Day 59: Jenny Lake Hiking
As the previous routine, we woke up early and headed to the Jenny Lake parking lot to ensure we could park the bus. I’m glad we did! The line to get into Grand Teton National Park was about 6 cars deep and grew as we were waiting. We pulled into the parking lot and secured the last RV parking spot. We walked Pepper and then packed some day packs for ourselves with snacks and water. We didn’t really have a plan, but figured we’d just walk around. We started around the lake and ended up completing the whole lake trail (and a detour to Hidden Falls) which was about an 8 mile loop. It was absolutely gorgeous. And much like yesterday we came around a corner and saw a group of people standing around only to find out that we’d just missed seeing a mama Grizzly and cub. They were rightfully concerned about moving forward along the trail, but it had been 10 minutes and they were all still standing on the trail with their bear spray out. Quick side note. While I understand the Park Service needs to warn people about bear encounters (and they should), they have gone so overboard scaring people that all these tourists are carrying bear spray with no idea how it works. Mom and I looked at each other and said “Let’s go”. They asked if we wanted bear spray and we both said “no, we want to get away from the bear spray because you’ll end up shooting us or each other!”. I love my mom. So very noisily and cautiously we walked forward on the trail. We saw no sign of the mama or the cub and after about 3/4 of a mile we relaxed and kept going. They all seemed really happy that we were taking charge and leading them through danger so they followed along like I was the Pied Piper. We ditched them after 3/4 of a mile. The bears wanted nothing to do with us and were long gone before we even got to the group standing around. We continued on the trail around the lake. The sun was out, the smoke had mostly cleared. It was an absolutely perfect day. It was also a lot longer around the lake than either of us realized at first. Sure, 8 miles isn’t a major trek, but it was when we were thinking we were headed out for a leisurely stroll! But the scenery was just so amazing we kept walking.
The hike only took us about 3.5 hours. We were walking at a brisk pace and never stopped for more than a minute or two. We got back tot he bus around noon and were STARVING, so we made big turkey sandwiches in the bus. They tasted amazing. What is it about lunch after a big hike that makes the food so much better? After lunch we went back to the campground for some downtime. We both read until our eyelids got heavy and then we both took a nice nap. After the nap we showered in the bus and headed into Jackson town for the evening. Based on the recommendation of my brother-in-law we’d tried making a reservation at Snake River Grill, but they were sold out until like November. But we were in the area so we decided to stop in just in case. They had seating at the bar and we excitedly sat down. We had the Calamari to start, followed by a cucumber gazpacho for me and a Caesar salad for mom. Our mains were Halibut tacos for mom and Elk Medalions for me. Both were delicious. After dinner we walked around town a bit but we were sleepy after the amazing meal and just wandered back to the bus and back to the campground. I tried to post this blog update, but without reliable cell service it wouldn’t upload. Then it was off to bed. Tomorrow we start the last leg of the trip. Two days back to Denver.