A Quick Trip to the Mountains
From Great Outdoor Store
By now you guys know that I will travel a long distance to celebrate someone's birthday. Maybe it's that fact that I'm getting older or, probably more likely, I'm looking for a reason to hit the road! This past weekend Jeff, our friend Tom and I got in the car after work on Thursday and drove to Jackson Hole, Wyoming to meet our friends Tim, Brandi and Todd from San Francisco (it's half-way!) and to celebrate our friend Patrick's birthday. Patrick has just moved to Phoenix from Boise and was missing the mountains already.
We rolled into Jackson on Friday morning after spending the night in Douglas, Wy. We got our first glimpse of the Tetons through the clouds. If you haven't had the opportunity to visit Grand Teton National Park, put it on your list. There is something about this range that is captivating and impressive whether it's the first time or the 100th time you see it. I was able to climb the Grand with Jeff and Tim about 15 years ago. It was supposed to be a three day climb that turned into a very long two day climb because of mice and something we now refer to as the Pain Cave.
This trip was more about relaxation, so the only hike I did was up Snow King, the ski hill in the town of Jackson. It's a stout hike, pretty steep making the down worse than the up, especially for us flat landers. Tom, Patrick, Jeff and I got up early on Saturday to do the hike while the sun was still out. We got back to the hotel just as the weather was turning into the wintery mix that was predicted for the remainder of the weekend.
The remaining 24 hours in Jackson involved sitting at Dornan's, a low-key restaurant and bar that normally has the best view of the range but because of the weather all we could see was snow. However, all was not lost because our friend Todd got to try his first red beer in the company of true cowboys. We headed back into town for Thai food and microbrews at Sam's (Jeff's brother who flew in from Minneapolis) favorite place Melvin brewing. We packed a lot into a short amount of time and even after a 17 hour car ride home on Sunday through two snow storms, I came back to work on Monday feeling refreshed. To quote Edward Abby: Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread. Fortunately, you can find all of the above in Jackson.