Kris has a friend in Bozeman, Montana who we are going to visit today thru Sunday. Everyone is getting clean and ready for the trip. Yesterday afternoon we drove up to Grand Targhee (a western part of the Tetons and a ski resort) where we rode the chairlift to the peak of, now get this, Fred Mountain (next to Mary's Nipple, the sister mountain).
Now I have to retype the rest of the story. Somehow it got lost in the posting. We drove up to Targhee and bought lift tickets and took the chairlift up to the 9,830 foot peak. Halfway up we realized we were not prepared for the weather conditions. Ethan was the only one wearing long pants and I just happened to have a light rain jacket in the car. It was very windy and mildly cold when we got to the top. We hiked over the precipice and came face to face with the Grand Tetons to our east. We took some photos and the kids played in a strand of ice/snow leftover from winter. We were sheltered fom the wind in this spot. After spending some time warming up we walked back to the cabin atop Fred and went into the Ranger's office. Zarian (the Ranger) was on duty and was very kind. Since he was a smaller man he loaned Summer his coat for the hike down, after he showed us some of the local wildlife such as marmots and ground squirrels.
We two choices of trail to hike down without going down bike trails. One was a long circuitous route that took about an hour and a half and the other was the service road which was also a green run during ski season and it only took one hour, roughly. I talked to Zarian about bikers and how we wanted to avoid the bike trails and he told me the service road was not used by them. I made a comment that these damn bikers want everyone to share the road but they sure as hell do not want to share the trails. I had heard a biker before we came up Fred talk about a hiker getting in his way at a crossing.. We took the service road down, it was wider and there were no bikers on it. I finally saw what ski slopes look like when there is no snow… rocks and wildflowers. There were wildflowers or every color on the mountain, all the way down. We saw a few more marmots and Kris thought she heard a bear roar but when I topped a hill in the trail I saw a back hoe working on the service road. The echo from the bucket striking the rocks did sound like a bears roar. Once we reached the bottom we returned Zarian's coast to the chairlift operator and he said to Summer, you must either be real tough or Zarian is just a wimp! We explained our story and he laughed. He was just joking.
Afterwards we drove back to our cabin, ate and went into Victor, Idaho for an outdoor concert with The Young Dubliners as the headliner. I figured there would not be a thousand people there since the population of Victor is only 1400 people. There were easily 10,000 people there. The opening act was okay, they sounding like a cross between Widespread Panic and Dave Matthews. By the time they were down Kris was ready to go to the cabin, and so was Ethan. I wanted to hear the Dubliners so they went to the car and Summer and I stayed on our tarp on the grassy park and watched, then Summer went and climbed the big fir tree with some other kids. Before it grew dark I gathered her up and went to the car and by dark we were back at the cabin. Everyone, but me, fell asleep watching one of the Lord of the Rings movies on DVD.
Today we are sore from the hike. My ankles are sore. Summer's backside is sore. Kris's calves are sore and Ethan is his usual self. The only other thing to note was the kids and I took one more chairlift to the top and back down before we left Fred. On our way up Summer got all excited about a deer she saw in the trees. She said it didn't have antlers and it had a white face. On our way back down we all see the deer laid up in the evergreens. We were calling Summer Elk Spotter all the way up and back down. She spotted the only elk we saw last summer. As we came back down we saw that what Summer saw was the deer's rear end which was white. So now we call he Bottom Spotter.