After 5 LONG, tedious days in the car driving across country from Maine to Phoenix and then 3 hours later, to Wyoming, I was READY and RARING to go!!!!!! I had been wanting to get back to the Tetons since I drooled over them about 5 or 6 years ago when I was there at the tail end of a road trip and only had a day to gawk at them. I have to say, as we were driving into the park from Jackson, I was quite disappointed, as the last time I was there everything was green and lush and absolutely stunning. This time it was quite brown and sort of baron looking. But I regained all my awe and then some once in the back country and on the other side of those beautiful puppies! Wow!!!! Death Canyon is improperly named in my opinion......when I think of "Death" anything, I think of desert or scary. Nothing of the sort through this canyon. It was quite beautiful and full of wildflowers. After a few miles, we turned the corner to spot Phelps Lake and it just takes your breath away at first sight! Little did I know that was only the beginning of what was to be one of the most jaw-dropping 5 days of pure and utter beauty!!!!
Water water everywhere! Little streams and mini-waterfalls filled the fields surrounding us, and some even along the trail. The ranger at the desk when we went to pick up our permits said after a certain point on this trail, we'd not find water for quite some time. She obviously hadn't been hiking there as of late, as we passed no more than a mile at a time without coming upon some sort of water source.
I was so incredibly amped up to hike, I was powering up the switchbacks to realize how far ahead I seemed to be from my friends, and it is bear country, so I decided to take it easy (I was thinking where's Joe when you need him? - good time to have someone to sing on trail!
) I found a superb lookout with nice big rocks to sit on and decided to wait it out for them to catch up, as hiking alone may not be such a smart idea in these parts.
We got up to Static Divide and kept going, destination Alaska Basin for our first night of camping. Suddenly, once we came down the other side from the pass, a LOT of snow appeared and quite a few snow fields slowed us down considerably. We finally got to camp and were so disappointed to find that the mosquitoes were in full force. But the views and the sunset we got seemed to drown out the little blood suckers!!! The sky and basin were quite a spectacle to see. We had a severe thunderstorm that night in the middle of the night, and it scared the beejeewees out of me with the lightning and whipping winds. Of course, it was a sleepless night, but hey, I'll sleep when I'm dead, right?