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She Lit A Fire: 4 Days and 3 Nights on the Teton Crest Trail

By on September 5, 2014
Over Labor Day Weekend, I packed up my backpack and headed out to tackle the Teton Crest Trail with Jason and three of our friends. The Teton Crest Trail winds its way 36ish miles along the back of the Teton Range in northwest Wyoming. Although the trail officially starts at Phillips Pass, most hikers start on Rendezvous Mountain at the top of the Aerial Tram at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. While the trek is typically done in 3 days, we decided to extend the excitement to 5 days and 4 nights. As you can tell if you compare our plan with the title of this blog post, things didn’t exactly go as planned.
Overall the Teton Crest Trail was a wonderful experience. I saw my first Moose (which happened to be a mama and a baby), I touched a glacier, I fell asleep to the sounds of rain pattering on the tent fly, and woke to the sun kissing the rugged and mysterious Teton mountains. My body felt strong, despite the fact that on Monday and Tuesday I was barely able to move thanks to a pulled muscle in my back. But in the end, my mental strength was found lacking. 
On Sunday morning (day 4), we woke up to snow on the tents. Everything was soaked and our high spirits were bogged down in the same mud pits that our feet were sliding through. We made the decision to call it quits a day early, missing out on experiencing the part of the trail that I was most looking forward to, Paintbrush Divide. Even after making the decision to head back, my mood was dark and brooding. I was snappy and rude. Even hiking the last 2 miles by myself didn’t help me snap out of my funk. It left a bitter taste in my mouth and a desire to redeem myself. I can’t describe everything that happened on the trail, mainly because I’m still absorbing and mulling over the experience, but I think the song “She Lit a Fire” by Lord Huron really explains my feelings towards the Teton Crest Trail and Grand Teton National Park in general. I know I’ve been saying this a lot lately, but I feel like I have more to give and more to experience there. Grand Teton National Park lit a fire in me and will remain in my thoughts until that fire is satisfied. I’ll be back GTNP!  
I’ve been through the desert
And I’ve been across the sea
I’ve been walking through the mountains
I’ve wandered through the trees for her
I have been trying to find her
Want to give what I got, she lit a fire
But now she’s in my every thought
Where, could that girl have gone
Where, I’ve wandered far
Where, could that girl have gone
She left no trail but I cannot fail, I will find her
She lit a fire
But now she’s in my every thought
She lit a fire
But now she’s in my every thought
Where, could that girl have gone
Where, I’ve wandered far
Where, could that girl have gone
She left no trace but I know her face, I will find her
When I last saw her she was dancing all alone
Perhaps my chance was then, I’ll never know
I’ll search the world until there’s no place left to go
And if she leaves it, I will follow, yes, I will follow
She lit a fire
But now she’s in my every thought
She lit a fire
But now she’s in my every thought
I’ve been through the desert
And I’ve been across the sea
I’ve been walking through the mountains
I’ve wandered through the trees for her
I have been trying to find her
Want to give what I got, she lit a fire
But now she’s in my every thought

If you’re interested, here’s the video for the song above.

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