(May 29 – June 4, 2019) Just a decade ago, I visited Grand Teton National Park for a day of driving from one viewpoint to another to see as many places as humanly possible. The views of the Grand Teton Mountains and lakes have stayed vividly in my memory. This time, I wandered the park at a nice slow pace. Time has been my main asset since I stopped working. Teton means breast in French despite the fact that the Grand Teton Mountains look so manly and young. How French explorers thought “Breasts” while looking at those mountains is beyond my understanding.
“Be Bear Aware!” It is real. Staying at a campground, we must put pretty much everything in a Bear Box or inside a car trunk. This includes toothpaste/brush, shampoo, water bottles, lotion etc. In other words anything that smells like food. Back when I left Florida, I put some cotton pads with “Pure Peppermint Oil” under the hood of my car as I was told that it prevents squirrels from chewing the wires when parked in a remote area. After doing some reading, I found bears like peppermint so I removed all the cotton pads from my car. Squirrel problem are minor compared to a bear trying to eat my car.
One day while I was hiking alone, I saw a bear on a trail, happily eating something in the grass. As it was early morning, there were no other hikers. I slowly moved back toward the trailhead. Next day, a couple told me that they saw a mommy bear with two cubs around my tent site. When hiking in Grand Teton, I carried bear spray in my right hand. I was told “Bear Spray” is the most effective.
Hiking in Grand Teton Park is mostly walking along the lake shore or by the river. There are some trails going up in the canyon. I did some portion of “Cascade Canyon” trail, maybe 80% of the trail due to lots of snow. The canyon was beautiful but I didn’t want to hike with wet shoes and socks.
The peak season is near in Grand Teton. I was able to find a First Come First Served camp site at Jenny Lake ($29/Night), Colter Bay ($32), and Flagg Ranch ($40.50) campgrounds. In Jenny Lake campground, a campground host asked me to tell a “Wedding Couple” about payment. What do you mean “Wedding Couple”? Apparently, a newlywed couple came to the campground with wedding dress and tuxedo on. As they are Asian, the host thinks I can communicate better with them. I hoped to see them at the site but they were out somewhere past my bed time. I didn’t have a chance to see the wedding couple. Bummer!!!
At Flagg Ranch campground, I met an Asian couple camping next to my site: a Japanese Wife with a Korean Husband with three boys living in Arkansas. She wanted to give me some freshly cooked rice but I had already eaten my breakfast earlier. Realizing this, she gave me some “Dried Seaweed” and “Roasted Home Grown Kale from Her Garden”. It reminds me of how much Asians like to share food. Good traditions carried from the time when food was scarce. No matter how long we live in America, when we see each other, our traditions come out naturally. She invited me to stop by her house. They live close to “Hot Springs National Park” in Arkansas. At this moment, I am unsure what route I will take to Florida. I am still going further away from Home…