Sunday, August 25, 2013

Grand Teton National Park (GTNP)

On the 11th, we left for the GTNP to meet up with a group of our Lazy Daze friends. On the way we spent the night at the BLM Warren Bridge campground north of  Pinedale, WY.  A very good stopping place if heading to/from the  Yellowstone or Teton areas.. Water and a dump station. All pull-thru sites so if you were towing there would be no need to unhook for the night. $5.

In the GTNP we stayed at the Gros Ventre campground which is about ten miles west of Jackson.  It's just an OK campground. It's very large having some 350 sites so there is a fair amount of traffic.  There isn't much privacy between  sites. On the other hand, there is drinking water available and a dump station and, because it's so big, you don't need reservations. $10/day.  On most days deer and moose wandered throughout the camping area. The day after we left, a large bison drifted through our campsite.

There were from six to eight Lazy Dazes there during our ten day stay. We were going to stay longer but the Tetons are mostly about hiking, kayaking, fishing and so on. Plus the smoke from all the fires to the north made things generally unpleasant.

One day I was walking Gopher and a women close to my age approached me and asked if she could pet Gopher. I said certainly. She sat down on the ground, hugged Gopher and cried.  Gopher licked the tears off her face. The women said Gopher could be the twin of her dog that had died just a few days ago and she just had to give her one more hug. I saw her a few days later and she said she was getting better.

I was reading Don and Dorothy's blog, as I do,  about their western adventure. Always lots of tips about interesting places to camp and some places to avoid.  They were talking about the looong trek from Colorado to Alabama. I don't envy them the drive. I checked out of curiosity. From Jackson, WY to our former home in Ft. Pierce, FL it's right at 2,400 miles. I can remember how depressing it was to enter Texas on I-10.  880 miles of mile, after mile, after mile of sage brush and sand. You think it will never end.   To our new home from Jackson it's about 500 miles; a good bit of which is through forest.  We're so glad we made the move.

On the way home, we stopped for the night in Lander, WY . Lander has a very nice free city park where you can stay for three days.  A good stopping place for the night. We heard about the Lander Bar and Gannett Grill on Yelp so we had dinner there.  The bar and grill are in an historic hotel in the downtown area. The pizza was excellent, as was our glass of water.

The Lander Bar/Gannett Grill

After Lander it was a night in Encampment, WY at the city park then on through Grand Lake, CO to the Timber Creek campground in the Rocky Mountain National Park. The dead trees from the beetle kill made the campground look like Ground Zero.  We completed the trip home via Trail Ridge Road to Estes Park, CO. The road has a maximum elevation of 12,183'.  It's interesting. When the road was first built it had a 16% grade. Now the max. grade is only 7%.

Trail Ridge Road

Right now we're home getting ready for our trip to the Balloon Fiesta in ABQ. On the way home from Jackson, our water pump developed a leak.  It was our third ShurFlo 5.7 series pump.  I ordered a new pump , not a 5.7,  from Amazon and installed it yesterday. We're ready to go.

The North Colorado secession movement is moving right along. The seven northeast counties have placed the secession issue on their November ballots.The current hot topics are about selecting a state flower, bird (the Bullockornis a.k.a. the Demon Duck of Doom is gaining traction), song, etc. It's rumored that the new NoCo license plate will have an oil well on one side and an assault rifle on the other.  :-)