Back in September, friends in Jackson, WY decided to throw wedding reception for their one year anniversary. You may remember that I’d been here once before, on last year’s epic road trip, so I was pretty excited to head back there.
The weekend promised some pre-wedding shenanigans, a wedding, camping, and then hiking. Unfortunately, I ended up missing all the fun before the wedding because American Airlines messed up majorly. The flight was delayed 18 times, the planes were switched and then had mechanical difficulties…you know when the flight attendants roll out free First Class food, we’re in for a looooong wait.
I didn’t get to Jackson until six hours after my estimated arrival time. Needless to say, I was not too pleased, and I was exhausted. But the next day brought some really gorgeous weather, and a super cute chapel in the mountains.
Despite it being freezing (for me) I put on a pretty party dress and a brave face, and was thankful for my pashmina. It was quite warm in the sun, but pretty windy, and I kept accidentally pulling a Marilyn Monroe. Note to self, don’t wear a short dress up in the mountains.
The outdoor reception at 6pm meant we got some time to nap (yes, nap – I’m old!) and get ready for the party. It was a Santa Maria style barbecue with endless food and booze, and a roaring campfire. And they could not have planned the sky to be more perfect. I’m always in awe of the stuff out West. The colors are so vibrant and the skies are so clear at night.
Overnight, we camped out, and were pelted with insane wind. We did not get tons of sleep, but we still wanted to go crazy and hike a long trail the next day. Five of the BEST bacon, egg, and cheese on a bagel sammiches later, we set off, and saw some crazy things along the way:
Apparently this guy had been there for a few years, since my friend told me he’d seen the skeleton in the same place last year, when he was out hiking this trail.
I love tree roots like this – I blame my Grandma. But, unlike her, I did not try to take it with me.
These shells are technically fossils, and are tens of thousands of years old, from when the Tetons used to be a glacier. They’re all over the place, if you look closely.
Unfortunately, it was my fault the hike was cut short. In trying to cross a stream, my muddy boots slipped on the log, and I fell in. I was soaked from head to toe on my right side, and felt like Harvey Two-Face. As if I wasn’t cold enough before! Additionally, this was a mile or so into our 10 mile round trip hike, which wasn’t ideal. I was informed there was a cabin around mile 3 or 4 where we could rest, which was good because I was freezing. And then, it started to rain.
Photographic evidence I’m a gigantic klutz.
We found the cabin, which is community-run, and the guys built a fire in the wood stove so I could dry off and warm up. When I stripped my jeans off, I realized I had a huge eggplant on my shin, mud in my shoes, and a hole in my shirt, but my trusty cell phone was unscathed. It’s the little things in life, I tell you.
We hung out at the cabin for a few hours playing Bullshit, eating Cupboard Surprise, and drinking a leftover bottle of Bulleit. I pretty much ruined the hike (and hunting) for everyone, but they were very accommodating and kind enough to stay with me instead of hiking without me. I have very good friends.
Eventually, we had to start heading back, so we did, and I was very, very careful to not fall into any more streams. I made it with some help, and while the eggplant on my leg was swelling even more (it would eventually develop into a huge hematoma that would take six weeks to go away), we all managed to make it back dry and unscathed.
The overcast skies had cleared up, and as we drove down the mountain, we saw a rainbow. It was a pretty great end to a wonderful wedding weekend. So much happened in so little time. There was anger, exhaustion, love, happiness, adventure, and accidents, but it ended with a smile.