Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Brooks Lake

This past weekend the weather turned. Saturday's weather included rain, hail, thunder, lightning and more rain, ALL DAY. It made for a restful day as I spent the morning shopping around Jackson with Warren, then we met up for lunch with Ross who had to work the fire that day, and then home to bake. I made lots of chocolate/butterscotch chip cookies and orange julius cookies. Yum! I love baking and the bug sure hit me this weekend, good thing it was a rainy day.

On Sunday we had planned to go rafting. The weather was originally predicted to be a repeat of Saturday so the trip was canceled. Wouldn't you know it, Saturday morning turned out to be gorgeous! Oh well. Instead Ross and I headed out for a little Sunday drive over Togwotee Pass and up to Brooks Lake. We then took the Turpin Meadows road home. I had never explored any of this area and it was GORGEOUS! This is part of Brooks Lake. There is a nice little campground on the lake and a lodge across from it. Hopefully we will make it back up there one day to hike and explore some more.

Monday, August 23, 2010

More weekend fun at Blackrock

I just got home from another great weekend at Blackrock. I absolutely love spending my weekends down there with great friends, I just wish I lived a little closer.

Saturday was our lazy day and it was wonderful. After slowly getting ready and enjoying our morning Ross and I headed into Jackson to run a couple errands. Ross got his haircut, I picked up a new shirt, we had lunch at Quizno's and we got a few groceries. After our errands were done we headed back home for naps and to get ready for the evening. Later that afternoon we met up with our good friends Larry and Judy and headed south to Granite Canyon where we were going to spend time in the hot springs and picnic. On our way out of town we had to stop at Smith's to grab a couple of things and Larry needed a snack. (Now let me just say that Larry is one of the funniest guys I know, yet he would do anything for you. He also has an appetite, and I don't mean that lightly. In fact I have never seen someone who can eat as much as he does.) When we got back out on the road Larry pulled out his "snack". It was a piece of chicken breast! It gets better though. As soon as he was done with the chicken breast he pulled out a drumstick! It had Ross and I in stitches we were laughing so much. Our goal for the evening was to head to Granite Hot Springs which is located up Granite Canyon in the Gros Ventre Wilderness. Well, this also happens to be an area where a large fire is burning. As we started up Granite Canyon we ran into some firefighters that Ross and Judy worked with and chatted with them a bit. We also watched as one of the helicopters stopped to fill up with water in the creek and head up to the fire again. It was cool to watch. We continued up the canyon to the hot springs and had a wonderful soak/swim (despite the tons of kids and very talkative old man). After about an hour in the pool we got out and headed down to the campground to grill our dinner. We had a delicious dinner of grilled steak, salad, pasta salad, bread & cheese and toasted s'mores. It was dark by the time we headed out of the canyon and we were able to see actual flames on the ridge. It was a perfect Saturday even though we got home and to bed very late.

Sunday morning we got up and going early. It wasn't very easy since we stayed up late the night before. We got our stuff together and out the door in time to meet Larry and Judy, along with other friends Karl and Michael, at Signal Mountain Lodge for breakfast. We had a delicious breakfast, even though our waitress was lacking. With full tummies we headed out on our hike to Toppings Lake. It was a gorgeous hike, though most of it was straight up to the lake. The trail was also lined with huckleberries which thrilled me to death, I even filled up a sandwich bag full of them on the hike out! The lake was gorgeous and well worth the hike UP. The lake had some serious blow down around it from a storm a few years ago which made it very interesting for Judy and I to scramble over, under and around them. We're tough and managed though. After a break for lunch and some fishing by Michael we made our way out the lake via the other side from which we came in on. It was SO much easier, despite the mud Judy stepped into up to her ankles.
This is where we all separated. Michael and Karl took off for the trailhead while Ross and Larry climbed a spur trail which took you up to the top of the ridge above the lake. After Judy's shoe dried out we started hiking out but stopped at the trail junction where we were to wait for Larry and Ross. Well, the trail to the top was obviously a little longer/harder than the boys thought because Judy and I sat on a log chatting for close to an hour before they showed up again. Once the 4 of us were together again we headed down the trail. The hike out went pretty fast, despite our many stops to pick huckleberries. Once back out to the car we headed to a little cafe on the Buffalo Valley road for dinner. We sat outside on the porch. By the time our food came it was raining and I was freezing though. Brrr. After dinner we picked up my car and headed home to Blackrock where we packed my car up and I said good-bye until the following weekend.

