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Vacation, Pt. 5 (2006-06-07 - 11:20 a.m.)

It's Wednesday morning, and we apparently survived 6/6/06. Yay.

It's still quite marvelous to be sitting here at this dining room table, looking out the back door at the snow-capped mountains of the Teton mountain range. Sigh. I really, really, really don't want to go back to Texas. But that happens every time we go on vacation, especially when said vacation is in California.

Anyway...yesterday was quite a day. Christi and I left all the kids at the condo and drove back out to the Grand Teton N.P. We stopped briefly at a location that I had seen as we passed by before, called the "Death Canyon Trailhead." Hehehe...sounds ominous, eh?

We drove for quite a ways, most of which was dirt road with a sign that suggested only high clearance vehicles try to navigate. We went anyway. Only scraped bottom once. We found the trailhead, and walked a short way up it. It looks like a beautiful hike into a canyon that must actually run between two of the mountains, but we decided to go back and save our energy for a lake hike.

We drove to the Jenny Lake turnoff, where we had been told that a boat would take us across the lake for some scenic hiking.

The lake area was really pretty, and there was, indeed, a boat to take us across the lake, rather than a two mile walk around the lake. Here is a shot of the boat landing on the other side, surrounded by giant cedar trees. Also, here is a photo of what is called "The Cathedral Group" from the boat in the middle of Jenny Lake. I can't remember the names of the two outside peaks, but the middle one is Grand Teton. It appears smaller than the other two, but it is actually a mile farther away.

We got to the other side of the lake, with plans to follow a hiking trail, medium to easy difficulty, to something called "Hidden Falls." The trail was approximately a half mile, and had a moderate increase in altitude. Along the way, we kept a lookout for wildlife, still hoping for that elusive moose, or maybe even a bear.

At one point, we saw this groundhog. At least I'm relatively sure that's what it is. It was sitting perfectly still on a rock by the side of the trail. A little bit later, we saw this tiny chipmunk. It was also sitting very still, probably hoping to avoid being noticed by the noisy humans.

Finally, after a good, strenuous hike (strenuous for me, because I'm mostly sedentary), we arrived at the Hidden Falls area. There was a sign that told us that the Hidden Falls viewing area was 100ft to the left. After a brief walk in that direction, we saw this view of Hidden Falls. It was pretty, but then I noticed that the trail kept going. Just from looking at the trees surrounding the falls, I didn't think there could be a better view farther down the trail. But I walked a little farther anyway. I quickly motioned for Christi to follow me, and we arrived at a very nice shaded area where we were treated to THIS!! Like the description says, this photo doesn't begin to do it justice. We stood there and literally wept at the beauty of it. The cold water was spraying in our faces as we stood there and truly worshipped the God who created all of this beauty. We really didn't want to leave. We watched, awestruck, along with a small crowd of people for several minutes. Then we went farther up the trail towards "Inspiration Point."

We didn't make it all the way up to the point. It was another half mile and probably another 200ft higher, and we had two hours until the final boat would go back across the lake. I was concerned about time (as well as physical endurance), so we went up as far as the first lookout. From there, we were treated to this view of Jenny Lake. It was quite breathtaking. We can only imagine how pretty it is from the top. But, sadly, that was not to be this trip.

On the way back down to the boat landing, we saw another chipmunk that I thought was going to climb up on my shoe (!), and then we finally saw something other than a rodent. This deer was standing alongside the trail, but moved a bit and started having a snack from the leaves on the tree. I didn't ever get a great shot of the deer, but there it is.

We stopped back at the store for some more water, snacks, and a couple of souvenirs. It was a great day, and most definitely worth the trip. The Hidden Falls was glorious.

On the Autism subject, we are continuing to do research on chelation and other subjects. I'm continuing my reading of Evidence of Harm, and it is continuing to make me mad at government agencies and "scientists" who only find what the CDC want them to find. I guess scientists can't be "disbarred" like lawyers can. There should be a way to do that. But more on this when we get back. At some point, I will be summarizing a lot of what is found in the book. Until then...

TTFN, y'all

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