Picture Perfect Tetons

Here at home in IL, school has been out for week, restaurants were closed, and yesterday, as coronavirus numbers continue to grow exponentially, the governor ordered the entire state to shelter-at-home for at least 2.5 weeks. It’s scary how much has changed in a week. It’s so easy to get sucked into all the new pandemic details, but we are trying to stay busy keeping anxiety at a minimum. It’s amazing how much there is to do at home when you rarely spend any time there! Blogging the summer brings back so many good memories of carefree camping days.

The Hoffpack loves spending time with friends and family during the summer, and every year, somebody new joins our crew. This past summer, the Olson’s were attending a photo conference is SLC, and what were the chances we were passing through Provo the day the conference ended. We were thrilled that the Olsons were able to join us for a couple days in the Grand Tetons, and it was a dream come true to have one of our favorite photographers offer to take some family pictures. Today, as I write, I am treasuring the moments we are quarantined in the house together, and these amazing pictures are a great reminder of how blessed we are in this world. Thank you Erin for this amazing gift!

We started our time in the Tetons at Gros Ventre Campground on the south end of the park because it makes travelling into Jackson easy. Jackson, Wyoming is one of our favorite towns, with the antler arches, cool shops, and rock climbing park.

The sunsets from this end of the park are always amazing, and there is never a shortage of things to do in the open spaces here.

Just as we went through the entrance station, we were greeted by a beautiful moose crossing right in front of us.

One of our favorite hikes here is walking the 2.8 miles around Jenny Lake to Hidden Falls. The overlook is a great spot to view the valley in the park.

Instead of heading back the same way, we like to continue along Jenny Lake to String Lake. The views are amazing, and it’s nice to take a different trail out. It takes a little thought to get the car back since it ends in a different place, but luckily, we always have runners to go it.

We were especially glad we were able to see this small black bear along the way. Unfortunately, the bear crossed between some of the kids and us adults, so we had to have another discussion about bear safety and staying closer to us. The bear didn’t seem to care at all that we were there, and we really had to work to get out of his way. I think that trail was definitely the bear’s trail!

We spent our evening at the Jackson Lake Lodge, and had to snap a few extra pictures with my own camera and phone with the great views and everyone coordinated.

We have always been envious of all the boaters on String Lake, so we were thrilled to get to spend some time paddling with our kayak, paddleboard, and raft. I was so relaxed, I even managed a short nap paddling across the lake. The kids always love playing in the sand, and had a great river created by the time we went back to camp.

One of our favorite campgrounds in this area is Colter Bay. We love that there is so much to do here with the village, and the trees have the most fragrant smell. Oh how I miss being there right now! Ethan created his own music/bear box for our enjoyment, and we enjoyed some amazing meals from the comforts of our kitchen on wheels.

While in Colter Bay, the kids discovered a floating watermelon in the water, and swam through the icy water to retrieve it. Apparently, a family had left it out there to chill, so they swam back empty handed. However, this amazing family from Michigan shared the watermelon with the entire beach, and showed us their amazing Sprinter van setup. We learn so much from other campers while we are on the road!

Our last day was spent hiking Cascade Canyon, an amazing trail with many moose. We will definitely do this one again!

Here is one last picture from Erin as we end our time in the Tetons. These days, I am saying “take me back!” more than ever! With all that is happening, we wonder what changes we will have to make to this summer’s travels. Only time will tell. (Travel dates 6/24-6/29/19)

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