Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Colter and (John) Colter

There's nothing as soothing and relaxing after a day of camping and hiking and driving as the sound of my boy falling asleep next to me in the tent. He's even done it in the middle of a sentence, just drifting off in mid-word. Colter and I spent three days in Yellowstone last weekend. That brings the total of nights he and I have slept on the ground this year to seven. Which beats 2008 by six. Due to bad timing with work and the weekends I didn't have him, we only managed to camp one night last year, and I came away with a bout of the flu that kept me out of work for two days after that.

This weekend was one of the best we've had yet. On the first night, Colter got to sit by his first campfire. On the second day, Colter remembered something that I had casually tossed out on the day before. After we had walked around at one stop, I asked if he was ready to head to Canyon.

"But what about the Tetons?" Colter asked me.
"Uh, what about them?"
"I thought you said we could go to the Tetons."
"I was just saying we could some day if you want to."
"Let's go now."

About two and a half hours later, we were driving by Colter Bay and getting close to Jenny Lake (his mom's name--ok well, her name's not Lake like Verionica Lake, but Jenny. Jennifer, really. But, I digress). I had to explain to Colter that the bay, marina and lodge weren't named for him. They, and he, are named for John Colter, the first white man to see Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, and generally regarded as the first mountain man. Then Colter started asking me questions about, well, Colter. I told him about John Colter being an explorer and how when he was bigger, we'd trace some of John Colter's footsteps across the west. Something I've been looking forward to since the day we decided on his name.

We took the drive up Signal Mountain and saw a black bear foraging. Took in the view of the Snake River Valley from the top, and on the way down, scared the hell out of the black bear so badly, she ran straight up a tree. Colter had wanted a picture of the lake that was covered in lillypads. As we were walking the short distance to it, I told him to hush. There was a loud racket, and across the small lake, that same black bear was hauling ass running away from us. She went straight up a tree and stayed there for a few minutes before coming down.

On the third day, we stopped at Chico Hot Springs for a swim on the way home. Two weeks ago, we soaked in the Boiling River (not my video), a first for me as well as Colter.

Colter's going camping with his mom this Saturday, and with her again in Oregon in August for a week. Before Kindergarten starts, he'll have logged 14 days on the ground. And he loves every minute of it.

Maybe one day soon, I'll start to read a book I have about John Colter to him, so he can learn more about his namesake and the land that he's growing up in, and about how damn smart beavers really are.

Here's some pictures from both our cameras from this weekend. Click on the link to take you to the photo album.

1 comment:

Natalie said...

What a great trip & photos. Can't wait until we can see that part of the country.