With summer at its peak, I decided to plan another ladies trip and invite my besties to Jackson, Wyoming. We all decided July would be the best time for us to get together. I was especially excited for this trip because I had just moved back to Wyoming this spring, and I was eager to share this rad place with them! Almost all of us live in mountain towns, so I knew they would appreciate it.
Two of my friends, Rosie Fee and Lily Kiely, flew in on Friday from Colorado, and I rushed to the airport to pick them up after work. Blasting music on the way out, I was dancing and super pumped to see them! We headed to one of my favorite local spots in town, Pica’s, to catch up and do some planning over margaritas while our good friend, Aryn Tuinzing, drove all the way from Utah to met up with us later. Before it got too late, we went on a short but steep hike up Josie's Ridge, which is conveniently located in my backyard. We chatted the whole way because it had been so long since we’d seen each other last. As we reached the top, we drank a couple of beers and watched the sun fade away over the horizon...a perfect start to the weekend!
The next morning, we woke bright and early to hike Sheep Mountain. It’s a gorgeous 14-mile round-trip hike with lots of flower-filled hillsides. The path eventually leads to a rocky plateau overlooking the Tetons and the town of Jackson. Near the top, if you look close enough, you can find seashell fossils embedded in the rocks, a visual reminder that this rocky place was once underwater. Overall the hike was gorgeous! We took a quick break up top, chowed on some lunch, and even got a little summit dance in. The great thing about hiking with these girls is that there is always time to be goofy and have fun! On our way down we ran into a couple of groups that had spotted a cougar. We nervously made cougar jokes and quickly hurried back down the trail. By the end of the day we were exhausted.
Saturday was HOT! We chilled most of the morning and decided to hit up String Lake to escape the heat. When we got there we were all stoked to see how beautiful the scenery was. It was my first time going out there, so it was new for all of us. String Lake sits at the base of the Tetons. Steep forested mountainsides shoot strait up from the end of the lake and fade into the iconic and jagged peaks. There were plenty of other people at the lake, but we made the best of it with our floaties. Aryn brought an alligator floatie and comfortably chilled on that most of the afternoon. Rosie and Lily had epic “queen of the tube” battles.
Later that evening, we drove up a bumpy forest road looking for a camping spot near the Gros Ventre mountain range. But, everything seemed to be filled. The downside to peak summer is that it's peak tourist season in Jackson, which sometimes makes it hard to find weekend camping spots. After driving for a while, we eventually conceded that we probably wouldn’t find a camping spot, but while we were heading back down, we got lucky!
A big party of campers was pulling out of an epic spot, so we swooped in and snagged it! With lots of space to camp, a perfect fire pit, no trees blocking the view of the Tetons, and a flower field right in front of it, we felt like we hit the jackpot. Best campsite ever! That night while sitting around the campfire, we discussed why these trips mean so much to us. It’s simply an opportunity to get together and do what we love!
Rosie Fee and I first met in college when a friend connected us because “we were both badass outdoor women.” I’d say that was a bit of an exaggeration....but our love for the outdoors nevertheless brought us together and still keeps us together today. Since meeting Rose I’ve become close with her friends Aryn and Lily for the same reasons. These are the types of women that are always down to get after it. It doesn’t matter if I call them a week before - they are most likely always game to go on an adventure. Rose often says, “Always go.” By this she means live it up! Don’t turn down adventures, because you never know when your last one will be. I’d say this group of women embodies that saying pretty well.
Beyond being outdoorsy, Rosie, Lily and Aryn are strong women! We’ve all been through a lot and work hard. I’m grateful to have friends like them because they keep me motivated in the outdoors and in life. They are both my support system and my inspiration! Getting outside is always great, but getting to be outside with your closest girlfriends is something special that I will always cherish! KAVU days indeed!
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