Saturday, August 24, 2013

Boise to the Tetons

Monday, August 19,  we got up bright and early to be at the dealership when they opened to get the oil changed on the RV.  Wonderful folks there at Lyle Pearson, and soon we were on our way toward Wyoming and the Grand Tetons!  Another day of lots of driving, but just a spectacularly beautiful drive!  We just love these endless rolling hills of grain, corn and potatoes!  Gives you a really new perspective on just how massive these places are that provide so much of the food we all enjoy.  They also have these massive stacks of harvested hay and straw for livestock feed and bedding.  Sometimes the way the sun hits these huge golden fields is just amazingly beautiful and we loved driving through this part of the country.

We stopped at Shoshone Falls and had lunch, overlooking the falls.  We had seen a spot on these falls in the video on Idaho the night before, so we decided to take a slight detour off our route to see them.  According to the literature, these falls are 50 ft. higher than Niagra, which is pretty impressive.  Due to the dry conditions of late and the time of year, according to the brochure, the falls were not at their highest volume when we were there, but still quite beautiful, nonetheless.

After lunch we drove on through the rest of Idaho and crossed into Wyoming.  We stopped for the night just before getting to Wilson, in Jackson Hole, at a lovely little National Forest campground, and found a spot right on the water.  We just love finding these kinds of campgrounds--while from time to time it's nice to be in an RV park, to have the benefit of full hookups and wifi, especially when we need to do laundry--and get current with my blogging!--but far and away our preference is to be in national park or forest or state park campgrounds.  Generally there is more room between sites and the settings are usually much more wooded.  We also really love it when we can be near running water--nothing like being able to go to sleep to the gentle lullaby of a stream tumbling over rocks!  Met the campground hosts, a couple from Idaho Falls, the man is retired and his wife still has a few years to go before she can retire, so she commutes there on weekends, and was taking this week as vacation to spend more time at the campground.  It was interesting to talk with them about the grain growing operations in Idaho we had seen, to learn more about the different ways they harvested different crops, the different machines used to shake out the grain from the stalks, and different ways they bailed the feedstock hay and the straw.  Learned how sometimes if hay is bailed while it's too green, as it sets up in a big stack, due to the moisture there can be enough heat generated to cause spontaneous combustion and occasionally catch a whole hayfield to burn.

We were so excited to be getting back to the Tetons, some of the most beautiful mountains in the whole country by our lights.  As they are some of the youngest mountains, their sharp, craggy peaks just create a spectacular image against the incredible blue skies here.  We had come to Jackson Hole 20 years ago, to celebrate our 25th anniversary with a stay at a small dude ranch in Wilson, and fell in love with these mountains.  We had such a wonderful time then--the ranch, Trail Creek, was a small working ranch, much smaller than many of the more developed dude ranches--no tennis courts, clubhouse or TV, just a rustic setting with fantastic scenery and lovely folks.  It was started and run by Betty Woolsey, a woman who had been the captain of the US Olympic Women's Ski Team in 1936, and she was a delightful host and full of spunk and vivacious energy.  Though some of the guests that week went off for whitewater rafting trips or fly fishing on the Snake River, we went horseback riding every morning and afternoon, with just us and a wrangler, riding through the sage bush with that terrific aroma generated when the horses would scrape through the sage.  Gorgeous massive fields of wildflowers of purple and yellows--just fantastic.  And they grew fresh veggies for salads in their garden so the food was delish! So these memories fueled our excitement as we got closer to Wilson and the entire Jackson Hole area.  I remember when we came to Wilson 20 years ago we laughed at the fact that the population was less than 800--and now we live in Cherry Log, with a population just about that size!  Anyway, it was a great trip to get us to the Tetons.

Scenes on the road from Boise

 Coming into Shoshone Falls
 Mini falls on the road to Shoshone

 Shoshone Falls

 Looked like this was smoke from a fire in the distance

Look at these huge stacks of hay bales!

 Don't know if it was just that there was not very heavy wind or if it's normal for these windmill farms, but the blades turned very slowly
 Some locomotives  heading to give needed power to some train--thank you railroads!!
 Love the contrasting colors

 Coming into Wyoming
 Beginning to see the Snake River

 First glimpses of the Tetons--woohoo!

 Loved this old house!
The stream by our campsite

 Just about to take a walk after supper

Sunset at the campground, near Wilson, Wyoming

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