18 Jul Summertime in the Tetons
The view of The Grand from Garnet Canyon.
While this summer has been an exciting source for professional growth, it also has been a wealth of new personal experiences. I have seen my first black bear, grizzly bear, elk, moose, bison, marmot, pika, fox, and many more in the home of the Tetons and I could not be more inspired and thankful for the opportunity to do so. To work within the realm of what I have studied so closely for years is the best drive to continue to follow my curiosity. These experiences push me harder to continue to educate myself in order to protect, study, and explore all these precious habitats.
Not only does working in the Tetons bring the textbooks to life, but it is also bringing the adventurer out in me. A couple of weeks ago I was able to take the employee canoes out with my roommate and explore the nearby lakes. It was my first time canoeing and the opportunity to do so for free and as long as I wanted was a perk of the job I definitely wanted to be a part of. While I get to patrol these lakes often, it was a refreshing switch to finally experience the park as a visitor and have fun I normally can’t have in Southern California. For my next day off, I hiked up Garnet Canyon and got to the base of The Grand and Middle Teton—a hike with over 2,500ft in elevation gain. Looking out at the valley that I describe in geological history so often to visitors finally resonated with me on a personal level as I felt the scale of my size in comparison to these peaks.
As I find more time to squeeze in exploring the park, I’ve decided to do my first solo camping trip on my next day off with my newly acquired canoeing skills. I got my first back-country permit issued to spend the night on Lil Mackinaw Bay, a campsite that resides on an island. For now, I’m itching for the work week to be over so I can see what this adventure has in store for me. Its experiences like this that feed both the soul and the mind, and I cannot wait to continue exploring the Tetons and growing from all the beauty it offers.