Trip to Tetons

The fat sun dripped blood red cradled by pink smoke sky over golden rolling hills, glowing rivers and the majestic Tetons.

Heels to cowboy boots (and plenty of wardrobe changes between) – the long weekend adventure retreat in Jackson Hole was jam packed with giggles, guts and grace.

Thursday morning I edited and published the latest eNewsletter before 6 am yoga, worked in my studio and office until noon, then packed, ran errands and got on the road early evening.  Packing for Jackson involves an array of “prepare for anything” as you’ll see…

The evening drive to Jackson was beyond beautiful. Every time I see those peaks I’m reminded of vivid patches in a quilt of adventures stitched together with good friends. I stopped for a homemade ice-cream cone at the creamery in Driggs to eat while I drove the pass and dropped into Teton Valley just in time to change into white clothes in a Teton Village parking lot and meet girlfriends for a “white party.”  The evening was beautiful, we wore our glow-bracelets to the after-party in downtown Jackson and danced ‘til 1 am.

Friday morning I delivered Ben Roth’s sculpture to him at his studio.  I just love Ben’s creative art, his kind soul and energetic spirit!  I could have stayed in his studio all afternoon to “talk shop” but took off to meet artist Kathryn Mapes Turner at a historic ranch owned by Birdie.  Kathryn had spent the morning plein-air painting on the ranch as part of the “painting Jackson Hole Open Spaces” collaborative project with the Jackson Hole Land Trust.  What a treat!!  I love artists who care and give back!

Phelps Lake

Lovely late evening hike past Phelps Lake in Death Canyon

My girlfriend Leslie zipped home after work Friday night to pack, we arrived at the Teton Ranger Station 3 minutes ‘til closing for our backcountry permits and were a bit surprised at the cumbersome bear barrel we were given since neither one of us have camped below 10,000 feet before in the Tetons.  Somehow I managed to stuff the barrel into my pack with the gear and we took off at 8 pm for a lovely sunset and moonlit hike up Death Canyon.  We filled up with water at the stream, then scrambled up the scree slope with our heavy packs to the cave below “The Snaz” (a classic Teton climb).  We cooked yummy freeze-dried lasagna and ate a decadent bakery desert before turning in around midnight.  We enjoyed the perfect cool weather, the splendid night-time view of the lake below and just the pure joy of a comfy bivy in a beautiful place.

Leslie leading the long adventurous classic Teton Climb "The Snaz"

Leslie leading the long adventurous classic Teton Climb “The Snaz”

The 7-pitch climb, “The Snaz” on Saturday deserves its own lengthy blog post.  I panted and clawed my way up the cliff – certainly out of shape from the last few summers of hardly climbing but it was grand, golden, humbling and so worth it!!  Despite my rather klutzy slow ascent, we got down before the sun cooked us on the cliff.  The bear barrel beat my backside a bit on the hot sunny trail out that afternoon.  We arrived at Leslie’s after 5, grabbed showers, gussied up and zipped off to the finale of the summer symphony series.

Beaming (and sweating) at the top of the ridge

Beaming (and sweating) at the top of the ridge

Sushi after symphony, then we crashed a wedding (bride and groom friends of Leslie’s and the lead singer in the band the beautiful talented Jeni Flemming – a friend of mine).  So half a dozen of us girls danced with grins and ate bits of pie until the band called it a night.

Sunday morning I packed Leslie’s bike, made her breakfast and coaxed her out of bed to meet another girlfriend for a stellar mountain bike ride on the Ridge Trail near the Teton Pass.  Gorgeous sweet buff trail – such a blast of beauty sweetened by good company.  We did a loop, I hitched a ride back to the truck, then we once again had less than an hour to shower and put together “polo” outfits.  Good thing I threw in a pair of cowboy boots…!  Polo is a whole other subculture – new to me but stunning setting with the green grass, stout margaritas and Teton range backdrop…!  A grocery, a quick bit of end-of-season shopping at gear store and it was time to pluck and clean greens for our dinner party.  Art, life and adventure – the topic of conversation while drinking bubbly wine and eating scrumptious made-with-love food shared with two dear friends.

Teton Polo - a whole other world (and worldly backdrop)

Teton Polo – a whole other world (and worldly backdrop)

Monday I woke before dawn to journal and read until the sun peaked its head over the horizon. I drove the mountain pass in its full morning sunshine glory, then continued home on the leisurely scenic drive.

I found a super book for my mom at the Book Peddler in West Yellowstone (and a scone for me).  Joy beamed through my bones after a long weekend packed with memory making, endurance testing, relationship building adventure and fun in the Tetons.

Mesa Falls are a jolt of beauty and worth the stop on the way home.

Mesa Falls are a jolt of beauty and worth the stop on the way home.

A beautiful place to reflect and write on my way home from the lovely Tetons weekend

A beautiful place to reflect and write on my way home from the lovely Tetons weekend