by Dina Mischev | photographs Greg Von Doersten
I’m supposed to save the brownie for the summit. But sitting outside of Jackson’s Persephone’s Bakery, I can’t help myself. The air is rich with butter and espresso. Plus, Jill and I are about to torch major calories. It’s 4 p.m. in the middle of the workweek and most everyone around us is on vacation. As locals, Jill and I should be toiling. But we’re taking the afternoon off to hike a nearby peak in the Gros Ventre Mountains. In Jackson, it’s possible to work through lunch, duck out early, meet a friend, and then nab a perfect sunset-viewing spot, in this case on a substantial summit across the valley from a mildly photogenic massif called The Grand Teton.
Forty minutes later via the National Elk Refuge road, we’re at the Sleeping Indian “trailhead.” I quote ironically because the trail doesn’t start until you’ve bushwhacked through 10 feet of shoulder-high grasses. The summit is 4,000 feet and five miles above us, so there’s no time to lose.
After a mile or so, our trail goes east, but we look west to the Tetons—perhaps North America’s most dramatic mountain range. Pausing, I say as much to myself as to Jill, “We live here.” The day that views like these stop overwhelming me is the day I leave Jackson.
At the summit, the 360-degree views include at least five mountain ranges, some in Yellowstone. Because we left later in the day, we hiked without seeing one other person. As the sun sets, we sit in the grass and pull out treats.
We speed back to the car, keeping our headlamps in our packs until we nearly run into a moose. From the trailhead, we go directly to dinner. Salt and dust covers us, but tacos and margs are more important than glamour. Grabbing a table at Pica’s, no one looks twice—most everyone else is in a similar state of rejuvenation, fresh from Jackson’s many adventures.
This piece was produced in conjunction with GORE-TEX® SURROUND® Footwear. For more information visit gore-tex.com/getsurround.
Mine might be the world’s sweatiest feet, therefore waterproof hiking shoes and I have never mixed. Kudos to Mammut for the Comfort Tour Low with Gore-Tex® Surround® product technology, which I tested during Jackson Hole’s muddy spring season. Leather uppers kept the puddle water out, while the GORE-TEX® SURROUND® product technology allowed my overly sweaty feet to breathe easy. I also loved the cushy, comfy inner sole, Achilles-cradling heel pocket, and aggressive, grab anything Gripex tread that tackled boulder hopping as well as steep, loose scree.