July 17 thru 18, 2018 Woke early after a good night; up once for potty, then straight back to sleep. Packed up camp and talked with the two retired gentlemen who rode in on Harley’s last night and slept in the teepee. In hindsight, I should have slept in there, with just my cot and bedding. Maybe next time! They were funny, long-time friends who said they could mark that experience off their bucket lists. Ha! Pulled out just after 0700. The owners are so sweet and just getting started. It was here that I heard about Good Sam campgrounds. I definitely plan to visit again!
Stopped at the Boulder Bar & Grill for an English muffin with egg, cheese and sausage to go, then to the store for coffee. Beware the cop who camps out on the corner. I saw him yesterday and this morning; appears generous with tickets.
About 30 minutes up the road, I stopped at Daniel Junction for another potty break and to top off gas ($3.10/gal). While inside, couldn’t resist buying their homemade beef, cheese and jalapeño burrito, with sides of pico de gallo and spicy sauce, for later. Also bought a small bag of ice and A&W soda.
People must feel very safe in this area. As I was refilling my ice chest, noticed the small child in her carseat, alone in the car parked next to me. Just in case, I waited a few minutes until a woman came out of the store and joined her, before getting back on the road.
Arrived in less than 15 minutes to the town of Pinedale, where I spotted the Sublet County’s Veteran Memorial Park and had to stop. This memorial park has a monument of black granite, engraved with names of those who served going back several generations. The grounds are beautiful and border the quick-flowing Pine Creek. I walked the trail around the park, along with some senior gentlemen, then headed out. Made quick stop in Family Dollar for $5 worth snacks; Goldfish, peanut butter, and raisins.
After Pinedale, incredible views and very windy, wide-open country. Finally ate part of the breakfast sandwich from Boulder that was delicious. I needed to pee so damn bad, but not even a vault toilet around, for miles and miles. The drive was especially along the Hoback River.
Experienced a total high, followed by immediate lower than low, when I pulled into the Elkhorn Trading Post. It was locked and for sale. I walked around the side and was about to squat, when I noticed people too close for comfort, maybe squatters themselves (crack myself up sometimes). Back on the road.
I was beyond giddy to see Hoback Market off Hwy 89 where I shot like an arrow, straight to the toilet. Looked around for a bit and bought a few supplies; pepperoni, couple cans kidney beans and ice. Also enjoyed the rest of my breakfast sandwich at their outside picnic table, while updating my journal. I saw several families with out of state plates; felt lonely, missed family. Called mom for a chat, which helped.
The incredible, colorful mountains with snow caps got closer and traffic got a little heavier.Just outside the big town of Jackson, WY, I pulled off the highway to check out this A’OK Corral. The people running the show were very friendly and the horses gorgeous. I’d love to come back for one of their trail rides.
Although I’d been in Jackson for several miles, this sign was posted just before the hustle and bustle of the main town. It was so busy with tourists, I only made one stop, in a parking lot at the Super 8 to search overnight options. I was tired, but not so tired I’d give up staying in open-awesomeness for a hotel, especially at $200 (on cheap side) a pop. I called a few campgrounds that were full, then checked my journal for the place suggested by the woman in Boulder, Gros Ventre. When I heard there were vacancies that don’t last long, I hopped in the traffic and headed north.
On my way, I noticed a big building on a hill and took the turn. It was the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson Hole. I didn’t go through the museum, but checked out the grounds and inside. Incredible bronze wildlife sculptures, art, history, paintings, architecture and super nice restroom!
Headed to the campground and timing couldn’t have been better! There were only a couple people in front of me at the registration office when I got there. Within minutes, a long line of big-ass RVs pulled in behind my truck. I paid for two nights at $29/night.
Located my site and set up camp as quickly as possible to have time for a walk before dark; closed up supplies in bear bin.
Asked a neighboring camper if I could charge my iPad in his camper and offered a few dollars. He looked shocked and responded, “Absolutely not!” Although a simple no would have sufficed, it was what it was. Wonderful walk – tons of wild flowers!
I plugged into the bath outlet and met several people while waiting outside. My favorite was a couple camping across from the restrooms; Dan, a retired Illinois police officer, and his wife Carol, who I believe was a retired teacher. In their 70’s, they had a camper, but preferred their tent for less worries and expense. Being here beats the pants off any hotel room!
Little chipmunks and birds are everywhere, but so are tiny red-bugs (aka chiggers). Spotted them crawling on white picnic cover, then realized they were on almost everything. Sprayed repellant from head to feet and on other stuff.
There’s no WiFi. The temp dropped to 40; grateful for warm clothes. Sunset was gorgeous! I made one more potty stop, brushed teeth (nice to have running water), tucked PJ pants into socks and zipped up.
Beautiful, chilly morning and my coffee tasted nasty. Took off as quickly as possible toward Yellowstone. I figured I’d go there first, then through Tetons on the way back to camp. Ate cherries on the drive and couldn’t help but stop frequently for photos. Insanely gorgeous!
Accidentally turned with the traffic flow into Grand Teton Park entrance, instead of Yellowstone. Since I was stuck between vehicles, I stayed put. Entrance fee of $35 covered by my pass. At this point, I saved $20 with $80 pass. Yea!
I went straight into Colter Bay Village where I browsed shops. The general store had lots of veggie choices and all kinds of supplies. I picked up ice, an avocado, couple bananas and mushrooms.
Loved that oxygen canisters were available in a variety of colors in the store next-door where I bought a large canister of Bear Spray for $50 and several reusable shopping bags.
At the Visitor Center, rangers were available for park information and these ladies, Rachel Two Bulls and Oglala Lakota Sioux, had an awesome display of handmade jewelry. I bought $10 turquoise turtle earrings made by Rachel (Rae.firstname.lastname@example.org). First view of Jackson Lake from back of VC.
It was so damn hot! I headed down, past the outdoor theater area, to Jackson Lake. Met two adorable ladies, Jessie on vacation with her husband and sons from Utah, and Tess who works at the Jenny Lake Lodge. It was just us girls and we spent the entire afternoon sunning, talking, laughing and swimming. Special day!
Tess insisted I check out Jenny Lake lodge, so she gave me a ride to my truck and I followed her. Definitely a nice place with high-end shops, a restaurant and a pianist who played beautifully. I loved the stone fireplace with moose rack.
Drove down the street from the lodge and parked near the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center. Before going inside, I took a long walk in the woods and wildflowers.
The Center has life-size sculptures, mountaineering and western memorabilia, a three-dimensional park map, outstanding art gallery and more.
Headed toward the campground, I made several stops to walk through woods and by the river, check out a popular rock climbing area and admire a herd of bison.❤️
I was starving and my sunburn was stinging. Fired up the Coleman to sauté mushrooms and heat half the burrito from Daniel Junction. The spicy sauce added awesome flavor. Chased it and probably a few red-bugs with the ice-cold A&W (delicious!), then sat back for the rest of the evening watching campground activity. A group of teen boys nearby were having a blast messing with each other. Made me think of mine and their friends. Good times! Fact is that time flies no matter what; good or shitty. Working on enjoying and appreciating each moment. The icky shit will take a hell of a lot more practice!