This was our view from the room at the B&B in Wilson, Wyoming, near Jackson. What a contrast to the hills and farmland of Iowa we left a few days before. In the distance are the mountains of Grand Teton National Park.
In this Google Earth view, the highest peak of Grand Teton is at the top marked by a small green symbol. We drove a back road near the base of the foothills suggested by our hosts which took us past relatively unvisited sites on our way toward the town of Moose.
Near Moose, the road curved northwest toward Taggart Lake. There, we would park and walk toward the lake. The hike was to take us to the lake shore at the base of the highest of the Tetons.
We parked the car in the lot in the lower right hand corner and proceeded along the trail toward the lake. The morning started out with light rain. Our hopes were dampened for seeing the mountains at all. The peaks were hidden when we started out. Maybe it would stop raining. The day before brought cleared sky by mid-day. We hoped for that again.
We were in luck. The rain stopped. The sky started to brighten and revealed some patches of blue. After an hour of walking, we were feeling really good about how it was going to turn out once we reached the shore of Taggart Lake. Grand Teton is still shrouded at the top left of this next image.
The following photographs are from our perspective along the trail. The quotes are selected from The Ways Of Walking by Michael Garafalo.
|“There there is nothing like a wilderness journey for rekindling the fires of life. Simplicity is part of it. Cutting the cackle. Transportation reduced to leg – or arm – power, eating irons to one spoon. Such simplicity, together with sweat and silence, amplify the rhythms of any long journey, especially through unknown, untattered territory. And in the end such a journey can restore an understanding of how insignificant you are — and thereby set you free.”
– Colin Fletcher The River
|“If you look for the truth outside yourself,
It gets farther and farther away.
Today walking alone, I meet it everywhere I step.
It is the same as me, yet I am not it.
Only if you understand it in this way
Will you merge with the way things are.”
|“People need wild places. Whether or not we think we do, we do. We need to be able to taste grace and know again that we desire it. We need to experience a landscape that is timeless, whose agenda moves at the pace of speciation and glaciers. To be surrounded by a singing, mating, howling commotion of other species, all of which love their lives as much as we do ours, and none of which could possibly care less about us in our place. It reminds us that our plans are small and somewhat absurd.”
– Barbara Klingsolver
|“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like falling leaves.”
– John Muir
|“There is more to life than increasing its speed.’
|“As I went walking
That ribbon of highway
I saw above me
The endless skyway
I saw below me
The lonesome valley
This land was made for you and me.”
– Woody Guthrie This Land is Your Land
|“Recreation in the open is of the finest grade. The moral benefits are all positive. The individual with any soul cannot live long in the presence of towering mountains or sweeping plains without getting a little of the high moral standard of Nature infused into his being … with eyes opened, the great story of the Earth’s forming, the history of a tree, the life of a flower or the activities of some small animal will all unfold themselves to the recreationist.”
– Arthur Carhart 1919
|“To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter; to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest or a wildflower in spring — these are some of the rewards of the simple life.”
– John Burroughs
|“When we are distressed, going outside for some fresh air, taking a walk in the park, or wandering deep into the woods quickens our attention, bringing us instantly into the present. Being outdoors provides mental space and clarity, allowing our bodies to relax and our hearts to feel more at ease. Putting ourselves in the midst of something greater than our personal dramas, difficulties and pain – as we do when we walk in the open plains, hike in rarefied mountain air, or ramble on an empty beach – can give us a sense of space and openness, lifting us out of our narrow selves. Similarly, gazing up at the vast night sky helps us see our problems and concerns with greater context and perspective. The natural world communicates its profound message: things are okay as they are; you are okay just as you are; simply relax and be present.”
– Mark Coleman Awake in the Wild