Day 7

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    Posted by Paula ( on August 24, 2005 at 21:55:38:

    In Reply to: Day 6 posted by Paula on August 24, 2005 at 21:52:39:

    SATURDAY, AUGUST 13, 2005

    We woke up to a gorgeous day and incredible views right from our picnic table! We made bacon and pancakes for breakfast. I used a Rubbermaid quart bottle with a pour spout to shake the water and mix in and then pour it onto the griddle. Afterwards I just put the bottle in the cooler and can add more water and mix the next time we want pancakes. No cleaning until you get home – I learned this trick from Shelly Throckmorton and it is a fantastic method of making pancakes when camping! While I was making the pancakes I heard Preston exclaim in surprise and we all turned to see a doe and fawn walking right by the table on the trail along the edge of the cliff! We couldn’t believe it.
    While we were putting the food and cooking stuff in the van I saw the extended family next to us getting ready to leave. They had a lot of firewood I offered to buy. They said I could have it for free, but I told them I didn’t feel right about that because they’d obviously gone to a lot of work to saw it and haul it in. They told me two of their boys had done the work so I paid both of them as well as a little bit to a younger brother and they helped me carry the wood to our campsite. We’ll have a big fire tonight!
    We drove down to Jackson to Jackson Hole Whitewater to take a rafting trip. We had reserved places before leaving home on the 10:30 whitewater trip. We filled out the paperwork, but were early so went to Albertson’s to stock up on more lemonade and ice before returning for the trip. We were on a two raft trip with a large party at a family reunion, one other couple, a lone lawyer from West Virginia and us. The drive to the put in at Table Creek on the Snake River took 40 minutes. The bus driver kept us entertained by dancing to rock ’n roll oldies while he drove. Our raft was piloted by Captain Dan, who was a lot of fun, and provided comic relief during the slow stretches. He spotted a pair of bald eagles right at the start, and a marmot sunning on a rock further downstream. The group we were with were all nice people and it made for a fun trip. When we came to a stretch where you could swim outside the raft, Daniel did a backflip off the boat and swam for a while – too cold for me! There were some fun rapids, but it was a pretty mild trip due to low water levels. The river is a gorgeous green color with dark rock fins extending into the river from the sides at times – really striking. The rafting itself lasted an hour and twenty minutes. The water was really cold when we were splashed in the rapids; luckily the sun was out to warm us back up. Rick wore one of the free splash jackets, but said it got too warm and sweaty.
    After the bus trip back to Jackson, we filled up with gas, changed clothes and decided to drive up Moose Wilson road to look for a place to have a picnic lunch. It turned out that there are very few places to picnic on the southern part of this road. We passed the Aerial Tram at Teton Village, but decided not to take it this time since it was pretty late to start. Then we saw a female moose right beside the road in a pond so I got out to take a picture, when she started to pee. SO, I have a picture of her doing just that. There finally was a picnic area just north of the Taggart Lake trailhead where we stopped to eat. Talk about a table with a view! There was a European family there having lunch, too, but slightly classier than our picnic! They had a tablecloth, fancy matching tableware, salad, a bottle of wine and hot food cooked in their motorhome! We couldn’t understand a word they said or even tell what language they were speaking. All very blond so probably Scandinavian of some type. Anyway, our lunchmeat sandwiches & cookies were good!
    We backtracked to the Taggart Lake Trailhead to hike to the lake. It was very interesting along a small stream with lots of wildflowers. The harebells were thicker with blooms than I’d ever seen before. There were huge white boulders that looked like icebergs scattered on the side of the mountain. Daniel climbed one of them. Rick & I spent some time watching goldfinches at one of the waterfalls along the trail. It is funny to see the goldfinches & juncos we have in the winter up here in the summer. Taggart is a really beautiful lake, we all rested for a while on some boulders at the edge of the lake. Mountains with snow patches rise right up from the shore. We regretted forgetting to bring our camera on this hike. After resting we headed back down to the van and drove back to Signal Mountain. We saw a dead grouse with three living ones on the road that evidently didn’t want to leave their departed.
    We stopped at the Signal Mountain Lodge restaurant building and found out that anyone was welcome to eat and that no reservations were needed. We had a while before they opened so we went back to camp to clean up before having a nice meal. We ate at The Peaks, a “fine dining” establishment – and so it was. We had a great table right by the window with views of the mountains (as well as one of our tents as Preston noted.) We admired our waiter who was brave to be a waiter even though he had a stutter. Daniel tried buffalo for the first time, Rick & I both had the chef’s special strip steak with cheese polenta, raspberry sauce with mashed potatos and grilled corn on the cob. All of the food was terrific and it was nice after camping so long to sit in padded chairs at a table indoors to eat.
    Back at camp Daniel & Preston started a roaring fire while Rick & I watched bats flying around the top of the cliff eating insects. After dark we joined them at the fire – it was really popping and melted holes in my jacket and Rick’s shorts!

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