I want you to pay special attention to this photo. Do you see a trail? Look closely. The answer is no. My brother-in-law Clay and his wife Mattea were the ones supposed to cook this night, plus Mattea is pregnant and they have three young children, so they were done hiking for the day. They decided to go by Dornan’s and head back to camp. The rest of us decided to go to Moose Pond. You see, some of us tried two years ago to see a moose unsuccessfully. And, we are a determined family, so we were on a mission! It was a great time of day (being evening) to see a moose, so we were off. We arrived at the trail head for Moose Pond, and children began shoving the remains of lunch into their mouths. My sister-in-law Beth gave me a hydration pack to add to my water bottle that was supposed to be iced-tea flavored. It didn’t taste like any tea I’d ever had, but I was grateful. Okay, the adults shoved in some leftovers too, and then we walked to the trail. My brother-in-law Will had other ideas that included ignoring the boring old trail and taking off through the woods on our own adventurous short-cut.
So, this is why we are hiking up a lovely meadow with no trail. It was beautiful, but it wasn’t really a short-cut. We looped around back to the trail actually, but I’m glad. If we were boring, we wouldn’t have these photos.
Once we made it to the trail, we had been walking a little while. The loop hike (if you start at the trail head is a 2.6 mile loop. We decided we would just go out and back a little ways with the mission of finding a moose. At one point we came across a lot of fallen logs. It was natural for the children to climb them.
The trail winded through pretty woods (East Texas word for forest) and then narrowed and got marshy as we neared the pond. It had sprinkled a bit, and the trail and surrounding foliage was dewy-like. Finally we reached a good look-out over the pond. And I am happy to tell you we had a successful mission! We saw a moose in the pond. It was a cow (a female moose). We just all sat on a big rock together and watched her. She didn’t mind. Wow, she was seriously thirsty.
About half of us decided to go back to camp while the other half hung out with the moose and a beaver for a while longer. We had another mission to get to the showers. It had been a couple of days, and we really wanted to be clean. The showers at Colter Bay are nice, and you pay up front. This means no 8-minute timer like at the Grand Canyon. This made me a very happy camper.
After getting all clean, we found Clay and Mattea’s supper cooking on the grill. There was a lovely spinach salad with tomatoes, cheese, and carrots, shells and cheese, and yummy grilled chicken. The chicken took some time to cook, but there was plenty to be had for all. We ate heartily, and I loved having a salad to go with it all. Our fire was crackling, but I must say that the wood at the Grand Tetons this year was high on smoke production. It is great seeing the children circled around the fire chatting about our day, and we were rewarded again with stars abundant.
To be continued…