Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Hiking to Mystic Falls

Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park was the destination for our weekend. We don't live too far away from these beautiful places, but when friends invited us to come along we said, yes.

While the men and one of my children took off to fish the Firehole river, my friend and I searched the hiking books and found a hike we wanted to conquer: Mystic Falls and the scenic loop.

We strapped the packs filled with snacks, water, and our papooses on our backs and took off. Camera, trekking pole, hat, sunscreen, a few other adventurous souls, and freedom accompanied us along the trail.

The hike to the falls was easy, a stroll one author called it. A thirty pound child riding on my back made the stroll more of a challenge, but hearing my little boy exclaim happy noises at all the treasures along the trail made the sweat dripping down my back worth going- no matter what we saw or how far we made it.

We heard the falls before we saw them, and exclaimed at the gorgeous sight when we did catch the view. My friend and I stopped to enjoy the moment.

After pausing to take photos, we began the climb up the mountain to continue on the trail and follow the loop which would take us to panoramic views of the valley, and eventually back to our vehicle. We had the option to go back the way we came, but a quick discussion, and the same line of thought about taking the scenic route, and we were on our way.

Thirty pounds of papoose began to cut into my shoulders as the trail wound up and up and up. But at one stop, we saw Old Faithful spew from a birds eye view. Worth the effort and the aching shoulders.

We made it to the overlook and watched the Firehole river snake its way through the valley and around the hot sulfur springs. Breathtaking.

Our decent was a challenge as switchbacks angled at a decline, the ground mainly made of loose shale rock and lava rock. The little boy on my back was tired of being in the pack and was very fussy. On the steep angles he began to rock, making concentration and steady legs on the trail very important; but we made it down safely, and everyone was happy to be free of the packs.

The Mystic Falls are certainly not the most beautiful falls in all of the world, but the day and time my friend and I were able to spend there together is what made the trail special- a memory blazed in my mind. As much as I enjoy the challenge of hiking and exploring new places, sharing the opportunity with a friend makes the trail much more unique.

Here's to many more.

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