Posted by: athike2011 | July 18, 2011

Days 4,5,6–Jackson, WY and Teton National Forest

Day 4

Last night I made it 30 minutes behind the Elk Reserve to a camping area I visited last year when I was in the area with Dan. I found a spot which was mostly flat and called it a night. When I woke up this morning, this is the view I was greeted with.


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I managed to sleep in until around 9am before slowly getting ready to head into town. The morning was amazing, perfect temperature, light breeze and clouds disappearing quickly. I drove to the Albertsons where I left my car while I went for a bike ride on one of the local trails that leads out of town. It was a short 15 miles total, but very nice to get out and about in this weather, and I couldn’t think of a better way to start my birthday.

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After I got back to the car, Sierra and I too a walk to what used to be known as Teton Thai for lunch. I didn’t realize until part way through the meal that it was no longer the same place. None the less, the food was delicious and the atmosphere was just what I wanted. Thai is one of the foods I found myself craving the most on the Appalachian Trail, and one of the foods I haven’t eaten as I would have liked to since.

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After lunch there was laundry to do while waiting for Dan to finish up with work for the day, so Sierra and I went to the laundromat and took care of the responsible part of the day. Just before finishing up I got a call from Dan. I met with him and his girlfriend Emily at a bar just down the road for a quick pitcher. The very overly necessary shower which followed was everything I hoped it would be. Though baby wipes are a fantastic in-between when a shower isn’t exactly an option, there is nothing better than a shower after a few days away.

Dan took Emily and me out to a restaurant down the street from his house for my birthday. 43 North was the name, and the only reason I mention it is so if anyone reading this ends up in Jackson, WY while this place is still around, I would like to save you the money and time. It was agreed by everyone, even our server, that this had to be one of the worst most overpriced meals any of us had experienced.

The rest of the night blurs into a haze of whiskey shots and various bars thanks to my good buddy Dan, who made sure I had a good time on my birthday. Glad to have been here with good friends.

Day 5

I can feel my heart beating as the sun burns my eyes through the slightly cracked window shade, but for some reason, the thumping is in my head instead of my chest. It takes me a moment to recall the reasoning for this terribly unpleasant awakening. Dan and Emily happened to wake up around the same time. We all sat silently taking our punishment for the night before. Emily, motivated by god knows what, hopped up and declared we were going to get iced coffee and head to the farmers market.

A “dirty chai” is what I ended up with, which was a first for me but quite delicious. It is simply an unsweetened chai with a shot of espresso. We slowly progressed towards the farmers market, nursing our hangover with cold caffeinated beverages. The market was nice, mostly as expected, non-local, overpriced produce, however, there were significantly more samples than I would have expected, which proved to be the perfect amount of little tastes to make me start feeling a bit better.

Dan and Emily, in need of something a little more substantial, headed us to a small café type place for a light lunch, as it was already noon at this point. I enjoyed a fruit smoothie and a relaxing break on their patio. Dan and I discussed our plans for camping that weekend, as we planned to leave today, but nothing was packed and we had no idea where we were going. After reviewing the map, we decided South Teton Fork trail towards Alaska Basin in the Teton National Forest sounded like the right way to go. We planned to camp out at the trail head and hike in the morning.

With everything finally packed at Dan’s place we left for Teton Canyon Campground, which was just shy of the South Teton trail head. We got there around 4 and drove around a few times trying to figure out which site looked like it would have a couple good flat spots and not be too much in the high mountain sun. With tents and hammocks set up, firewood piled by the fire pit, we spent most of the evening playing cards.

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It wasn’t until around 8-o-clock that I noticed we had parked in a reserved camp spot. Some how none of us had seen the sign on the payment pole. We debated what to do for a bit as the site was reserved from the 15th till noon on the 17th and as it was late evening on the 16th, they probably weren’t going to show up, but it would be very awkward if they did. So we packed up and moved to a spot just through the woods from where we were. After a big fire and some more cards we called it a night.

Day 6

We were on the trail by around 11 this morning, not quite the early start we were hoping for, but I think there was a bit of lingering sleep deprivation from Friday. The hike was fantastic, we made it above snow line and enjoyed some shoe skiing on the way down.

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The trail was pretty hard to find at times due to the snow, so part of it was made up as we went along. I managed to track most of it, but I forgot to start the GPS for the first 1/4 mile or so.

We got back to the house around 6ish, showered up and went to dinner at a Trio, a local fine dining American Bistro. It only took the house made bread to completely crush the dinner at 43 North. After a very delicious meal, we spend the rest of the evening relaxing to some Curb Your Enthusiasm.



  1. I love your birthday morning photo 🙂 you have so many hidden talents, I’m constantly surprised.

    Enjoy every moment of this experience. It’s not something that many people get to do in their lifetime.


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