Though sleeping in the car might not be ideal, it had the desired effect and we were able to get a first come first serve spot in the Jenny Lake Campground. I don’t know for sure, but I’m guessing that fewer than 10 spots opened up that day. We spent the morning getting and setting up camp, stopping at the visitor center, etc.. We also stopped by the backcountry office to see if we could get a site for backpacking, but they were all booked. Apparently first-come-first-serve for those sites also includes people planning multi-day hikes who register at the start of the hike, so there were no openings left for us or anyone else. The stop for information meant that we were getting to Phelps Lake midday, so there was a wait for parking, but nothing too bad and it was nicely organized, so no endless loop hoping to be in the right spot and the right moment.
Phelps Lake was slated to be a pretty serene hike (7.2mi round trip) with no major climbing which was OK as the legs were still feeling a bit abused from the first three days of vacation. Overall this was a pretty accurate description – a nice casual and mostly flat loop around the lake. Other than some kids jumping off a large rock at one point, it was a very quiet and peaceful hike.
After the hike we noticed that the right rear tire had continued losing air. This was getting annoying, obviously needed to be resolved, and it was nice enough out (and still light), so the moment was deemed right to deal with the issue properly. It took some searching, but we found the culprit – a small tack. Fortunately, we had sprung for the $2 tire plug kit at Walmart in addition to the 12V inflator, so the fix was pretty straight forward after finding the problem.
We returned to the campground to make dinner (more kabobs) and then drove out to Oxbow for sunset. Sunset was nothing great – not enough clouds to be interesting, but we stuck around just to make sure. I think we stopped at the Signal Mountain Lodge on the way back through and Janet acquired a can of bear spray to supplement the can I was carrying which had expired in 2018. Probably a good idea – relying on the longevity of expired products that are expected to be life saving is, maybe, a bad plan.