It does a parent’s heart good to see children grow up to follow in their footsteps (at least hobby-wise!) In our case, the family tree includes Grandma S. (a knitter), Grandma H. (a crocheter), Mom N. (a sewer), Mom L. (great cook), moi (some of each, except the cooking), and now DD, who seems to have settled on cross-stitch as her choice of needlework hobby. She and her beau have just begun a new blog together “Twocan: crafty, talented, creative travelers” where they will be sharing their adventures in creativity and travel, including cross-stitch, baking, graphic design, model-making and baseball. Check it out.
Here is the first yellow leaf of fall, spotted this morning in our backyard:
This might be an opportune time to share one of my own travel adventures, which often end up rather disastrously, adding to a long list of humorous family stories told over and over again. This one took place in 2002:
MY GRAND FALL IN THE GRAND TETONS
Ah, fall. The season of splendor, color, and change in the crisp, clean air. The Grand Tetons must be a beautiful place in the fall — a riot of color and contrast, with sharp, jagged mountain peaks towering majestically above amber-colored valleys below.
At least, that’s how I imagine it. I’ve never actually seen fall in the Grand Tetons, but it must be spectacular. No, the fall to which I refer was a different kind, but it was spectacular, too….
For years, my husband and I had wanted to visit Grand Teton National Park, so when an opportunity finally came we headed north to Wyoming from Colorado for a vacation. We looked forward to discovering new adventures in places we had never traveled before and were not disappointed. Staying at the Grand Teton National Park facilities was comfortable and relaxing. We enjoyed fine dining experiences in the Mural Room at Jackson Lake Lodge, followed by evening strolls outside on the observation deck.
Moose grazed peacefully in the wetlands below. Since we had never seen them in the wild before, they captivated us. On one special evening a mother and calf appeared at dusk to feed beneath our vantage point. The peace and serenity of those evenings held no foreboding of events to come.
On the final day of vacation, we decided to take in one last memory of the area by hiking up to Hidden Falls above Jenny Lake. It was a perfect day, so we ate a quick lunch at the trailhead store and set off. We hiked along the lakeshore at a steady clip while absorbing the scenic wonders all around.
A group of hikers was strolling at a more leisurely pace in front of us, so we passed them and continued on our way. I was so engrossed in the sights and sounds of nature that I didn’t notice the rock in my path. Suddenly, I flew through the air and performed a stunning full-layout body slam onto the ground. My camera followed suit, and I heard the sickening sound of something cracking. Fortunately, it was only the camera that was broken and not my bones. When my husband heard a strange muffled groan behind him, he turned around to see me lying face down on the trail where just a moment before I had been walking upright. When I recovered enough to sit up, we surveyed the damage. The back of my hand was scraped and bleeding, my chin was cut, my shirt was torn, I was covered in dirt from head-to-toe, and I felt faint. Just at that moment, the four hikers we passed caught up with us. Angels that they were, they stopped to administer first-aid. After the emergency clean-up, we considered what to do next. Should we retrace our steps back the way we came or go on ahead to the boat dock?
Jenny Lake cruise boats arrived periodically to drop off sightseers and pick up hikers for a trip back across the lake to the starting point. We opted for the second choice. The sooner I got back to civilization for medicinal supplies, the better. When a boat finally arrived, we were lucky to get the last two places on board. As I collapsed into my seat, I noticed the passengers beside me, dressed in sparkling clean resort clothes, out for a pleasant boat cruise. I wanted to crawl below deck and hide. They were spotless, but I felt like Charlie Brown’s friend Pigpen wallowing in a cloud of dust, wearing a ragged shirt and holding a wet cloth over my scraped hand. On the first day of our stay in the Grand Tetons, my husband had suggested taking a boat cruise. Well, we took one, but not in the way we planned. It was a relief to get back to our room, where hot water, antibiotic ointment, and bandaids were the most welcome sights of all.
That ended our stay in the Grand Tetons. After saying farewell to one last moose who strolled through the parking lot as we were leaving, we drove straight home. Enduring a ten-hour drive in a cramped car, with my aching body complaining all the way, was an experience I do not wish to repeat. Home never looked so good.
Some day we plan return to the Grand Tetons to witness the fall season there. But next time, I hope to enjoy it without taking a grand fall!
Postscript: Alas, it was not to be. In 2010 we visited the Grand Tetons again, enjoying several days of natural beauty and non-injury. That is, until the very last minute of the last morning. As we were packing the car to leave, I tripped and did a face-plant on a stone walkway. Although the scrapes and injuries seemed pretty bad at first, fortunately there was no lasting damage. This is how I spent much of that trip home:
According to my family, I am not allowed to visit the state of Wyoming again!