First, I want to start off by saying that in our 4 ish years of marriage (we are into our 5th year), all longer-than-three-day-weekend-trips have been to visit family. We love to visit family. But we have never taken a vacation for ourselves, anywhere we want to go. This road trip has been about a year in the making. We decided to drive to Seattle (close friends live there) so we could hit up some of the National Parks that were closed a few years ago when we moved from Alaska to Colorado during the government shut down.
And this trip has been amazing. It was just the right amount of time. Do you ever go on vacation, whether to visit family or do something you feel is more obligatory and it’s not really a vacation because every day was filled to the brim (6 am -12 am more or less) and by the time you get home you are exhausted and getting sick and need a ‘vacation from your vacation’? This was definitely NOT that. We did have some crazy full days with a lot of driving or a lot of sightseeing. But we had the BEST TIME. And I am so relaxed and stress free.
My thoughts: Why haven’t we done this earlier? This trip may very well have sparked some sort of ‘we-are-going-to-vacation-for-ourselves-every-year’ type journey from now on.
We left Colorado Springs by 630 am and began our long drive to Grand Teton National Park. Total road time was more likely around 9 hours to include gas and bathroom breaks ( of which there were a lot in the beginning…. Dang coffee!) The scenery along the drive was spectacular- the landscape changed gradually but there is still a difference between middle Colorado, Northern Colorado, Southern Wyoming and the national park in which we were.
We arrived and went straight to the campground to pick out our site. We came into the park from the middle of the eastern side and the campground we are staying at is on the northern side. The park itself is not very large; it probably takes less than two hours to drive through North to South.
The Tetons are pretty impressive, looming over the water. We got this shot this morning on our way to the Lupine Meadows Trailhead on the southern side of the park.
We planned for and attempted to do Amphitheater and Surprise Lakes trail which would have been a 9.5 mile RT hike. We turned around at the 2.5 mile mark because my leg was getting really tired. At first I was disappointed but I am glad we did because by the end of the trail, near the trailhead, I was begining to be more than just tired. It started to get sore and tight- which could have been much worse had we continued hiking.
Boy do I have a story for you! We started up the trail. I think we were about a half mile in when I looked over to a downed tree in a small clearing to the left of the trail and there was a bear! He was scratching himself alongside the fallen tree. I got really scared and practically ran into A while whispering “there’s a bear over there” to which he replied in a loud voice “there’s a bear over there? We should keep talking.” And we warned those coming up the trail. I did nothing you are supposed to do and everything you shouldn’t do. My heart and my stomach were doing somersaults and all I wanted to do was race out of there.
We spent midday kayaking around Jenny Lake. We rented a tandem kayak… and let’s just say that it was a communication exercise. And by that I mean, A told me what to do most, if not all of the time. We only had the kayak for an hour since it was expensive ($20/hour) but it still gave us ample time to go across the small bay, eat the sandwiches we brought and take a swim in the lake before heading back to the dock. A few things I learned while doing this activity: I suck at it. I’m not very strong, I can’t steer and I would probably be better off canoeing. Or being by myself.
We spent the rest of the afternoon being lazy and snoozing away in the hammocks.