Wednesday, September 26, 2018

The Hike to Delta

The next day we planned on getting an early start as Jen and Eric were going to try to hike the Delta trail. They arrived at our house and as we were getting ready to leave I discovered we had a nearly flat tire. Using my slow air pump, I was able to get in partially inflated and after a quick drive to our nearby gas station, I was able to fully inflate the brand-new tire, (of course it was bad brand-new valve stem).
 I waited at the tire store while everyone else went to the trail head at Lupine Meadows. It didn’t take long to get the new valve stem replaced but I decided to take a shortcut and turned on the Moose Wilson road. Of course, I got caught in a bear jam and it was a terrible mess. There were nor rangers directing traffic and people had parked their cars to see the bears. Both lanes were completely blocked, and it took a while before the bears wandered off.
Arriving at Lupine Meadows, I met Renita who said that Jen and Eric had already taken off. Renita and I had already decided that we would take a short hike for about three and a half miles. It was uphill for most of the way and so we relaxed and took our time.
The hike was fun, it was a cool morning, and we didn’t chance upon any bears. We did hear elk bugling in the trees, (Renita did, I need hearing aids). We also stopped at several locations with great views and I thought that we should go further but three and a half miles was a good day for us.
Returning to the truck we had lunch and then drove to some of our favorite wildlife viewing places, Renita did spot a cow elk at Willow Flats but that was it, as far as viewing wildlife went. Tired we decided to head back home and wait for Jen and Eric to give us the safe call. Jen had told us that they were planning on getting back to their car at four pm and that if we didn’t hear from them by six pm, to call the rescue team, (you should always have an out time and a contact person).
They called at three thirty and told us they had experienced an incredible hike to a beautiful mountain lake. The hike is one of the most popular hikes to a place that was rarely attempted just a few years ago, (google Delta Lake and the Delta Lake Trail).
It turns out that the lake is in Glacier Gulch. I had hiked the trail forty-six years ago while I was doing my summer geology fieldwork with Iowa State. On that hike the instructor had told us the location and sent us map less, up the trail. Of the thirty-five students, eleven reached Teton Glacier and two got temporally lost on the way down, (I was one of the two, the four instructors stayed at the bottom).
Jen and Eric had a blast and were rightly proud of their ascent to Delta Lake, (there were three rescues on the trail in July). Renita and I had enjoyed our own hike and we asked ourselves why we don’t do more trail hikes? Between pickle ball, hiking and some biking we are certainly able to enjoy more places off the beaten path, (and we have both lost weight, I have lost twenty six pounds in the past year, on the keto diet to control our blood sugar). So now we have some new goals for next year!  Clear skies.

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