Heading to the Tetons

I spent a couple of days navigating the plains of North Dakota and then South Dakota, staying at a national park and then a state park. The days were hot and windy but the areas of grassland were quite impressive. Some random images: a Western Meadowlark pierced on the top spire of a conifer, singing away as I sat and watched the sunset; a pair of nighthawks swooping here and there hawking buds and giving a "permit" call; a momma pronghorn suckling a brand-new baby; depressing casinos owed by native tribes; countless miles of straight as an arrow plains driving.

It’s hard to find stopping points as you roll at 70 mph – the little access roads to rangeland are invisible until you pass them. We stopped at a cow camp for a roadside lunch and aside from a vehicle passing every few minutes, all I could here was the gentle wind and a few sparrows and meadowlarks.

Here’s a shot from my campsite at Boysen State Park in South Dakota where it was hot and dry and forecast to get worse.

Cooler mountain air sounded good so I decided to accept my niece Kim’s kind invitation to visit them in Jackson. I turned westward and soon the scenery got much more interesting.

Soon we were cruising along the Wind River which has some interesting fishing spots. We pulled off at a public access site and grabbed a snack and a little nap.

Soon we started climbing and were greeted by a "Bears in the Road Ahead" sign that I think that they just leave on all the time. The climb was steady but the diesel ate it up. At the top there was a turnout with a spectacular view of the Grand Tetons – which this photo can not really capture.

After a seven mile descent we soon came to the craziness of the Yellowstone Park traffic and then the pretty drive into Jackson Hole. Navigating through a town filled with tourists, I was glad to not have the trailer with me.

So we are parked in the yard of Kim and Lew and enjoying temperatures in the 70’s during the day and 40’s at night. No bugs, nice breeze, wifi. They have two delightful teenage daughters. Here is a dot from their driveway and one of our setup – the van is in the shade.

I suspect I’ll wait until Monday to leave and arrive in Del Mar on Wednesday.

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One Response to Heading to the Tetons

  1. Heather Campbell says:

    Hi, Dick and Penny! I’m enjoying very much your blog and reliving my first trip West as I read it and continue to recover from my shoulder operation in a rehab here in Milford. I don’t know how far you plan to go but want to recommend two good campgrounds that I enjoyed. Farewell Bend State Park is on the Snake River off I 84 just into Idaho where I saw my first western Tanager and Lewis’ woodpecker. The other is Two Medicine campground in Glacier NP, just a wonderful park where Swainsons thrush sing in the evening. Safe travels and keep the good stuff coming!

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