In case you hadn't noticed yet, I am a mountain kind of gal through and through. I grew up in a small town in the middle of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in Northern California, but my love and appreciation for the mountains didn't flourish until I moved to Utah at 19. I moved to Utah under difficult circumstances in a time in my life where I was completely lost and had no idea what to do. During those difficult first couple of years when I felt like I didn't belong among my peers in Utah, I discovered how spending time among the beauty that Utah contains made me feel whole. I found wandering the trails of the canyon cleared my mind and centered my soul. I finally felt like I belonged somewhere and finally created a part of myself I could be happy with.
Since this discovery, hiking, camping, and visiting National Parks have been among my favorite things to do. Two years ago I visited Grand Teton National Park with two of my best girl friends during the Fall time and there were no hesitations when deciding I needed to go back this Fall to see the changing leaves once again. My main goal was to see some critters. Biggest goal: see a bear...that didn't happen. So my next goal was to see a moose...that didn't happen either. I hiked to Taggart Lake with my friends and didn't even see a fish in the clear blue water. So, absolutely no critters, but I still had an enjoyable time. The variety of colors splattered among the mountain range are absolutely breathtaking. The yellow trees reflecting onto the clear blue water of Taggart Lake are unforgettable. Few things bring me greater happiness than enjoying these small things.
It was around 35-40 degrees the whole weekend and I absolutely loved it! What most people see as cloudy, gloomy cold weather, I see as magical, perfect hiking weather. On our way hiking back from Taggart Lake it started to rain, and I couldn't have felt any more peaceful. Something about the rain amplifies the scent of the forest soil, a favorite smell of mine. We stayed the weekend in a Jackson/Snake River KOA cabin (HIGHLY recommend), which was the best decision I've ever made. We hiked all day then got to go home to a warm cabin, hot shower, and made giant tin foil dinners (will share recipe below!). Overall, it was a relaxing and wonderful trip with good friends that I'll always hold dear to my heart. The Tetons are a must see in the Fall, friends.
Recipe for delicious tin foil dinner:
**adjust proportions to your liking
1 brown potatoe cut into thin-ish slices
1/4 yellow onion cut into small pieces
8-10 baby carrots cut in half
3 diced garlic cloves
Ground beef seasoned with garlic salt, garlic powder, salt, and pepper rolled into small balls
3/4 can of Campbell's Cream of Chicken
Couple of slices of butter
Mix all ingredients together in tin foil and dump more seasonings on top of course! Garlic powder, garlic salt, salt, and pepper and hellooooo you got yourself the easiest and by far tastiest dinner after a long day outside. You can thank me later.