I took a quick solo trip up to the Grand Tetons National Park the other weekend, which for the record is ridiculously beautiful. My first full day there I decided to go for a nice little trek to get my day started. I found a popular trail, only around six miles long with a waterfall, lake view and generally good reviews.
However, a severe lack of directional-sense coupled with poor signage turned my six mile stroll into a grueling eighteen mile hike when I went off-track (twice) and headed accidentally up into the back-country.
Many thoughts crossed my mind during this, well let’s call it an adventure.
Here’s a quick synopsis of the gist of my inner monologue along the way, plus some pretty pics.
(To inspire you to go there. And plan better. And not get lost like me.)
– – SETS OUT ON A PERCEIVED SIX-MILE HIKE – –
– Hiking is awesome! Yay!
– Oh so pretty!
– Gosh, this trail is longer than I thought it was.
– Huh, well, I have no sense of distance. Probably haven’t gone very far yet.
– The only wildlife I have seen is birds and chipmunks. Lame. I was told there would be moose.
– I bet the end of the trail is right around the next bend. Okay, maybe just over the next hill.
– Nope, just more woods and prettiness.
– There aren’t that many people on this trail. I thought it was a popular one?
– I’m not sure I want to see a moose.
– Why does everyone else on this trail have big overnight packs?
– – STOPS AND CHECKS MAP, THEN CHECKS LOCATION WITH NEARBY HIKER – –
– Oh. Crap.
– I went the wrong way. And I mean reaaaaaally the wrong way.
– Turning around is the best plan. Sigh. But at least it’s a pretty view.
– This mostly looks the same going the other way. But it’s vaguely downhill! Yay!
– Is it getting hotter out? I should put on more sunscreen.
– Does sunscreen have any nutritional value?
– I will eat this apple I brought now, but better do it while walking. I gots a long way to go. Every step counts.
– Was that noise a bear? Oh gosh, I bet that was a bear.
– You can’t have this apple, bear.
– Just one foot in front of another.
– View is still pretty, even the second time. To tired to appreciate it. I will take a quick photo without stopping.
– How long will it take me to be so thirsty that I drink from that stream even though I know that’s not safe? How long until I decide those are edible huckleberries, not mystery forest berries?
– Just keep walking, just keep walking.
– And remember, there are Teddy Grahams in the car. Mmmmmmm…. Teddy Grahams….
– – SEES TRAIL SIGN… 1.5 MILES LEFT – –
– Okay, almost there.
– Will this trail never end? I never realized how far a mile was when you’ve been hiking all day.
– CAR! You are the most beautiful thing I have ever seen!
– I will absolutely get you premium grade next time we fill up, because I love you Car.
– – CALCULATES TOTAL HIKING DISTANCE – –
– Whoa. I went a long way.
– I am a tiny bit proud of me.
– That was rather embarrassing though, to be THAT wrong. We will never speak of this to anyone.
– – IMMEDIATELY POSTS ON FACEBOOK – –
– That was too hilariously embarrassing not to post, let’s be honest. Plus I will definitely get some pity “likes”.
– I am not sure I will be able to walk tomorrow. But at least it was beautiful.
– I love this place.
– I also love bed.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
If you are curious, here is a link to the hike I intended to do: Jenny Lake Loop
I started at String Lake, went all the way around the south side of Jenny Lake, up to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point, then got off-track, heading up into Cascade Canyon. There are shorter and easier ways to do these trails. I mean, I actually don’t think it’s possible to make it much longer than I did.
Cascade Canyon Trail (which is bea-u-tiful): Trail
And here’s a pretty good guide to that general area of Grand Teton National Park: Guide