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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

LAVA!

(CLICK ON PICTURES TO ENLARGE)

8:29 am - Wednesday - 55º F, humidity 88%, wind 4 mph out of the east......very cloudy with a 50% chance of rain.

In order to get our 100 Mile Hiking Club certificate from YCERP (www.ycerp.org) we are going to have to average around 10 miles of hiking per week until the end of our stay here in YNP*, so Tuesday we set an ambitious goal of hiking the Lava Creek Trail from the US-89 Trailhead near Mammoth Campground up to Undine Falls and back (8.8 miles round trip).  We previously hiked about 2 miles round trip of this trail from the Undine Falls end in order to see the falls a couple of weeks ago.

We knew there was a forecast of rain (60%) by 2 pm so we were on the trail by 9 am hoping to complete the round trip in five hours, or less.....the skies were overcast as we began the steep descent toward the Gardiner River......

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.....once we got down far enough the trail leveled out for quite a ways before we began our inevitable climb up to Undine Falls.......

Smiling at the beginning

The Gardiner River looking southeast just before the confluence with Lava Creek

.....the overall elevation gain up to the falls is 1,358', and boy did we feel that in our leg muscles!  We arrived at Undine Falls around 11:15 am after just two hours and fifteen minutes of hiking......

Made it to the turn around point....Undine Falls

.....we found a log to sit on by the falls and spent about 15 minutes snacking and relaxing before beginning the return trip to the US-89 trailhead.  This hike hardly feels like an out and back as the views going and returning are starkly different....

Pano shot looking back toward Mammoth Hot Springs

The confluence of the Gardine River and Lava Creek

 
TLE crossing the Lava Creek Trail suspension bridge 


The Gardiner River looking northwest.....a beautiful glacial valley

....still smiling near the end....notice that TLE is carrying the 'Bear Spray'!

....we arrived back at the car around 1:15 pm having hiked the 8.8 miles in just over 4 hours averaging around 24 minutes a mile, or better than 2 miles an hour, plus we burned a few calories along the way......our actual 'moving' time was 3 hours and 32 minutes......we, obviously stopped often to take pictures and just enjoy the scenery.....



.....after a quick stop at the Gardiner Market we were home by 2 pm putting our feet and legs up to let some of the stiffness ooze out of our extremities.  Around that time we got a call from the Delaware North office near the Grand Canyon offering us winter jobs there beginning November 1st......cool!  The next faze of our 2017/2018 travels is now confirmed.  We will be spending the winter at the Grand Canyon working as cashiers at the Delaware North store at the Desert View Watchtower location.....


.....this iconic 'watchtower' is located at the east end of the Grand Canyon near the Desert View visitors center.....we visited this site briefly about 3 years ago while we were on a one day site seeing binge of the Grand Canyon.....



.....now we will have a few months to really explore the Grand Canyon from every angle imaginable, and we are totally excited!  We will be able to walk to work from our campsite!  

Thanks for stopping by!

*YNP = Yellowstone National Park

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1 comment:

  1. That will be great to spend the winter working at the Grand Canyon, sound like you are looking forward to that as another great adventure. More fun times.

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