The Grand Tetons

Trip Start Mar 12, 2012
Trip End Jul 10, 2012

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Flag of United States  , Wyoming
Sunday, June 10, 2012

When we woke up the next morning we were in the town of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. As we were having breakfast, it started to snow. So another weird experience of having breakfast in the snow, and more cold hands. Then we had a few hours to explore Jackson Hole. So we wandered round the town, seeing the arch of antlers. They used to be real antlers till people kept stealing them, so they had to replace them with fake ones. There was also a stagecoach being driven around town, and my friends found it hilarious as I kept following it to look at the horses. We went in a few shops, including one which seemed to just sell stuffed animals. They literally had everything in there. Bears, coyotes, mountian lions, lynxes, zebras, bison, elk, deer, you name it. I was ok, and found it sort of interesting, till I came round the corner and saw the pelt of the most beautiful wolf thrown over a chair. Wolves are one of my favourite animals, and to see this magnifcant white wolf skinned instead of roaming the wild made me really sad, so I promptly left

 Next to Jackson Hole is the Elk Reserve, and although they said we probably won't see any elk, we decided to go for a little walk through it anyway. It was pretty much a waste of time. We didn't see any animals at all. The only interesting thing we found was an elk carcass. Nice. After our walk we got some coffee and made our way back to the bus. Then we drove to the Grand Tetons. Very soon we came across the park entrance sign, and got to see the Tetons. A huge row of snowy mountains. We made our way to our first camp night. I didn't have a tent, so was just going to sleep on the bus, along with a few others who were the same. After a delicious dinner of chilli (vegetarian of course, all our food was!), we decided to walk down to Jackson Lake, which was right next to the campsite. Wow. It was absolutely stunning. The mountains reflected beautifully in the water. A couple of crazier members of our group went for a very brief swim in the freezing lake, and then made their way back to camp to warm up! The rest of us stayed to watch the sun set, which made some beautiful colours on the lake. Then a small group started walking round the edge of the lake. I was busy taking photos, so when I noticed they had gone, I thought they were just going to get a better view. So I blindly followed them, dragging my friend Will along with me. But they kept going, and when we eventually caught up, they said they were walking along the lake edge and going to the bar. I thought it was a bit of a stupid idea, as it was getting dark, there was no real path, we were clambering through the undergrowth and over trees, and no one really knew if it was the right way! But it was too late to turn back, so we had to follow them. 

 As I predicted, it started getting dark, but luckily a few people had torches, so we could sort of see the way. I was getting a bit worried, as Grand Teton has lots of bears, and we were following an old hunting track, so I started to get worried we'd surprise a bear and get attacked! There were so many of us though, a bear would have heard us a mile off. After a couple of hours of walking, and most of us wondering if we'd ever get out, we found a track leading up to a campsite and civilisation! Phew. I actually kissed the tarmac when we got there! We eventually made it to the bar, and our leader bought everyone whisky shots to say sorry. However, they were about three times the size of a normal whisky shot! But much appreciated. We stayed at the bar till it closed, then made our way back to camp, with me staring in awe at the amazing night sky, full of stars. Finally, it was time for a toasty campfire before bed.  

 That night I got on my space on the bus, with plenty of layers on, and tried to go to sleep. I couldn't sleep because I was so cold. My sleeping bag was thick, but not shaped, and it had a huge opening at the top, and all the cold air kept coming. The bus turned into a big metal ice box, and was freezing cold. So I had a really uncomfortable night. The next day we got up and made some tasty porridge to warm us up. Then we went to Jenny Lake, still in the Tetons. A beautiful lake, although not as nice as Jackson Lake in my opinion. We got a boat across the lake, to the start of the trailhead that was going to take us into Cascade Canyon. The Canyon was beautiful. We were walking through lush forest with the river running nearby and huge mountains around us. On the way we saw a yellow bellied mongoose, as well as loads of chipmunks, which were adorable. There was a fantastic waterfall, and loads of really cool viewpoints. Eventually we reached inspiration point, where we had our lunch and rested, before making our way back down, and then walking round the edge of the lake to get back. 

 We got back to camp around 4pm, and it was actually pretty warm, so I decided to go down to Jackson Lake and have a quick swim. As I was walking on the path down to the lake, I thought how it probably wasn't a good idea that I was going by myself. The advice is never to walk anywhere alone, and I was walking through what looked like prime bear country to me, easy to walk round the corner and come across one. So my beautiful (coughcough) singing voice came out, and I sang to myself as I walked, to give any bears around a bit of warning I was coming. Luckily I didn't come across any, and when I got down to the lake edge it was deserted. I had the most amazing swim in the clear, cold water. It was absolutely silent, and it felt like I was the only person on earth at that point. I just swam for a bit, looking at the Tetons behind the lake. A fantastic swim. Then I got dressed, and swiftly made my way back to camp to help with dinner. That night we had another nice campfire, and I had another cold night on the bus. That sadly was our time in the Tetons over. I hadn't even been looking forward to the Tetons much, because I didn't know too much about it, but it was the most perfect beautiful place. So peaceful and idyllic, I loved it. Just disappointed I didn't see a moose!
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