Left Yellowstone last week to join a small gathering of fellow Lazy Dazers at Gros Ventre campground Just northeast of Jackson, Wy. While traveling to the gathering we took a few pictures of the Tetons knowing we would be going by again and the Tetons would be there for more careful picture taking. Oops! Not so fast! By the second day we were in the Grand Teton National Park, smoke from fires in Idaho floated into the area and pretty much obscured the mountains and the wonderful vistas. We could feel the smoke in our lungs increasingly and soon the fires in Washington added to the smokey environment.
We felt sorry for the folks who had a very limited time in The Grand Tetons and would have to head home without seeing the grandeur of the park. Nothing to be done though. It would take a strong wind to blow the smoke out of the park.
Gros Ventre Campground–
This campground is the closest to Jackson, Wy. and is nicely located for visiting the town of Jackson and the Grand Teton National Park. At $7.00/night for seniors, we enjoyed visiting with fellow Lazy Daze folks. The days there were quite warm, up to 87 degrees F., but the evenings cooled nicely for evening walks and the nights were cool making it easy to sleep.
Our first morning there, a bull moose wandered into the campground in the early hours and was cooperative for picture-taking by staying in each area for a while.
Drove into Jackson a few times, early in the mornings for easy parking. Jackson was packed solid with tourists, as one would expect in August. It is a cute little tourist town and we enjoyed walking around, trying out the bakeries and doing tourist things. We treat most stores as galleries and the upscale stores in Jackson were no exception. We enjoyed the lovely art works, sculptures, etc. in the stores and since we are full-time RVers we were not tempted to buy as we don’t have room to store much.
One morning, we went to the Visitor Center near the Elk Refuge in Jackson. I noticed a lot of security on the streets and around the Visitor Center. We were told that it was the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Elk Refuge and a party was planned with Gov. Matt Mead of Wy. as one of the guest speakers. The Visitor Center folks invited us to stay for the celebration and to hear the Governor speak. So, we spent the morning there, enjoyed the celebration, the speakers, the cake and the lemonade. A nice way to spend the morning.
Colter Bay Campground–
Left Gros Ventre Campground and drove the “scenic route” to Jackson Lake and Colter Bay Campground hoping to enjoy a little more of Grand Teton NP. Um, it was so smoky we could barely make out the Teton Mountains (see picture). Checked in at Colter Bay Campground ($10.25/night for seniors) and then drove back to the Jackson Lake Lodge we had passed. The Jackson Lake Lodge is near the Colter Bay Campground and it is quite lovely. Spent the afternoon in the Lobby since we knew it would be better for our health to stay out of the smoky air, if possible. They have free Wi Fi there (no pass word) and usually there are wonderful views of the Teton Mountains and Jackson Lake.
Two days and a short hike in the smoky air and we leave Colter Bay Campground behind. It is a nice campground with a Village nearby with lots of services (free Wi Fi at the Laundry) and, when it is not smoky, it would be pleasant. Did see some kids in the nearby Jackson Lake splashing around in the water.
Tire issues and plans–
Jerry noticed our front tires are not wearing well and we are in need of realignment and likely a new tire or two. Figured we would soon have tire wear problems after about 35,000 miles of driving, many times on very rough, dirt roads. So, he has been watching for a problem and, sure enough, it has arrived. The last thing we want is a blow-out, especially a front tire!
Two of our nice Lazy Daze friends (Ed and John, thank you!) made good suggestions and we began trying to solve the problem. There are no places in Jackson, Wy. that can handle our 27′ RV, do the alignment and perhaps replace a tire and put the spare on. Each place we went to in Jackson, Wy. suggested another place in town but, alas, all to no avail. Nearest known places to take this problem; either Idaho Falls, Idaho or Bozeman, Mt. We ordered a tire and will head to Bozeman, get the job done, then return to Yellowstone National Park. Hopefully, there will be little or no smoke in the Lamar Valley of Yellowstone when we return.