I keep on fumbling, stumbling and tripping over words to describe the scenes and situations that we’ve encounter on our journey, but in an effort to keep it real I’ll try to back up my words with photos to prove it, except where otherwise noted. Although, I do reserve the right to enhance, embellish and / or downright lie about anything and everything, so please take anything said here with a grain of salt, sugar or what ever adds spice to your life.
I think I am going to add a new segment to this blog and that is “Tips from and for the trail.”
The first tip is to add Jolly Ranchers to your Condiment Library. (see previous post) Not only are they a tasty little treats for a hot dusty trail, but can come in really handy when a certain unnamed person forgets to pack the drink mix for H.H. Well, I am not opposed to doing straight shots, but it’s just not as enjoyable as sitting around sipping on a Gatorita while watching what ever gorgeous scene we find ourselves at. I figured I’d check the library for anything we might be able to sweeten up our El Jimador tequila and that’s when the Jolly Ranchers come in. I assorted them according to color and added 8 of them to a quart of boiling water. After they dissolved I poured this hot mixture into a Nalgene bottle and put it in the nearby ice cold river to cool. Ten minutes later we have a nice ice cold flavorful cocktail I’m dubbing the “Happy Camper”, since drinking a drink named Jolly Rancher seems kinda strange.
Today we hiked over 10,070′ Paintbrush Divide. It was a gorgeous day with brilliant blue sky, no wind and about 75 degrees. A perfect temp for hiking over a high divide with a heavy pack. After quick work of the pass and snapshot at the top we descended down the back side to get our first spectacular view of the Grand Tetons and Lake Solitude. It was a long drop to the valley floor and I’ve got to admit that I felt a little sorry for the hikers going in the other direction, since it’s now about 85+ degrees in the direct sun with no chance of any shade or water on the entire West side of the trail.
We found a gorgeous camping site on the North Cascade Fork just a little South of Lake Solitude with a magnificent view of the Grand Tetons right next to a series of water falls and glacier polished terraced rock outcropping. After such a hard hot hike we had to jump in. It’s basically glacier melt, so you can imagine how cold it was. I hope no one was pumping water down stream at this time, since it was a couple day since our last shower, but felt oh so refreshing.