The longest hike of our long road trip was the loop around Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park. It started out with every single parking spot and some areas that weren’t, being filled with cars. So, as commited to seeing Hidden Falls as we were, we found the next nearest place we could stop and set off from, Lupine Meadows. Don’t let the dirt road fool you, it is a legitimate trailhead.
It was a beautiful place to set off from. Although, when we set out, we were expecting a hike of seven or eight miles. Add in Hidden Falls and our alternate parking arrangments and we ended up with somewhere just north of ten miles on the day. While it wasn’t that bad, it was a little frustrating and took more of our day than we’d hoped. We also underestimated our water consumption as we’d ran out at almost exactly the distance that we’d planned on our trip being. It was almost perfect planning.
And then there was a bear… First sighting of our trip. It was pretty exciting, yet as we were ready for our hike to be over we were also faced with a daunting prospect, as the bear was directly ahead of us a few yards east of the trail. The road was also just about fifty yards or so to our east as well. But there was no clear path to get there and going off trail with a bear a hundred yards or so away didn’t seem like the best idea either. Luckily, bears aren’t as excited or interested in humans as we are them. So after some patience and noise making, the bear wandered off and we were able to proceed and have a wonderful story to share with our parents who were worried to death that we’d be eaten if we even saw a bear. Thankfully, these fears were not borne out.
Back from my tangent, I took the main image of this post looking back on the Tetons as we’d opted to go clockwise around the lake. This was in an area that had burned during the Alder Fire of 1999. The trees are making a comeback and the clearing also made for excellent views of the lake.
Depending on your philosophical outlook and your personal situation, I think this image and the experience is a great metaphor for life’s journeys. Sometimes you’re headed toward something spectacular but you have to go through the fire to get there or if you’re more of a glass half empty type, maybe you’ve left behind something beautiful and are headed through the remnants of the fire. In our case, you were either headed to a beautiful waterfall or headed to the first of two bear sightings of the day! Every image can tell a story, and that story is different for everyone who views it. What does this image say to you?
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