For me, April is the perfect month to breathe deeply and play. The winter season has ended and we have this month to rejuvenate before switching gears to summer.
I traveled to Araivapa Canyon outside of Tucson to soak in the sun, play with friends, and enjoy the desert. It was awesome. I saw a Gopher Snake the first day that I arrived and got bit by a Giant Centipede the night before I departed. Nature…raw nature…in the desert. It was great fun and I survived the bite with only a bit of discomfort. Granted it is unsettling when your friends jump up the get the poisonous creatures book but fortunately the bite was minimal and I was fine.
I am back and preparing for summer. Check out our new Sunrise Wildlife Tour and Nature Walk. It’s a morning trip that combines wildlife viewing in Grand Teton Park with a nature walk on Shadow Mountain. The walk is within animal habitat with amazing Teton views. Walking is the best way to connect to the landscape and you can’t beat the photo opportunities and amazing wildlife habitat!
The Personal Kingdom: Personal Journey and Cultural Tour is a GO so join me to experience Bhutan this fall! The dates are November 2-15, 2014. I will gladly answer any questions and hope you can me on this journey.
Here’s to an amazing summer,
Owner of The Hole Hiking Experience and Bhutan Himalayan Experience
April is the month of transition. The ski resort closes. The community quiets before switching gears to summer. Snow mixes with rain and moments of sun. Overall, the month has been cool with additional snow accumulation in the high country.
This winter, we received over 500 inches of snow. We currently have about an eleven foot snowpack at 9300 feet. Predicting trail openings will be a challenge. As always, it will be dependent on Mother Nature and spring weather.
It’s a nice time of the year to relax, visit friends, read a book and rejuvenate before the busy summer season. Many people don’t realize that summer is the busiest season in Jackson. During the summer over 3 million people come through our small town. In the winter, visitation averages about 250,000.
The ski resort had a record year as the #1 ski resort in North America. It’s a mixed blessing if you ask the local skiers but the deep snow and stormy winter brought many visitors to Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.
I journeyed south this month to visit great friends in Arizona. It was fun to drive from our snowy valley to hear the meadowlark and see the osprey soar. All I could think was “welcome” and see you in Jackson when I return. Now, ospreys are nesting and the meadowlark sings in our valley.
My friends have a great place in Aravaipa Canyon in the Sonoran Desert. Aravaipa Canyon is a Nature Conservancy property and only 50 people can enter the canyon each day. It’s located northeast of Tucson and worth a visit. If you are a birder, Vermillion Flycatchers nest in the canyon and Black Hawks are also common. My friends have a guest house they rent so if you are interested in lodging, send me an email.
Saguaro Cactuses are native to the Sonoran Desert. It’s a tree-like cactus species that can grow over 70 feet tall! The first side arm grows when over 75 years old and precipitation directly relates to how big they can get. It’s a cactus that most of us have seen in pictures and equate it to deserts. Well, there are four different types of deserts in North America and the Saguaro only grows in the Sonoran.
The Sonoran Desert is an amazing place and we coined it “extreme” with all the cactuses, poisonous snakes, poisonous bugs, intense heat and solar energy. It is an amazing ecosystem when you consider survival in an area with such harsh conditions.
I left for most of the month and returned to a snowy valley and slipping hillside. I am sure many of you have heard about the landslide in town that has ruined homes and closed businesses. Excavation to build a Walmart might be the cause but no one is certain. Living in an area rich with nature comes with consequences as we try to balance our needs with Mother Nature.
Bears are on the move. Grizzlies have been seen on the Teton Village Road in residential areas. The excitement continues. I wouldn’t want it any differently.
In the Woods
4/7-4/26- Arizona, near Phoenix and Tucson- road runners mating!, gila woodpecker, bald eagle, phainopepla, vermillion flycatcher, black hawk, great blue heron, northern flicker, bullock oriole, doves, gopher snake, giant centipede, tartantula hawk, blooming cactus,
4/27- driving back to Jackson to winter weather
4/29- snow / sun mix, flock of male and female bluebirds near Teton Village Road
The Craig Thomas Discovery Center is opened in Grand Teton Park. The Visitor Center in the town of Jackson is also open. It is located on North Cache Street. In the spring, it is always a great idea to stop in and see what trails are open, bear activity and an update on changing conditions. Be cautious of stream crossings as temperatures warm and make sure to carry bear spray. A spring favorite is the Valley Trail that runs at the base of the Tetons. My favorite places to access the trail is from Death Canyon, the LSR Preserve or Granite Canyon. It’s fun to do a car shuttle and walk from Death to Granite Canyon. Have fun and stay safe.