July 25, 2016

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Yellowstone National Park is all the rage in Wyoming. Geysers, hot springs, canyons, rivers, and wildlife. There are countless reasons why you will hear about Yellowstone.

As a result, Grand Teton National Park tends to be overshadowed by Yellowstone. The Grand Tetons, however, are a mountain lover’s dream! Filled with hikes and spectacular views, it deserves much more of the spotlight hogged by Yellowstone.

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And I am from British Columbia, so I know mountains.

My appreciation for the park also comes from knowing its history. Originally, the Park established in 1929 protected only the Teton Range and six glacial lakes. For the next 20 years, a battle was fought within the community and in Congress over the protection of its surrounding areas. Eventually in a personal attempt to protect the area, John Rockefeller Jr. secretly purchased 35,000 acres to donate to the Park. Even then, Congress refused to accept the donation for 15 years!

It was a long struggle, but today Grand Teton National Park is enjoyed by local communities and people from all over the world.

We couldn’t wait to explore it!

I first laid my sights on the Grand Tetons driving from Jackson Hole to our campsite in the park. Staring at the mighty snow-capped peaks, I felt closer to home.

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God, I love the mountains.

Two days later, we caught our next views heading back to Jackson Hole early in the morning to visit St. John’s Medical Centre…..


That’s right. It was day three and I was already headed to the hospital. But it’s not quite what you would think…

You would assume that I would have some how managed to hurt myself in the parks. There are any number of ways I could injury myself in the mountains. But no. I injured myself in the middle of the night.

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That morning I woke up with my arm and hand totally asleep. I gave it a couple of shakes like I normally would, rubbed my hand, and went back to bed hoping I would regain my circulation. A couple of hours later, I woke up and the sensation had not returned. Not only was my hand numb, I had partial paralysis in my hand! I could not lift my wrist, or point with any of my fingers. I also couldn’t put any pressure on my hand without it collapsing.

To lighten the mood, Kevin joked that I probably injured myself trying to cuddle him in the middle of the night. I had been complaining that the sleeping cots were interfering in my access to cuddles. I had even tried to pack a comforter to put on top of the cots for extra cushion, so I could get closer more easily. Needless to say, the car was fully packed and the comforter never made the cut…

When we arrive in Jackson Hole, we met with the doctor where I demonstrated my issue. He immediately recognized it as radial nerve palsy, a condition where the radial nerve is pinched resulting in “wrist drop.”  img_0755

Apparently the condition is quite common and the symptoms clear up on their own with rest. All I needed was a wrist brace for support.

He continued to explain how the condition is also commonly referred to as “honeymoon palsy” as the condition may arise from cuddling.

Um, excuse me?! You can’t be serious!

Kevin immediately started to laugh. He was right! This all must of happened from me leaning against the frame of the cot in the middle of the night trying to get closer to cuddle. I immediately shouted that none of this would have happened if I was allowed to bring the comforter for extra cushioning.

Unbelievable.

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So there it is. The story of how I paralyzed my arm in the National Parks. Improper cuddling technique.

Only me…

Even though my arm was injured, my legs were still good. So, we spent a few days over the next week driving and hiking through the Grand Tetons!

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Our first hike was around String Lake. This 3.3 mile (6.5 km) trail around a beautiful lake was rated easy with breathtaking views located in the Jenny Lake area. We started our hike at the Leigh Lake trailhead and enjoyed every step along the way!

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It was a great first hike in the park!

A few days later, we returned to the same area to complete the Jenny Lake Loop, a 6.6 miles (11 km) hike around another beautiful lake.

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Finally, our last hike in the Grand Tetons was to Taggart Lake, a 3.2 mile (6.5 km) hike through the alpine.

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Overall, it was an unbelievable experience! It felt so great to get back on the trails.

But the Tetons offer more than just great hiking. One night, we headed into Teton Village, the local ski resort area to see The Wailers, a Jamaican reggae band that used to play with a man named Bob.
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We also were on a mad hunt to see a moose!

Now, I have been wanting to see a moose for as long as I can remember. I have NEVER seen one, and yes, I realize that I am from Canada and should have by now.

I told Kevin that one of my objectives this trip is to see a moose. If I don’t see one in the next three months, I will know that I am cursed.

Luckily, when we met up with a friend of Kevin’s who worked in Yellowstone, she said that she was sure that I would see a moose in The Tetons. In fact, she would be extremely disappointed for me if I didn’t.

Well, that sounded promising!

So we searched. We headed through the Tetons at dawn and drove through the main and back roads at dusk. We explored through Moose junction, the town of Moose, and drove down Moose-Wilson road.

Needless to say, these were the only moose that I saw in The Tetons…

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Worse yet, I kept hearing from all these other people how they “ran” into moose on their trips.

Unbelievable.

Perhaps, I will be more lucky in Glacier National Park.

Look out Montana, here we come!

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