Monday, May 30, 2011

Hiking On a Snowy Day in the Grand Tetons

I actually had Memorial Day off, so packed up and hit the trail around Emma Matilda Lake. This is across the street from Jackson Lake Lodge. Friends warned me of snow pack, and it was snowing now.
Bear spray, fire starter, rain gear, snacks and water bottle, camera and hiking poles I head out for a memorable trail.
At first its wide open, no problem finding or navigating this sagebrush and pine tree habitat. Plenty of Elk, plenty of moose, geese and male grouse drumming for females.
I headed around the north, more remote, side of the lake. Swinging around the east edge, I slogged through meadows and crossed foot bridges made of huge logs cut in half. But, little did I know what awaited me.
The snow pack and few footprints made travel slow. Post holing and frozen feet aren't so bad if you at least know you're on trail.
Once the trail became totally snow covered and no foot prints or trail markers were found, I decided to maintain the westerly direction, the lake on my right shoulder, the sun at my back. It was early,
 just 11 a.m.

I sought the most open path, and finally came across other footprints. Who ever created those prints seemed to have a good sense for the trail because every so often a portion of earth tread way would show.
All day I took photos, sang, and hiked. Periods of sun, sleet, rain and snow made things interesting.
Back home at the dorm, after a shower and downloading of photos, I calculate the hike of 11.5 miles.
A wonderful way to spend the day off work. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Right Pants Have Pockets

I love a pants with pockets, one which dries fast and dark colored.

Not that it has to be brand name. I have a pair of $60 North Face cargo pants, black, and they zip off at the knees. I never in two years have zipped them off.
Comfortable as can be while trailing, and traveling you can put all those necessities in the many pockets.

I found some black cargo pants at Walmart. Elastic waist, but plenty of pockets, a cotton-nylon blend.
They don't zip off.
Fabric content is key to active wear.
The other day, wet above my knees due to post holing, once back on the shore they dried quickly.
Of course, Wyoming is dry, even with rain coming in the next hour.

I have some brown corduroy cargo pants. Pretty warm, but wear is already showing in the knees. That's always a problem with corduroy. I'll wear them out, though, lots of pockets and a good stealth color.

I only wear blue jeans to town. Hiking in wet blue jeans is nasty, and one never knows what thunderstorm can roll in.

Happy trails you adventurers.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Print

Views With a Room

This is my portion, I call it my Room Cubicle here in Grand Tetons. I love my own space, and my room mates are very nice. We share a large room which is divided into four cubicles. A bath room is down the hall for the whole dorm.

A rainbow from last night's solo hike along Christian Pond.

Griz Prints in the snow ( actual video posted at my other blog, ) were fresh and a delight. This was taken on a day hike with a friend near Colter Bay.

One of many photos taken near the Bay.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

News From Home

Working here in the Grand Tetons is very interesting. I do miss home, though and look forward to reading e-mails my life partner sent me. Recently he set up a camera to take shots of the wild hogs that have been ravaging the shooting range. The camera worked great, giving nearly 80 photos of a herd of wild hogs. I never thought so many were on the loose in our neck of the woods.

There were nursing mothers, piglets and bores. A group of approximately 15 were there when this photo was taken.

Here in the Tetons, the snow is beginning to melt off enough to allow some longer day hikes. I carry my bear spray when alone, and make noise when visibility or hearing is difficult by streams.
The rivers are up, raft trips will begin soon.

I love my Cirro Jacket by Brooks-Range. Its proven to be both comfortable, light weight, and warm. It really cuts the wind, especially on those cold morning walks to work. I wear it over my chef's coat. See the initial review on March 24, 2011 blog.

I used it while driving out to the Tetons. The zipper pockets really came in handy, without being bulky. It's one of my favorite all time jackets.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Grand Tetons in May

I took this
photo from the Jackson Lake location where I'll be working in the Bakery.
Its still pretty cold here. Good thing I brought plenty of layers.
We have people from 26 different countries checking in for the summer season. Spanish is commonly heard.
Everyone is really nice. The food in the Employee Dining Room is very good, with lots of fruits and vegetables for healthy eating. Then, of course, there's always ice cream for desert, or cake.
As the snow melts and trails dry off, most of the people here plan to get out an hike, do float trips, horse back riding and enjoy town of Jackson.

