Alaska Basin

Warning: This post is eye candy.  It may make you want to pack a bag to visit Idaho asap!

^^View of the Tetons on our drive in.  I totally made Bron stop the car.^^

Friday morning we awoke at the crack of dawn to begin one of our favorite family pastimes: a hike.  Bron and I are in love with hiking.  The physical exertion, the quietness, the beauty, literally conquering a mountain by climbing to the top... the feeling is in a category all its own.  (That said, I don't know if I'm crazy enough to do something like Mount McKinley, but I do enjoy a good day hike.)  On that particular day we chose Alaska Basin, an eight mile--16 miles round trip (It totally felt like more!)--trail to the base of the South Teton.  The Tetons are an incredible mountain range.  I can only think of one word to describe them: majestic.  And the only word to describe the sights on our hike: phenomenal.  It's moments like these that fill my soul with awe for my Creator.   

^^Isn't Levi the happiest little backpacking baby on the planet?  I don't mind keeping him close like that and enjoying the day alongside him.^^ 

Our group that day included Bron's parents, two of his brothers, and both of our little boys.  Yes, we are crazy; we spent an entire day hiking around with children strapped to our backs.  But that's just our independent nature showing its colors.  In hindsight, we should have left Jed at home with a babysitter.  He is simply getting too big and heavy to be carried.  Before Bron even made it back down to the bottom, he vowed that this was Jed's last free ride to the top of anything.  Despite Bron's justified grumblings, both boys did amazingly well.  Jed and Levi love the outdoors!

^^We were lucky enough to see THREE mother-calf moose pairs just munching away a few yards off the trail.  Wow!  What a special treat.  I just wished I had a better zoom lens.^^ 
^^I couldn't get enough of the pretty wildflowers^^

We couldn't have asked for better weather.  It was overcast (and even rained a little) in the morning and burned off by afternoon.  It wasn't too hot either.  In fact, I was grateful I remembered to grab the little boys' jackets!

^^Taking a snooze^^

The hike spoiled us with views of at least two dozen different waterfalls and half as many water crossings, some were just little trickles but others were roaring mountain streams!  The sights were beautiful.

^^I really like this picture.  It gives you an idea of the mountain's vastness.^^

Oh yes, I should mention that I wussed out.  I made it six miles or so with Levi on my back, but he just started to become too much.  Luckily, we brought along a Garret.  Garret means burly, strong and kindhearted Nelson brother.  I really wouldn't have made it up and back down the mountain without his help! 

^^One for the books, don't you think?^^
^^And one giant shot for the wall!  Absolutely breathtaking views.^^
^^Jed stopping to smell the weeds.  
Snowballs in July!  So doesn't this qualify as a glacier?^^
^^Isn't Merri Sue the cutest?  I'm so lucky to have such awesome in-laws.^^

Finally, we made it to the top!  Our reward, a mountain valley full of small glassy lakes at the base of the South Teton.  It practically scraped the heavens.  I'm so glad we had Call with us.  His young energy kept us happily trekking upward.  It's a sight we would have regretted not seeing experiencing.

^^We made it!!!^^

It took us five and a half hours to reach the top and half that time to descend.  Our knees and feet were aching (in agony if you were Bron, not much to mention if you were Call) by the time we finally clamored into the car.  The trail felt like it just kept on going foooorrrrevvvverrrr!  

But... this hike will most definitely go down in history as one of the most fun and breathtakingly gorgeous things we have ever done together.  Thanks for a truly magnificent day!


  1. First of all you are a rock star for carrying that cutie for any amount of time. Second, you are right this was definitely eye candy, beautiful photos, you have an amazing eye. Thanks for sharing.

  2. You were not kidding when you said eye candy, absolutely gorgeous!! I'm sure I'm going to be revisisting this post just for another looksie!

    I can't believe Bron carried Jed!! What a trooper, even if he was grumbling.

  3. These pictures are awesome. I don't think I ever did a hike that long. Years ago (and I do mean years...) we hiked for 11 miles in Lake Tahoe, but that was before my husband had back surgery and before Little Lewie was even thought of. Good for you guys!!! I love to walk my four miles per day, but oh how I miss hikes. I'm so glad you had such a wonderful, wonderful memory to share! Thank you for sharing these gorgeous pictures! Oh, and your little guy is such a happy little camper (backpacker)! Love it!!

  4. wow! so incredible!
    I love the photo of Levi asleep on your shoulder.
    and all the flower photos, too!

  5. This just screams summer fun! And yes, I want to come and visit :)

  6. Oh my gosh. Beautiful photos! and you look amazing! Ditto^ I love the picture of Levi asleep on your shoulder. So sweet. We love hiking over here too! Looks like you have some awesome in-laws! xo

  7. soooo beautiful and that's why we are going to visit you next summer. DO NOT NOT NOT CUT that baby's beautiful curls. Brandon use to have beautiful blond curls, and my ex cut it, and he never had it again. Levi is so freakin cute. Can't wait to meet him.


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