Grand Teton NP

Grand Teton NP

I was really excited to get to Grand Tetons NP after Yellowstone. First, the weather was supposed to change from snow to 70's. Secondly, I don't that there's a soul on Earth who isn't awed by the sight of the snowcapped peaks above the clearish blue waters. It's majestic, and after a trip a few years ago, I knew how much fun we could have here.

We drove through the park on our way to Jackson, WY where we'd be staying with a friend of a friend named Ellie. We grabbed a drink at Pinky G's, PBR's were buy 3 get 1 free! We got acquainted and a few things became clear. #1, Ellie was cool. #2, we were going to have a great night. The night proceded as many barhopping nights do, with its fair share of funny inexplicable moments as Athena and I confirmed that over the past two and half weeks we had not forgotten how to party. We ended the night getting a ride back to Ellie's while I held her bicycle out the window in order to transport it back to her place.

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The next morning we got it together and crammed four of us into the car to head to Genevieve's, a local DELICIOUS brunch spot. We all combined family style into a power order that the waitress both approved and admired. It was likely the defining moment of her career. The most unique item was our pig candy appetizer - candied, black pepper bacon. It was a new level of indulgence and quite spicy, meaning I got to eat Athena's share as well as my own, score! Post brunch, we headed over to Slider Lake where we spent the next few hours SUPping (Stand Up Paddleboarding) and kayaking in the gorgeous but freezing high country waters. Beautiful setting but dreadful if we were to fall in. Luckily we survived and we packed up into the car. We stopped by a few of Ellie's favorite spots on the outskirts of the park before culminating the night with some terrific pizza at Leeks Marina. If you ever make it to the GT, don't miss this pizzeria.

The next day we set out to fish both for sport and for dinner. Luckily we were successful on both accounts! We started off in Jackson Lake and each captured a good sized lake trout. Athena has a knack for snagging her line just close enough to shore for me to decide to remove my shoes and wade into the 50 degree water to unhook it. She even managed to snag the fish she caught on a piece of driftwood which I'd have to retrieve in order for us to eat. But really though, I'm just happy she enjoys fishing with me. The views from our spot were awesome, simple pleasures make me smile. We left this spot and headed to the stream which feeds Jenny lake. Here there was a large waterfall which many fish congregated below to feed. We caught both cutthroat and brook trout at this spot, the fish were not in short supply. At one point I hooked into a very large fish who broke water, but in doing so he managed to shake the lure free. We both kind of stared at each other because this guy truly was the big one. Until I return and capture him, it'll be the one that got away.

Our final full day in The Tetons we set out to complete a hike I had done once before with my dad. The hike was called Cascade Canyon and it was beautiful, although different than before. Athena and I were hiking it earlier in the year than my dad and I did, so the the stream which runs parallel to the path was both higher and faster. There was still some residual snow which we crossed more than a few times during the day. This area is prime moose country and we saw a big bull moose who turned out to be pretty good at hiding from a camera lens. Not long after our moose I ventured off the path to examine the stream when I spied something big and dark behind some trees in the distance. We grabbed the binocs and scanned the hill opposite us until finally a black bear emerged! It was really cool to observe this bear from a distance as he meandered along munching on shrubs, especially because we had found him ourselves rather than by following a cluster of people as so often happens. In addition to the bear and the moose we saw many yellow bellied marmots who always seemed curious of our movements in their territory. The canyon afforded constant views of peaks on both sides of us, and the hike was challenging but nit overwhelming. There was a near constant supply of waterfalls gushing down the sides of the peaks on our left and right all day. If we had more time it would have been cool to stray from the path for a closer view and some better pictures. I guess well have to save that for next time. In my opinion, this is one of the top hikes in GT, if not the best. Great views and wildlife, and I really enjoyed getting to retrace my steps from the hike with my dad years earlier.

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