As we expected, Jenny Lake campground was full when we arrived in the afternoon. The other campgrounds are nice, but this is the truly the holy grail of campgrounds: near the lake and right at the base of those mountains.
Husband (needing to redeem himself after the truck-in-the-mud disaster) got up at 5:30 the next morning to go grab us the best campsite of the bunch (privacy, shade, near bathrooms but not too near). Perfecto!
We had two full days that we filled with excellent outings.
First up was a paddle across Jenny Lake (bypassing the ferry that shuttles people across) to the base of the mountains. We quickly hiked through the nearby trail littered with tourists in inappropriate footwear (thanks to my girlfriend Diana, a self-proclaimed tourist of tourists, for alerting us to this invasive species) into Cascade Canyon, which runs behind the mountains you see from the lake.
Two knuckleheads decided the run off looked like a good place to strip down and take a shower. I wasn't one of them.
As you can see, I'm still dry.
After lunch, we hiked as far as the Cascade Canyon Fork, which meant that Sophie bagged her first nine mile hike! And that's not counting the scree climb, the paddle, or the to and fro between campsite and canoe. Thank goodness for kumquats, which were our only source of fluid after we drained our CamelBacks.
Along the way we saw a showshoe hare,
a big bull moose (right beside the trail munching on some water plants),
and some wildflowers.
Sophie had a major girl victory when we arrived at Leigh Lake. Two older boys were just getting out of their boat and informed her that the water was too cold for swimming but that they had just had a really rad water fight (one had on a wetsuit). She said she didn't mind cold water; they dared her. Big mistake on their part. At the word "dare," she dropped her clothes, jumped in, and swam across to a small island, where we picked her up once we had the canoe in the water. I had to admit, the boys were gracious in their humiliation, giving her a three cheer salute from the beach.
All good stuff, but a visit to a National Park would not be a proper visit without someone completing the Junior Ranger program. Here's Sophie taking the pledge.
She earned a very nice patch, and we've made much hay out of it to get her to help with camp chores, pack out trash she sees on hikes, and identify wildflowers, which are all things rangers do.
We loved, loved, loved the Tetons, and leaving was hard. But Yellowstone was between us and the Montana ranch we were expected at in less than a week, so it was onward for the Figs.