Jenny Lake Hike, Day 2

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Saturday, July 22nd, Day 2. What a beautiful morning. We start our day meeting Stella’s parents at the Jackson Hole Campground at Fireside Resort to rendezvous for our morning ride along the Moose – Wilson Pathway to Teton Village, about 5 miles out. Unlike the Grand Teton Multi-use Pathway the Moose – Wilson Pathway to Teton Village is gently rolling in its entirety. As we approach Teton Village we notice several paragliders soaring off the mountain with their colorful canopies careening toward tera firma. I know Stella would do love to do that in a heart beat, myself however liken it to jumping out of a perfectly good airplane, its not going to happen, but never say never. Arriving in Teton Village we stumbled upon a craft show taking place in a small open space, not too large, maybe 2 dozen or so artisans and such. We spend a bit of time meandering in and out their booths and notice one individuals work stood out from the rest. It is difficult to truly describe, but his work was very good. The artist pays close attention to the detail of the eagles, bears, mountain lions, elk and moose as he burnt/etched the design into the wood and painted them in great detail. Truly a unique craft. Stella definitely wanted to purchase a piece or two but I wasn’t certain how we were going to transport them on our bikes back to the campground. Soon we were jumping back on our bikes reversing course and head back. I stopped along the way to attempt to photograph an eagle perched high atop a telephone pole running along side the road. However, I was unable to capture the moment in great detail, epic fail. Riding the like wind I catch up to them just before crossing the road and back to the campground. What a great way to start the day however our stomachs are now seeking food, it is time for lunch. Stella prior to our trip did a bit of research for nice restaurant for lunch and mentioned that E. Leaven fit the bill with a variety of sandwiches, soups, etc, plus located conveniently on the north side of Jackson, we were off. We made a quick sampling of a chocolate chip cookie while waiting for Stella’s parents to arrive before ordering. Lunch at E. Leaven was delectable, with everything basically prepared from scratch. I indulged in the Southwest on sourdough, Stella sampled the Turkey & Brie on multigrain and Stella’s parents sharing a Turkey sandwich on sourdough. Plus another chocolate chip cookie, why, because the first one was so good.

Everyone into the Tahoe, we are onto our next adventure, Grand Teton National Park as a hike around Jenny Lake awaits. Driving into the park from the Moose Junction entrance we had to make a slight detour to have our kayak inspected for Aquatic Invasive Species before entering, with the inspection completed we made our way to the parking area at the Jenny Lake Visitor Center. Cars, trucks, vans and such were everywhere. My thought was to grab the first spot available but then I went into hawk mode. Driving through parking lot and making our way near the trailhead we were able to secure a spot far closer than originally had hoped, lucky us. Gathering our gear and for the first time packing bear spray, we make our way to the trailhead. Stella’s parents Carla and step-father Mel are embarking on the adventure as well. We begin our trek at the Jenny Lake Ferry site that scoots those not wanting to make the journey around the lake to Cascade Canyon near Hidden Falls. Kinda cheating in my mind, but I digress, moving along the trail we happen upon the kayak launch for Jenny Lake offering a spectacular view directly across the lake and the pending adventure awaiting our foot. A bit further into our trek we discover that a portion of the trail is closed for repairs and we will need to detour to the Hidden Falls trail. Not intending to hike to the falls we now find ourselves on our merry way, this pleasant diversion takes the hike from a relatively easy trek to more of a moderate hike around the lake. Climbing a series of switchbacks we reach the top of trail and have a great view overlooking the Jenny Lake from the East. We start our descent along the trail to Hidden Falls and Cascade Canyon. As we get closer you begin to hear the roar of the falls in the distance and we are able to get a sneak peek at them from afar.

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Hidden Falls, GTNP

Traversing our way along the trail we come upon the falls. Cascade Creek begins as an outflow from Lake Solitude perched at 9035 feet and traveling 8 miles and falling 100 feet at Hidden Falls before meandering its way through Cascade Canyon and entering Jenny Lake. After spending time admiring the falls and its cooling effect we moved along crossing a bridge leading us into Cascade Canyon and to the boat landing. No short cuts here, we head north where the trail becomes less traveled. Soon we run into a fellow hiker returning from Solitude Lake. He shows us a picture of the lake 3/4 frozen over and snow all about, this would be an awesome hike only if we had more time. Continuing our trek we cross a series of mountain streams along the trail, stopping at Ribbon Cascade we place our hands into the cold mountain stream which has a wonderful cooling effect on the body as temps were in the 80’s. Trekking further north, the trial continues to narrow and one could easily stumble upon a bear as some of the brush is chest high, thankfully today that is not the case. At the North end of the lake we cross over the outflow from String Lake, the view is amazing as is cascades over the many boulders strewn about left behind from a time long ago as glaciers carved its path thousands of years before. The trail is now heading south and back in the direction of the Jenny Lake Visitor Center.  The trail for the most part mirrors the shoreline offering unbelievable views of the Tetons as you look to the West.

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Jenny Lake Hike, GTNP

Along the trail there is a section that has been carved out to allow stunning views of the lake and the Tetons. Navigating a few obstacles along the trail we soon find ourselves back at the parking lot and the “Big Mango” perched atop of the Tahoe. We are all relieved to be back.

After a long days of activity we find ourselves back at the Flat Creek Inn, taking Aspen for a quick walk, we clean up and head back to Teton Village and the Mangy Moose for dinner. We rejoin Stella’s parents to cap off a wonderful day over a fantastic meal. Stella, starting from the appetizer menu promptly orders the Fried Green Tomatoes as the are topped with jumbo lump crab and a buttermilk herb sauce, for her main course she chooses the savory Falafel Crusted Idaho Trout with Israeli couscous, I sample the Buffalo Meatloaf paired with a loaded baked potato as Stella’s parents share Ribeye dinner. Again, what fantastic way to end the day.

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