Sunday, September 03, 2006

Jackson Hole and the Grand Tetons

We had one day to explore Jackson Hole and the Grand Teton National Park. We decided to take it easy, since Chloe and I both still had colds, and white water rafting in the cold water didn’t sound too appealing to us. Our first stop was the ski area for the tram ride up Rendezvous Mt.

Chloe was nervous about the height, over 10,000 feet and a 4000 foot climb, but our operator was informative and kept us entertained on the way up. After the 10-minute ride to the top, we walked around and enjoyed the great views of the Grand Tetons, the valley and town of Jackson. We didn’t stay long, because the temperature was about 40 degrees and hiking at over 10,000 when you’re not feeling well is too much. At the bottom of the mountain, the kids each took a turn at the bungee-trampoline combo, each accomplishing some backflips.

Our plan for the park was to drive up the road from Teton Village to Jenny Lake. We stopped at Taggert Lake to look at the renewal of growth following the 1985 fire. Most of the foothills there are green, covered with evergreens, grass and shrubs and yet there are still obvious signs of the fires among the charred logs on the ground. It was encouraging to see after the sadness we all felt seeing the fire in Glacier a couple of weeks ago.

We got out of the car at Jenny Lake to take some pictures and then continued down to the south visitor’s center for our boat ride across the lake. Our boat operator had New York listed as his home and we found out he was from Albany.

We crossed the lake and climbed to Hidden Falls. More beautiful than the falls, were the mountains on our right. Closer than before and rough-faced, climbing them seemed unimaginable, perhaps because I could hardly make the 0.5 mile climb to the falls with this cold sapping my energy. I thought about Hensley being out here doing technical climbing and how she didn’t want to come back. I picked up a Real Estate guide to go over with Jim when I get back.

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