Day 15 - Saturday 10-09-2011
On our second and already last day day at Grand Teton NP we decided to do a tougher hike We hiked up to Surprise & Amphitheater Lakes, which are located at almost 3.000 meter. We had to ascent over 900 meter to get there which was a bit of a challenge with the hot weather. After a little over 2,5 hours of steady climbing we finally reached Surprise Lake, after another 0,2 mile we found Amphitheater Lake where we had lunch. Both small lakes are truly beautiful at their secluded spots high up in the mountains.
After lunch we headed back down. Along the way upcoming hikers warned us, because a black bear was right on the trail. When we reached the meadow where the bear was last seen it appeared to have left the area. Lucky for us we didn't need our bear spray!
We ended the day by enjoying the atmosphere in downtown Jackson.
Bellow you'll find the GPS track log of the hike together with a couple of pictures:
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Day 16 - Sunday 11-09-2011
On Sunday the 11th of September we traveled from Jackson in Wyoming to Fairfield in Idaho. On the way to Fairfield we did several geocaches, a few singles and one multi cache. The multi cache was located at a site of volcanic activity, so there was this landscape of cooled of lava. We navigated across the lava until we reached a crack where the cache owner hid a fishing rod. With this rod we had to 'fish' for the cache in another crack a few hundred meters away using the magnet on the fishing line. Needless to say this cache was a lot of fun to do and very original!
After the cache we drove to our motel in Fairfield which is a really small town. The population is a little under 400 people. We had dinner there at the local pizzeria.
A few pictures of this day:
Day 17 - Monday 12-09-2011
Today we visited Craters of the Moon National Monument. This is a very interesting site where there has been volcanic activity up until 2.000 years ago. We drove around the park and did a couple of interesting small hikes. We also did a ranger led hike which was very interesting, because the park ranger was a knowledgeable geological student. We went into an underground tunnel / cave which is created by an underground lava flow, this was both an interesting and fun.
Bellow you'll find a GPS track log of this hike:
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After visiting the park we drove to a town called Hailey where there were a little more dining options available. We ended up in a very nice restaurant which had organic and locally grown food. After dinner we drove back to Fairfield, on the way there we spotted a herd of about 30 Elk.
Bellow you'll find pictures of this day:
Day 18 - Tuesday 13-09-2011
Not much to tell for the 18th. We drove for about 8 hours from Fairfield in Idaho to Yakima in Washington State. On the way there we stopped to pick up two geocaches. At the end of the day we had dinner in a Mexican restaurant. After dinner we enjoyed the heated outdoor swimming pool and hot tub at the hotel before going to bed.
Day 19 - Wednesday 14-09-2011
After a good night sleep in Yakima we drove to Mount Rainier National Park, our last stop before going home. We drove to the Sunrise visitor center at Mount Rainier where we went for a hike. The name of this place was exactly right, because it was incredibly sunny during the hike. We did the Mount Burroughs trail which is an alpine hike of over 11 km longs with just 300 meters of elevation gain. The hike took us a couple of hours.
During the hike Fenneke spotted a black bear down bellow the trail, just eating some berries and minding its own business. The hike went up to a great viewpoint from where Mount Rainier's 4.392 meter high summit seemed quite close, but yet so far. To reach this viewpoint we had to climb around a steep snowfield and cross two other ones, which was fun to do.
After the hike we checked in to our cabin and went out to get some dinner which we ate at our cabin. We ended the day by enjoying the fire in our fireplace.
Day 20 - Thursday 15-09-2011
Today the weather wasn't so good. We wanted to do the Skyline trail at Mount Rainier but when we got to the trail head at the Paradise visitor center it was completely fogged in. We knew the weather was supposed to be a little better the next day so we decided to drive down a bit and go for a hike in the lush forest of the national park. The forest is very beautiful and we got to see three very nice waterfalls along the trail.
After the hike we relaxed in our cabin for a while before going to dinner at a very fine local restaurant. We ended the evening with another nice fire in the fireplace.
Day 21 - Friday 16-09-2011
On the last real day of our vacation we drove up to the Paradise visitor center again. This time the weather was a bit better although the upper part of the mountain was still fogged in.
After hiking about 30 minutes we started to reach the clouds. From there on out visibility was very limited a lot of the time. This made hiking on a the many snowfields a bit difficult at times. After about one hour and 45 minutes we reached Pebble Creek, the top of the trail. Originally we wanted to hike up the Muir snowfield from there, all the way up to Camp Muir, but because of the whiteout we decided it was to dangerous.
We continued following the High Skyline trail crossing various large snowfields. The visibility improved and we had lots of fun on the snowfields. Near the end of the hike Fenneke spotted two Mule deer, we also saw lots of marmottes.
Our hike on the Skyline trail:
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After our hike on the Skyline trail we enjoyed a hot chocolate at the Paradise Inn before doing the short Nisqually Glacier Vista trail to get a view of this glacier. Visibility was a lot better than at the start of the day, so we at least got to see a part of it. We also spotted a Mule deer with her young near the trail.
Our hike on the Nisqually glacier viewpoint trail:
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At the end of the day we had dinner at another local restaurant and enjoyed our last fire in the fireplace. We also packed our bags for the flight back home.
Day 22 - Saturday 17-09-2011
We where scheduled to fly from Seattle back to Amsterdam via London early in the evening. The drive from Mount Rainier to the airport was only about two hours, so we had some time to kill in between. We decided to go to Tacoma to visit the Museum of Glass. This is a nice museum which contains all kinds of art made out of glass. The coolest thing is their live glass blowing workshop where you can see world renowned artists make their work. This was really interesting to see.
After the museum we drove to the airport where we dropped of our rental car. After that we checked in and flew back to Europe ending a great trip.
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