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Published: September 17th 2007
Onaxthiel writes: I went down to the beach before the sunrise to get some shots. I got to see some of the female elk swimming around while their male bellowed from the shore. As soon as we could start on the trip out, we did. Having an 11-12 mile hike to complete in time to get down to the Grand Tetons and get a room to refit puts a bit of pressure on to get moving. This time passing the geyser, it was shooting pretty high every few minutes, so we stuck around for a few pictures and some video. The hike out was pretty much standard, until after eight or nine miles. (Obfuscator notes: We did pass some hikers who reported that they had passed some others who had reported a bear in their camp.) I thought I was a bit dehydrated the entire time I was in the field this time, but it hadn’t really hit me until the last few miles. My stomach and legs started cramping while my extremities began to feel the cold. I needed to take breaks quite frequently while slamming all the water I could keep down. By the time we made it back
to the car, I was pretty much done. All I could do for the drive south was drink water and nap. After about two hours and four litters of water, I was able to convince myself to start taking some photos of the Grand Tetons. (Obfuscator notes: Grant Tetons was really quite stunning. Onaxthiel was down for a good bit of it, and probably unable to appreciate them the same way.)
We had thought we would find lodging in Jackson Hole, but boy were we wrong. There were almost no rooms left in town, and none of them were going for less than 110 dollars per night. We decided to drive further south to the town of Hobak Junction. It is really more of a crossroads than a town from what we could see. It had a few outstanding places though. Our room and internet connection for the night was provided by the Hobak River Resort and was quite affordable and decent, particularly compared to the prices available 15 miles north in Jackson Hole. Our dinner was at the Mystery Spot, one of those strange optical illusion places that can be found along the nation’s highways. The restaurant adjacent
provided good quality food and a few excellent dessert options, which we were obliged to sample. After the meal we went back to the room and blogged all night. I kept pounding water all night and put down about 8 litters total throughout the entire afternoon and evening recovery.
Lessons learned: Force hydrate more in the field. I always do before I leave civilization, but I seem to forget to do it when out in the field. If I had slammed about two litters before leaving camp, I would have been in a much better place when the hike ended. Even taking standard pulls from the camelback for the march wasn’t enough to keep up with how fast I was loosing fluids. Of course, this is because of a long building water debt from a few days, but the problems actually affecting my performance would have been avoided with a bit more drinking even a few hours prior, or perhaps a few more breaks taken on the movement.
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