Monday, November 25, 2019

Being in the Grand Tetons & Yellowstone National Park

Over the summer we spent a couple weeks camping and hiking through the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Park. We loved exploring this wonderful place!

We could tell you about MANY adventures came out of a trip that began at 2:30am on a Tuesday -- adventures filled with long drives, hiking, camping, crazy weather, exploring Jackson Hole amazingness (libraries, shops, coffee, galleries), and spending time as a family. But we'll let the pictures do the talking.

....however, since people do ask us about some of the nitty-gritties of trips like this, questions like: "what do we eat?" and "what kind of a camping set-up do we have?"....we documented the first week of our trip here for those of you who are interested:

We typically do not buy all of our food in advance. This year we brought just enough for the long drive -- it would be a pain to keep stuff cold for a couple weeks anyway. We only used the one small red cooler for cold stuff we already had at home (hummus, jam, broccoli, carrots). 

Tuesday, June 11 - Our trip started at 2:30am and we drove from Fresno to Victor, ID and stayed at Teton Valley Motel — a fantastic place to stay after a long day of driving. We brought cereal and 1L of almond milk to put in the motel fridge to eat on the way to our campsite the next morning.

Wednesday, June 12 - We left at 6:30am from Victor to Jenny Lake Campground. Arrived at 7:30am. We were 9th in line for a campsite and there were 18 sites available. Got #30, one of the best sites! (Thank you Jesus). $29/night for max 7 nights = $203. Set-up camp, then hiked from our campsite along Jenny Lake to Hidden Falls & Lower Inspiration Point - 2:40 moving time; 6.4 miles; 981’ elevation gain. Stopped back at the Jenny Lake ranger station and store for a few supplies (pasta sauce and travel coffee) and grabbed free junior ranger books for the kids.

For Dinner we had: Pasta with sauce and broccoli and carrots for dinner. Leftover banana bread.

Thursday, June 13 - We decided to have a slow morning - we finished our cereal and almond milk. Drove to Colter Bay visitor center, watched Grand Teton National Park: Life on the Edge, stopped at visitor store. Drove to Jackson Hole - got groceries, picnic lunch at Phil Buex Park (bouldering!), Cowboy Coffee, then pizza dinner at Pinky G’s Pizzeria. Drove back to Campground via Moose-Wilson road that takes you by Teton Village. Lovely drive, and we prefer it over the more direct route from Jackson to Moose (there’s construction going on which has meant long delays).
Friday, June 14 - cereal in the car. Drove to LSR Preserve; stopped at a pullout and saw a female moose on the way! Hiked around Phelps Lake vía Aspen Ridge, Valley Trail, Huckleberry Point, and Boulder Ridge - 9.31 miles, 1,247’, 4:02 moving time. Oldest three hiked the whole thing. Joel hiked 1 mile. Then drove to Teton Valley and grabbed a coffee and ice cream. Discovered that the Jackson Hole Tram will have free evening tram rides beginning June 24!

Every time we hike together as a family, we do something called "awards". Awards are given when we identify Godly characteristics in our children on the trail. After a big hike, we sit in a circle and "hand out" awards by publicly recognizing those character traits and clapping in honor of that person. Here are the awards we handed out:  E - leader; Josiah - caring about others (he would ask people on the trail questions); N - hard work; Joel - I tried; Daddy - suck it up (hurt ankle, no complaining); Mommy - carrying award (Joel most of the way)

Dinner: Quesadillas; chips, salsa

Saturday, June 15 - We had a slow morning - pancakes with fresh blueberries and bananas and honey. Went to the Teton County Library and it happened to be their summer reading program kick-off event. Kids signed up and got to choose a free, new book. Got a free snack, played large-size Jenga in the back yard play area, and read books. Then had lunch at Phil Baux Park again and bouldered. Parked downtown and walked around the shops; grabbed a coffee at JH Roasters and went to Teton Gravity shop where they play free adventure movies in their back theater. Super cool and we watched “Wild Jackson Hole” about adventure skiing, surfing (in the snake river!), and mountain biking. Drove back to campsite late afternoon.

Dinner: Curry chickpea w/ rice and naan and 1 whole canteloupe

Sunday, June 16 - *Father’s Day*

Hearty Oatmeal for breakfast, then went to Cornerstone Community Church in JH. Afterwards went to Phil Baux Park, had leftover curry, sandwiches and apples. Then hiked up to the top of Snow King peak, which is the skill hill right at Phil Baux Park. 4 miles, 1,400’ elevation, 1:45 moving time. Noah hiked it like a champ, Joel ran the 2 miles downhill and loved it. Bouldered for a bit after getting back to the park, then went to Snake River Brewing Co for happy hour nachos and beer. Drove back to our campsite in the rain. We saw a prong horn deer about 10 feet away from us while walking to the bathroom. Joseph saw a black or grizzly bear on the backside of our campground by the road.

**Awards: Joel - fast runner; Noah - Big Boy; Josiah - downhill runner; Elizabeth - persistent; Joseph - hard worker, uphill carrier; Heidi - keeping company, encourager

This was a summary of some of what we did and ate for the first week of our trip. Let the pictures tell the rest of the story! 

These are good days

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