We are out of Texas!!!! .....
Being back in the mountains and breathing that fresh, crisp air is glorious, wondrous, magnificent, invigorating, all around great for the soul. Just wish it could be for more than 10 days.
Mark and I flew into Bozeman, Montana, two days ago. Cute college town, with real coffee shops (we didn't see a single Starbucks) and a great vibe. We relaxed for a bit in town, dining on sandwiches from the Pita Pit and excellent coffee and tea, while reading our maps and guidebooks. Then it was on the road, down through Gallatin Canyon, past Big Sky Resort (where we stopped in at the Lone Peak Brewery for happy hour), and on into West Yellowstone (a pit of a hotel town on the edge of our nation's first national park).
The next morning, we headed west and south, down through Idaho and into Targhee National Forest. I can't tell you how great it is to once again see towering lodge pole pines, wide clear rivers, people in fleeces and Chacos. This is definitely our kind of country.
We stopped in a couple places to take in the views and get ourselves acclimated to being at an elevation higher than 600 feet above sea level. Just past Lower Mesa Falls on Henry's Fork of the Snake River, we loaded up our pack with lunch and set off in search of a nice little picnic spot. We had every intention of following the trail to the Bear Gulch Overlook, but soon turned off and followed a gully down the cliff to the river. I'm not sure anyone but the most intrepid fisherman/woman would have followed this trail. I'm not even sure any animals would have followed the steep trail; I certainly didn't see any tracks, though that could be because it had recently rained, and I was pretty sure we were following a waterfall's track. But it was well worth it. A private rock on the river's edge was the perfect spot to enjoy our lunch of tomato, avocado, salami, and cheese on crackers. Yummy!
We finished up lunch just in time for the rain, which started as a splitter spatter, but soon turned into a pretty serious downpour, thunder and all. My guess that it had been a waterfall's course was confirmed as we slowly made our way back up the cliffside. The only thing that kept flashing through my mind was the mudslide scene from Romancing the Stone. I'm just glad I didn't have to make the hike in high heels and a skirt. My Pear Izumi GoreTex shoes treated me just right, keeping my toes warm and dry as we plodded through the increasing flow of the cascade.
But we made it in one piece, with big grins on our faces, so happy to be drenched with cool rainwater rather than sticky sweat after a big hike.
After drying off, we headed into Jackson, where we were supposed to pick up Mark's parents from the airport. We settled into our rented condo, only to hear that they were stranded in Denver, thanks to mechanical difficulties.
But they are here now, unpacked and somewhat refreshed after an early afternoon nap. Now we're off to explore the town of Jackson and see what there is to see.
2 days ago