What?! A post not about hiking. Well, sort of. ☺️ We do more than hike during our time off….sometimes. We are lucky to have friends at Grand Teton that have fun toys like boats, electric bikes, kayaks and an ATV. We know already how spoiled we are being in such a beautiful area and to have access to all these extras perks is pretty nice.
We are participating in an employee scavenger hunt and have seen and done many different things this summer because of the hunt. It’s not an ordinary scavenger hunt as you get a set amount of points for each mission completed. So far our team has completed 68 missions that range from answering trivia questions, getting a river otter on video, helping out the recycling team sort recyclables (FYI: lids on water bottles are really not recyclable), finding the biweekly hidden gnomes and completing hikes. See, it’s just not us that is into hiking.🙂
One really fun experience we had was driving our friend’s ATV though the National Forest to complete a hike for the scavenger hunt. These type of roads are unmaintained, covered in rocks, are uneven with lots of potholes. It’s much more fun to take an ATV vs a car. We drove up to the “trailhead” which was a small parking area with a road closed sign. We hiked pasted the sign to a narrow dirt path to the right that leads to the lake. It’s a short but steep hike through the thick forest, to two pretty meadows with blooming flowers (we were lucky to see two deer!), past the lily covered pond to Toppings Lake. A swing is hung on one of the trees next to the lake but sadly it was broken. We were the only ones on this quiet hike making it even more enjoyable. After the hike, we rode the ATV all around the National Forest, checking out different areas and seeing the Tetons from a different viewpoint.
We have kayaked Jackson Lake multiple times this year, which is always an awesome experience. The Teton Range looks so different from the water, it’s truly beautiful (getting out on the lake was another scavenger hunt mission). A different kayak ride we ventured on was going down the Snake River. We took both vehicles and parked one at the ending point and took the other to the beginning. We each had a single kayak we borrowed from friends and went around Oxbow Bend, where we saw the otter. Otters here are pretty rare to see as there are no lake otters here, only river otters. It was a workout kayaking to Oxbow as we were going against the current but after that point it’s all downstream. We hope to get out one more time before we leave.
Working at the marina, Brad is always out on a boat but it’s not often both of us can get out. Earlier this summer a co-worker of Brad’s offered to take us out on their boat and of course we said yes! Jackson Lakeis a fairly big lake at 15 miles long and 7 miles wide so we haven’t been all the areas of the lake. So, we were happy to have seen a new area on the boat ride, Sargents Bay. We hiked to that bay earlier in the day coincidently so it was neat to have seen the bay from land and water. We took a sunset cruise and it was a perfect evening for a boat ride. We anchored at the bay and sat on the bow. On the way back in, the sun set and the mountains glowed. It was great to get to know Brad’s coworkers better and to be in such a beautiful setting.
We are glad we said yes when we did to the boat ride because the marina closed this month. Jackson Lake is a natural lake that is fed by the Snake River and was made larger by a dam. The dam is controlled by the Idaho farmers, who own the first 33 feet of the lake water. With the early melt of the snowfall due to it being unusually warm here combined with Idaho taking so much water, the man made Colter Bay marina dried up. Hopefully it will fill back by next summer, though, it would take an above average snowfall and an above average spring rainfall to do so.
We have a little more than a month left here as we close the end of September. Looking forward to sharing the rest of our adventures!
Till then, happy trails!