posting quickly..tai’s patience is almost gone after driving around this po-dunk town cruising for wifi…
Tuesday afternoon, May 27, 2008
Grand Teton National Park at Signal Mountain Campground
writing in the pop up, aka the Chino Summer Home
For a long time, Taido has wanted to visit the Grand Tetons. When you look at a road map, Yellowstone is the large green square in Wyoming and then south of it is a smaller little national park that is the Grand Tetons, so I wasn’t sure why we wouldn’t just drive on up to the bigger, more famous national park. But I kept quiet because I knew that Taido was highly committed to the Tetons. Most likely I believe this is due to the extensive coverage of this particular mountain range in Backpacker Magazine which both Taido and my father read with the same anticipation I currently have for the new Susan Vreeland book. So as we drove the very long stretch of empty space that is most of Wyoming yesterday, we listened to Blame it on the Tetons and anticipated our late arrival in a long hoped for destination. There is truly very little to take in on the interstate that crosses Wyoming from east to west, except to be amazed by the vastness of the most sparsely populated state in the union. The only life we saw besides the cows and horses that Simon consistently pointed out (MOO! NEIGH!) were the migrating pronghorn antelopes. Every few miles we would see one or two of them in the distance along the road, and they were all headed the same place we were, their summer home in the mountains. After miles and miles of wide expanse that seemed to never end, all of a sudden there were trees. Look, trees! Taido said as we drove into the Bridger-Teton National Forest. Immediately the landscape changed and the scenery became breathtaking. We all were taken in by the sudden change in the terrain, the wild contrast between this lush valley and the rest of the state, covered in sagebrush and rocks.
The entrance into this forest marking the beginning of the end of our long day should have elicited nothing but grateful sighs and happy thoughts from all of us, but somehow the anticipation of the day, the very very long drive, the falling of a light rain, the baby beyond tired of his car seat and the other children clamoring to get out of the BMV and wrestle like bear cubs all conspired to create a sort of tension that somehow erupted into an unpleasant diversion from what should have been simple joy just to be near the Tetons. I will spare you all the details, but let’s just say that what began over one very headstrong man’s resistance to an equally headstrong woman’s desire to go back and have a closer look at what she was certain was a bull moose eventually ended in a night’s stay in the Snow King Resort in Jackson, Wyoming, with many unnecessary remarks in between, not the least of which was a comment from our eldest who while willingly acknowledging his own short temper felt compelled to point out that he comes by it honestly. So we didn’t make it all the way to the beloved Tetons yesterday, but there was swimming and bathing and all kinds of frolicking, wrestling and naruto dueling on soft, fluffy beds.
But still the Tetons awaited us. And they would not disappoint. I am certain that their majesty accounts for the restored energy and hope I feel today, though it’s possible that a shower and a good night’s rest in a heated room last night didn’t hurt.