Finally we come to Day 5. The forecast said the weather was expected to be sunny with temperatures in the 50’s.
I don’t think it ever got above 50, and it was grey, rainy, and really windy all day. Overnight, as we lay in our tent, the wind rattled the tent. Luckily both of us had enough layers and some nice sleeping bags, so even when the temperature dropped into the 20’s and 30’s we were cozy and warm.
Defying the weather, we decided to go ahead and make the ten-mile hike up to Surprise Lake. It sits nestled between Grand Teton and Middle Teton, and on a sunny day I’m sure the view is quite spectacular. I’m pretty sure four of the five miles up to the lake are uphill for every step, and by the time we reached the top after a few hours, my legs were like jelly. Thom, of course, wasn’t even breathing hard– he’s used to all this mountaineering stuff.
At the lake, it was like a different world. It was in the 20’s, the wind was blowing hard, and it was snowing. Everything was bitter cold and monochromatic.
That said, it was kind of cool to sit there, the wind howling and the snow falling, and just enjoy the harsh beauty of winter.
The trip back down the trail was tricky because of the ice and snow on the upper portion of the trail– it was easy to slip. Thom was the only splash of color in the snowy landscape.
After ten miles, I was exhausted and ready to call it a day. We bade farewell to the Tetons, hoping that the next time we visit there are blue skies, bright sun, and we actually get to see the tops of the mountains.
We gorged ourselves on some pizza; after three days of light snacks during the day and ramen for dinner, it was nice to fill our bellies with some “real” food. A shower sure felt good, too.
Tomorrow we head home through Wyoming, back to the sunny autumn skies of Colorado. As always, it was a great time together and I’m looking forward to next year… wherever that may be.