West is Best

I know you’ve all missed my blogging. Our trip was amazing. It might have been better than our southeast asia trip last summer. Here are a few pictures and a few highlights although many more and much better pictures are coming (these are just from our snapshot camara):

This picture is from our backpacking trip in Glacier National Park in Montana. The trail we hiked was full of burned trees from a forest fire a few years ago. We climbed almost 3,000 feet in a less than a couple miles at one point. It was difficult but beautiful. When we camped out a huge storm came in up the canyon. We barely had time to make some noodles for dinner before it started pouring rain. The rain subsided until the middle of the night when I woke up to a noise that only can be described as an approaching train ( or as Jared termed it ‘death approaching’) coming up the canyon. The wind and rain came screaming up the canyon like nothing I’ve ever heard. It was terrifying and incredible. Everything was wet and muddy the next day.

Banff National Park up in Canada was probably the most beautiful place I’ve ever been. The glacier topped Canadian Rockies continued on and on into the distance for miles upon miles. It was incredible. These two pictures are from a long hike we did one day that started at a gorgeous glacier lake called Moraine Lake and up to a summit pass and then back down through scrambling rock and an exposed cliff down to a stream bed. It was about 13 miles.
This first picture is of the summit we had to climb down from, except without any trail- all rock scrambling. The second picture is facing the other way, the canyon we were climing down to through a couple glacier snowy spots. Most of the hike was exposed cliff like the one below which was beautiful.

Jared had the chance to paraglide a ton. He went for 2 1/2 hours on the ocean cliffs in San Francisco, three times in one day up in Golden, Alberta; two times from the top of the tram in the Grand Tetons in Wyoming, and at the point of the mountain in Salt Lake. We even met the Michael Jordan of paraliding, Will Gadd, at this spot below in Golden. Jared totalled 4 1/2 hours of flying time on our trip (and I totalled twice that in shuttling up and down the mountain time).

What might have been my favorite trip was a kayaking one we did in Grand Tetons. We rented a two man sea kayak and loaded up our backpacks with a nights worth of provisions covering them in garbage bags to keep them dry. We started at the bottom of String Lake and kayaked through to the end. At that point we had to portage over which was tricky and took a little time to the next lake which is called Leigh Lake. We kayaked through Leigh lake and some strong winds to our campsite which was only accessible by canoe/kayak. It was amazing and so peaceful. We swam around, set up camp, cooked dinner and then at 10pm we took the kayak out for a look at the midnight stars. So incredible.
The next morning I woke up to a black bear starring at me through the mesh in our tent! I woke up Jared and watched his shadow move around our tent. When Jared unzipped the mesh and looked out he was scratching himself on a tree just a few feet away. He ran off soon after. A little scary but kind of exciting!

I loved our trip. I think we’ll be calling the west our home sometime soon.


This trip sounds absolutely wonderful. I hope you guys get jobs in SF. There are beautiful places in CA to hike and camp and paraglide. I want to go on a hike with you guys some day.I had a bear scare once on a backpacking trip about 35 years ago!

Interesting Liz. I actually spent about 2 1/2 hours of your vacation watching Jared paraglide.

…..we were wearing only our finest birthday suits. that’s another reason the west is great. we figured anyone perverted enough to peek at us across the lake through binoculars deserved the reward.

i think maybe the bear got a glimpse of you and jared earlier out on the rocks and came in for a closer look. what was it you guys were wearing?

well i think we are going to look for jobs in salt lake and san fran so we’ll see! oh and jordan i bought some patagonia stuff at the store you worked at in jackson. and then we went to the patagonia outlet in salt lake and bought MORE stuff. ahhhh cheap patagonia in the west. one more reason to move out.

Sounds like the bears like you guys, you must smell like honey to them.Sounds like a fun trip. I can’t wait till you guys move out west

That looks really really fun. Dude, forget Salt Lake don’t you remember how nice it is out here…p.s.: I got our tickets taken care of 😉 Good ol’ Willie…

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