Part 6: Afton, WY to Yellowstone, WY


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The Trip

We left Afton and slogged our way north along with the other 10,000 tourists attempting to visit Yellowstone.  Our slow "convoy speed" made things a bit more complex, but generally it was not the limiting factor.  The traffic was the limiting factor.  We rolled to Jackson Hole, then north.  I told the group that the park would be full, but it was not "internalized" until they were turned away multiple times.  Our fall-back was to camp outside of the park on a dirt road.  Of course, every other camper has the same map and drew the same conclusion.  But, the first to arrive is the first to win.

The Photos

The photos below are what we saw.

As we entered the Jackson Hole area we passed the Snake River and got a glimpse of some of the watersports that happen on the river.  We saw kayakers, canoers, rafters, fishermen and people on inner tubes.

We went through Jackson Hole and turned north toward the Grand Tetons.  Our views were obscured by smoke from the large forest fire to the south.  In fact, that fire had the main southern entrance to Jackson closed to allow the firefighters unrestricted access to address the fire.  But, despite the smoky air, the Tetons are still very impressive.

After the group got skunked and decided to attempt a remote camp out of the actual park, we passed some nice meadows close to the trail.  These were still in the park, so were off-limits.

The group found sufficient space on a portion of lake bed that was dry.  The ground was flat, but not level, so some adjustments were needed.

We parked parallel to the water's edge and only blocked one side of the truck with "camper legos".  While not level, it was good enough.

Bob parked his LMTV behind us on a rocky section of the shore.

Vince, on the other hand, found the soft spot and concluded he was a) in danger of rolling over (not); and b) he was stuck (not).  It did not take too long for him to figure out that all he needed to do was back out.  He repositioned and everything was ducky.

The smoke from the forest fire added a pink glow to an otherwise unremarkable sunset.

Morning came and the decision was made that the group was going to split up to see Yellowstone Park.  Bob and I were the last to leave the camp and Bob decided, due to his air system failure, that he would head west on the dirt to Ennis, MT where his brother lives.  We decided to go into the park and therefore backtracked to the main highway.

As can be seen from the exposed shore, this lake (a reservoir actually) was quite a bit below full pool.

Looking to the west you get a view of how low the lake actually is.  We backtracked to the main road and then headed north into the park.  Oddly, we were turned around by the ranger who objected to the yak skull on my hood.  I was told that I had to remove it and I politely told her to fornicate herself and we turned around and headed south.

After being rejected at Yellowstone, we headed south toward Jackson.  Along the way, we got several nice views of the Tetons.

The lakes that parallel the Teton range are really quite beautiful, even with the smoky air.

The haze from the smoke is clearly visible in the photo above.

We had a very nice lunch at the Jackson Lake Lodge with a great view of the mountains. Kathleen had the lake trout and it was moist and tender.

The route south had many viewpoints, each with a slightly different perspective of the mountains.

The final view of the Tetons was, in my opinion, the best.

We rolled into Jackson and decided to stay in a motel across the park from Jackson' 4-star restaurant "Wild Sage".  We got reservations and went for a spectacular dinner with excellent wine.  Make no mistake, Wild Sage is a great restaurant, but pricey.  For perspective, the motel room was half the cost of the dinner with wine.  But, well worth it in our opinion.  We have eaten there many times and have never been disappointed.

Tomorrow, we head south from Jackson toward Logan, UT and the metro Salt Lake City area.  From there, we will continue south in the most direct route to San Diego.

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Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2016, all rights reserved.
For your enjoyment only, not for commercial use.