I love writing about a trip so many family members were on. They give me corrections all the time. That’s okay. I want to get it right. I mean it. So, thank you Will and Clay and Matt. Haha!
This next day was moving day, people. Beth and I got up as early as we could. We weren’t looking cute, we didn’t have coffee, and we were filled with angst. We wanted those backcountry reservations. We got up to the window and there were two people in front of us. I won’t lie to you. I felt a little hostile towards them. I listened hard to their requests, and they didn’t sound like Jenny Lake hikers so I relaxed a little. The reservation host was quite chatty with the lady right in front of us. She wasn’t even going. She was just making the reservation for her daughter. Hmph. At this point, I was reminding myself of my Christian values and polite manners that my mother taught me. Finally, the lady got her reservation and left.
The reservation host looked at us with what I think was dread. How could this be you ask? We must’ve looked anxious. We explained our group size, where we wanted to go, our canoes, our family going home, etc. She looked tired. She pulled out the map and was shaking her head and talking about how big our group is. There were no open backcountry sites together that we could feasibly canoe into. There were none we could pack into for our large group. Doomsday and bad news was all she gave us. We called our people and told them we were going to the other campgrounds to see if we could get a first-come first-serve spot.
We shuffled to our car and conjured up some hope for the next place. It was hard to accept we wouldn’t be backcountry camping on this trip, but we didn’t want to be whiners so we moved on. We drove all through the Jenny Lake and the Signal Mountain campground, but we had no luck. At this point, our guys made the executive decision to move two group sites down at Colter Bay. We headed back. I thought we had come to a place of acceptance, but when we got back to the group site, Beth cried a little. We had had such expectations with a let down. She’s a passionate person. It’s one of the things I love about her. I almost cried too, but only because we had to pack up to move two spots down. Moving and Packing=Grouchy Moms. You know I’m right.
The saddest part of our move was that Clay and Mattea were leaving to go home. They took their picture in front of their tent, and then they loaded up their family for the long drive back. We were all sad to see them go, and we hoped everything would be alright with their baby.
Our new campsite was very pretty with lots of skinny trees intermingled throughout. It wasn’t as close to the bathroom, but it lended itself to a Sherwood Forest feel. I think this is why I have a Sherwood Forest ringtone for Beth now. It reminds me of camping. Yes, I know: dorky! Once we had everything set up, it was lunchtime. We decided to treat ourselves and eat out for lunch. We made a plan to eat and then head to Two Ocean Lake for an afternoon hike with fishing. We ate at the Ranch House restaurant; they had a salad bar along with chili, soup, and baked potatoes. It hit the spot for me, and I was ready for a new hike. My meaty heel was healing thanks to Beth’s sulfa meds and Cole’s teflon pads. I had abandoned my hiking shoes for my running shoes.
Two Ocean Lake is a lovely 6.4 mile hike around the lake, but it’s not really a fishing spot.
Some of our hikers really wanted to fish, and about half-way through the hike we realized this. The fishers decided to turn back and go to a little spot along the road.
Beth, Matt, three of our girls, Beth’s niece, and I decided to keep going around the lake. We weaved our way through meadow and then forest and back through meadow. The lake was in view almost the whole way, and the trees seemed like giants.
The meadows silenced us. Once in the middle of one of the big meadows, I kind of felt like I was being watched. I scanned carefully all around because this is supposedly one of the best hikes to see bears. I didn’t see any bears. 😦 Being a smaller group, it was a quieter hike, and I found my soul calmed and reflective. Breathing in is like going to a spa there.
A big bonus on this hike is that we found huckleberries! Hallelujah! Huckleberries give you a little boost to finish the hike strong. As we rounded the last bend, the girls were all very proud of themselves. Six and a half miles could never be ominous after you’ve done 13. I was proud of all of them, and I would recommend this hike to anyone (unless you are looking for a good fishing spot). Other hikers we saw on the trail told us we would definitely have seen a bear any other time of day than when we were there. So, go early morning or late afternoon to see critters. Apparently, we were there during nap time.
We drove to the fishing people, and they had caught some fish! They hadn’t caught any worth bringing back to the campfire, but they were happy. We went back to our new campsite, showered and enjoyed a delicious meal of Frito Pie. This was not your ordinary Frito Pie. There was salad to go on it, and we had camp donuts again for dessert! I’m pretty sure we fell into our sleeping bags that night. What a day!
To be continued…