Day 208 – North to Jackson (Part 5)

Day 208 – North to Jackson, July 12, 2011

Another lovely day in Grand Teton National Park!  We beat the crowds to the Spring Lake
Trailhead which we followed through burned forest, ferns, around a lake, and up
Cascade Creek to Hidden Falls.  The
falls were ferocious, splashing down the rocks and spraying us from fifty yards
away.  With the shade and the spray,
there had to be a twenty degree temperature difference from the direct sun.

We turned back toward the parking area, but not before
taking a short spur route up to Inspiration Point which overlooked Jenny Lake
and the valley beyond.  Countless ground
squirrels and chipmunks scurried across our path.  Many of the little critters were busy
carrying clumps of dirt and pine needles like they were planning on building a

We raced the dark clouds back to the parking and only felt a
few sprinkles from what appeared was going to be a powerful thunderstorm.  It’s currently just after lunch and we have
been waiting out the threatening weather before we take our final hike in Grand
Teton National Park until another visit!

There for a while, I thought our final hike may have been
this morning as a constant drizzle fell from the sky and thunder rolled in the
distance.  Soon, however, the drizzle
turned intermittent and around 4:30 we went for another hike.  We thought it would be only an hour to Heron
Lake and Swan Lake, but it turned out to be two hours.  Luckily, we were prepared with proper hiking
attire and water, though the mosquitoes were blood sucking demons.

The Deep Woods Off helped, but any part of our body not covered
with clothing or spray ended up with a welt.
They were relentless:  buzzing our
ears, flying up our nose.  Anytime we
stopped for a photo we basically jogged in place and waved our arms.  I’m sure we were sight to see.  If we weren’t, the lakes were.  They were just gorgeous – covered in lily
pads; geese, swan, and heron on the shore; and the Tetons reflecting in the
glassy waters – so serene!

Eventually we made it to the restaurant for a fantastic
final meal and later took Petey with us to watch the sunset…ETB

Day 177 – Bryce Canyon Country – Part 2

Day 177 of Year Long Roadtrip Following Scenic Byways in the USA

Bryce Canyon National Park

I spent the whole day in Bryce Canyon National Park, and it was fantastic.  As I drove to the park, bright and early, the cloud covered sky sprinkled drops of rain.  Just before the park entrance, I stopped at some forest land to let Petey water a few trees, and during our 5 minute stroll it started sleeting on us.  I could see a few sections of blue sky beyond the black cloud, so I hoped for the best once I arrived at Bryce Point.  As I continued a mile further, I saw a rain drop defy gravity and flutter upward in the wind…no, it was actually a snow flake.  I saw only a smattering of snowflakes before I passed through some intermittent sprinkles and finally parked at Bryce Point where I prepared for a 5.5 mile hike. Continue reading “Day 177 – Bryce Canyon Country – Part 2”