Home is where the recliner is, and where I am. Finally! Four long days of driving later, dodging thunderstorms the last 200 miles, but I got here. My uncle parked the camper for me and my aunt provided dinner, which was so nice of them. I will self quarantine for a bit, but only after I run out for coffee in the morning. It’s good to be home…
The following, including the photo, is lifted right off the internet…
Chief Washakie, 1804-1900 a chief of the Eastern Shoshone Indians of Wyoming was noted for his exploits in fighting and also for his friendship with the white pioneers. When wagon trains were passing through Shoshone country in the 1850’s, Washakie and his people aided the overland travelers in fording streams and recovering strayed cattle. He was also a scout for the U.S. Army.
I didn’t have a clue who Chief Washakie was until I looked him up once I got to my hotel in Big Spring, NE. All I knew is that I rode the Chief Washakie trail east across Wyoming as I left, and what a beautiful drive it was. There were the mountains of course, and the fabulous olive green hills with rows of dark evergreens riding the ridges. I thought that it looked like coloring book pages, but if I’d colored them like that I wouldn’t have though it looked natural. Only it was. I couldn’t stop for pictures even though I really wanted to, except for the sunrise pictures as I got myself on the road early on Monday. If only I had been able to be on wifi while I was in the campground, to learn more about the different places to visit, as well as learn more about the places I did see. When planning my next trip I will have to do a better job of investigating the destination instead of endlessly asking myself which route to take to get there. Thank goodness for my cousin Mary and my friend Karen, who shared their love of the area with me while I was there.
Interestingly, after all that stressing over which route to take to get to WY I just set the GPS and headed home. East on 80, into Nebraska, Iowa, and Missouri so far. This morning I had my coffee just outside of Kansas City, in Higginsville, while sitting in bed with the internet. Headed home…
My cousin and I had quite an adventure on Friday. She said that she wanted me to see the Tetons from the ‘other’ side, which meant another trip over the Teton Pass, but I didn’t have to be the driver this time. Going to Idaho was an easier trip over the pass, than the return trip, and she pointed out several things I missed on my first trip.Here we are at the top. I’d love to convince you that we climbed our way up there, but no, we took the ski lift, and we were both glad we did.What really astounded me was the fact that bikes were taken up the ski lift also. Sometimes little bikes, implying that little kids were going to ride them down. A horrifying thought to me, I hope my grandchildren don’t get any ideas.The view from the top was really great. Well, almost from the top. We could have gone higher, but honestly, it didn’t feel so much like walking a trail to me. Nope, it felt more like a balancing act, so I was happy to stay where we were.This bluebird chose a precarious spot to eat his lunch. He was hanging onto that stick for dear life in a very strong wind. Maybe that wind had something to do with my feeling that it was a balancing act. But we did it! What a fun day!
Two places I wanted to go to while I’m here in the Grand Teton National Park were Jackson and Idaho Falls. I had been to Jackson 28 years ago when Charley and I came to Yellowstone. Charley said that he had gotten ‘wilderness’ out of his system after that trip due to the lack of TV stations available at the motel we stayed at. In all of Yellowstone also. And I’ve found that the situation hasn’t changed all that much.
But yesterday I decided to go to Idaho Falls, and I let the GPS choose the route, and I believe that I may have used up a couple of my nine lives on the trip. A narrow, windy road, which became a narrow, windy, rutted road, and just when you thought it couldn’t get worse it did. A 2 1/2 hour drive turned into a 4 1/2 hour drive. Part of which I had to do in reverse and uphill when I chose the wrong fork in the road. It was mind boggling to drive through a forest of burned trees on such a tiny road. For some reason I really felt the horror of what a fire like that must be like. But then that landscape gave way to a forest of Christmas trees on both sides of the road. And that eventually gave way to what I thought were Birch trees, but I was corrected by my cousin that they would have been Aspens. As upset over the road as I was I couldn’t help but enjoy the scenery.
Idaho Falls probably had more to see than just the Riverwalk with it’s statues, but that’s all I did. A two mile walk around a lake where you see the falls along the Snake River, and a view of the Mormon Temple across the way. It was a lovely walk, but I rushed it to get back to my little home on wheels.
Lucky for me I ended the day at my cousin’s house where I could enjoy a beer and her beautiful garden before I closed the book on another chapter of this adventure.
Oh, did I mention that when I was finally in the home stretch to get to my cousin’s house I found myself driving over Teton Pass? It was probably magnificent view-wise, but I wouldn’t know because I was clutching the steering wheel and trying not to drive off a cliff the whole time. Yup, two lives at least.
We were at Palmer Park, my two sisters-in-law and my brother-in-law, reminiscing while the sun came down on a very nice day. We heard a few fireworks in the area, but no 4th of July fireworks display was planned. The town tradition is to have an old fashioned parade on the 4th that is very well attended, and of course that was canceled too.
It had been a great day of hiking, 7 miles, all uphill. Okay, maybe it only seemed to be all up hill when I wasn’t acclimated to the altitude and was out of breath most of the way. We cut the hike short while thunder rumbled and we got drenched on the way back to the car. We made a few stops for photos before our hike, and I’m looking forward to seeing what I got, but exhaustion is winning this battle.
Seems like life has been all about reconnecting with people these last years now, and it means the world to me…
Fifteen minutes into the drive yesterday had me entering Texas, and soon the initial flat terrain gave way to green hills dotted with brush and stands of trees. Just to the right of the road was a slightly raised railroad track, and it didn’t take long to see a train, and then a few more. And, being Texas, everything was bigger. The views in all directions, the sky, and even the train seemed miles long. It was a pleasant view and soon reminded me of the cowboy shows I watched on TV as a kid. I wouldn’t have been surprised to see some cowboys appear over the crest of a hill, wearing their bandanas over their faces, and not for Covid 19, but to chase down the train to rob it. In those long ago TV shows the cowboys would catch the train, so when I found myself essentially racing a train I voice texted a friend who worked for CSX and asked him how come on TV the cowboys caught the train but I couldn’t out-run this one. He said that was Hollywood, in real life the train always wins. When I remarked about how long the train was, and complained about the lack of caboose, he said that in the caboose days the trains used to have five man crews, and now they have only two men working those huge long trains. And they would like to have a one man crew but the union keeps fighting it. Bigger trains equal less workforce, he said. I thought it was just bigger in Texas.
I knew I would stop for the day in Amarillo, so before I left that morning I had checked online for what to see there. Palo Duro Canyon state park came up right away and I hoped to get there early enough to do the drive through and get some pictures, so I decided to stop at a rest area to change the GPS to the park and drive straight there. I took the feature photo, liking how the structure stood out against the sky, but the ‘watch for rattlesnakes’ signs made me pause. I walked up the hill to this little overlook, but not until another gentleman was already there, in hopes he had scared off any rattlesnakes that might have been hanging around. I was happy to catch another one of those endless trains passing by. I didn’t stay long though, it was 102 degrees when I was there.
And, like the day before, as I actually approached my destination the view had changed to this. I checked the temperature and it had dropped to 64 degrees.
Big sky, big storm, and the biggest lightning bolts you can imagine, each one seeming to hit the ground. Of course I had to change my plan and head to a hotel in Amarillo instead. Somehow the storm still seemed to be in the distance, to my right and left, so I took my opportunity to take some photos of the displays as you entered the parking area. Not the photos I’d hoped to get, and I’m still undecided as to whether to head to the park before I leave for Colorado. We will see what the morning brings.