It was hot in Provo during the summer and due to the heat and my (Jennifer) work schedule, we didn’t do much hiking in June and July. We hiked Maple Mountain to a small pond within the mountains peaks early one warm Sunday morning and hiked the “Y” on the 4th of July, as we were told that this is the place to see fireworks. We hiked the “Y’ at our quickest time yet (yay, finally getting more used to the 4,000 elevation!) and watched the sunset on the mountains. The fireworks started after dark and we were not prepared for all the firework shows we would see! We tried counting but there had to have been over 100 different shows going on throughout the valley and it was quite the experience! It was fun to hike down the mountain after dark with all the others hikers after seeing such a great firework show-totally an experience one should do once in their life.
Remember last year how we had to take a 10 day hiatus from the Provo campground due to city regulations? Well, we had to do that again at the end of July and this time we decided to be more adventurous than last year thus taking a mini-vacation to visit friends who are work campers at Grand Teton National Park. We packed up our 5th wheel, drove 7 hours while listening to Harry Potter podcasts, and drove up and up into one of the youngest mountain ranges in the US, as the Teton Range is less than 10 million years old. 😉
It had been exactly 10 years since we had been to Grand Teton and it did not disappoint. We drove past an elk refuge with the green rolling hills in the distance and entered the park to be greeted by the jagged, bold mountain points of the Teton range, with the tallest mountain being Grand Teton peaking at 13,775 feet. Little did we know at that time that this would be our view for the next two months.
We met up with our friends to shop in Jackson, go out to eat, and of course, hike! Our friend is a wrangler and we got to go on a sunset horseback ride, which was amazing! We rode to Christian pond, which is small freshwater pond that is slowly disappearing, continued into the forest to another small pond, got a view above Oxbow Bend of the winding Snake River, and looped around to get a pano view of the Tetons. Our horses were awesome and it was an experience we will never forget!
The next day, we hiked Garnet Canyon, which is a canyon that was formed by glaciers over 15,000 years ago. We hiked through the forest and then up many switchbacks that overlooked a meadow and two lakes until we reached the open canyon. There was a waterfall we were looking for and climbed over a rock field searching for this waterfall and we are pretty sure we found it but to this day we are not 100% sure because the waterfall we found was pretty small and we thought the waterfall would be a bigger. All in all, we had a fun time and this was a new type of hike for us-into a canyon.
The biggest surprise when we got to Grand Teton was the smoke. The fires in California and Idaho were causing the mountains to look smokey looking and on our first day we smelled fire in the air as ash fell on us. It felt like we stuck our head in a campfire. Lucky, the next few days cleared up a little so we didn’t smell the smoke but the mountains were still smokey looking. This continued for over a month.
So, the whole time we are with our friends they are talking about how much they love working at Grand Teton and how all these jobs opened up because people were leaving for college and how much I (Jen) should work here. Jokingly, we looked up jobs and found one for me that sounded fun. We happened to be with our friends when we ran into one of the managers and our friends were saying how much they are trying to get me to work there and the manager talked to me and basically hired me on the spot! I had to go through HR and do all that good stuff but a few days into our vacation I had a job! It happened so quick and was so unexpected and we did feel bad that we were not going to go back to Utah for awhile but looking back, it was the best decision we made. We have had so many amazing adventures, have done new things, and have loved every minute of being here.
The next blog will be about our amazing time work camping! Till then!