Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Chapter 12 - Dubois to Jackson, Wyoming

Tuesday, June 16th:
The drive from Dubois to Jackson was only 90 miles but we knew that to get there we needed to drive over the top of the Rocky Mountains and through a pass named Topwotee Pass that rose to an elevation of 9,659 feet above sea level.  The pass was around 40 miles from our campsite which sat at an elevation of around 6,900 feet. This meant that in 40 miles we would have to climb 2,759 feet.  Our car had a capacity to pull a trailer weighing up to 3,600 pounds and we knew that unloaded the trailer weighted about 3,200 pounds. The question was how much junk was loaded in our trailer and would we be able to make the climb without any problems. The photograph of Kathy and Cabo with some snow in the background was taken at Topwotee Pass so yes, we were successful and thankfully as a result our trip will continue.

Almost immediately after crossing the Continental Divide and the Topwotee Pass and we started our descent another magnificent mountain range came into view which we knew to be the mountains of the Grand Teton National Park. These beautiful mountains were visible off to our right for the rest of our 40 or so mile drive south down to Jackson, Wyoming, often called Jackson Hole. Jackson is located just south of the entrance to the Grand Teton National Park.  Our plan was to get set up in Jackson and then spend the remainder of Tuesday exploring the city before visiting Grand Teton National Park the following morning.

Our RV park is named The Virginian RV Resort, and it is located right within the city of Jackson which undoubtedly accounts for the reason that it was so expensive and so very crowded. I have never been very proficient at backing up our travel trailer and this crowded park with its relatively small parking spaces really testing my skills, or my lack of skills, as the case may be. My only saving grace was that when our new neighbor arrived with his travel trailer, he too did a poor job backing in. Perhaps it's just our age and our lack of practice. At least we are spending three nights here at the Virginian, so my embarrassing backing up efforts will be quickly forgotten. One thing about this RV park despite the fact that it was crowded and expensive, the setting of the park surrounded by mountains is really pretty as this photograph somewhat shows. Incidentally, the photo was taken before the park filled up for the night and the "No Vacancy" sign was hung at the front gate.  After visiting the crowded downtown area in the afternoon so Kathy could pickup a few souvenirs, we spent a quiet evening reading and watching TV, and then once again we had a pleasant sleep with the temperatures dropping into the high 40s.

Wednesday, June 17th.
We woke up to sunny skies and with a promise by the local weatherman that the temperatures would rise into the low 70s.  Today we were really excited for we were going to spend a good part of the day visiting the Grand Teton National Park.  We knew that we needed to get an early start for the traffic was heavy yesterday along the highway that passed by the park, and the City of Jackson was crowded with tourists both suggesting that the park will also be crowded.  We arrived at the park when it opened at 8 AM ready and willing to pay the $30 entrance fee. As I handed the girl at the entrance the fee, she immediately asked my age.  When she learned both of our ages (she did not ask about Cabo) she offered us for a $10 fee a lifetime pass to all national parks because we were both over 62 years old.  What a pleasant surprise especially since it meant that there would be no fee when we visited Yellowstone Park later during our trip home.  You can see in the photograph just how happy I was to receive a lifetime pass to all federal parks just because we are old.  Wow!  

Over the next four hours we had one of the most memorable experiences of our lifetime.  Honestly we can not remember ever seeing such awesome and inspiring views.  There are lots of photos of the Grand Tetons available in books, magazines, online, and those of course that we have attached, however nothing can duplicate what can be seen in person by the human eye. Both Kathy and I remarked over and over again as we left the park and drove back to our campsite, that if nothing else, this day alone made our whole trip out west worth the long drive.  I am ending this days blog with a few more photos that should speak for themselves.  Incidentally, if you have not already discovered, the photos in this blog may be enlarged simply by clicking on the photo.

More about our Jackson Hole visit to follow in a later blog.  This entire chapter was written in a local Jackson library simple because the WiFi system in our expensive RV Park was worthless.  Go figure.

1 comment:

  1. Charlie & Kathy - can't believe we were in the same place only days apart - thank you for the beautiful pictures and descriptions - so much better than we can possibly describe. Just sorry we weren't able to connect last week. Gretchen & Peter