Monday, August 3, 2009


Blogger's Note: Photos coming soon.

Because the kids were disappointed we weren’t able to go swimming, we took them to Jenny Lake instead. Best part of the trip was seeing the bear. After we let the kids wade in the lake for a while, we decided to go walking up the trail that loops around the lake on the east side. We’d walked for maybe a quarter of a mile and some other hikers said there was a bear on the trail ahead. That immediately stopped the kids in their tracks; Lexie especially didn’t want to go anywhere near the bear. So Michelle took them back down the path to a little beach while I walked on ahead with the camera to get a picture of the bear.

And, as you’re walking through a rather silent forest, populated with trees and big bear-shaped rocks and on a little narrow trail that offers no hope of escape, you get to imagining things. I started whistling a lot, and looked for a big stick to grab. Nothing. Then, ahead, I saw three people stopped on the trail, pointing off into the brush. I knew what they were doing. I walked up, and, yes, there was the bear, grubbing about in the underbrush looking for bark or berries or deceased hikers to eat. The people there – man, wife and daughter – were very excited. Dad said to me a bit sheepishly, “They’ve named the bear, by the way. It’s Lisa.” So we watched Lisa the Bear move around, ignoring us, as it went on eating. I took about a billion pictures, hoping at least one would turn out. I have not seen them yet.

So to continue. Other highlights of the trip included driving home by way of Alpine, so we could see the Snake River Canyon, and having Liam fall down on a trail in the canyon and scream as if he’d just met Vlad the Impaler in one of his nasty moods because he (Liam, not Vlad) had skinned his knee. Michelle dealt with him really patiently. I told him, casually, “Hey Liam, next time you scream like that. . .” and didn’t finish the sentence. Michelle laughed at that.

Then, because the kids were hungry, we stopped at the Angus in Swan Valley – a place I’d driven by countless times but never stopped at – for dinner. Typical small-town greasy spoon, with shelves of books for people to browse in as they’re waiting for their food. I had a “Dorothy Burger,” which consisted of a hamburger embellished with ham and Swiss cheese. Good, but I never did get an explanation as to why it is called a Dorothy burger. I don’t recall Dorothy eating such a burger on the way to see the Wizard of Oz, so I assume there’s no L. Frank Baum connection.

We took the bat route home through Archer, of course. Very dark. I’m not sure I’d want to take that route in the dark if I weren’t familiar with it, because it was fun enough for me in the dark when I knew where I was going. It’s a stretch of about ten miles that cuts about another 20 miles off the trip home, so it’s worth it. But dark, as I mentioned. Going home the Alpine way meant we only had to cross the Teton Pass once, which is about as many times a trip as I prefer to cross that pass in the first place

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