The Grand Tetons (Large Teats)

Day # 7 June 24, 2018  The destination for the next day was Twin Falls Idaho and clearly the best route was through Grand Teton National Park.  The most common explanation is that “Grand Teton” means “large teat” or “large nipple” in French, named by either French-Canadian or Iroquois members of an expedition led by Donald McKenzie of the North West Company.

The plains gradually gave way to multicolored and layered sandstones ridges and on up onto the Teton range and once again crossing the continental divide.  Since I have at least 3-4 pictures of me at sign post on the continental divide (me in picture with sign), I stopped to do my obligatory selfie.  In perusing through my picture I found a picture of the sign (I was not in it) and a picture of me with the divide area in the background (but no sign in it). I am trying to recollect what kind of disconnect I had there. 

Having backpacked and hiked there 4-5 years ago, as I gradually elevated into the Teton range I had a couple of very vivid memories. Today was a gorgeous day with a vivid blue sky and billowy cumulus clouds. On my first trip the extremely menacing massive violent black thunderheads and lightning and driving wind and rain blanketed the entire Teton Range, peaks and valley. I vice gripped the wheel and drove on through, very disappointed not to be setting foot in this NP.  The next trip was backpacking with my daughter Tasia, son-in-law Steve and granddaughter Amara.  We had some lovely sunny weather for a small option of this trip and some dry hiking, but our overnight at Bear Paw Lake involved hunkering down in our tents riding out the thunderstorms. The all night drizzle did no favors for one like myself who must exit the tent, cold rain and thunder storms aside, to pee and often with the damp and rain more than once. You haven’t really lived fully until you experience a  butt shower of cold rain in the middle of the night.  I had tried those female urinals to use in the tent previously and you might guess I ended up peeing all over my sleeping bag.  The storms weren’t as wild and intense as I experienced the first trip  but on a fair show and drenched us.

I was excited to re-visit theses ruggedly majestic massive escarpments dressed with lodgepole pine forests,  ice flows, snowpack and lakes – minus foothills but surrounded by sagebrush flats and wet meadows. Given the need to get out to Oregon, I didn’t take much time to explore the park this year but just meandering through in with my puppies in Lady Spitfire made my heart happy. It was a beautiful sunny day and how grateful I am to be able to revel in this beauty. Motoring on into trendy Jackson Hole brought on an entirely different feeling — with the throngs of people, expensive shops, enticements for extreme adventure and traffic jams. It felt like a rude welcome to a more realistic world of today’s day and age. 

Soon I was leaving Wyoming and on into Idaho. It was approaching dinner time and traveling with a diabetic dog requires some accommodation. So I off ramped into a truck stop and proceed to have them dine at the Spitfire Truck and Doggie Cafe, and arriving in Twin Falls around 8:30 PM. I make note of the time because I am usually the one to arrive earlier in the day and get the best parking spot to access my room.  I am always amazed to see the packed parking lot when I take the dogs out at night one last time. Now I was for a change one of the later arrivals.

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