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Saturday, February 1, 2014

Grand Tetons (and Mountain Man)

We had intended to spend some time camping in the Grand Tetons.  But we added a few extra days in Yellowstone and by this time we hadn't showered or done laundry in a week.  Further more, our last night in Yellowstone there was a massive rain storm and flash flood of sorts that came through our camp.  We were soaked, stinky, and freezing cold.  So despite the sun and blue sky popping out for a few hours, we just enjoyed the beautiful Tetons from the road.

They certainly are magnificent!  Some day I want to go back and climb them!

On a completely different line of thought, and most definitely contrasting with the beauty of the Grand Tetons, is the story of my transformation into "Mountain Man".  As we were packing for the camping trip, my daughter, Hannah, saw me holding a razor.  Apparently I must have looked tentative (I never take it on jungle treks, and don't like packing extra) because she immediately said, "Oh daddy, don't take it.  Grow a beard!  I love when you grow a beard!"  If not for the certainty that my wife wouldn't be quite so excited, that would've been all it took to convince me.  I hate shaving.  But instead, I did what we often do for issues that might impact our whole family (hey, they were the ones that had to be seen with me), I put it up for a family vote.  It was 5 for the beard (the kids), 1 against the beard (Joy), and one abstention (me).  And so it began.  This is what I typically look like.

Once the vote was decided, Joy got into it.  She decided it would be fun to chronicle the event, so she kept trying to snap pictures of me with the iPhone every few days.  This was one of them, while I was fueling the car, a few days into the trip.

Then Hannah learned how to take pictures with the phone.  She took this one, while we were all sitting on a log taking a break during a long hike in Bryce Canyon about three weeks later.

And this is what I looked like when we returned to Oregon--behold, Mountain Man!  Hannah loved it.  Joy hated it.  You should've heard my mom's reaction, first time she saw me on Skype after our camping trip.  It was pretty funny.  To her credit, she didn't say anything specific...but the gasp, and "oh my" comment were pretty easy to interpret.  My dad jus started chuckling.  I got a kick out of everyone's reaction out here in Oregon--from, "what the...?"  to, "dude, love the beard!"  Apparently beards are actually the in thing out here on the West Coast.  And the bushier the better.  But alas, I've never cared much about what's in or out...unless my wife says it's in or out.  And she said the beard was out, or the Mountain Man could move out.  Well, it wasn't quite that direct, but I got the message.    So these pictures are all that remain of the mountain man look.  What do you think about it?

Check back soon, and I'll have some dramatic scenery shots from Utah.  I promise you'll enjoy those a lot more than Mountain Man.


Sandy said...

Hey, you will have to do 'Movember' - its for raising money for prostate cancer research. My son looked like a wild man by the end of the month! He doesn't normally do 'scruff' so it was very odd the first time he did it.
Come to think of it, he does scruff a lot more since then!
Sandy in the UK

Genusfrog said...

Mountain Man all the way! Bears are amazing. I could never grow a beard and am suffering right now from chronic intense beard envy. Keep the Mountain Man.

Genusfrog said...

Mountain Man all the way! I could never grow a beard myself so I am suffering from chronic intense beard envy. But keep it dude. Best look of them all.

(Why don't wives like beards?)