Okay, so the next day we were planning on hiking Rendezvous Mountain. Clay and Mattea were having trouble deciding what to do. We sat on the railroad ties that were in front of our campsite. Our heads were hanging. I just kept thinking how no one would never want this in a pregnancy…ever…but especially not when you’re in a tent thousands of miles of away from home. Clay said, “We will go into Jackson to the hospital. Y’all go onthe hike.” I was so sad for them. This was the hike he had been looking forward to, but none of that mattered now. Jaymie offered to take Wynn (Clay and Mattea’s oldest son) on the hike with us. We had taquitos again that morning, and then we packed up the bags and kids and left. Clay promised to keep us posted.
We drove to the Teton Village where we were planning to take the aerial tram to the top of Rendezvous Mountain and then hike all the way down. It was supposed to be about 12 miles, and we were geared up for it! The Teton Village is cute and definitely a mountain resort town. You can go there to snow ski in the winter. I’m sure it’s lovely wrapped in snow, but it was very green and beautiful!
The aerial tram isn’t cheap, but it’s worth cutting your hiking journey in half and making it all downhill from there! It is a very nice tram, and our whole group fit on the car plus a lot of other people we didn’t know.
Now we had a lot of boys on this trip, and we love them. But, since most of the girls in this picture are my daughters, I have to brag on them. These are the coolest bunch of girls ever. Check them out with their hydration packs ready to take on the mountain! We so much want to raise our daughters to be adventurous and strong…we are working on it!
Finally the tram came for us, and this was our view.
It wasn’t a long ride, and I liked the part when the car would sway. Finally we made it to the top. There is a waffle restaurant at the top, and we were all a bit sad we had already eaten our breakfast. We agreed that next time we would get there earlier. By the way, we should have arrived earlier anyways. It was already about noon when we were at the top, and that doesn’t give a lot of time for 12 miles with a large group with young children. Of course that didn’t matter then.
Now, I don’t know what kind of hiker you are, but if you go to the Grand Teton National Park and you are able, you should hike this. It is not an easy hike, but the views are spectacular. It is steep downhill for the first part, and my sister-in-law Beth was laughing about how steep it was. I told them to just walk like a goat and grip the mountain. I demonstrated for Beth and Jaymie how to walk like this, and there is a picture, but um, it’s not my best look. It was hilarious…even better than the leg picture from Part 4.
This hike had it all! Wildflowers! Beautiful forest! Meadows! Snow! Yes, snow. We ate lunch by a big pile of snow. It was quite awesome for our Texas children.
There were magical moments for me in this hike. It was like being inside of a painting that keeps transforming into more beauty. Every where I turned the scenery gave me fresh breaths. After we finished our picnic by the snow, I went behind a rock to have a moment alone :). Everyone else was moving on already, and I turned to see them all trekking up a hill on the trail.
A few moments later, I found my nephew Luke checking out his prospects. We looked carefully for bears. I think most of us were really hoping to see one. Nope. I think we saw some bear scat though.
The hike went on for miles, and we found ourselves moving from forest to meadows. I realized that a blister that had developed on my heel at Phelps Lake was crying for more duct tape. When I re-taped it, it was looking pretty bad. Well, what do you do, right? Push through the pain.
We took breaks occasionally for the children, but we needed to keep moving because of limited daylight.
We took turns leading and trailing and making sure all the kids were still with us. At some point, Cole and Beth and Matt and I began a word game as we hiked. We tried to come up with as many synonyms as we could for a particular word. Hey, we are actually very good at this game. I think it’s because our professions are different from each other, and we have a plethora of vocabulary between us.
At the top of one of the hills, we all felt our phones go off. We had cell phone service for a few minutes! This was just enough for us to get the news from Clay and Mattea that the baby was alright. She had a subchorionic bleed in between the uterus and the placenta. She needed to take it easy, and everything would probably be okay. We were so relieved and happy for them!
Here we are taking one of our last breaks. After this we moved into a rocky forest, and it felt enchanted. We saw a moose down by the river below us on the right. And, then, thankfully, we found some wild raspberries. Hands down, it was the best raspberry I’ve ever eaten. The kids loved it! There weren’t many raspberries, but right after that we found huckleberries. It was just what the little ones needed to push through to the end.
The very end of the hike is in a dense forest that doesn’t afford much view. We decided the last two miles was the payment for the other 11. Yep, turns out it was actually 13 miles. I won’t lie to you. There was some crying at the end, but it was mostly little children. Their legs were worn out. Cole, Will, Matt, Beth, and I took turns carrying kids. I didn’t want to know what my blister looked like then. I was walking along and Beth’s niece who is from Italy started sobbing and saying, “We should not be here! We should never have come! We will never make it!” “Whoa!” I said, “Calm down, honey, we are okay. We are going to make it.” Beth hugged her tightly. We needed to keep moving. We didn’t have any flashlights.
Finally we came to the top of the Teton Village. The sun was setting, and we were ready for dinner and some chairs! When we arrived at the village, it seemed to me that we walked forever trying to find a restaurant. I don’t think it was very long until we came to the Mangy Moose Restaurant. Oh, glorious day…or night. It was a lodge type atmosphere, and I would recommend this place to you as yummy and affordable. Our waitress took one look at us, and started bringing our kids chocolate milk and pizza. At the adult table, we ordered all the different calzones they made. We ate as much as we could and tried to replenish our electrolytes. It was a very good meal. I was having trouble walking because of my blister, and in the restroom I saw that it was a little raw meatish looking. I didn’t care at that point, but I planned to care for it the next day.
We had to carry all the kids to the tent when we arrived at camp. I wished that someone would have carried me, but somehow I made it into the bag and crashed.
To be continued…