Our drive-thru encounter with Grand Tetons National Park last fall inspired us to make our way back there for a longer trip – sooner rather than later. Aaron liked the Teton’s rugged beauty even better than Yellowstone, and we were hoping to take a hike into the range itself, rather than admiring it from Lake Jackson and other locations in the valley. We planned to drive up and camp over 4th of July weekend; however, we were surprised that none of the campgrounds in the park take reservations. With little vacation time left, we didn’t head up to the park until Friday evening, so we knew we were risking that all the campsites would be occupied. If we were unable to find one, we planned to sleep in the car now that Sprout has her car hammock.
We entered the park after 7pm Friday evening and headed straight to Gros Ventre Campground, which is one of the largest campgrounds at Grand Tetons and was listed as one of the least likely to fill up on the Grand Tetons website. We figured this was our best shot. We stopped in at the campground office to inquire about available sites and were told that there were about 30 sites left, but not all of them had tent pads. We registered at one of the sites they recommended – a tent site in one of the loops that allowed RV’s — and drove over to set up camp.
Because we weren’t in a tent-only loop, the site was a bit overgrown with weeds, but it had a picnic table, a fire pit with grill and some shade. Jacqui used our new camp stove to cook some pasta while Sprout and Aaron set up the tent. Sprout was eager to try to drive the stakes in, but unfortunately the soil was very rocky. After a quick dinner, we were all in the tent ready for bed by 9, which seemed luxurious to Aaron and Jacqui. However, Sprout was still too excited to sleep, and continued to bounce around from sleeping bag to potty to Mama for the next hour and a half. As the sunset and the temperatures dropped, we were finally able to coax Sprout to cuddling with Mama. She passed out quickly and we slid her into her bag.
Fast forward to 2:30am – a delirious Sprout insisted that she had to pee. We tried to convince her to just pee in her diaper, as we knew it would be cold sitting on the can in the tent, but she was shocked and disgusted in her 2-year-old way that we would ask her to pee in her diaper (now that she’s 95% potty trained, woot!). She was adamant that the diaper remain clean, so we removed her clothes, and as expected the cold woke her up fully. She spent the next two delirious hours fighting sleep, fighting her pajamas, fighting her sleeping bag, fighting us and fighting herself — she is a fighter. Unfortunately, sleep did not go as smoothly as our last trip with her new sleeping bag. Hopefully, when the sun starts setting earlier – and rising later – we will have less trouble with the toddler in the tent.
Stay tuned for our post on hiking the beautiful Jenny Lake Trail to Inspiration Point. Sprout did such a great job. In the meantime, here are a few more pictures from our trip.