Possibly the most traumatic event for the three of us on the drive thus far happened in Wyoming when we drove through a herd of wild buffalo. You see, after Hunter had his meeting with a Holstein calf at a dairy farm in British Columbia he felt like he could take on the world… including about 250 full grown buffalo. We’re not sure if he was intending to play with them, chase them or eat them and to be honest he probably isn’t too sure either but one thing is for sure: the fifteen minute slow drive through the herd was an experience none of us will forget.
Between the tourist traffic pulled over to the side of the road and big bull buffaloes standing IN the road, driving the mile through the herd was easier said than done. That allowed Hunter to turn the inside of the car into his own personal racetrack, going from the back passenger window to standing on my lap and banking off the cooler in the back seat to end up with half of his body shoved into the shelf under the back window.Fortunately though, instead of staying put there he kept making laps at a borderline frenetic pace[Possible Sarcasm]. Chaos ensued until we could get a grasp on his collar and it lasted for longer than either Lindsay, myself or any of our possessions in the car would’ve liked. He was forced to stand there with a firm grip on the neck making the most God-awful noises he could muster as we drove through the herd and for the next several miles after it. Seriously… if someone heard him they would’ve probably called animal control and reported us for cruelty based solely on the sounds he was making.
And this is a video of a Guy on a Buffalo. Not necessarily related but valid nonetheless.
Our first day playing in the woods after finishing up in Boise happened in Jackson Hole, Wyoming which is located on the in the shadows of the Grand Teton and Grand Teton National Park. Originally we planned on going into the park for a day or two and then heading up to Glacier National Park in Montana for a 5 day backpacking trip. Well… while I finished up getting our back country camping permit for Teton it just occurred to me to ask about the dog, which is when the Park Ranger informed us he was not was not allowed anywhere in the National Park that an automobile couldn’t go. While this came as a surprise, it is understandable when you think of the Parks as a museum that you can loot but not touch. So Plan B it is!
After that, we ran into Teton Mountaineering in Jackson, WY, to pick up a map and a couple necessities (like shoes for Lindsay, who sold hers for drug money in Anchorage) and decided on a 12 mile day trip on the back side of the Tetons to a peak called Table Mountain. We started nice and early, waking near the crack of dawn which allowed us to get to the trailhead at a brisk 11am. The first couple miles were a pretty easy nature walk through to forest… until we arrived at 1.5 miles of switchbacks, starting at 9,000ft above sea level. Coming from sea level in Anchorage and sitting in a car for four weeks we were in less than stellar 11,0000ft mountain climbing shape. Nonetheless, after a pretty brutal trip up the hill we ended up at a breathtaking (bad pun… I know) view of the back side of the Tetons.
As opposed to the view from the park road, we gained an additional 4,000ft and had a “backstage look” of the awe inspiring Grand Teton and his fellow compadres to the left and right. We sat on the plateau of the Table Mountain summit, only a half mile of horizontal distance to the Grand, for all of ten minutes before a storm quickly came rolling in on top of us with an unpredictable broil of high altitude showers and hail. We ran straight to the trail that lead from the summit down the face and dropped 2,500ft(+) in just over a mile, basically a controlled fall to the parking lot. This was great an all… except the 68 year old couple we met on the way down kept chasing us down the hill and a little bit of pride kept us from taking a break. Yep, they were 42 years our elder and chased us down a 1 mile scramble, kudos to them, I guess…