We started our day around eight AM. It was a beautiful but chilly morning. Eagles and pelicans were out at our campsite, which started the day wonderfully. We packed our lunch and headed out to Jackson Hole and The Grand Tetons National Park. The sights were beautiful and peaceful, making for a great day.
A little about Jackson Hole: It is named after a beaver trapper, David Edward (Davy) Jackson, who trapped there starting in 1820. He was the first European to stay an entire winter in the area. Although Native Americans hunted the area and used it for religious ceremonies, the valley wasn’t inhabited year round until 1870. The valley lies between the Teton Range and the Gros Ventre Range.
The Grand Teton National Park: It is 310,000 acres just 10 miles from Yellowstone National Park and is part of the Yellowstone Ecosystem. Paleo-Indians hunted in the area 11,000 years ago and were the first known humans in the area. The Grand Teton mountain is 13,775 feet in altitude and rises 7,000 feet above Jackson Hole. The Grand Tetons are the youngest mountain range in the Rocky Mountains, 6 to 9 million years old and were formed by earthquakes on the Teton Fault and continues to shift due to an active fault block. This area is absolutely beautiful.
What a beautiful day. Next up: Day 5-8. Back in Yellowstone and the Henry Lake area. Thanks for reading!
On May 10th we pulled in to Cascade Peaks RV Park at Randle, Washington, $10/night with Coast to Coast. Our stay there was shorter as we had the truck repaired while in Lincoln City, Oregon and lost one day. We only had until the 12th to see the sites. We had been warned of late snows that had closed some of the parks on our itinerary. We did attempt to see Mount St. Helens but we couldn’t get any access. We talked to a park ranger on the roads leading to the park, which were closed. He thought it was very funny when I told him that I thought the barricaded road closed signs were “just a suggestion.” The drive was scenic up to the closure and we got to see it from the opposite direction when we turned around. Mount St. Helens was not in the cards for this trip.
Mount Rainier National Park was open but many roads and trails were closed. It was ironic that the closures were due to late snows and snow was everywhere but the daytime temperature in the lower elevations was 71 degrees. Tee-shirt weather! Mount Rainier is the highest mountain in the Cascade Range and stands at 14,411 feet elevation. It is also considered one of the most dangerous active volcanoes in the world. Mount Rainier is the first mountain in the Cascade Volcanic Arc, with 80,000 people in the Puyallup River Valley at risk in an eruption. The Mountain has 26 glaciers and 2 volcanic craters, measuring over 1000 feet each. It’s a stunning sight.
Mount Rainier last erupted in 1894 but continues to have debris flows, which has the consistency of wet concrete with rocks. These flows take down massive trees as it flows down the mountain via the rivers. It makes for a starkly interesting landscape.
I need to mention that humans, ancient Native Americans visited, hunted and camped in this area and have had a presence for at least the last 8,500 years. Please enjoy the pictures below.
We had a large time visiting here. Stay tuned for National Buffalo Range. It was a fun caper too. Thanks for reading!
Our base of operations for these adventures was Wheel Inn RV Park ($27/night with Good Sam’s) in Fredonia, Arizona. It was just a few miles from Kanab, Utah and about 3 miles from the Kaibab Paiute Indian Reservation. The reservation is semi arid with natural springs on a little over 120,000 acres. There are five tribal villages on the reservation.
The owners of Wheel Inn RV Park were great. The husband, Eric, stopped by to talk to us about local roads, some of them dirt lanes, and places to eat. He shared very useful information and we were happy to have it as he told us how to get around to sites, even with road closures. He recommended Houston’s Trails End Restaurant in Kanab, a locals’ favorite. The food was delicious and the waitstaff was outstanding. We were also allowed to modify menu offerings to fit our needs and there was no fuss about it. I recommend eating there but go hungry!
We had planned to visit the North Rim of the Grand Canyon but due to late snows, the North Rim was closed. Parts of Bryce Canyon National Park was closed at the 11 mile mark at Natural Bridge and many of the trails were closed to hiking. Zion National Park was in full spring blooms. We just altered daily plans and went where we could. This was a wonderful area and we had a blast. Bryce Canyon National Park was cold and snowy, we wore jackets and scarfs. Zion National Park was warm tee-shirt weather. Each day it seems we had extremes in weather. We were prepared.
The first day we traveled on the Highway 12 Scenic Parkway. It is considered one of the most scenic roads in the United States and was named “All American Highway” in 2002. Highway 12 runs through Dixie National Forest and two national parks: Bryce Canyon and Escalante. It’s simply breathtaking. We traveled through Red Canyon, Panguitch and Bryce Canyon National Park. We did some hiking but many trails were closed due to late snow. It was still a great experience.
At Inspiration Point I met a woman from South Carolina who had a finance position at Coastal Carolina University but now lives in Arkansas. I retired from finance at Horry Georgetown Technical College, just across the street. We had a nice long talk. It certainly is a very small world.
Off to Zion National Park for our next caper. So far, this is the best place I’ve visited on this trip. I can’t explain the feelings and oneness that I felt with nature and the universe while there. Telepathically, I communicated with my dear friend, Liz, who appreciates this place as much as I do. It was simply wondrous! One of my favorite things was sitting on the bank of the Colorado River on a flat rock, reveling in the quiet beauty. Zion was in bloom and gorgeous. I’d like to add that my travel partner has some issues with oxygen at high altitudes. The Park Rangers issued us a pass to drive through the Park so that he wouldn’t have to shuttle on and off the buses with his pack. We had our own private tour and we saw much more of the park and trails. We didn’t know that the National Park Service had this service. What a great bit of information to have.
We visited the reservation (they had the best deal on diesel fuel) and took some scenic drives. It was time to move to a new base and new excursions. Next up: Pahrump, Nevada where weed, prostitution, and gambling are legal. Death Valley/Mom’s Diner/China Ranch/Ghost Towns/Titus Canyon…. Stay tuned!