In 1967 my father bought a Pontiac Catalina and a dingy old travel trailer and took his girlfriend, my brother and me on a road trip. Over the next 8 weeks we drove 13,498 miles, visited 51 parks, and saw wonders like geysers, redwoods, grizzlies, and the Summer of Love in San Francisco. The trip made an indelible impression, cementing my appreciation for the natural world and the American landscape. This summer Pamela and I hope to repeat the experience for our family.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Pamela: Jenny Lake

Jenny Lake was as magnificent as I remembered it. Dave and I had told my friend Pam, who had joined for a few days, that we thought it was the most beautiful place in the United States. Considering it was over an hour drive from our Yellowstone campground we hoped it would live up to our memories. It did.

When we drove down from the mountains of Yellowstone and got our first up-close look at the Grand Teton range it took my breath away. This same site is quite familiar to the whole family. We see it each time we have our teeth cleaned. Our dentist has a poster of the Tetons mounted on the ceiling so patients can view this majestic and magical setting while having excruciatingly painful things happening in their mouths. Painful memories aside, the real thing is quite spectacular.

As we descended into a valley near Jackson Lake we encountered a large (over 100) heard of elk. Considering our recent close encounter, we thought this a good omen. Another half hour brought us to Jenny Lake. The lake is nestled right under the brow of the mountains. It is a perfect combination of mountain-lake-tree-sky.

When I was a kid my mother and I rode horses round the lake while my bother and dad crossed the lake via motorboat. We met at the falls a mile above the lake. The horses are gone but the boat and the falls remain.

After a picnic on the lakeshore we crossed the lake to the Hidden Falls trailhead. The tail was steep and crowed but well worth the effort. You could hear the roar of the falls and feel the mist in the air long before it came into sight. I think it one of the prettiest waterfalls I have ever seen. It is a strange combination of majesty and intimacy. Dave, Pam and Lark continued on another mile to Inspiration Point. Linden and I stayed at the falls a bit to soak up the negative ions. I wanted to drink up its beauty so I could draw from an internal reservoir at some later time.

On our way home we stopped in Colter Bay to shower. The showers in the Tetons were much less crowded than in Yellowstone. How often can you say you have showered in one of the most beautiful spots in the Untied States.

No comments:

Post a Comment