Our Chalet Truck Camper

Our Chalet Truck Camper

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Tetons - and getting there

Monday, June 9

Tonight we are in Victor, Idaho, a tiny little town set deep in a broad mountain valley. Very small campground but it has wi-fi and a laundry which we sorely needed. Getting here was an adventure as we went up the 10% grade of the Teton Pass on route 22 and down the other side. No way to explain how much we love tow haul and the ease of not having to stand on your brakes at all. First time on a 10% grade and it wasn't as hairy as we expected.

We bid a fond farewell to Flyfisher Dave last night as knew he would get an earlier start than we did. Heard his diesel fire up at 6AM so he's back on the road to Alaska. It was pretty special being able to spend time with a TC friend and we wish him well on his trip. Thanks Dave for fixing the kitchen cabinet door and the antenna tip. No telling how long that had been bent up or where it got caught.

We travelled through Yellowstone again today, stopping first at Firehole Canyon to see the falls. Dave and many others have told us that there is not usually this volumn of water in Yellowstone and it is pretty rare to see the rivers and streams so full. We were pleased since the waterfalls have been roaring!

Next we drove the Fountain Flat Drive and spent quite a bit of time watching an osprey catch fish....hover, hover, hover, flutter, dive and up it would come with a fish. Fly away and a few minutes back, do it over again. This is a broad river valley with fat buffalo everywhere. Eight huge bison walking in a straight line like a group of schoolchildren on a rope passed by the TC right towards a group of fly fishermen. Neither group paid any attention to each other but just continued their own business. Didn't see anyone catch a fish except the osprey.

We passed back and forth over the Continental Divide quite a few times which was confusing as we thought we were driving in a straight line.

Leaving Yellowstone we passed into Teton National Park with the Rockefeller loop in the middle. Instead of continuing on route 89 we went over into the interior Teton Park Road. Here there aren't buffalo jams but moose jams. Saw about a dozen, quite a few with calves. Going towards Jenny Lake, we stopped at the Visitor Center and went through the exhibit of Indian handwork and artifacts. Left fairly quickly as two buses of school kids were there and it was pretty hard to get anywhere close to an exhibit case. Kids were having a good time though.

The Tetons are much bigger mountains then in Yellowstone and wear a deeper and lower crown of snow. Unfortunately for us, it had gotten cloudly by the time we got to the Tetons. I can imagine how bright they would be in the sun.

We then passed through Moose, WY and noticed that the tallest building was two stories. Many of the small western towns have escaped having large buildings and they feel friendlier that way.

We decided to pass up on going through Jackson Hole. I'm not a shopper and have heard that it is a real tourist town/trap, not what we came on this trip for. We did go through Jackson which had it's share of tourist stores but we got to see the antler arches made from shed antlers. The valley going into Jackson is broad, flat and the winter home for the elk herds living in the mountains. Didn't spot any elk as
they are probably all off at summer camp already.

We wanted to set foot into as many western states as we could so decided to camp in Idaho tonight. Up and over (gulp) the Teton Pass and down to Victor. Picked up a local micro-brew called "Sweetgrass", Jackson Hole's Original India Pale Ale from the Grand Teton Brewing Co. Wish I'd had that last night to share with Dave as it is some good.

3,424 miles travelled, $1398.19 spent on 307 gallons of diesel for an average mpg of 11.11 which is better than I thought since we are doing so much mountain driving. Is it worth it?

YES YES YES and a lot more to come....

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