Saturday, October 6, 2012

I guess fall is officially here.  I've been slowly freezing to death out here, since the mountains keep threatening snow daily.  Brr.  I only have a little over a week left in Wyoming, and I'm rather excited to get back and see everyone again.  Each time I leave, it gets easier to come back.  It gets easier to leave each time, too, but still.  Since it got cold I haven't gone on any long hikes, and I never bring my camera anymore.  It's heavy, and I'm lazy.  The hikes I have been going on are short walks down to the lake and the spot I found that's away from everything.  I love it.  We had a pumpkin carving night here, and I made a superawesome Doctor Who pumpkin.  Archibald helped.  He's my moose friend, and he doesn't mind getting pumpkin guts on his face.  I do.

This is the post-carving picture.  I took a couple of the whole process, but they're on my phone and, again, I'm lazy.  For those of you who don't know of Doctor Who, which is probably most of you, I present the Tenth Doctor:

Credit: The Telegraph

I love this show, and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys British humor, time travel, sci-fi, and general Britishness.

In other news, I'M COMING HOME SOON!  It's so close I can taste the hotdish.


Monday, September 10, 2012

The Time I Almost Died...

...not really.  I went backpacking for a night, and it was cold and rainy.  I was also super paranoid about animals with sharp teeth and claws, and the rain sounded like people walking outside of the tent.  

I'll start from the beginning.  My friend and I decided we wanted to hike up to Paintbrush Divide and spend the night, so we made plans, got a permit, found a tent and sleeping bags, and made sure we had everything we needed to stay alive for a night on the mountain.  We woke up the day of the hike and realized it was going to rain and possibly thunderstorm all day and into the night.  Whatever.  We went anyway.  Halfway up the mountain, we decided we were the stupidest people ever for doing this, and we were going to die.  Our packs were heavy, we were soggy, and it was hailing.  Awesome.  We kept going like the Little Engine That Could and we made it to Holly Lake.  It was getting dark, and we were tired and cranky and still soggy.  We hiked back down to a campsite that was more protected from the wind and set up camp.  In the rain.  With a tent we've never used before.  We're smart like that.  After a night of short spurts of sleep, hard ground, and cold noses, we woke up to the most beautiful morning I have ever seen.  Seriously.  

This made the whole trip worthwhile.  Waking up above the clouds and realizing that the complaining and the wet feet are not the end of the world was just fantastic.

The whole valley was socked in from the storms, and we were above all that.  We slept at 9500 feet above sea level.

Hiking back down the mountain was ridiculous.  We hiked down twice as fast as we hiked up, and we had to go back into the clouds.  It was awesome.

When we finally got back to the trailhead, everyone we came across asked if we had a wet night and that we were braver than they were.  Yep.  I'm clearly still wet.  I'm wearing a rain coat, smarty.  And I'm not really braver than you.  I slept with my bear spray and a knife under my pillow, because I was that paranoid.  I was not in the mood to talk to anyone just then.  The views all day long definitely made up for the horrible night.  It was definitely my favorite hike by far.

Seriously.  I live here.  The whole adventure was just so awesome.

After we got back, I did this:

And slept for days.  Or until I had to go to work that afternoon.  Next time, I'm looking at the forecast before I go.

No longer soggy, 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

I'm Back

Let me fill you all in on what has been going on in my life since Montana.  I have a new job, I'm living in Wyoming, and I finally decided to give in to my wanderlust while I can.  I live and work in Grand Teton National Park, near Jackson, Wyoming, and the only reason I am not outside enjoying my summer in the mountains is because I have a nasty cold. On my weekend.  Jerk.  I'm no longer working for a national, super-corporate company, and I no longer have to deal with snotty customers.  I'm back in the kitchen, and I love it.  I'm moving to New Orleans at the end of the summer, and I'm going to keep cooking.  It's going to be awesome.  

While I've been out here, I have hiked around 60 miles, significantly worn down the tread on my hiking boots, encountered several bison, 3 bears, a couple moose, 4 elk, and many mule deer.  I almost hit one on my way across Wyoming to get here, actually.  There is a mule deer that lives near the dorms out here, and I see her almost every day either on my way to or from work, or on the way home from the bar.  Yes, we have a bar here that is within walking distance of my bed.  It works out nicely.  

I have some pictures from my adventures, but I can never remember to charge my electronics up here, so I don't have as many pictures as I would normally take.  And cameras are heavy and bulky.  Also, I have my backup computer up here, so I have no photo-editing software to fix my pictures.  All of these are straight off the memory card with zero alterations.  

I went for a hike the other day to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point on Jenny Lake, and I saw some moose. They were just chillin' by Moose Pond, like moose do.  Baby moose are the weirdest looking things ever.  The pond was pretty far from the trail, so I apologize for the blur.

I think moose are cool, but I'm glad I didn't see these two on the trail.  Moose are far more dangerous than they look.  Hooves and antlers will mess your shiz up.

I found this guy trying to get into my pack.  Silly moose.

Actually, this is Archibald, my new traveling companion, since I can't have real animals here and the National Park Service frowns on people taking wild animals as pets.  And by "frowns on" I mean it's a felony.

Archibald is such a ham.  I really wanted a picture of Hidden Falls through the trees, but Archibald jumped in front of the camera and demanded I take a picture of him instead.  Fun Fact: Hidden Falls is actually really pretty up close, but the trail no longer gets close to it because the Park Service is trying to get the habitat to regrow where the trail used to be.  Apparently people don't care about a little bush when there are pretty waterfalls to look at.  Who knew?  You can kinda see the falls through the tree branches.  It's the white blur behind the green.

I brought him up to Yellowstone with me, but that's a story for another day.