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Junior Curator Yellowstone Trip – June 28, 2012

June 29, 2012

Today included one of the biggest challenges the JC’s had ever faced: Avalanche Peak Trail. The hike is a 5 mile round trip, which is shorter than many we’d done earlier this week, but the elevation gain was over 2000 feet in just the two miles up.

Our guide, Tamarack, met us at eight in the morning, and we immediately started our journey upward. Huffing and puffing, we encouraged each other on with each step we took, taking many breaks along the way. It wasn’t long before snow started showing up along the trail, and we stopped for several snow ball fights.

Not only was the hike a physical challenge, but also a mental one for many. We would reach the top of one ridge only to discover we still had several more to go to get to the peak. Once we did reach the top, though, it was all worth it. The view was spectacular and we could see almost the entire park, including several geographic features like Yellowstone Lake, the Grand Tetons, and the Absaroka Mountains.

The hike down the mountain was almost as big of a challenge as the hike up. When we reached the road, we were very tired indeed!

That was what many JC’s considered the biggest highlight of the day. Among others were when we pulled over to look in a pond for leeches, and found several elusive tiger salamanders as well, causing what was likely the park’s first salamander jam!

We finished up the evening with a glimpse of Yellowstone’s most famous attraction – Old Faithful. It was truly a breathtaking day.

By Shelly, Rachel C., Garrett, Rachel H., Matt, Nick

 

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