I have a neighbor who actually said out loud, “I could take or leave mountains.” I almost punched him, but then I remembered he grew up on the plains of Canada on a cattle ranch, so mountains must not feel like home to him.
They feel like home to me.
Growing up on the Wasatch front and having lived in Cache Valley for 22 years now, I’ve always been cradled in some mountain valley or another. Besides my weird neighbor, there must be something intriguing about mountains for most other people because they flock from all over the world to see and recreate in the mountains of the West, particularly the Tetons.
They are spectacular.
From every angle and distance and at any time of day there is new beauty to be discovered.
My uncle is a serious hiker and for his 40th birthday he wanted to climb the peak of the Grand Teton. He trained for six months to do it. I was in my twenties when he did that and I remember thinking he was nuts. Now that I’m 40 I understand midlife crisis and the desire to conquer something before you shrivel up, though it’s not on my bucket list to climb the Grand Teton. Staring up at it is enough for me.
I do like to hike and I have hiked to the top of Rendezvous Mountain which is part of the Teton Range with a vertical rise of 4139 feet. It is a heady feeling to stand on top of a mountain you conquered one step at a time.
I’ve hiked the trails around the lakes at the base of the Tetons lots of times and biked the roads around Teton National Park over and over, and I never tire of being on and around those mountains.
Basking in the intoxicating beauty of the Tetons makes me forget all my troubles, and wonder why we let lonely French creepers name them.