Road Trip Day 13: Flatulence in Paradise
We hit our first bump in the road trip yesterday: my son Alex came down with a head-ache, a stomach-ache, some body-aches and a fever . . . but Alta, Wyoming is an especially scenic place to convalesce (I can't stress this enough, The Grand Targhee Lodge is literally paradise in the summer: great hiking, cheap rates, laid back vibe, incredible weather, etc. etc. . . . but I'm sure this is true for just about any ski resort in the Rockies in the off-season, long ago, my wife and I had similar experiences at Breckenridge and Beaver Creek in Colorado); anyway, my wife was nice enough to drive Alex down to Driggs, Idaho so Alex could get some meds (it probably wasn't just kindness, my wife knows that I'm not assertive enough with doctors and she wanted to be certain that Alex got some meds); this bump in the road trip actually afforded us a break in the routine, which was kind of nice (despite Alex's pestilent flatulence, which had the remarkable ability to completely overpower the paradisiacally crisp and dry mountain air) because Ian and Catherine got to take the chairlift to the top of Fred's Mountain and take a hike with a naturalist (great photos on Captions of Cat) while Alex slept and I read about Yellowstone Park, and then Alex, Ian, and I watched the Argentina/Netherlands game while Cat took the lift up the mountain again and hiked the Bannock Trail, a long meandering trail down the spine of Fred's Mountain, which she called "the most beautiful hike of her life" and this convinced me that I should go up there and hike down as well -- and I had plenty of pent up energy from watching the game (which went to anxiety inducing PK's . . . go Argentina! . . . I chose them to win it all in our family soccer pool) but I decided that instead of taking the chairlift up, I would hike to the top of the mountain-- and this was partly because I had a lot of energy and partly because I was too cheap to buy a lift ticket and partly because I was too scared to use my wife's lift ticket even though my wife said there was no way the "granola guy" working the lift was going to deny me . . . but I was too tired to think on my feet if there was a confrontation-- even though my wife provided me an answer as to what to say if the granola guy with the scanner said anything-- plus, I wanted to conquer the mountain without the aid of a funicular, and so up I went, and within moments, I was lost, but a friendly employee using a backhoe to build a banked downhill mountain bike turn showed me the fastest way to the top, which was an insanely steep service road-- but despite the lack of oxygen, I made it up-- and at the top, which is nearly 10,000 feet, the air was fresh and clean, without a trace of my son's noxious viral gas, and you could see all the Tetons (from the backside! if you know what tetons means in French, then you'll find that especially dirty) and there were snow banks on the mountains and majestic pine trees and birds and butterflies and marmots and prairie dogs, and a 360 panorama of the Targhee National Forest in the valley below, but by the time I got back down to the bottom, every part of my body hurt, and I could barely walk up a flight of stairs . . . but Alex was feeling much better, and this wasn't the kid of hike you could take the kids on, way too long and dangerous, so perhaps his sickness was somethign of a blessing for both Cat and I, who have done a lot of family time in the last week and a half . . . and I'm sorry, but I don't have a resolution to this sentence . . . I don't know if Alex is completely over his illness, and I don't know if I'm going to wake up tomorrow and be completely incapacitated from hiking nearly seven miles at altitude in a little over two hours (that's right, I'm the master of the humblebrag) but like it or not, I will keep you posted.