The Grand Tetons, french for the big tits (no joke), are so picturesque, so memorable... at least, that’s what we’ve heard. We didn’t have much time to spend wandering and hiking around these stunning mountains, so we had to defer to the guide books on this one. It’s true, the mountain range is indeed spectacular from almost any vantage point, as they abruptly rise out of the fairly flat Wyoming prairie, allowing onlookers to gaze at the mountains in their full glory. But we’re sure it would have been even better close up, on a long hike or a nice boat ride on Jenny Lake. This park is going on the list of places to revisit for longer than a couple of hours.
Eugene offered us two things we desperately needed: coffee and wifi, courtesy of a cafe called Perk. Afterwards, we drove around a few neighborhoods, and once we didn’t get that warm cozy feeling from the town, we made a snap decision to head north to a campground near Corvallis, rather than stick around and have dinner in Eugene. (Sorry, Eugene. We’ll give you another chance someday.)
We barely got to see Corvallis but what we saw, we really really liked. We paid a visit to Trader Joe’s to stock up for the night, before driving to the nearby Mary’s Peak, where we were by now confident that we’d find a camp spot. And we were right! We were the second group into the 6-spot, tents-only campground. We cooked some of Trader Joe’s pre-marinated tri-tip steak with some roasted veggies. Another campfire cuisine success, and we even had some steak leftover for breakfast!
Boy did we need a hot breakfast the next morning. It got pretty chilly that night, probably low 40s, and the steak and eggs certainly hit the spot. We chatted it up with the ranger who came around, and he recommended the views from the top of Mary’s Peak (the tallest peak in the Cascade range), which we’d already planned on doing before leaving, but about which we were now even more excited.
Even though it wasn’t a totally clear morning, we were able to see the amazingness of Mount Hood and several other peaks. Apparently on a really clear day, you can see for about 500 miles. Other perks of the hike: it felt great to have a morning hike to get the blood flowing, and enjoy the warm sun at the top of the peak.