Monday, February 22, 2016

Day 27: Victor via Taggart Lake, Hidden Falls, and a fixed car!

We were determined not to let the car run the show today.  We drove into Jackson early, catching sight of a female moose munching down on the Idaho side of Teton Pass while admiring the fog within Jackson Hole.  We were at the Subaru dealer when it opened and found that the parts needed did arrive and the car was going to be fixed.  It might take three hours.  Fine.  We left and got a courtesy shuttle to Dollar Rent-A-Car.  Subaru’s warranty pays for rental cars and this was a trip situation where it was a necessity.  Yesterday’s phone call with Subaru, while taking a year to get ahold of someone, was fantastic when got talking to people.  They seemed really want to help.  We rented a mini-van for cheap and continued our journey.

We reached the Taggart Lake for the ranger led hike about ten minutes late, which means we skipped introductions and moved with the hike.  It took a long time and many stops for the ranger led hike but we learned a ton and my wife wasn’t nearly as afraid with a ranger present yesterdays choice encounter not withstanding.  As with yesterday, ranger-led hikes have the benefit of teaching people an enormous amount of information (we don’t mind) while talking hours to go very short distances (it took over two hours to go 1.5 miles).  This rangers expertise was geology and we received a fantastic amount of information on glaciers and wildfires.

Taggart Lake was beautiful and I highly recommend it.  And just follow people if you are really bear worried.  We returned with the ranger and had a great conversation about his history (he’s an ex-Shell Oil exploration guy), the problem with the current education curriculum (“why no AP Earth Science”), and his experiences at Grand Teton and Dinosaur National Park.  It was very pleasant.  Plus the end of the trail presented us with a badger crossing, something that is supposed to be very rare at Grand Tetons National Park. 

We headed over to Jenny Lake where I tried to get my wife to take a non-ranger-led hike on the most popular trail in the park; the Jenny Lake Trail to Hidden Falls.  It worked out and we enjoyed the hike around the lake, saw magnificent wildflowers, and got out of there just as thunderstorms started to fire up over the mountains.

We returned the rental car and picked up our Subaru Outback sans grinding noise.  Ahhhhh, my car was back to normal!  I will tell you one thing, Teton Subaru was awesome to us.  They squeezed us in, worked with the warranty, and the whole time represented kindness and professionalism.  They were excellent. 

Back over the hill we went, through thunderstorms and driving rain, to a wedding that was taking place at Moose Creek Ranch.  We didn’t hear a thing.  No kids, no problem.  So the Moose Creek experience was going to end with two days with annoying children, two days with no one but the hills whispering to us.  While my wife made dinner I checked the fire at Glacier and the news was not good.  It was heading east toward St. Mary’s, where we are to be staying next.  I called ahead and they said we have nothing to worry about but that new reports were coming in pretty quickly.  Eh, I don’t know. My wife and I have decided to risk it and head up.  All our hikes except for one involved areas not impacted by the fire, and our place to bed down is located away from the general St. Mary area.  We’ll see what happens.

Trails hiked:  Taggart Lake, Jenny Lake to Hidden Falls

Miles hiked:  8.2

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