Why You Out here in the MIddle of Nowhere Girls? = WYOMING
Our first assigned campground in Colter Bay of the Grand Teton park was on a curve of a road and we didn’t like the way the slide was so close to the road, so we found a new site and I rode my bike up to the kiosk and changed sites. All the sites are kind of like you just pull over off the road into a little drive thru drive way. It works out well if you are going in the right direction. A lot of campers came in the loops through the exit so they could have their doors open to the inside of the road. It was really private and a nice little area. The weather was great and as soon as we got set up I went to the little store and marina to see what firewood cost and just what was around. 7.99 plus tax for wood, um, no that’s ok we will pass for tonight. I came back and while Kat napped before doing some work I went riding around the campground. For the elevation of 6000+ it didn’t feel bad. I guess it was the flatness of the roads. It was a gorgeous afternoon and I enjoyed my ride and reading before a walk down to the lake and then dinner. We did take a nice little walk down to the beach and it had a great view of the mountains across the lake. We could really see the smoke from the fire from down there. We had to pack everything up before going inside for the night because of possible bear visits.
Brrr! It was only 44 when we woke up on Wednesday. Our plan for the day was that we wanted to head into Jackson to check it out and also to see my college roomate’s sister who owns Pearl Street Bagels in Jackson. We had a beautiful drive, but the smoke from the fire up the road blocked the view for a little bit. It cleared up mid morning. We checked out the lake that we were going to hike around Thursday and then we stopped at the visitor center to stamp our book and also use the internet for a little bit. There isn’t much internet at the campsite even with our booster.
Jackson was a very touristy town, but cute. Lots of shops and places to eat. We went straight to the bagel shop and said hi to Heather. I hadn’t seen her since I spent the summer with her family during college. We had a nice little visit and enjoyed some bagels and delicious coffee. We walked around a tiny bit and then found a farmers market being held in a small park, so of course we checked that out. The grocery store was the last stop before we headed home. It was about an hour’s drive despite the fact that it was only 33 miles. The drive through the park was full of great views and lots of turnouts so everyone can stop and take pictures.
Little trivia that some of you may not know if you have never been to Jackson: There is no town named Jackson Hole. Jackson Hole is a valley between the Teton Mountain Range and the Gros Ventre Range in Wyoming. The term “hole” was used by early trappers or mountain men, who primarily entered the valley from the north and east and had to descend along relatively steep slopes, giving the sensation of entering a hole..
We woke up early on Thursday so we could get out and go hiking. There is a 7 mile hike around Jenny Lake that is supposed to be really beautiful to hike, so we packed up some lunch and headed, out. It started out chilly, but ended up perfect for a hike. It was definitely a beautiful hike and we ended up walking 9 miles and only took us about 4 hours. We drove the long way home so we could stop for a bit of internet service and see the other part of the loop. We saw some bison, but no bears yet.
Friday was a bit cloudy and it was time for a shower! We found that our hot water heater doesn’t work without electricity and since we were dry camping we didn’t have electricity or water available except from our tank. We need to check out why it won’t light when just using propane, we think it is the ignition thingy. we definitely have to fix that for when we do dry camping. We went up to the shower/laundry and took awesome warm and very long showers! It was well worth the $4.25 each. The plan for today was that after an early lunch Kat would take me to where the bike trail starts at Jenny lake visitor center and I would ride the 19 miles to Jackson and meet her. I had read about the trail and seen it as we drove past it, so I decided to go for it. It seemed pretty flat and very easy to follow. I did have an excellent ride despite the wind trying to hold me back. The trail was paved and went along the road all the way into Jackson. It was just right and later I felt really good. I love exercise endorphins.
Every day we checked with the Rangers at the guard station or where ever we saw one to see if they were going to open the road by Sunday. No one would really say, but the fire ended up getting bigger and bigger. Last we heard before we left was that it went from 6800 acres to 12, 000! One of them told us they were going to let it burn into October if it didn’t get out of control. We made up our minds on late Thursday that we would just have to suck it up and go the long way to get to Cody. We were kind of looking forward to driving through Yellowstone, oh well, we will go in through the entrance near Cody.
We never did see any bears, but I saw a fox when I was riding and we saw a moose when we were driving to go hiking and we saw some bison. I was calling them buffalo, but I wanted to know the difference, so I looked it up. For those of you who never cared enough to ask yourself that question, I will tell you: bison are found in North and South America as well as Europe. Buffalo are found in Asia and Africa. Bison have a large hump and buffalo have none. Bison can live in very cold places like Wyoming, but buffalo can’t. Bison have short, sharp horns and buffalo have longer ones. All I did know was that when I order a bison or buffalo burger, they are both delicious!
Friday night we packed up so we could get an early start Saturday(9am-early for us to leave!). We did pretty good getting going, even downloaded an audio book to listen too in case it was a boring drive and we didn’t feel like radio or talking. Headed into cowboy country in Cody, Wyoming where we will meet up with some friends and also go see Yellowstone. I love that we are seeing things that we have always wanted to go see. The bucket list doesn’t really get any shorter because as we go we find other things we didn’t know about and want to see… I guess we need more time to see it all.
Life is good!