Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015
Mesa to OBX

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A day of hiking in the Tetons Aug 3

We got up early because Buddy wanted to do a solo hike to the top of one of the Tetons to Solitude Lake. We dropped him off at Jenny Lake and he took the shuttle to the other side to begin what turned out to be over 2100 feet in elevation climb, to a lake that was fed by glacier melt off, and had snow all around it. Of course, he went swimming in it before he began his descent. He also saw three moose, a snake, and a few other people on his 16 mile hike in a place called Cascade Canyon.
     It turns out that a strenuous hike way into the mountains was the best way to avoid the incredible crowds in the park on the weekend. This place is maxed out because of the vacation season anyhow, and weekends are even worse. There is not a campsite available in Teton or Yellowstone, and according to the local paper, the hotel and motel room are at about 95% capacity. We are indeed here at the busiest time of the year. Our campground, in Moran is pretty full, but there were some spaces, but it very quiet and nice, and we weren't jammed in like sardines like the park campgrounds, but we pay more.
     Pam and I decided to do a hike around String and Leigh Lakes, that we had seen while canoeing there. As soon as we got to the parking lot we noticed that the place was packed. As we began our hike, the shores of String Lake, where we had seen elk the other day, were packed with swimmers and picnickers, and the place looked like Virginia Beach. I took pictures because I was stunned by the crowds, noise level, and the bumper boats going on the previously quiet and 'remote' lake. No one comes here on the weekends in July and August to 'get away' from the crowds. And some of them even spoke English! As we hiked away from String Lake over to Leigh Lake it did become quieter, but we still saw ten times more people than we did the other day. The return trip on the trail took us up into the mountains a little bit, and it was calmer, but we sure as hell weren't going to see a bear under the traffic conditions. When we thought about the time of season we were going to be here, we knew it was vacation time, and we are okay with it all, but we'll be glad in a few weeks when the kiddies go back to school, then we will see some great northwest scenery and parks, and maybe a bear. Until then, we will grin and 'bear it '. 
     About five o'clock, Buddy contacted us, and we picked him up, and went to the Signal Mountain Lodge on Lake Jackson, which was on the way home, to eat and watch the sunset over the lake.

Shoreline of String Lake!  It was wall to wall people!

Stream that connects String Lake to Leigh Lake

Hiking thru a burn area at Jenny Lake

Sunset time

Carving at Signal Mountain Lodge

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