Homeschooling on the Road-Grand TetonsJul 6th, 2009 | By Jessica Parnell | Category: Featured Articles, Homeschooling Road Trip 2009
They are incredible.
We spent our first day here just enjoying Jackson Lake by canoe–winding our way through several inlets and even over the shallow water that covers what is usually solid ground. We saw many different birds as we paddled, including mountain bluebirds, western tanagers, pine grosbeaks, and even a blue heron that we startled as we drifted around the corner of one of the small islands. It was interesting to head back and look up information that would help us to identify the wildlife we encountered.
Today, we headed out to Jenny Lake to hike up to Hidden Falls, Inspiration Point and Cascade Canyon. It was a gorgeous morning-the sky was clear and the air was welcoming. We knew a storm was approaching but we headed up the mountain anyway, skipping the ferry that would have shaved off two miles and hiking around the lake.
Once we reached the incline, we headed up to Hidden Falls, then on to Inspiration Point. The falls were quite beautiful and Inspiration Point was definitely worth the steep climb with an incredible view of Jenny Lake, but Cascade Canyon definitely won my vote for best hike.
Once you leave Inspiration Point, the trail flattens and winds through a variety of terrain, including dense forest, beautiful wildflower meadows, and of course rushing water. As we hiked, we could hear the warblers singing, and saw several pikas busily moving about. Best of all, we were privileged enough to see a bull moose stripping the leaves from a willow just about 50 feet from the trail.
By then the storm was beginning to look foreboding so we decided we had better head back before we were caught on the mountain in a thunder storm. And we almost made it too! We were just about a quarter of a mile from the bottom when the heavens opened and a drenching rain pelted down. Thankfully, we had our ponchos (which we have needed almost every day so far).
Incidentally, we decided to skip the two mile hike back around the lake and take the ferry instead. Of course, by the time the lightening let up and we were able to get out of the rain and board the ferry, we may have been half way around! :-)
Despite the storm, it was an incredible day. I would love to go back tomorrow and hike deeper into Cascade Canyon.
Additional homeschooling posts:
Homeschooling on the Road-Yellowstone National Park
Days Ten to Twelve.
Homeschool Recommendations for Consumer Math
A reader asked if I had any recommendations for a good consumer math program for homeschoolers.