Thursday, August 11, 2016

Bikes & Hikes

Hiking and biking are two pastimes my husband Tim and I both enjoy.  During our 12-day stay in the Grand Teton National Park, we found some great trails for both activities.

There's a multi-use paved pathway, perfect for pedestrians and bicyclists, that stretches 20.3 miles from Jenny Lake south to the town of Jackson, WY.  Although there are a couple hills that are challenging, the path is on the valley floor, making it relatively level.

We didn't ride the whole distance; instead, we concentrated on the section from Dornan's resort to Jenny Lake, a segment that gave us a close view of the mountains. 

In fact, we liked this route so much we rode it on two different days.  There were also plenty of cyclists on roads through the park, but that's a little too adventurous for my taste.  

Who knows when a driver might take his eyes off the road to gaze at the scenery and suddenly send a cyclist flying over a fence. No, I much prefer a trail that's off the road!

As for hikes, I've already mentioned Inspiration Point and Mystic Falls in previous posts, but I want to remember the following trails as well.

Taggert Lake, 5 miles round-trip

Taggert Lake

According to the park's newspaper, Taggert Lake is the second most popular hike in the Grand Tetons after Inspiration Point.  

Water is the attraction here!  

Not only do you hike along a babbling brook, but your destination is a glacial lake whose mirrored surface reflects the majesty of the Teton Range.  

To avoid the crowd, we arrived at the trailhead off Teton Park Road early.

At 8:00 a.m., the parking lot at the trailhead was practically empty.  

Bradley Lake

This was such an easy hike that we continued along the trail for an additional 1.5 miles to Bradley Lake, another postcard-pretty pond.

Fabian-Lucas Homestead to Amphitheater Lake, 10 miles round-trip

Fabian-Lucas Homestead

Pam Vandewater, a former co-worker of mine, told me we'd find a bit of heaven on the trail behind the Fabian-Lucas Homestead and she was right.  Of course, she ought to know this area well since her great-aunt Geraldine Lucas was the first to file a claim upon the land, building a cabin there in 1913. 

Somewhere up there is Amphitheater Lake, our proposed destination.

Geraldine defied society's norms.  At a time when divorce was scandalous, she left her husband in Iowa, moved to New York and earned her college degree, enabling her to support herself and her son Russell.  

Upon her retirement from teaching, she embarked on a life under the shadow of the Grand Teton, a mountain she climbed in 1924 at the age of 58.  She was the second woman to reach the summit.  

Sadly, Tim and I fell short of that goal.  Still, we enjoyed the vistas that were undoubtedly commonplace to Geraldine.

This elk was grazing along the road as we passed this morning.

Today we drove through Yellowstone National Park on our way to Cody, WY where we planned to spend the night.  Knowing that we had time to kill before we could check into the campground in Cody, we decided to hike the Storm Point Trail east of the Fishing Bridge visitor center in Yellowstone.

Storm Point Trail, 2 mile loop

Indian Pond

This nature trail begins at the almost perfectly round Indian Pond, a flooded crater formed by a volcanic eruption thousands of years ago.  The 2.3 mile trail crosses grassland and forest to the sand dunes of Lake Yellowstone where a wind-swept rocky promontory lends its name to the trail.  

Stormy Point

The point was a fun place for photographs.

My turn to stake my claim on Stormy Point.

On our final day in Grand Teton National Park after we'd bicycled our favorite route, we ducked into the Episcopal Chapel of the Transfiguration, a tiny charming church constructed of logs.  The cross silhouetted against the view of the mountains brought to mind Psalm 121.

Psalm 121 (King James Version)
1 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
2 My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.
3 He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.
4 Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand.
6 The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.
8 The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.

This is the psalm I most often think of when I'm hiking--probably because that's when I most need help physically--ha, ha!  Yet, when I meditate on it, isn't it interesting that all I have to do is place my confidence in the Lord.  He will do the rest--for evermore.

We'll be in Sheridan, WY, for the next two weeks, building homes with the local Habitat for Humanity affiliate there.  We've visited eight national parks over the past six weeks which has been an incredible trip, but we're looking forward to these next two weeks of purposeful work.  I hope I haven't forgotten that it's all in the wrist when it's comes to wielding a hammer.


  1. Wonderful account of your hikes and bike rides. Love the photos and the connection with your friend and her great aunt Geraldine. Terrific photos!

    1. Thanks, Randy! It was good to visit with you last night. I hope it works out for you two to stop in Sheridan. Take care!