A Travellerspoint blog

Day 15

Grand Tetons to Cheyenne, WY

sunny 78 °F

Hey Dudes and Dudettes!

Well we left the Tetons around 7:45 AM (MST) and headed southeast to Cheyenne, WY. A distance of 413 miles. I will tell that without a doubt the biggest expense on this trip is the fuel. We are getting about 13 miles per gallon and so far have traveled 3600 plus miles. The average cost of fuel is around $2.76. You can do the math. It adds up really quickly and is not over yet.

We arrived at our stopover (F.E. Warren Air Force Base) at around 4:30 P.M. (MST) and got our camper setup just in time before a thunderstorm hit big time. This storm has been chasing us since Rawlings, WY. This is actually the first rain we have seen during the day since leaving Dryden on July 31st. We have been very lucky. We've had rain during the night on 2 occassions. The first was in Dayton, OH. That night a extreme thunderstorm surprized us during the night with a lightening show to beat the band. My wife, the lovely Diane, was scared, so scared she jumped out of our little bed and went to stand over by the bathroom door. A total distance of about 6 feet away from the bed. I was laughing so hard looking at her and wondering what the difference 6 feet was going to do if a lighening bolt had stuck our bed. She evens laughs about now, but then it wasn't funny for her at all. Just one of the little stories that happened on our trip.

The trip today started with a disappearing view of the Grand Tetons and took us through the Wind River Canyon again, but then turn us down Rt 287 (WY) which is the Chief Washaki Trail. This road takes us through the Wind River reservation and is the seventh largest indian reservation consisting 2.2 million acres and is the home of Eastern Shoshone & Northern Arapaho Indians. The view is of rolling hills, some mountains, but virtually no trees. The land is covered with scrub grass and priare grasses. Once we reached Rawlings, WY the ground flatten out and you could see for miles and miles. We have been told that our trip tomorrow will be basically flat all the way to Omaha, NE. There we will begin to see dairy lands with cows grazing.

Today we had a black black cross our road in the Wind River Canyon and a few miles down the road we saw a Momma bear and 2 cubs playing out in the field.

I will post a few last pictures of the Grand tetons and some of the trip today.

Until tomorrow...

Posted by rburke8 08.16.2010 16:59 Archived in USA Tagged family_travel Comments (0)

Day 14

A Down day and reflections

sunny 55 °F

Today, Sunday, we are taking it easy. We have no plans of siteseeing, at least not at this point. Maybe later we will take a ride up to see a different part of the park. For now we are in the laundermat taking care of our clothes and getting ready to head back home. It's so much easier to load clothes in the camper when they are clean and folded.

Tomorrow, we decided, to head south to Cheyenne, WY and stay at the Air Force base there. It's about 413 miles from the Grand Tetons and will take around 7-8 hours to get there. After a nights stay we will turn east on Rt. 80 and head towards home. Right now we are expecting to arrive at our Son's house in Canadaiqua on Friday. We not going to push as hard to get home as we did to get out here. We will stay the night at Michael's so that we can visit with our grand-daughter whom we miss a lot.

So far this has been a fantastic vacation. We have seen more then ever before. Sights that have been burned into our memories that will last a lifetime. This country we live in is so broad, so vast with plenty of expansion room. The various landscapes that I have posted are so interesting. I would have never expected to see the different hills and mountains that we have witnessed on this trip. I can only imagine what we might encounter on the way home. Let's not leave out the different wildlife we've also seen. They have been pretty awsome as well.

I am now looking even more to the time that Diane and I can become "full-time" RV'rs. Then we can travel and see the rest of this country in the style we so enjoy. The best part about RVing is that you meet the most interesting people from all over the country. To add to that statment, you also learn new tips on RVing which make the RV life so much better. We have seen many different styles of RV's and I have come to the conclusion that the best rig is a 5th wheel. Some 5th wheels we have seen are almost as big as my home. A 5th wheel can also come with a garage in the back where we would be able to store our motorcycles. Perfect answer to travelling our the country.

Sorry, no pictures today. I will wait until the demand for pictures of a laundermat increases.

Posted by rburke8 08.15.2010 08:29 Archived in USA Tagged family_travel Comments (1)

Day 13

Yellowstone National Park

sunny 64 °F

Hello friends.

Today we took a 9 hours bus tour through the lower loop of Yellowstone National Park. There are 2 loops through the Park; one lower and one upper. To do both would take probably 24 hours of driving. To see everything you need 5-7 days of nothing but going from one site to the other. This is not counting the number of times you stop to see and take pictures of the different wildlife you come upon.

Yellowstone took me aback. I didi not expect to se the different landscapes that I saw. When I thought of Yelllowstone I thought about geysers and hotsprings, mudholes. But it is so much more. Yellowstone contains all the things I mentioned plus waterfalls, a hugh lake, rivers, hills and mountains, and so many different wildlife. They have mule deers, elk, moose, wolfs, coyotes, bears (both grizzley and black) and bison (buffalo). We were very fortunate to see a Grizzley bear just about a mile from entering Yellowstone Park. Unfortunately, I t happen so fast we were not ready to take pictures and did not get a picture of this beautiful large creature that just was ambling along the edge of the woods. We did see elks, both male and female, including a couple of young ones and we saw mule deers and plenty of buffalos. It is really wonderful to see the wildlife in their natural habitat just enjoyinng the day as we were.

We also saw "Old Faithful". This geyser spews water and steam from 105' up to 180'. Today we think it reached a height of 130'. It was quite impressive. It spews about every hour and half. I would guess that the time we saw it there was at 500-750 people gathered around the geyser waiting as we were for the spectacular view. The geyser at first teases you with little spurts follow by a rest period and then all of sudden starts spewing. It lasted for around 5 minutes.

