So July 30th we were off once again
Goodbye plains of grain
That's right, Emilie can drive the vanagon too, and I did good. Well that is until we got off the highway and I killed it twice and managed to grind the gears, and than made the horn honk by turning the wheel, but I think the van was just a little grumpy- it obviously wasn't me.
We spent our first night at the South Dakota Welcome center and by the end of the second day we had made it to the black hills. After a scenic drive we turned down a forest road and found a very nice spot to pull over and camp for the night.
We arrived in Bozeman on August 1st got some backpacking groceries and were ready to head to the Tetons in the morning.
Vince and Monica enjoying the view
After camping a night in the National Forest we were ready to start the backpacking.
On the trail
Taking a lunch break. It was about this time, about 4 miles into the first 13 mile day, that Mike and I both realized we had very significant blisters forming on our feet. I was lucky enough that I had sandals along with me, so I switched over to them, but Mike only had his hiking boots which he had to continue to wear.
We finally reached the pass and started down the other side
We finally reached this little picturesque spot with 3 more miles to go to the campsite.
Monica leading the way
Waterfall and snow and the longest 0.6 miles I have ever hiked
This is when we found out that travelling from Iowa, about 600 ft above sea level to 10,000 ft above sea level in a matter of days just isn't a good idea. We both had a terrible night of sleep, and Mike woke up the next morning and lurched himself out of the tent sure that he was about to become reacquainted with his mac and cheese from the previous night. Luckily he managed to keep everything down, but we decided that between vicious blisters and nauseousness we should just head back to the trail head instead of continuing on for the next 4 days and not having a way to get down quickly.
Monica and Vince continued along the trail and Mike and I made our way back to the trail head, splitting the hike up into 2 days.
These flowers were all along the trail. I'm pretty sure it's some kind of columbine and I thought they were very pretty.
After we got out from the hike we took a dip in the Gros Ventre river, which was chilly but quite refreshing.
After a shopping trip through Jackson we went back to the National Forest for the next couple of days. Just sat and relaxed and watched the mountains change with the hours.
Our last night out we had gotten sick of soup and noodles, so went into town and bought some brats, real camping food. The only problem was when it was time to cook it had started raining. So we ended up cooking in the tent vestibule and watched the storm blow over. Everything was fine until about 10 that night when we started hearing low grunting noises very close by. We quickly evacuated the tent and sat in the car for the next half hour or so, occasionally shining the headlights to see if we could see anything. We never did, so eventually we went back to the tent very conscious of the fact that we smelled like cooked sausages. We both woke up the next morning, somewhat to our surprise.