Grand Tetons: Canoe Trip to Heaven

Kyle and Laura woke up ridiculously early to go and run up a mountain. Laura has actually been in training for the Half Iron Man. Admirable. Mary Lou and Nicole gladly took the chance to sleep in. But, due to the amount of snow still on the trails throughout the park, most of the best hiking trails were impassable without snowshoes. They came back to the RV with a new plan: a canoe ride around Jackson Lake.

Since the canoe could only take three, Mary Lou volunteered to stay back, but came to the Colter Bay Marina to see 'the kids' off. Kyle was undisputed captain, taking up the stern. Laura opted to row first, and Nicole sat in the middle, navigating from the laminated map, and testing all the ziploc seals on the bags holding phones and cameras. She was also designated photographer and wildlife spotter, since she was getting a free ride.

We paddled South, staying within 200 yards of the coastline, weaving in and out of small bays, looking for moose. As we got farther South, towards Elk Island, the wind died, and Jackson Lake went still. Like glass. Each and every craggy outcropping, loose rock, and snow pile was reflected in the mirrored lake. Everything around was silent. The few clouds draping the highest peaks seemed to slow and hang in place. We were alone in utopia.

The oars made whirpools in the looking glass, but the mountains held still. Solid. When the oars were pulled up, so as not to disturb even the reflection, the water drops made perfect, concentric circles, before finally ceasing. It was like floating through heaven. Heaven above. Heaven below. And we, adrift in the middle.

We pulled up onto Heritage Point beach for a rest, before turning around and rowing back to the marina. It was our last night in Grand Teton, so we decided to watch the sunset from the Grand Teton Lodge. We even put on a little make-up to go sit on the lodge patio, overlooking the full expanse of the Tetons. We sipped local, Wyoming potato vodka martinis and huckleberry margaritas, watching the wildlife in the valley below, and the tourists posing for photographs in front of the panorama. We felt our sunburns from the canoe trip, start to heat up as the sun set lower in the sky. It was a picture prefect ending to a picture perfect day. The Grand Tetons goes on the list of the most magical places that we have been lucky enough to visit. . .

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