Grand Teton National Park Travel Blog› entry 1 of 1 › view all entries
OK OK, so I wasn't actually in Grand Teton National Park. I took a hike through the Jedidiah Wilderness that is part of my forest(Caribou/Targhee National Forest), into the Alaska Basin which borders my forest and the GTNP. So I was close enough.
I got up wicked early(alarm went off at 4:00, I didn't get up til 5) to get an early start. My original plan was to hike in the 7.5 miles to the Alaska Basin and camp at the high mountain lakes, take the loop back around to the Devils Stairs the next day. I was nothing if not prepared: backpack-check, sleeping bag-check, tent-check, heater-check, extra clothes-check, water-check, wilderness first aid kit-check, ("man, this thing is getting heavy") extra food-check, bear rifle-check, ("wow, this pack weighs a good 50-60 pounds, oh well, I used to carry 65 pound packs for days").
Around 9:00 we stopped for our first break. I must say honestly, I have been from Germany to Alaska to Hawaii, and this part of the world is up there with the best scenery I've been lucky enough to see. The rugged mountains abruptly stopping to make way for the multi-colored grasses and flora of the aspen surrounded praries are right out of a painting. ("Wheeew, getting a little winded, only a few more miles to go").
About 10:00 we made it to the fork in the road Alaska Basin Left, Devils Stairs Right ("wheew, I'm winded.
Ok stop. Has anyone ever tried to put theory into fact that the gravitational pull of the earth is getting stronger? It just seems to be the only explanation as to how a strapping, strong backed young trailblazer of 31 (and a half) years old can possibly be feeling the strain and pains of carrying only a 50-some pound pack.
"You know, I'm really starting to miss Melissa on this trip. It is so beautiful and majestic out here, it just doesn't seem right for me to get to enjoy all this beauty without her. She is a little worried about me, maybe if I turned around now and...OUCH MY BACK.....made it home....OH< THAT HURTS MY ANKLE......I could take her up here on a day hike next weekend. Man, wouldn't I be a hero if I showed up back home?"
I pulled out of the extremely packed parking lot about 14:00, passing a group of day hikers "whimps, they should pack a whole lot more and stay a few days".
As soon as I got signal I called the wife "Hello dear, I'm coming home, just couldn't handle another day without you, I'll be home about 16:30".