Barbara and I ended up crashing for the rainy night in the free parking garage in Jackson for the night, only after grabbing a delicious beer (Danimal’s Farmhouse Ale may just be my new favorite beer) at the Snake River Brewing pub on Milford.
We woke to cloudy, drizzly skies which made us slightly less excited to get out on the road back to Tetons. For me it is always more difficult to lace up the shoes and step foot out onto the trail when the weather looks like it will only get worse. Regardless of the rain, we really wanted to see Paintbrush Canyon, so we headed up to the Leigh Lake Trailhead near Jenny Lake Lodge. The valley was still covered in a fog, so Barbara and I packed for the worst- long sleeves, rain gear, pants etcetera.
We hit the trail, and nearly floated up with only the weight of light daypacks (versus our hefty overnight packs from the previous couple of days). Soon enough, as we climbed the 3000+ feet of elevation, we came out from underneath cloud and into the glorious valley under a rich, deep blue sky. The temperature started to rise, and it quickly became known that we had forgotten a key bit of gear- sunscreen. There was little we could do to avoid the sunburns that we received for making this mistake. Ouch.
We gained the elevation in good time and topped out above Holly Lake around 1230 just in time for lunch with a gorgeous view. After stuffing away some calories, we spent the next hour and a half staging our Thank You photo for our many wedding thank yous that we are in the process of writing. After about 100 attempts we nailed a classic jumping shot.
Barbara and I decided to get back down the hill in quick fashion so that we could eat the ice cream cone that we had decidedly earned with the days climb. There was a steep snow field that was covering our trail. All we could see was the faint trail coming out of the snow at the bottom. So it was time to introduce Barbara to the joy of glissading. For those of you who are unfamiliar, glissading is a technical term for sliding down mountains of snow on your rear end in a semi-controlled manner while laughing in a very uncontrolled manner. Smiles are mandatory. Feeling like you are 13 again is optional (but an option that most people indulge in).
What a hoot!
We cruised down the mountain in good time, picked up our ice cream cones, ran a few more errands and pointed the nose of the White Rascal North- on to Yellowstone!