lost, for a little while

interlude: grand teton national park
July 14, 2011, 11:37 am
Filed under: trips

Grand Teton National Park

People live here.

That’s all I could keep thinking as I was driving around Jackson, Wyoming. Some people get to live just an hour or less from these amazing parks, in a city that’s pretty nice in its own right. They can wake up in the morning and think, “I think I’ll go for a bike ride today,” and in no time at all they’ll be cruising along with the Grand Tetons in the background. Or they’ll decide to go fishing and be casting lines in the Yellowstone River.

It’s pretty unreal to me. And, if I want to indulge my inner whiner for a moment, pretty unfair.

Maybe part of the reason I was feeling so jealous of the residents of Jackson was the fact that, while I finally had my chance to explore Grand Teton National Park, I wasn’t going to be making the most of it. They lived there and could come back any time, but I only had a couple days, and I wasn’t going to be spending them doing any hiking, rock climbing, or anything even remotely cool.

I was miserable. It’s really the only way I can put it. The day before, I was riding the adrenaline high that comes from pushing yourself; now, all that was left was the maddening itch of more mosquito bites than I could count. No amount of cortizone lotion or After-Bite could stop them from acting up the second I moved more than an inch. It was unbelievably frustrating, and I was mad at myself that I’d be wasting this opportunity.

The silver lining to this is that I was forced to scour the park newsletter for some alternate, more stationary activities, and saw that just a few days earlier, the park’s Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center had opened. To celebrate this state of the art facility, a mini film festival was being held in the auditorium, and that’s how I finally saw the documentary Red Gold, a movie I first heard about when fact checking a review of it for Outside a couple years ago.


It’s a wonderful film, and I highly recommend it. Environmental Filmmaker John Grabowska presented the film, and his comments beforehand about the unique music choices, stunning cinematography, and excellent editing were all spot on. Following the film, Grabowska showed some clips from the movie he’s currently working on, which is about Katmai National Park, in Alaska. It was a great experience to hear him talk about both the park and the creative process that occurs during the making of a documentary.

…”Silver lining”? Optimism?! Who am I turning into here??


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