Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Grand Teton National Park

Our plane arrived back in Salt Lake around 7:30. We climbed back into Sylvia where she faithfully waited for us in the airport parking lot. After leaving the airport, we beelined to Takashi for some sushi, finished dinner late and drove to Whole Foods to stock up on groceries. We arrived at 10pm just after they had closed. Bummer. We found another grocery store (which was really, very weird) and I gathered food as well as I could in my dazed stupor. At 10:45 we rolled into the in-town KOA and collapsed into our comfy camper van beds. The next morning we started the drive to Grand Tetons National Park. After miles of Utah and Wyoming (including the west's deadliest mining town), we passed through Jackson and grabbed an early dinner before finding a campsite. We met the resident moose and then hit the sack. We awoke to a gorgeous fall morning. With the huge, craggy Tetons looming as a backdrop, the aspen trees were all dressed in gorgeous sunny-yellow leaves. We spent the morning slowly exploring the park. In the afternoon we took the ferry across Jenny Lake and set out on a hike, mindful that we had to be back before 4pm when the final ferry departed, if we wanted to avoid the two mile hike along the lake to get back to the parking lot. We meandered up the valley enjoying the views and timed our turn-around with a little buffer time to make sure we'd make it back in time. We often like to run on the way out of a hike so we set out at a jog. Jason and Isaac blazed ahead of Aaron and I but it wasn't long before we caught them. We found Jason sprawled out on the trail. He had tripped on a rock which brought him down on his knee, solidly on a nice solid chunk of granite. Sad, sad, sad. So much for having enough time to make it to the ferry. I helped poor Jason hobble along as long as I could before we decided that Aaron and I needed to run ahead to hold the ferry. We got there with ten minutes to spare and the ferry folks said that they couldn't delay for him so we waited and sweated and hoped Jason and Isaac would make it in time so we didn't have to call a park ranger to bring us back across the lake. Just before the final ferry arrived Isaac and Jason hobbled in. Phew! We had intended on spending a couple of days hiking in the Tetons and Yellowstone on the way home but hiking wasn't really in the picture after Jason hurt his knee so we decided to head home. The next morning we said farewell to the Tetons, buzzed through Yellowstone and arrived safely home after four weeks on the road.

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