Western Vacation: Tetons Hike

We took a baby-free day to hike way up into the Tetons to see these beauties.  
But first, we had some questionable weather.  Just after breakfast, the skies opened up to thunderous, pouring, cold rain.   
We took a chance, based on what we saw on the radar, and decided to keep going.  
Half way to our trail head, the hail began.  So, we pulled over for a short rest.  
Soon, the skies were clearing off and we could see the Tetons in all of their glory.  

We drove to the String Lake area and parked.  Early arrivals are always key if you want to find parking in the Tetons.  Plus, it’s nice to have the trails to yourselves when you start early.  
We took the String Lake Trail, and connected with the Paintbrush Canyon Trail that would take us to Holly Lake.  Along the way we saw mountain waterfalls.  
We saw Indian Paintbrush (red), flea bane daisy (white), and bluebells (blue). 

The views on this hike were nothing short of amazing.  Jackson Lake Lodge, where we were staying, was way down in the valley below us.  
We huffed and hiked for five hours to the canyon for an alpine lake view.  

There were plenty of rocks and snow to keep us clicking away. 
This hike was much more challenging than I remembered.  The steep inclines can take a lot of energy and breath out of you.  
On the way back down we discovered we were not the only ones to use the hiking trail.  This marmot was eating a snack square in the middle of the path.  
He ran down the trail a little ways and into a hole in the side of a pile of rocks.  
He let us take a couple of photos, zoomed in of course, and we were on our way.  We spotted a black bear at the end of this hike.  It was sitting on its haunches eating huckleberries, 100 yards off the trail or so.  I felt too close for comfort and did not take my camera out for any photos.  Instead we hurried back to the Lodge to see our own little bear.  
Greta spent a happy day with her grandparents, aunt, and uncle.  Aunt Caroline is the best because she shares her potato chips!  Greta and I spent the evening relaxing in the Jackson Lake Lodge lobby.  You can’t tell by this photo, but I am wiped out from 12 miles of hiking!  

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