Traveling though the Grand Teton National Park was something I didn’t really put too much thought in. I knew it was something I wanted to do, with the mind thought of possible future climbing excisions, alpine trekking adventures, learning to ski and even the possibility of moving to this area to reside in after time in Alaska. The opportunities seem endless and the experiences I had in the 24 hours spent in and around the town of Jackson Hole opened my eyes to so much more.
I made the decision to drive to Jackson Hole after a half-day spent climbing and hanging out with my new friends Wes and Corey in Boulder. It was a pretty long haul driving solo into the night as I made my way into town. Exhausted from the drive and eager to get some sleep, I pulled off the road right outside of town to park my home and crawl into bed.
I took my time getting ready for the day, mentally preparing myself for another long day of driving that lay ahead of me. Making my way through Jackson Hole, the mountains started opening and I got my first glimpse of the Grand Tetons. The ranger told me that today was the perfect day to check out the park, seeing that weather was cooperating giving us clear skies with magnificent views. I drove to both entrances seeing that the road connecting the two was closed to vehicles, and even found a nice spot to practice yoga, meditate and draw with the most beautiful views of the snow capped mountain range at the glacier view pullout.
As I gathered my things to head back to my car I noticed another small SUV parked a few spots away from mine. As I got closer, I commented on what a nice set up he had as I opened my trunk to join him in making lunch. We chatted for a little while we ate lunch and were joined by two other friends. After making a comment on my bike, they invited me to go for a bike ride though the park on the closed road that I had encountered earlier. After a heavy season of snow, the road was finally being cleared, reopening for transportation through the park. The nice part to that was, although it was still closed to vehicles, bikes and pedestrians were allowed to utilize it for recreation.
Tim, Sarah and Niki have all been living in Jackson for at quite some time. It was refreshing to hear stories of different types of adventure, working for the park services and enjoying some of the most peaceful and breathtaking views of the Grand Tetons. The air was crisp but the 30-mile bike ride felt a lot better than sitting in the car for another full day of driving. We made our way all the way down to where Jackson Lake stands between you and the Range, making for a pretty stellar point of view.
My day quickly turned around and I found myself staying the night in the small mountain town. I discovered so much more about what the town has to offer while making friends with some amazing people that call it home. There is a lot of potential for so many different types of adventure and opportunities of growth in more ways than one. It was sad saying goodbye to new friends so soon, but I feel like I’ll be back sooner rather than later for more adventures in the mountains.