welcome to part two of my grand teton adventures blog. i’m going to cram in a lot, so get ready. without further ado…
we kicked off our tuesday (at 1:30pm) with a trip to mormon row. it’s a little abandoned settlement that sits on the national park property and has some old barns that make for some iconic photo opportunities. when i realized there was a ranger program there, i decided to kill two birds with one stone. i could take some cool pics and the kids could knock out that requirement for their badges.
when they were done, we drove a little further down, to the t.a. moulton barn, which has been photographed a zillion times. i added about 20 more to the total. the sun wasn’t really cooperating and the barn was a little dark. and my expert photoshopping (clicking the enhance button in iphoto) didn’t help.
the ranger program was the final task for the kiddos to finish up their badge, so after we wrapped up in mormon row, we hit the visitor center, where the same ranger who led the program was already back, ready to swear us in.
the next day, we pretty much hung around the campsite, because it was our friend’s last day there. so, on thursday, i wasn’t about to lose another day, so i dragged the lid kids to another hike. a ranger had suggested a short hike, starting at the death canyon trailhead, which sounds terrible. but, it was very pretty and about a mile in, there’s a sweet overlook. our plan was to go to the overlook and then turn it around. derek was working, so he had taken the car to a better internet source, so he came back to get us, so we could drop him off and go hike. but we forgot the bear spray. so, we went back to the camper and then back to the park again. and everyone was kind of losing steam. but, we drove out a super bumpy dirt road and managed a parking spot and loaded up and hit the trail. hazel opted to be carried.
it didn’t start well. everyone was super grumpy. hazel only lasted like 400 yards in the carrier, so i got to carry an empty child carrier up and back. anna was miserable. isaac was the lidkid in the best spirits, which is a rarity.
finally, we arrived at the top. it was about 400 feet in elevation gain. and a lovely lake phelps view at the end. the trail continued on, into death canyon and down to the lake where lots of folks seemed to be heading. (some with towels and coolers, others with ginormous packs with tents and sleeping bags).
we finished up. rumbled out. picked up derek. and headed home.
the next day was our last day in grand tetons. we made plans to meet up with our old friends who abandoned the campground for better internet and our asheville friends (who were still at the cool kids campsite). we decided to swim at string lake, at 11:00, which i think is the worst possible time to find parking. but we got creative. and managed to find each other. and secure a sweet “beach” location, with this delightful view.
it was a great day and a fantastic ending to our time in the grand tetons.
we will miss all of these friends and the beautiful mountains, but we will see them all again, i’m sure of it.