July 31, 2018 Grand Teton National Park to Nampa, Idaho

We are still on east coast time and were up and about early enough to beat the crowds today.  It was beautiful weather in a beautiful place.

Our first stop was the visitor center. I asked Andy to stand next to the moose, for scale, but he would not get too close.

This is the entrance.

There are enormous windows to view the mountains.

I enjoyed the 3-D topographical map of Jackson Hole to get the lay of the land.

We chatted with a woman at the information desk and made a plan for the day. This is the courtyard out front as we headed out the door.

We have seen plenty of mountains in our travels, but these are different from any other. They are steeper and seem to jut out of the earth with the relatively flat valley beside them.

We parked in the farthest possible parking space and hiked to the boat dock on Jenny Lake.

It was scenic.

There was no line at the ticket counter. Andy and I sat in the back of the boat with a Scotish couple. That’s her in the red shorts.

 

 

This is the landing on the far side of the lake.

A park volunteer was standing on the pier telling everyone which way to go for the various trails.  We had chosen an easy one to see a cascade.

We turned left at the top of the steps and found a nice path.

It did not stay smooth and level for long.  There were lots of steps.

This is the cascade looking downstream.

I liked getting a peek at the peak when looking upstream.

The view walking back to the boat dock.

We got to this point and saw the boat “way down there” and realized that we had missed the turn to the path we came up.  I looked ahead a bit and saw a rough and rocky path that would be too much of a challenge for Andy’s knees, so we backtracked.

This bridge/trailhead is back at the dock where we first caught the boat.

Brende had recommended that we eat at the Jenny Lake Lodge.  It required reservations, even for lunch.  The woman at the visitor center recommended Signal Mountain Lodge.  We should have thought to go look at the other one even if we could not eat there.

This was our lunch view.

I admired this flower pot at the front door of the lodge and took this picture so my daughter Jennifer can copy it.

I went out on the back deck of the lodge to get the picture to the left

and to the right.  This is Jackson Lake.

I also admired this bench make with two-by-fours and rebar.

We visited most of the park and decided to drive on west late in the afternoon rather than stay another night in the park. I drove 483 miles today including the park touring and the trip west. We had entered the park at the north end and left at the south end, through Jackson, Wyoming. Jackson was a charming town but was packed with cars and pedestrians. We continued south through the Targhee National Forest to Alpine and then followed the Snake River for the rest of the trip.

Southern Idaho was a surprising and varied landscape for me.  There was some of everything: mountains, lakes, plains, an enormous desert, wheat, wheat and more wheat, and of course Idaho potatoes. There were more cattle than I have ever seen anywhere else. And lava everywhere!  I should have photographed that sign at the rest stop because I can’t remember all it said now. Apparently, the lava there did not flow from an erupting volcano but flowed out of a fissure in the earth. There are were and are volcanos in the region. Irrigation!  Just about every field was being watered with those huge, rolling irrigation rigs.  It was an unbelievable amount of water. Much of the time we were on the Snake River Plain, but then we came to an area of flat-top mountains and deep valleys.  Sometimes we were high above the river and others we were about water level.

A lot of scenery and a lot of driving.  I’m tired.

 

 

 

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July 30, 2018 – Sundance WY to Grand Teton National Park

FINALLY!  We got off the interstate. But yes, Wyoming is sooo beautiful, even from the interstate.  We topped off the fuel tank and ate lunch at the Subway. It is the first time I ever went to a cowboy town Subway.  It was the same as most others on the inside.

We then followed US16. We had to pull over for some minor emergency (something crashed in the back of the RV).  While Andy checked that, I took a couple pictures out the window.

The Bighorn National Forest was incredibly beautiful and mostly filled with lodgepole pines. I pulled over at one overlook.

Andy reminded me that we had a long way to go and I could not stop at every overlook or interesting spot.  Those are the only pictures I took so you should Google images of Bighorn National Forest and see how amazing, stunning, incredible and beautiful it is.

Another thing you need to see with Google images is Wind River Canyon. Absolutely stunning. Today’s drive was one of the most beautiful I have ever taken.  It is in my top ten, for sure. It is right up there with the Pacific Coast Highway in California, the Overseas Highway in Florida, and the drive through Zion National Park.

We drove directly into the Grand Teton National Park and to the Gros Ventre campground.  It was late in the afternoon and there was a line at the campground office, but we got a campsite.

Here is Scamp snuggled into our campsite.

No wonder I’m so tired.  We drove 475 miles today in about 10 hours.