But, as I said earlier, Yellowstone national has so much more to offer the tourist. Several rivers run through it, but the most popular is Yellowstone River which starts its journey at the Yellowstone Lake and eventually ends in the Gulf of Mexico. The river contains some very beautiful waterfalls and then carved out a canyon that rivals the Grand Canyon. What a sight. Pictures are great but to see it in person in the only way to appreciate the beauty of it all.

There is camping and lodges to stay during the season but the prices are high at reservations go very fast.

All in all this was a great day for us. We saw so many things. The weather was a bit cool, but the sun was shinning and the tour guide was excellent, so the day was definitely enjoyed by both of us. I will post a few of the pictures we took today.

Posted by rburke8 08.14.2010 17:11 Archived in USA Tagged family_travel Comments (0)

Day 12

Floating on the Snake river

70 °F

Hey from the Grand Tetons.

After finishing the blog yesterday the wife and I decided it was a good time ot take a nap. So we just went back to the camper and did some snoozies. In the evening after dinner we had a long chat with some campers from Arizona. Very nice couple and we enjoyed laughter and compared tour tips.

This morning we got up early and went to the Jackson Lake Lodge to take our planned river raft float down the Snake river. This was an excellent journey that lasted for 10.3 miles(and four hours) and included narration by the boater (who during the school year teaches spanish) who expertly guided the raft though the twists and turns of the river. We didn't see alot of wildlife ( a few eagles and some other birds) but gliding along the river with a new perspective of the Tetons made the trip well worth while. On our raft were 2 families, one consisted of triplets (9 year olds) and the other consisted of 2 adopted children. It was fun to see the children come to life with all the spectacular views and interesting facts the Steve (our guide) was telling us about. Towards the end of the float we were about to go over a few rapids (not large ones) and Steve had all the children look and count the fish they see. This was a ruse, although the children didn't know, to get the kids leaning over the front of the raft and when we hit the rapids they got splashed big time. It was hilarious!. Both, Diane and I, really enjoyed this float.

On the way back to Jackson Lodge we had to stop for a large posse of horses being crossed over the road. What a sight!

Tomorrow we are up early again to take a 9 hour bus tour up to the lower loop of Yellowstone National Park. This loop includes "Old faithful" and the grand canyon of Yellowstone. Will write and provide pictures tomorrow evening.

Posted by rburke8 08.13.2010 12:29 Archived in USA Tagged family_travel Comments (0)

Days 10 & 11

Jackson Hole, WY and Jenny lake

overcast 60 °F

As you figured out by now I got back way too late last night to write about the days adventures. So I need to catch you up.

Yesterday we spent the entire day (except for a bit over an hour) in Jackson Hole. The town is actually called Jackson, but because back in the days of the pioneers the valley was called a hole and that is how the name Jackson Hole came to be. The town is named after a trapper named David Jackson. The town is a real resort town that caters to the folks that travel to the Grand Tetons during the summer months and to the people who travel to Jackson Hole for the winter activites that the town provides. It is full of t-shirt shops, curio shops and art galleries. You can literally walk out of one shop, turn right, walk about 20-25 feet, turn right and enter another shop. In my opinion the art galleries cater to the well-to-do becuase this town is really set up for people with money. Most things are very costly. We didn't check out the hotels but I am sure that the prices are expensive. During the summer I am sure that the shops lower their prices so that they can make money off the tourists that are there for the scenery and not the skiing and nightlife.

We did take a ride over the Teton Pass and entered Idaho. Diane thought we would get a different view of the Grand Tetons from that side. However, the buttes were is the way. We only got a small glimpse of them.

After that we decided to take a "Covered Wagon" ride that included dinner. The wagons were pulled by 2 draft horses that can weigh up to 2000 lbs and are extremely strong. They are very gentle creatures but we were warned not to get close to them because if one stepped on your foot it would hurt a great deal for several weeks. The ride was enjoyable going about 2 miles into a canyon were they had a setup to serve meals out of a "dutch" oven. We had chicken, roast beef, corn on the cob and beans. The meal was actually very good. After dinner we were entertained by a group which sang country songs and play acted gags which had us laughing. Diane even got into the act. You will have to see the video. By the time we rode the wagons back to our start point and drove the 35 miles back to the Grand Tetons National Park we were both very tired and went quickly to sleep.

Today we slept in as bit (7:30) and really just took our time getting moving. We really didn't have any plans for the day. At 9:00 A.M. (our time) we tried to webcam with Michael so we could see our grand daughter. That didn't work out so well. Our internet connection is slow and voice over ip didn't work well. So after trying for 1.5. hours we gave up and moved on to some more sightseeing.

We drove up to Jenny Lake with the idea of taking the boat across to the base of the Tetons, but the weather here today was calling for heavy rain and winds. In fact it started to rain just as we got to Jenny Lake (a distance of 20 miles) but the rain didn't last very long. Even still we choose not to go across the lake in fear that we would get caught in a rainstorm. The temperature today is cool, not reaching much up to 60-65. This morning we needed sweatshirts and jackets. Saturday morning the temps are suppose to be in the 30s. Brrrrrr!

Tomorrow we are takng our 4 hour float trip down the Snake river with a guide. Suppose to be warmer. It's a morning float so that we can see the wildlife that is out in the mornings. Speaking of wildlife, we almost hit a mule deer last night that decided he wanted to cross the road in front of us. Missed him by only a foot.

That's all for today. Hopefully we will be avble to write more tomorrow.

Posted by rburke8 08.12.2010 13:32 Archived in USA Tagged family_travel Comments (0)

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