I (John) recently returned from a trip to Wyoming where I spent several days exploring Grand Teton National Park. Before I motor boat into what I saw and felt, let’s first shine some high-beams on how the Grand Tetons got their name. It is rumored by some rather boring historians that the large mounds were named after the Teton Sioux tribe. However, the more widely adopted explanation among the locals is that “Grand Teton” means “Large Teat” in French, named by French-Canadian explorers. For purposes of this fun bag discussion, we’re going to augment the latter.
Now, I’ve explored the deep crevasses and cleavages of the Grand Canyon, Carlsbad Caverns and the Great Smokey Mountains, but the sheer size and immense beauty of these large teats is unmatched by anything I’ve ever seen. I was fortunate to feed off of the land in more ways than one, so I have compiled a list of the top three things I learned by exploring Large Teat National Park.
1. A man’s anxiety disappears when immersed in Large Teats
As one who has suffered from anxiety, depression and post traumatic stress disorder, I can tell you that I’m a sucker for anything that can relieve my stresses naturally, and the Grand Tetons did it for me. My anxiety and emotional state can still have a tenderness to them so I still carry medications with me just in case. But I never once felt the need to medicate myself when buried in these mounds.
2. A man never feels alone when consuming mother nature’s bosom.
Even with all of today’s technology and social networking, it’s easier than ever to feel detached and isolated from others. I found, however, that when embarking on a solo journey into the thick woods, it’s almost impossible to feel lonely. Mother nature has a way of providing you with signs – such as a pair of hooting owls or putting a few wild-growing melons in your path – that remind you that you’re never alone when you are exploring her.
For instance, I took an unaccompanied hike but never felt apart from people. Conversely, I never felt closer to the greater whole of existence. There was life all around me in the streams, lakes and trees. I was fortunate to experience two up-close encounters with mother nature in the forms of a bull moose and elk. It’s one thing to see these wild beasts on TV or the computer but there’s something exhilarating and life-changing about seeing them up close in person.
3. A man cannot deny the sense of accomplishment when climaxing a challenging summit.
On the final day of my trip I had the opportunity to hike to the top of a 10,000 foot mountain at the Grand Targee Resort. I grabbed a few jugs…of water…and started feeling my way up the mountain. It wasn’t long before I got off the trail and found myself chest deep in wild grasses and shrubs. There was a hardness to this hike unlike any I have ever experienced. I thought about giving up about a third of the way through, thinking there was no way my legs would carry me to the top. I kept moving one step at a time and finally reached the top where it was a tid bit nipply up on the breast of the new fallen snow. More amazing than the views was the sense of freedom and exhilaration I felt for conquering these huge lumps of mother Earth.
So whether your fears are real or fake, there’s nothing like taking your Winnebagos to the milk factory that produces all-natural, snow-capped peaks that is – Grand Teton National Park.