I spent June in Nepal. The Himalayas have numerous peaks over 8000 meters / 26,000 feet. I started my trip in Kathmandu and after a daylong jeep ride began a three week trek. The Annapurna Humla (mountain range) towered above us. The rivers carried silt from glaciers with the colors of chocolate and grey. Each day shared new vistas, soaring Griffins, sacred chortens, the whisper of prayer flags and the chant of monks. I returned with a lightness in my step. My soul carries the memory of huge peaks, great people and the inspiration of newness and nature. Step/breathe. We travelled about 160 miles and it was gorgeous.
Locally, Jackson had a cooler month with occasional showers. This weather created ideal conditions so flowers are thriving at lower elevations. Trails are still snowy in the high country and ice axes are needed on steeper terrain.
Early season bikers take advantage of all the paved paths throughout the valley. Cool / wet temperatures delayed the start to mountain biking but by the end of the month, trail work began to clear fallen timber. Now the valley offers a variety of rides.
The summer solstice, June 21, brings a collective peak of growth to the area. Nature thrives at lower elevations with plant diversity, numerous birds and insects. Young animals are seen with females. Chicks call from nests. Male members of the deer family are seen with velvet on their antlers. It is a thin layer of capillaries that covers the antlers while they grow. The valley is green and vibrant with sufficient moisture and sun. June starts our busy summer season as summer vacation begins.
Hiking options are endless as the snow recedes on the peaks. Step/ breathe, step/breathe. Wherever we might be, this focus helps us to stay present in the moment and the beauty of our surroundings.
The Hole Hiking Experience launched a new web site: www.holehike.com. Take a look! It is fresh, new and easy to navigate.
I am also working on the fall trips to Bhutan to more amazing mountains in the Himalayas. It’s time to make a decision if you want to join me. The two featured trips that I am guiding can be found at www.bhutanhimalayanexperience.com or choose your own trip based on your timeframe and group. I can connect you with my Bhutanese business partner and one of his amazing guides.
The last couple of days in June, I walked trails near town- Cache Creek and Josie’s Ridge and saw numerous blooms and butterflies- sticky geranium, scarlet gilia, flax, buckwheat, chickweed, sunflower, chokecherry, serviceberry, indian paintbrush, tiger swallowtail, weidmeyer’s admiral, three-toed woodpecker. The season is upon us. Here’s to summer!
What’s in the woods
With the past month spent in Asia, I refer you to Bert Raynes’ column in the Jackson Hole News and Guide for the latest updates.
Hike where the snow is melting and look for rare early flowers like steershead and calypso orchid. If you want a fun bike ride, explore Cache to Game Creek near downtown Jackson. The trails are well marked and easy to navigate. In Grand Teton Park, flowers are peaking on the valley trails so Bradley/ Taggert Lakes or Phelps Lake / Death Canyon or the Laurence S. Rockefeller Preserve. Have fun and carry bear spray.