A special delivery
“Two of my friends have been attacked by bears. That sh*t is real,” she said. The words floated through my mind as I watched the smoldering trees fly by. Hannah’s message laid 200 miles in the rearview, and before me, the vastness of Wyoming’s greatest natural wonders filled the glass.
“A few weeks,” the fireman said. That’s how long they’d been fighting the wildfires in the Shoshone National Forest. To get to the Tetons, you have to go through Shoshone. And to get through that, you have to pass through the fire. “Be careful out there,” he said, as I drove on through the smoke towards tonight’s home.
Giant, prehistoric teeth. That’s what they look like. I drove over a hill, passed a green sign that read “Continental Divide” and there they were—the Earth’s great teeth, stabbing out at the sky. I didn’t need the next sign to tell me that these were the Grand Tetons.
Hellish and heavenly. Ancient, yet new. The Tetons have beckoned travelers for at least centuries, possibly eons. Their sheer scale puts the Dakota Badlands to shame. Devils Tower could double its height and still not reach the peaks of the Tetons. When you crest the hill, they snatch you. The Tetons call and pull until you’re at their feet, forgetting all thoughts of bear or wolf or snake.
The Tetons want you to get closer. And tomorrow, we will.
Yes, I said we. That’s the special delivery… a pair of jet-setting, globe-trotting newlyweds that are incapable of passing up an adventure, which turns out to be a good thing at this stop. There’s safety in numbers, and Jeremy and Ashley triple my odds of avoiding a raging Grizzly—even if Jeremy doesn’t know how to use shoelaces.
The danger at Badlands and Devil’s Tower was mental—ghosts and aliens and the first few nights on a long, lonely road. But the danger here, in the shadow of these epic mountains is real.
Tomorrow, we answer the Tetons’ call.
Editor’s note: for more photos from the journey, follow me on Instagram. I’m posting the best daily and nightly image there for the duration of this trip.
Many of you have contributed to the GoFundMe gas fund, and as always I want to continue to thank you for that. We’re on Day Five. The journey continues until around Day 50; but the journey continues a little easier thanks to your help.
The goal of this trip is to show everyone that any place is real, that you can go anywhere you want to go as long as it’s on the map. Thanks for all of your support, feedback and recommendations!