After a fun drive across

8/17/09 — After a fun drive across Eastern Oregon, we spent three days in Yellowstone National Park, which included a close encounter with bison, a hike along the rim of the spectacular Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, and of course Old Faithful.

Now, a week later, it’s a frosty morning in Grand Teton National Park. I’m sitting in the rustic log-cabin library of the the Grand Teton Climber’s Ranch maintained by the American Alpine Club.

A fire crackles in the wood stove, slowly taking the chill out of my fingers. We attempted an ascent of the Grand Teton on Sunday, and made it to the Lower Saddle by late afternoon — 11,600+ feet above sea level — with only a bit of bad weather to liven things up. A full-on storm roared in that night, though, and dumped eight inches of snow. Dawn revealed a mountain world of wonder . . .

Along with the beauty came a liability — rock coated with verglas, a thin layer of ice, which made footing sketchy at best. The summit would have to wait. We were forced to retreat back to the valley.

Which may seem like a defeat, and was, I guess, if success is only measured in attaining the summit. But we had a great mountain adventure, and returned safely. Most importantly, I got to share the experience with daughter, Amy, and close friend Mark, which for me is really what mountaineering is all about.

And to top it all off, I’ve got tons of more ideas to use in the rewrite of STORM MOUNTAIN, and other upcoming stories.

Speaking of writing, I’ll be getting back to work on REVENGE OF THE MUTANT UNDERWEAR today while we start our return trip to Oregon. My office is now the backseat of our car. Love my laptop!