Yesterday the boys wanted to go take a boat ride on Jenny Lake. I told them I was only doing the boat ride if we could hike up to Inspiration Point on the other side of the lake where the boat would take us. Given our long hike the day before and the exhaustion after, I expected them to decline my deal. But with great excitement, they accepted.
Ian has turned into quite the little hiker. There was a turning point in the hike the day before when he decided he was going to run the trails, no matter how steep and rocky. That continued into our hike yesterday. Elliott, on the other hand, not as much. We were only a few minutes into our fairly steep climb yesterday when Elliott said "I wish we wouldn't have said yes to that deal."
Even if they didn't say it, or even know it at the time, the climb to the top proved to be worth it. There's no question the best views of the Tetons are found the higher you go. And I prefer climbing to them over a ski lift.
At the bottom of the trail waiting for our boat ride back, I had a small world experience. There was a gentleman directing visitors on the dock where the boats arrived and departed. He was standing there alone, so I asked him if he was lucky enough to man that spot everyday. He said not every day, but many. Then he began to tell me a little bit about the area we'd just visited. After he was done, he asked me where I was from.
I told him I was from a small town north of Richmond, Virginia. When I did, his eyes got a little wide. What town he asked. Ashland, I told him. His eyes grew wider when he told me he'd graduated from Randolph-Macon College (the small college in Ashland) back in the 70s. His eyes fell out of his head when I told him I started a part-time job there last week as the Alcohol and Drug Education Coordinator. When I told him about my job, he told me I would have had my hands full when he was there. We laughed.
He went on to ask me if I knew Jack Luck. I told him he was one of Elliott's best buddy's grandfathers back home. Turns out my new friend Doug played football with Jack at Randolph-Macon. We had a wonderful chat in our short time waiting on the boat. When we were all loaded, Doug poked his head in the boat, and loud enough for everyone to hear, said "good luck with that alcohol program back home Keith." He and I knew what that meant, some of the blank faces sitting around us and staring at me didn't. He was a character, so I think he knew what he was doing.
It's a small world. To meet a man a couple of thousand miles away that walked the grounds of the small town you currently live in forty years before you arrived there. On the walk back to the car I told Elliott that's why I encourage him to talk to people, to break out of shy. Because you never know the story you'll bring out of someone else. Not sure he bought that. And I realize he's still too busy working on his own story to care about someone else's. It wasn't wasted breath, though, sometimes sharing advice with our kids carries its punch in the reminder it brings us.
Getting insider information about the Tetons from Doug Colonel
Still home to Sunday services. Few churches could beat this for location.
A big hike up the cascade valley today made for some great climbing opportunities.
The boys took advantage of most of them.
From up top, the water falls fast.
I think they may have their sights set on the mountains over yonder.
Up high with my gang. Couldn't have better traveling partners.
6/25/2014 09:10:07 am
I am thoroughly enjoying following along on your travels! The world is indeed a small place. Matt and I planned a trip to Europe over the great Y2K scare- the only time we could afford such extravagance as a young married couple. We found ourselves in a mountaintop fortress in Salzburg, Austria on Christmas Day, 1999. We saw another couple strolling around and asked if they would mind taking our photo (pre-selfie days!) only to learn that they were from Virginia Beach and one went to our alma-mater, Mary Washington!
6/25/2014 11:16:46 am
It really is a small world Shandie. Hope you enjoyed that journey as much as we are enjoying ours. I love helping our boys create memories.
Wow! You have some amazing pictures! We LOVE Jenny lake, West Yellowstone and all the other awesome attractions of eastern Idaho! We used to live there and have such great memories! We never saw a bear though…that's pretty awesome! Have fun with your cute family out here in the west!:-)
6/26/2014 12:01:06 am
Lindsey, I couldn't recall if it was you or Tasha who pointed us to Jenny Lake, but it has been my favorite experience so far. So beautiful, and met some wonderful people there. So thank you. And yes, we feel very lucky to see a bear. I told the boys my parents brought us out here when I was there age specifically hunting a bear and never saw one. For them to see a grizzly may be a once in a lifetime. Thanks again!!
6/25/2014 10:39:07 pm
Keith /thanks to Mary Chris we are apart of your blogs and enjoy them very much, You are going to miss a great opportunity if you don't put all of this in a book and publish
6/25/2014 11:58:59 pm
Jack, so grateful you follow along. I love capturing the journey of my life. So excited to hear about your journey to Vermont. My grandparents remain such an influence on my life. I can recall so many memories that shaped who I am today. Much like the ones you'll create in Vermont no doubt. Loved Doug. He spoke fondly of you. I could tell he had some wonderful memories of R-MC. Thanks again Jack. It was incredible to hear good things about good people back home so far from home.
6/28/2014 12:01:30 pm
I am a bit behind the 8 ball reading this but am so glad I did. I read much of what you write and enjoy it all....and here again, our paths cross again....our lives connected.
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