You can check out seasonal jobs at
One thing that's a little hard for older folks is the dorm situation. The rooms here have between two to four, with bathrooms down the hall.
This does take some getting used to  and its not for everyone. Sometimes a person outgrows the desire to share small spaces as well.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Wind River Range and CDT Fantasies

Not sure what to call this, but Wind River Range Road review comes to mind.

I drove 287 north to the Grand Tetons on Friday 13th. This  road runs through the Wind River Range heading through Rawlins, to Lander, through Debois, Moran Junction to Jackson Lake Lodge.  Couldn't help but dream of the possibilities of another section on the Continental Divide Trail.

I've been section hiking the CDT since 2003, not an easy task. Fantasy calls me to Just Do It. Then Reality reminds me of the commitment bordering on obsession required to spend five months on an obscure trail some deem more of a route. After all, this trail from Mexico to Canada through the Rockies is still under construction. Nature takes its toll as well, leading to periodic destruction or rerouting. This is why the actual route has a corridor of possibilities instead of a designated Appalachian Trail Purist Following.

Anyways, back to my Friday 13 experience.
I saw three herds of wild horses. Differing from tame horses, they were running, of different shapes, colors and sizes, and were without fencing. Many groups of stabled horses live along this route.
Fields of antelope, cattle being driven down the highway by cowboys, the Wind River winding through snow covered, bronzed landscape, and so few motor vehicles I wondered if the world had stopped.
A wonderful drive even though it rained while snow melted and parking lots were still buried.
Wyoming is a wonderful place to work and visit.
The Grand Tetons in their absolute majesty greeted me after leaving Dubois. My summer home.
Jackson will be my town, I have a room mate.
I brought three books with me:
Culinary Arts: Techniques from Expert Chefs , Audubon Field Guide to the Rocky Mountains, and the mother of all fantasies, Wyoming's Continental Divide trail, the official guide.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Three Day Conference for Women

I received this information and wanted to share it with all my friends.
I know some of the women involved, and believe you'll have a memorable time if you are able to attend.
I will be in the Grand Tetons at the time, so unfortunately won't have the pleasure.

" My name is Anna, aka Mud Butt, and I am the leader of a group called Trail Dames. Trail Dames is a hiking club for women of a curvy nature and we are hosting a women’s hiking and backpacking conference in Virginia this summer. There has never been a hiking conference for women before and we are excited to be a part of it!

The three-day conference is called The Summit and will take place from June 24-26th at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. The conference will include hiking seminars, how-to classes, panel discussions on women’s hiking and hands-on workshops. We also have guest speakers Cindy Ross and Melody Blaney, a screening of the documentary Trail Angels, a concert by Jan Benshop, and fun extra’s like a belly dancing class and sunrise Yoga sessions.

This Summit is a labor of love and we just want to celebrate the spirit of women in the outdoors! I really appreciate you helping to spread the word, and we would love to see you there!! All information can be found at Please don’t hesitate to email me with any questions you have
Thank you so much,

Anna Huthmaker, President and Founder
We're Gonna Dance Upon This Earth!       "

Thanks for sharing, Anna

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

We Got Us One Helluva President

We have one helluva president. Reading about his incredible ability to "compartmentalize" on Daily Beast brings much amazement. Say what you will about his politics, he's quite the Man.
This whole world is facing some trying times. When the price of oil and scarcity is such an issue, we get the oil rig blow up in the Gulf of Mexico, the Nuclear Disaster in Japan.
Amidst the Recession that Just Won't Quit, we got whole nations needing bail outs while "communist" China holds the credit card the US has been tapping out.
There are stories of bizarre weather , Tornadoes Gone Wild, Earthquakes in Diverse Places, and a Middle East in Labor Pains of Democracy.
Then you get this major Coupe. Taking out Osama Bin Laden is historic. The guy was a terrorist long before Facebook and Twitter. He inspired, taught, preached, lived for mass murder of innocents.
So, I'm glad we have a president who is so capable of achieving big things, and can multi task, compartmentalize and is a pleasure to hear speak. The guy has game.