Life is a Highway, Part 9: Tetonic Plates

Between Denver and my next destination, there’s not a thing in sight.  No really.  Not a single.  Damn.  Thing.

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Yes, there’s your occasional town, but it’s like in Cars, on Rt. 66, where there’s ONE TOWN with nothing else for a hundred miles in any direction.  And that one town?  It’s ONE ROAD.

Image courtesy disney.wiki.com

You basically do not leave a town in Wyoming without a full tank of gas and some provisions, because if you get stuck, well, you’re SOL.

Eventually, and BOY DO I MEAN EVENTUALLY, I reached Jackson, Wyoming.

It’s a resort town for those of us that have more 0’s in their paychecks than is fair.  That being said, it’s lovely.  But the real star of the show is the national park.

Image from jacksonholenet.com

I spent two days in Jackson – one hike, each day.  Day One was cut short, due to unforseen illness, but I managed to get a short hike to Phelps Lake in. It was not terribly strenuous, but it was challenging enough that by the time I reached the viewpoint, I was a bit tired…until I actually looked up and out.  As soon as I saw the lake, it all melted away, and I was filled with a sense of wonder.

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That night, my friends took me to watch the sunset at the docks at Signal Mountain.  There’s nothing quite like a sunset in the west, especially one over a nearly still lake, with the sun setting behind giant mountains.

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After sunset, we went to dinner, and following that, most of the night after that was spent in the emergency room.  For those of you that don’t know, being at altitude dries you out, and you don’t even notice it…because it’s cold, and you’re not sweating.  This is bad in itself, but if you get overly dehydrated, you can end up with a UTI.  Ask me how I know this.

It wasn’t the best night, but the next day, armed with an anti-spasm medication and antibiotics, I set out on a second short hike before I’d have lunch with my friends (who were working).  The destination?  Jenny Lake.

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IMG_20150510_180442After the main viewpoint, I attempted a trail around the lake, to get multiple views.  It was to be a three-mile hike around the perimeter, and what I did get to see was really breathtaking.

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About 0.7 miles in, my hike was abruptly cut short.  By this little lady.

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She poked her head up over a little hill, and we were less than 15′ apart.  She was fucking ginormous.  I’m not kidding.  She was the type of girl you’d want on the bottom of the cheerleading pyramid.  She does not fit into a normal-sized canoe without capsizing.  And she was smack dab in the middle of my trail.  We both froze.  We both stared at each other, in a game of chicken.  Then, I caved.  I moved first – I snapped a photo, and turned and ran.  I concede, she wins, game over.  The last thing I needed to do was get trampled by a giant female moose.

As the hike was over, I decided it might be time for lunch.  Following a goodbye meal with my friends, I set off through the winding, twisting mountain passes (MY KIND OF DRIVING!!!!) to reach my next adventure.

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4 comments

  1. I LOVE THAT MOOSE! And yes, I know they are super scary and dangerous, my dad has had WAY too many close encounters with them.
    I am so disappointed that I didnt encounter any moose on my western trip… it was pretty much the only animal we didnt see. I also wonder what was the name of the lake that I hiked around on my trip… based on your photos (and mine), and my recollection of where I was vs the map, I MIGHT have actually been Jenny Lake. Or might not… 🙂

    1. There are several very large lakes, but this one is fairly popular. I figured I’d see more wildlife but alas, it’s not prime season yet.

  2. Gorgeous views! Had to be worth driving through the vast nothing (and am I odd to thing that there is some beauty in the nothing as well? Tedious to drive through in the long run I’m sure, but the snap shot you get in a picture… beautiful!)

    1. It was totally worth it! I mean, hours and hours and hours of nothing is sort of made up for by the 80 mph speed limits 🙂 But overall, it was pretty barren – you’re right though. There’s something majestic about being somewhere so very empty.

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