My Weekend Adventure in Pictures: Backpacking through Grand Teton National Park - Ld

My Weekend Adventure in Pictures: Backpacking through Grand Teton National Park

Well hello there! It seems like it's been a long time since I've written a new blog post. After posting a new post almost every week since January 1st of this year, it has seemed weird not creating anything new the past couple of weeks. What I can say though is that I've definitely missed it, and I'm excited to share with you some awesome things I've thought up for the next couple of months (yes, months)! I will also admit however, that the break was nice. Especially because I spent that break in my FAVORITE place ever, Grand Teton National Park. If you've been reading this blog for a while, or following me on social media (links above or below), you'll know that I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Grand Tetons. I've been there four times now, and each time brings a unique experience. 

For this particular trip, my husband and I and one of our friends explored the back country for the first time. Let me admit one thing here: I'm really scared of grizzly bears. Something about being in their territory, and them being 500+ pounds, and me having nothing but a hiking pole, a back pack and a tiny can of bear mace, and sleeping in a  paper thin tent just scares me a little bit.  What made me decide to finally do it? Well one, my love for the Tetons. and two, this year has been a year of change and overcoming obstacles. I didn't want my fear to limit me from what was in store behind and in between the mountains I love so much. Boy, was I kicking myself. Kicking myself for not doing it sooner. Did I get scared? Yes. Because of my fear of bears? Yes, but also other things. Did I loose sleep because I kept hearing things outside my tent at night? Yes. Did I loose sleep from porcupines trying to eat our gear? Yes. But that's another story.

When people ask me how my trip was, I honestly have trouble expressing it. The beauty was more than I could have ever imagined. Every time we would get to an overlook, or a new lake, or see a huge glacier, I kept thinking that it wouldn't get any more beautiful than what I was looking at. But it did. I also had to keep telling myself that it was real, that I was really there, experience everything. 

The challenging landscapes, the cold, windy, rainy weather, the trail conditions in some areas were more tough than I could have imagined. At one point I thought I wasn't going to be able to go any further because of how challenging things got. But I did, and it was so worth it. Without the risk of sounding like the giant hippy you probably have come to realize I am, there is also something about being so vulnerable in nature, and realizing as you stare up at mountains on either side of you how small you really are that is so humbling. And you begin to remember the things that are so important that we (I) seem to forget in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The trip was life-changing, and I can't wait to go back and do it all over again. 

I'm very excited to share my pictures with you this week. One thing you won't see many pictures of this week is flowers. Why? Well, it wasn't because there weren't any. We spent a lot of time around 9,000ft elevation, and we must have come during peak alpine flower season. The flowers were GORGEOUS and were everywhere in so many different colors. And, because I love flowers, I'm devoting a full blog post to them, which you can find here.

If you've made it this far, thank you, and I hope you enjoy the following pictures as much as I do. So, without further ado,  like all my picture posts, I encourage you to grab a little snack or treat, a beverage of choice, put on some relaxing music, and enjoy the visual vacation. 

Sunset in the Tetons

Sunset in the back country - the Golden Hour

What is it about black and white and mountain photos that make them so striking? This lake is called Holly Lake

Hiking up into the mountains - rainy, foggy and cold, but still beautiful

Our campsite - Night #1 near Holly Lake

Our campsite - night #2. Paintbrush Canyon at sunrise. The altitude was really getting to me at this site, and right after this picture was taken I fell down a little hill on rocks and have a lovely yellow bruise =)

Our reward after an incredibly grueling hiking - Lake Solitude (other than the name might suggest, there were actually a TON of people here)

The trail we followed for four days...

More of Lake Solitude with the Grand, Mount Prong & a third mountain whose name is escaping me...

This picture was taken at our campsite on night #3

The clouds that night over the Tetons looked like an oil spill in the water. You can faintly see some rainbow-type colors in the clouds...I've never seen anything like it

The backpacks...

A large glacier (the white circle near the middle of the picture). Glaciers are present year round in the mountains and are continuously forming the landscape

We called these 'mouse/chinchilla/rabbit things' until we remembered the name is 'Pika'. Either way, they were adorable and everywhere in the higher elevations

A view of the Jackson Valley (the main Tetons road, Jenny Lake, Jackson Lake, etc for those familiar with the area)

A panoramic view of the Holly Lake area

That's me in the blue pack overlooking Cascade Canyon

A panoramic view of the top of the ridge we climbed up. To the left is Paintbrush Canyon. To the right is Cascade Canyon. Yes, that's a person in the middle of the picture (our friend). As you can see, snow, barren, and rocky. What you can't see is the 40+ mph wind guests we were battling. But seriously, so worth it!

A panoramic view of Cascade Canyon. Lake Solitude is the small lake on the right side of the picture. The tall mountain on the left is the 'Grand'.

I so hope you enjoyed the pictures! Have you ever gone on a trip that's changed your life? Where did you go? How did it change you? I'd love to hear about it!

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Happy Photographing!