Steve goes on a backpacking trip with his friend, Brett, every year. Sometimes I feel left out. Actually, I always feel left out. When they chose the Tetons for their trip this summer, it was decided that I would go camping with the kids while Steve was backpacking and then we would meet up at the end. A few days before the trip, I recruited my friend, Amanda, to go with me.
She and her two kids joined me and the four little kids for a three-day camping trip to Teton National Park. In our Pilot, we had a 7-year old, a 6-year old, a 3-year old, a 2-year old, a 1-year old, and a 7-week old baby. Somehow we managed to fit everything.
Did I mention Amanda had never been to the Tetons before? I quite enjoyed playing tour guide at one of my favorite places on earth. And I loved hearing Max squeal over and over again, "Camping?!?"
First Stop: The dangerous playground near the Alpine Junction. That slide is crazy tall. And those teeter totters in the background are NOT safe for children (or adults). I will post an old video of Sam, if I can find it. He is lucky he was able to have children.
And then we made it into the park and to our tent cabin at Colter Bay Village. (Look at my friend's photos taken from Colter Bay the week before. They are stunning.)
We roasted hotdogs for dinner and enjoyed a gorgeous view of the lake. The kids threw rocks in the lake and we made s'mores.
We didn't have room to pack tents, so the tent cabins were perfect. They offered better protection from the bears too. I have about a dozen pictures of Adam like this. He did not want to smile for the camera. Or even look at it.
The next day, we took rode the boat ferry across Jenny Lake. Lucy didn't even fall in.
We made the short hike to Hidden Falls with all six kids. The general consensus among the other hikers was that we were crazy.
Adam needed quite a few breaks on the hike. He sat down on this rock and pouted for a little while because Max wouldn't hold his hand. (Max was in far too much of a hurry to wait around for Adam.)
Steve joined us in time for some swimming/wading at Leigh Lake. The sun was shining and the water was very alluring.
We returned to the same picnic site for dinner the second night. Only it didn't turn out so well. As in, I burned it. But we experienced a magnificent sunset, so it was worth it. Rachel took this picture:
On the third day, the rain finally came. But we didn't complain. Sunshine for two out of three days is pretty amazing for us. It was very convenient not to have any wet tents to pack home.
We aren't sure how we've managed to go to the Tetons as many times as we have without knowing about Menor's Ferry, but we just discovered it. Unfortunately, there was not a ranger there to operate it for us, so we settled on a little visit to the General Store for some fresh-baked gingersnap cookies and other treats.
And then we left. Connor wins the award for being the best baby ever. It was quite remarkable. And I will be taking a map with me on my next roadtrip. Just because.
Bonus: We drove through Bear Lake on the way home so we could stop and see the Maurers and their newly-finished cabin. They have spent the last two years building it themselves and it is absolutely beautiful. I am still astounded to think they could build something of that magnitude. I can't wait to go back and spend more time sitting on their deck. The views are great and the company is even better.