Friday, July 29, 2011

Table Rock

It had been over ten years since I last hiked Table Rock.  The last time was the year before Todd and I got married.  Emily Thuernagle and I went up to girls camp, stayed the night and hiked with Jake and all the girls.  It was due time I did it again.  And Todd had never done it!  We backpacked in to Alaska Basin about four years ago and saw the Tetons from the Wall, but when we moved from Idaho there was a pit in my stomach knowing he never got to hike Table Rock.

We were doing it!  Bears or no bears, we were hiking!

Trent was originally assigned one of the cans of bear spray, as he spent a summer as a "Bear Educator" in Island Park, but he claimed his recent LASIK and less-than-perfect vision made Brad and Jared better candidates.  So be it.  We spent the drive up to the trail head learning that there are many reasons bears may attack, including no reason at all, and there are many signs bears give when they are about to attack, including no signs at all. 

When we saw this posted at the trail head we became a little more concerned with snow and a little less concerned with bears.
The Beginning:
The Warning:

After the very strenuous face, and through the meadows (where Trent informed us of perfect bear territory, even "bear honeymoon" territory), and arriving at the first of the snow, we could spot the tops of the Tetons.

 Then, the destination, Table Rock...or Table Mountain.  Whatever.

Finally to the top of the snow...and the bottom of the rocks.

We made it! Of course we did, but that is hard work. 4,100 feet in three hours.

Rich, Brad, Trent, Morgan, Todd, Valerie, Jared, Adri

 A beautiful view, and what we thought was our final destination until another hiker asked if we were going all the way.  Huh?  We didn't know there was anywhere else to go. 

He highly recommended that we climb down the other side of Table Mountain and cross the snow to "Inspiration Point".  He assured us that it would be well worth our time. 

Okey Dokey. Inspiration Point. 

It was a better view, and those of you who have been to Table Rock probably think the view can't get much better.  It can.  Inspiration point provides a view of the Tetons from top to bottom.  Right down to the river that runs through the bottom of the canyon.

Apparently Brad and Todd found it the most inspiring.

Hiking back from Inspiration Point.  Toward Table Rock.

Hiking down the face was pretty hard.  My shins have bruises to prove it.  Steep.  Very steep.  Now I know why everyone always takes Huckleberry.

Soaking in the creek.

                                                  Huckleberry shakes and ice cream in Driggs.

 I have to mention that I gave Jared and Adri a hard time.  I told Jared that if Adri couldn't make it, he would be responsible for hiking back down with her.  Needless to say, Adri was the first one up and the first one down.  Maybe she was out to prove me wrong?  Impressive.
I am so glad we did it, and that all my brothers and Morgan came.  I miss the mountains.  A lot.  This should almost carry me through until next year.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Last Week in Idaho

We had a day or two of relaxing with just Ezri and Zane before we were hit with the Jared Madsen family!
Once again, we hit Blacktail with all the cousins.  We spent all day on Thursday on the water, then Riley and Macie went again on Friday while I stayed home with Charlotte and Carver.  (Can I just mention that if there was a competition for best and fastest cooler packing skills, the award would most definitely go to my mom.)

Friday afternoon the giant slide made its annual appearance in the Madsen backyard.  Once again, Riley was fearless!  She rode that slide from the minute they got home from boating until they took it down.  Six straight hours...with a break for dutch oven ribs and homemade ice cream, of course. (Can I just mention again that if there was an award for best dutch oven cooking, my mom would be the dutch oven dutches.) Macie and Charlotte also rode for hours.  Charlotte was very scared at first, but once she did it, you couldn't stop her.
The Beans and the Sorensens came to slide with us, so it was great to get to see them one more time.
Todd flew in to Salt Lake Friday at 2:00 and caught a ride to Idaho Falls with Rich and Buffy.  They got there in time to play on the slide for a half hour or so. 

Monday, July 18, 2011


We had another very busy week. Riley and Macie started Monday morning with swimming lessons at Reinhart Park. Macie put up a fight at first, but we left her on the side of the pool and she eventually decided to jump in. She can be such a pill sometimes. She swims every day in Kentucky, then all of a sudden when it comes time for lessons, she decides she doesn't want to get in? Stinker.

Then we went back to Grandma's to have some friends from the old neighborhood over.  It was so fun!  There were 24 kids to play with! My mom was so nice - she grilled up hot dogs for everyone, then broke out the popsicles and bubbles for the kids.  Everyone commented on how she is such a good grandma!

Wednesday we went to the Idaho Falls Zoo.  It was the perfect day.  It wasn't too hot so all the animals were out.  We even got to witness something special with the turtles :)  Carver was so fun.  He would gasp and point at the animals while trying to stand up in his stroller.  He especially loved the monkeys and the penguins.  After the zoo I went out for a birthday cupcake with my friends, Megan and Jaimee.  It was a perfect afternoon.  Perfect conversation with some pretty perfect women, and the cupcakes, well, they were heavenly.

Thursday we went to swimming lessons, then hopped in the car and headed to Lagoon.  We met Buffy and the kids for a great day at the park.  Friday we woke up and went again.  On Friday afternoon Grandma and Ezri came, then a few hours later Morgan showed up!  We rode rides until we were exhausted, then at about 8:30 we took the little kids home and put them to bed.  Riley and Kade stayed and rode more with Grandma and Morgan.  After everyone was asleep, Buffy and I went back to ride wicked with Morgan, Kade and Riley.  Those kids are fearless!!  We eventually left the park when they shut things down.

THEN, we just kept going.  On Saturday we went to the Roy Water Park.  I didn't have it in me to take my camera, but I have to record that Riley was crazy.  She jumped off the high dive, then she started doing front flips off the high dive! When I saw it for myself, I told her she had to stop!
After the water park we went back to Rich and Buffy's for a BBQ.  All Madsens were there, with the exception of Kim and her kids. 

It was quite the week!