Hiking in Jackson

Gunther barely survives another family vacation
Hiking in Jackson - 9/5/00
Gunther (South Dakota)

In a nutshell, Jackson is too much like Banff. Of course I expected that so I wasn't disappointed. I learned a few things though, which surprises me because of my advanced age I didn't think anything could penetrate my skull anymore short of a .338.

What I learned.

Do not take for granted the shape you are in. If you stop running 10 miles a day, five days a week, for even ONE week you will revert back into a blob of soft squishy flesh. I found this out on a little 15 mile hike.

Lace your shoes double tight or your toenails will be pushed through your heels. I found this out on a little 15 mile hike.

If your shoes are too loose tighten them BEFORE you pop your ankles a couple times. I found this out on a little 15 mile hike.

Even after you pop your ankles, have the guts to tighten your shoes and not worry about the swelling, with help and a small windlass you'll be able to get them back on. I found this out on a little 15 mile hike.

Never take your wife as she'll question your woodsmanship skills until you're ready to kick her butt, although you really wouldn't. No, not because of love, you just don't want to do anything to your toes since they already are past your ankle. I found this out on a little 15 mile hike.

Do not carry a 30 odd pound pack when you drop 4100 feet elevation in 15 miles. It makes your toes hurt. I found this out on a little 15 mile hike.

Do not take your kids, they will complain about little things like bears, lack of food and dying on a mountainside. I found this out on a little 15 mile hike.

Also, your kids, the fruit of your loins, will give you so much grief the next day because they have recovered and are jumping around like young Springbok while you are in enough misery to consider amputation below the knee as the onliest resort,, mainly because they know DAMN well you AIN'T gonna catch them and slap hell outta 'em as they deserve. I found this out on a little 15 mile hike.

Never wear a knee brace when hiking 15 miles as your skin, a delicate covering that keeps ickky stuff out and good stuff in totally disappears. Funny thing though, THAT never did hurt. Probably because of the toes I reckon. I found this out on a little 15 mile hike.

As bad as it is, don't worry. It'll get worse soon. The last 1/4 mile was over a parking lot and I swear that caused more pain than the rest put together. I found this out on a little 15 mile hike.

Always get a hotel with a bathtub so if you do something foolish, like being a Pillsbury Dough Boy, walk 15 miles with a pack, a wife who questions your woodsmanship, your ungrateful children, a knee brace and loose shoes, you'll be able to soak some pain away. Of course Mrs. Gunther booked places with just showers. Right, like I wanna stand up anymore? I should have subjected everyone there to aromatherapy. Yeah, that's it, feet and ass. I found this out on a little 15 mile hike.

Buy a car with hand controls, because your feet are a poor way to run throttles and brakes when you no longer have toenails. Besides, the blood gets smeared all around that way. I found this out on a little 15 mile hike.

Otherwise this hike was way cool and I'm sure I'm dumb enough to do it again. I love the country, we saw critters and probably the biggest Shiras I ever seed in my whole life. That sucker I swear looked like an Alaskan-Yukon.

The rest of the trip was pretty cool too, gotta fish in the Snake, took a raft trip down the Snake, seed many udder critters including seventy-five gazillion and two Antelopes, kinda like the Wyoming I remember, several many Wapiti's that I'd not be embarrassed having and a few regular sized, 1000 lb Meese. Gotta smell a Griz, we were walking along a creek kinda huntin' fish and I came across some pug marks. They was big, the claw prints were the length of my finger.

Then we sawed some real fresh turds with elk hair in 'em. A couple minutes later I caught wind of the bear by a stand of trees about 25 yards away and since I was unarmed, nearly unlegged and had a sassy wife and two ungrateful kids I sent them to pick pine cones where the bear was. OK, I didn't, but the thought crossed my mind. In reality I told the boy we should head ourselves back slowly. We was on the bear side, the wimminfolk were on the udder side. Well, he caught wind of Ursus and kinda lost color but he stayed cool and we eased back real slooowwww and nonchalant like. Told the wimmins to do the same. When we got to the car he HAD to tell them the story which freaked Ma of course. For me, who needs drugs? The euphoria lasted several days knowing I was THERE MAN.

Too bad I can't talk like Cliffy, I was never even a little ascared but I had a tingle clean to my toes, I guess that's what life feels like. I guess I don't get enough of it is all. I guess even though I'm getting a flatlander body, I still got the mountains in my heart and right now I is feelin' kinda homesick again. I wouldn't trade a minute of the pain for a paid week in Vegas, a trip to Disneyland or a month in Paris.

Hi, my name is Gunther, and I'm a hillbilly.