August Visitors

August started out with visitors the first 2 weeks of August. I love having people come from home and visit. The first weekend my friends Marie and Catherine came for a few days. We stayed at Madison Campground and had a great time traveling around the park, taking a small hike and just chatting. I loved have friends from home to hang around for a few days. The only thing we didn't see was a moose and a bear. (I neglected to tell them that I saw a moose driving down to meet them and a bear after I left them.)

The 2nd weekend in August my mom, brother and sister-in-law came to visit. It was Jessica's first time to Yellowstone and I was so excited to show here all around the park. We stayed the first night at Old Faithful and the second night at Roosevelt Lodge. We saw a lot, drove a lot and visited a lot. I really enjoyed having my family here. The other exciting part about their trip was my new "nephew" Jack. Jack is Adam and Jessica's new dog. He was 15 weeks old and is as big as my Nalgene bottle. Everywhere we went, everyone wanted to pet and play with him. I admit he is cute, but no where as cute as Rocket. :)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Cascade Canyon and Lake Solitude

My latest Teton adventure was hiking the 14.5 miles round-trip up Cascade Canyon to Lake Solitude. It was a GORGEOUS day, but HOT.

On Saturday morning Ross and I set out for Jenny Lake and took the boat across the lake to the trailhead. (Best $10 spent because you sure are not about to hike around the lake on the way out.) Once you leave the boat it is fairly packed on the trail as everyone heads to Hidden Falls. Past the falls the people slowly start to thin out as you climb up to Inspiration Point, shown below.
After the point, the trail starts to even out as you gradually climb back the canyon. At one point I finally looked behind me and realized we were actually climbing the canyon to the backside of the Grand. Words just can't explain how gorgeous it was. Words can explain how hot it was though. Yuck! Luckily there were several little streams coming out of the hillside that Ross dipped his shirt off and patted himself down with. I just dipped my hat in and let that cool me off.

Eventually the trail started climbing steeply up the mountain. The back on the canyon was in site and we knew what waited at the top; Lake Solitude! Lake Solitude sits at 9035' and is just gorgeous. After lunch I dipped my toes in the water to cool off. It was COLD, but felt great. We played around the lake a little, sat and enjoyed the silence and then started the hike down.

The hike down went quickly, could have been that we were tired, hot sick of the flies and trying to make sure we made the last boat across the lake. We did make the boat and it started raining just as we reached our car. Another great hike in the Tetons and another canyon crossed off our list.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Party like it's 1999

This past week was my friend Holly's last day with us before she headed back home at the end of her contract. To celebrate/mourn we headed out on the town to 2 of our favorite places; Rosie's Roost and the Two Bit. First we, along with a few co-workers, headed to Rosie's Roost which is an outdoor bar on the roof of the Blue Goose. All summer Holly, Catherine and I have enjoyed sitting out on the porch, enjoying the views and talking the night away. (The picture above is the view. Not bad, huh?) This night we also brought along our friends Laura, Del, Jennifer and Elizabeth, none of which had been up there yet. We had a great time chatting, saying our good-byes and visiting with all the other people we ran into. Eventually we all made our way over to the Two Bit who does dance parties a couple evenings a week. Well, we partied and danced the night away into the wee hours of the morning. It was a blast and well worth the headaches/sleepiness I would endure the next morning.

Good-bye Holly! We'll miss you and think of you every time I have a Hawaiian Heidi on the roof.

Monday, August 2, 2010


This summer I captained one of the teams in the Mammoth Softball League. We were called the Cutthroats and while we were not the best team in the league we had plenty of fun. I played 2nd Base for the most part and really enjoyed it. I made some great plays in the field. My batting needs some help, but I did get multiple RBI's. Our teams biggest thrill was winning our second to last game of the season! It was our first, and only, win and everyone was cheering for us (including all the other teams).

I also played in the annual Colter Classic Softball Tournament this summer on a NPS team that needed additional girls. The tournament went all day, we played in 6 different games and ended up taking 2nd place.