|Somewhere in the middle of Idaho. Adventures awaiting.|
Living in the wild west means I am perpetually hounded by the trips I should be taking. It is no secret that I don't plan to live in Utah forever and so my mind has a list of must-sees about a mile long that may or may not get seen but feel urgent nevertheless. My current, incomplete, western bucket-list goes something like this (right now; it changes constantly and is in somewhat random order):
1. Sequoia National Park
2. Seattle & Vancouver to gorge myself / see my dad
3. Brice Canyon
4. Lake Powell
5. Yellowstone National Park / Grand Tetons National Park
6. Hike at least one Slot Canyon
7. The Grand Canyon (even if just for the photo op)
8. Canyonlands National Park (gotta take a pic at Mesa Arch!)
9. See St. George (I've heard it's a cooler town as Utah goes)
10. Disneyland / Legoland (threw that in for Roman's sake)
11. Zion National Park
12. Grand Sand Dunes National Park in CO (we never made it there!)
13. Have a raspberry shake at Bear Lake during raspberry days
14. The Ogden Rodeo
15. Drive to the top of at least 1 mountain in Utah
16. Go camping at least once in Utah
17. Rent an RV and drive around the west with the kiddos
18. Las Vegas (never been!)
19. Go back to Park City
20. Go to Provo
Ironically, I did not realize we only live about a 4 hour drive away from Grand Teton National Park and 6 from Yellowstone National Park. Upon being enlightened, those two things quickly moved up to the top of my bucket list because, well, duh, but also because it's the 150 year anniversary of the National Park system and I am a lover of nature.
|Jackson Hole, WY|
|Roman admiring the river on an overlook.|
On our hike we encountered a deer only 1-2 feet away from the trail; he was so accustomed to humans that he just stood there looking at us as we passed. I was nearly driven mad by the bountiful collections of mushrooms in bloom, among them many lovely Morels, all of which are highly verboten to pick at any National Park. The compulsion to get them almost drove me to break Federal law, but I stayed strong. Alex was miserable for most of the hike (read: until we got to the lake and it was snack time) and I can't decide if it was because we woke him from a nap to hike (without offering coffee), or if his little hiking boots are getting too small. Either way, I felt bad because he's too big to carry anymore, and anyway, I was carrying Linus. Linus was a trooper for the most part, but decided to punish us by having a somewhat intense #2 diaper situation in the middle of the hike (and, as luck would have it, we forgot the wipes). Disaster was averted and we made it to the lake without too much incident and delay. When we got there Matt admitted he'd been trying to hurry us along so we could do a longer hike than we'd intended (there is another 2 miles around the lake), but it had become abundantly clear that the 3-mile round trip was more than enough for everyone.
* * *
|Snacks and "Peace" at Phelps Lake|
|Phelps Lake: Fresh air is good for the soul.|
We stayed at a lovely resort called the Snake River Lodge and Spa in Teton village, a ski village just outside Jackson Hole. The whole thing looks like a modern Swiss or Austrian village, and is nestled right on the side of the Tetons with ski-in-ski-out access being a perk widely advertised in our hotel.
|We were greeted by a double rainbow at the end of our hike, |
and just dodged a downpour.
|A view to the Tetons from the start of the Phelps Lake trail.|
We returned home early the next day, Memorial day, (sadly two of us became very ill with a stomach bug Alex had had), good memories in our hearts and a determination to soon come back, this time to Yellowstone, in our minds. But, really, who knows what the next adventure will be!