One day of our vacation we traveled to Grand Teton National Park. We have been there many times but Mike has always wanted to hike around the beautiful Jenny Lake to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point. The hike is supposed to be fairly kid-friendly and easier because there isn’t too much climbing- at least until you get toward Hidden Falls. To Hidden Falls it’s a little more than 5 miles round trip. Inspiration Point is another (steep) half mile beyond Hidden Falls. Honestly, I didn’t really know how far is was when we started out- maybe that was a good thing.
It was beautiful and we took lots of pictures which probably slowed us down quite a bit in retrospect.
Abby practiced taking better photos. While walking we talked about composition, framing, and texture. This kept her mind occupied and off of how much we were walking- at least for a while.
About half-way through our hike we got caught in a rainstorm. It was heavy for about 15 or 20 minutes. We huddled under a tree to stay dry but it make the trail muddy for the remainder of the hike. Soon after the storm Kaitlyn and Abby got ahead of us. I went faster to catch up to them and found Kaitlyn standing on the trail pointing up the mountain. She said their was an animal. Sure enough there was not too far away- a bear!
The bear seemed occupied and didn’t seem threatening so I started taking pictures. At the same time I was wondering if we should be hurrying ourselves down the trail just to get away from him. What we should have done was make lots of noise to let the bear know we were there and calmly walk away. We stayed in place until Mike and Sam caught up to us then calmly walked away. The bear had moved on up the mountain by then and they missed it. Good thing I had pictures.
Soon after this picture was taken Kaityn started running on the trail and tripped landing right on some rocks. That was her demise. She wouldn’t stop crying after that. She too was done. Mike had a small first aid kit and was put band-aids on her wounds.
We did make it to the falls but it was a climb. The kids were protesting and we felt lucky to have made it this far with them. Their biggest protests were not about how far we had come- it was about the hike back. “You mean we have to hike ALL THE WAY BACK?!!”
Just before we got to Hidden Falls we noticed a sign for a boat dock. The kids and I took a rest on a log while Mike went to see if we could get a ride back across the lake one way. Turns out we could (thank goodness it was like an escape route) and when we told the kids we were taking a boat ride back their attitudes changed dramatically. Instantly they were so excited and we heard things like, ‘This was fun!” Whaaa??? They also wanted to make sure they were the first people on that boat.
We gave up trying to get to Inspiration Point- another steep half mile but seeing the falls was worth the 2.6 mile hike. But next time we would take the boat across (saving about 2 miles one way) and then hike up to Inspiration Point. In the meantime we need to take our kids hiking more. We have plenty of opportunities in Utah. We should have prepared them more by taking them on shorter hikes first. Live and learn and bring lots of water and band-aids.