Our itinerary called for just one day in Grand Teton NP, just South of Yellowstone. We didn’t have reservations, so wanted to get down to Colter Bay campground on Jackson Lake before it filled up. We crossed the Continental Divide 3 times heading to the South Entrance of the Park. Part of the drive was pretty smoky due to a fire in the Park south of the main road. We didn’t see any signs of the fire and the smoke seemed to abate as we got further south. Along the way into the park we saw a solo cyclist on a road bike who obviously went over the same passes – we had seen him the previous day at Old Faithful. When we spoke to him briefly at the laundromat later that day he said that he started in San Francisco, went South to Orange County, across to Denver, then to Steamboat (over 11,000 ft Rabbit Ears Pass) and through Rocky Mountain NP. He said his highest elevation reached was 12,000 ft! I was going to comment on his crossing of the Continental Divide in the park, but realized that this was a warm up ride for him given his previous altitude training. I am totally impressed by this guy riding this distance solo, particularly with the incredible amount of climbing he has done. When he gets back to sea level, he’ll be pedaling with “no chain” (as the pros would say).
We got into the Colter Bay campsite and explored the little village, where we found wifi, washing machines, showers, gift shop, food and ice cream. The rest of the day, therefore was devoted to laundry, etc. I took a 5 dollar shower for the pleasure of having a showerhead that was above my head and room to move around, not to mention unlimited hot water. We had some lunch at the lodge, perused the visitor center and gift shop, got some produce and ice cream at the general store and walked down to have a look at the lake. This was a very active bear area, with bear boxes at all of the sites, and the store staff reporting a mother and 3 cubs hanging around the campground. We were also warned about the bears by campsite staff, who said our RV was a good bear box…. just keep the windows closed. We had a low key evening and Miranda asked me to let her know if any bears dropped by in the middle of the night. I did hear and feel them give us a shake, but I could not see anything from my vantage point… it was just too dark.
It started to rain this morning just before we started out for Rockport State Park outside of Park City Utah. Unfortunately, the clouds obscured the view of the top of the Tetons, but it was pretty impressive nonetheless.
Miranda was busy looking for land for her planned Dude Ranch (wouldn’t that really be a “Chick” Ranch). The route out of Jackson took us along the Snake River through beautiful Canyons and a blaze of fall color. Really spectacular scenery.
A high point of the trip for me was passing beneath the worlds largest Elkhorn arch in Afton, Wyoming.
It was cloudy the whole way with periods of rain, but by the time we arrived at Rockport State Park (which was built around a reservior), the sun came out and we finally saw blue, smoke-free skies!
The air quality reading is in the 20s for the nearest monitoring stations some 25 miles away, a big relief from what the far West has experienced. Our campground had electrical and water hookups, and a covered pavilion with a long picnic table on a concrete pad. We are also back in the land of cell service. The view towards the reservoir is not beautiful, but the one to the other direction is not bad.
License plate update
Yellowstone was pretty productive for us – we even got Hawaii!
I am wondering what’s up with those folks in the Northeast. Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Connecticut (OK, and Delaware)? Are they stay at home types? Or are they enjoying the parks in New England? We need them to get off their couches and get out on the road!
Next stop for us is Zion NP in the far Southwest corner of Utah. Zion Canyon road is closed to vehicle traffic, and the only way up the Canyon is via shuttle bus… or by bicycle. We’ve opted to rent some electric bikes to spend the day exploring the Canyon.