a bit fatigued. I was sorry that they had not seen a moose, but it was time to break camp for the last time. We had to get to work. It’s never fun to break camp, but the worst time is the last. The clothes were all nasty, and there was some grime in the tent overall, but look at this cuteness.
Speaking of grime, did I mention this was the 4th day since we had showered? If you look closely, you can see the grease build-up in our hair. Wow. We washed our faces and hands and just tried not to think about it. We packed up, and then we went to the Signal Mountain Lodge for breakfast. It was very tasty. National Parks have great food in their restaurants and pretty good service. Everyone was happy and full, and we went back to the campsite one last time to load gear. Each family had their own plan. Most people were ready to head home with a plan to overnight in Colorado somewhere. Matt and I and my brother-in-law Cole and his wife Beth decided to do one more hike. ONE MORE HIKE! ONE MORE HIKE! ONE MORE HIKE!
Sorry about that. I just had to cheer for a minute. We said goodbye to everyone else and drove to the shuttle boat that you take to get to the trailhead for Inspiration Point. Oh, yeah! Inspiration Point!!! Wait, our kids were with us. Nevermind. Anyways, if you take the shuttle boat it cuts down the hike to a 2 mile moderate to strenuous hike instead of 6 miles. 🙂
The shuttle boat ride was not long, and before we knew it we were hiking up into a gorgeous forest and mountain. There were wonderful places by the river and little alcoves of magnificent trees to rest in. The children were enjoying their hike even though there were steep inclines.
Remember the soaked shoes from the moose hunt? My husband didn’t have any other shoes, and therefore was enduring this hike in his flip-flops. Our little ones had tired out, and it was a bit painful for him carrying Claire. I remember this guy passing us on the way up said with abundant sarcasm, “Flip-flops, huh? That’s a good choice.” I have to tell you this invoked a bit of anger in my beloved husband. He moved through it flip-flopping his way upward. We reached Inspiration point and decided to go a little further.
I was so glad. The trail narrowed and there were drop offs and little ravine-looking places we were in awe of while holding tightly to the little girls squishy hands. We heard water rushing and veered off the trail a bit to find a powerful waterfall pushing down the mountain. Oh, the glory. We sat and watched it for a bit, and then we went a little further through some sunflowers until we began to time the trip back.
Turning around is always interesting. It invokes in me different emotions all at once like relief, sadness, and determination of the downward shift. Perhaps you experience this on hikes or in life.
The way down was faster as usual, and we stopped less frequently. The children were so tired, and by the time we got to the ferry I was beginning to think of home.
We reached our cars, and we climbed into our seats. We drove out of the park and to Jackson, Wyoming where we ate at a Mexican restaurant! The food was good, but the company was better. We hugged our family, and I took the driver’s seat first. It was around 8pm.
As I weaved through green mountain after green mountain and everyone else slept, I knew I would never forget all that we had experienced on this vacation adventure. I couldn’t fathom why God chose to bless us so much with all that loveliness. Beauty and wonder prevailed throughout, and those bring powerful nourishment for daily life and work. Go get you some.