Jackson in July

July is where I began to improve and feel more like myself again. On July 4th from my journal: “I’ve got to look into these issues with a new lens and intensity. This is not sustainable.” This mindset propelled me through the rest of the month. I returned to healthy habits that had become so important throughout the spring and were then lost in the craziness of June. Meditation, reading, physical activity, all very basic but very powerful. Work had become more consistent now and the skies had more or less cleared of the June rains. I had goals I wanted to achieve and now seemed as good a time as any to lay a solid foundation for the rest of the season.

I wanted to get much better at climbing this summer and started this journey with a trip up Disappointment peak. This was the first true mountain I climbed in the Tetons. Beyond about 40 feet of class four, which was a first for me, the climb was very straightforward. A new friend, Sam, helped me to the top. The views were stunning and the burn was pleasant. I knew that this was something I wanted to pursue further.

A few weeks later a group of us decided to climb Teewinot, the most fatal mountain in the range. To say that this was a large jump from Disappointment would be an understatement. Teewinot is brutally steep, tough to navigate and very unforgiving. We struggled to find our original objective and then switched to the fourth-class east face and try for the summit. For a multitude of reasons we were stopped no more than 20 feet from the summit. While it was disappointing to be stopped short this adventure was an unbelievably valuable experience and confidence booster for me personally.

The next week I set off on my first solo mission of the summer. My objective was to summit both the Middle and South Teton in one day. A casual goal for many from Jackson but a hefty one for me. This was another great day out. 15.7 miles and over 7,300 feet of elevation made this, at least numerically, the toughest climb I had ever done. It felt great to be in the mountains alone. While company is always nice I think it is important to venture out solo every now and then. This time spent alone is when I personally come across many insights into myself and the world around me. Finding the right balance between group and solitary activity is something I have become very aware of over the past few years.

Beyond climbing I found myself reinvigorated to dive more into the creative arts again. I realized that I experience so much that I wish to share with the world and I rarely have any way to do so except with words. I wanted to start a blog where I could log and share these stories. This turned into the idea of creating a website and now here I am. Learning WordPress was quite the pain in the ass but a new skill I have now added to my toolbelt. I am extremely excited about diving more into this side of myself and seeing where I can go within this space.

The month of July is host to many events here in Jackson. Concerts on top of Snow King, climbing, night life, the fair. It seems that every night there is some sort of event to attend or participate in. It can feel overwhelming at times and the lack of sleep will certainly takes its toll but that is nothing a little bit of Caffeine in the morning can’t fix. It is a very, very good problem to have.

The river is low now and angry August is fast approaching. I feel more optimistic about the rest of the year than I did at the end of June. For that I am thankful. All there is to do now is to continue striving to be better in some capacity each and every day. I have a good feeling about this upcoming month, despite it’s infamous nickname.

 

Songs from this time:

“If I Were a Butterfly – Single Version” – Rayland Baxter

“Boarding” – Eutrop

“1999” – NO CIGAR

Books:

“River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze” by Peter Hessler 4.5/5

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