More Graphphitti Phun: In response to other tagging: If you always spell always “allways” you will always be a retard.
So I went camping this weekend in the Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. I’d never been.
All in all it was a god experience though I had some problems initially. I stayed both nights in Grand Tetons. To list the problems
1) Ok so Tetons was ridiculously commercial for a National Park. There were at least three full blown resorts that you could stay at inside of the park boundaries that were privately owned and operated. Needless to say this increased the price f my campsite to $17 a night. Apparently this is because there are weird laws that grandfather out the land use rights of the park.
2) As a consequence of 1 motor boats were allowed on the lakes, to the point of even allowing jet skis.
3) Because of 1 and 2, Yellowstone, even with its increased popularity, was almost more pleasant.
4) I went up a hike in the Tetons that left from my campground and went to the top of Signal Mountain. It was a good 3 miler each way. Nice Day hike. But I get to the top and see all these people and a paved walkway. It turns out you could have driven to the top. Rather than being alone, I was surrounded by people who refused to walk even all of the way down the path to get the best view.
5) The places looked so canonical that they were almost uninteresting because of it. I know this is a strange complaint/observation. Tetons looked *exactly* like you would expect so much so that it could be said to have lacked an alluring character. You have already been there in every book or picture of a mountainous wooded lake. Now to be fair this was only in the part of the park that I was able to explore in my limited time there. If I had been able to go backpacking….
6) One of the supporting points that really freaked me out was that none of the trees really breached the 30-40 foot mark on average. Now being from CA where the trees are 8-10x this size in the regions I tromp around, a 30 ft tree is more like a nice friend than a monstrous reminder of your humanity.
7) Also my minds eye of a forest contains many gigantic boulders everywhere. Their absence left me altered.
8) The first night I got there was the first night it had rained in a month. And here I was thinking that I wouldn’t have to put on my fly and could look at the stars all night.
I think that is all of my complaints. They really are beautiful places. They are worth exploring. However, I was fully aware of the time I would have and this was clearly not sufficient. If I had 8 weeks or so, I might feel I had accomplished what I wanted in the parks.
Also I basically went because I knew that if I didn’t take this opportunity I would never forgive myself.
In Yellowstone I went to see a couple of geysers and the canyon. Old Faithful was, of course, on the list. More interestingly I saw on the map a place I had to go to. It drew me in. There is Lone Star Geyser in Yellowstone. It is a 2.4 mile hike out to it which meant that there were relatively few people on the trail. Unfortunately here were relatively more people on the trail since it was paved.
I, however, was happy for its asphalted quality and I’ll tell you why. I played fast and loose with this trip and for my day excursion up to Yellowstone I forgot my hiking boots back at base camp and had only my sandals. However, I wasn’t about to go to Yellowstone and not doing any hiking so I toughened it up and decided to go as I was. Stupid, yes. But lucky too since amazingly the trail I picked was paved.
Will I ever go back? Probably. These aren’t my first choice for parks to visit but I think it is good every once in awhile to be put out of your natural element.
Finally, It was kind of sad to have gone camping alone. I haven’t been by myself sine I lived in Los Alamos. I enjoyed it, but it was clear I am solo-camper out of practice. Thankfully I reverted quickly back into all of the lone hiker crazy practices like talking to one’s self.