Shoulda Stayed in Brownies: Jenny Lake, Wyoming


Jenny Lake I dropped out of Brownies so I was not a Girl Scout, which means I don’t know nuthin’ about maps. But ponder this:

The trail around Jenny Lake in Rockefeller National Park in Jackson, WY, is 7-8 miles long. You can hike 2.5 miles and for the low, low price of $7.00, a boat will pick you up and bring you back to where you parked your car. How nice.

Jenny Lake boatOr, you can go in the opposite direction and walk over 5 miles to reach the damn boat.

Guess which one I did?

Merriam-Webster just added “aha moment”  to the dictionary in 2012. I wonder when “oh sh*t” will make it into the books? That’s a familar feeling for any hiker of compromised direction. When you realize your hike is more than twice as long as you thought, that’s when you when you take a deep breath and stop thinking about lunch for a few.

So how to reach that boat after all? Don’t ask my hiking partner Debbie. She just tripped on the trail and did a full body twirl onto the rock solid path. (Though I must admit I thought I would be the first to drop.)

Being from New Orleans it is only natural to rely on the kindness of strangers. And sure enough, along came Al and Amanda, a nice young couple from back east. Al must have been a Boy Scout because once he realized the shortest distance between two points is to take the boat, he got down to business. He pulled out a map.

Imagine that.

And a few steps later, Al spotted this: DSC_0211

“I am in good hands, indeed,” I thought!

Al led us to the promised land. We hiked a couple miles more around a creek, alongside a mountain and finally saw the shore. We joined a queue of about 20 people who waited for the water ferry for the 10 minute ride back to the dock. Once on familiar ground, we soon lost our fears and celebrated our 5 1/2 mile conquest.

Day of rest tomorrow. I am 50 years old for goodness sake!

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