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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Back from a road trip to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park - Day 1 & 2

Coming back and having a hard time adjusting. I would have stayed there for much longer. I am always surprised by people telling me they are happy to be back home after a trip. I never feel that way.

I love road trips and when we planned to go to Yellowstone a few months ago, it did not take long to decide to drive up there and back. A 16 hours drive through California, Nevada, Idaho and Wyoming. It is really a cool thing to experience the distance, the space.

One of the reasons I first visited the U.S. was to hike in the National Parks in Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona. To get around one has to drive in the middle of immense desert landscapes which is part of the pleasure of traveling in the West.

Music, discussion, naps, silence. Sweet boredom.

Watching the shiny massive trucks, the bypassing Union Pacific freight trains.

Watching the changing landscapes: in the mountains going up to Tahoe, arriving in Reno and going through the golden Nevada desert for hours, going North to Twin Falls, Idaho, through much greener lands and then through more mountains crossing Wyoming and approaching Jackson.

The billboards, the road signs.

A night in Elko, Nevada, and not in a chain motel. Dinner at Sergio's, a small taqueria. Before the connection became almost non-existent (it was off an on through Nevada and Idaho), we used Yelp to find cool places to stop at, places that we could never had find before.

Stopping at Hansen Memorial Bridge, Twin Falls County, Idaho. In 1919, a high suspension bridge was constructed here, over the Snake River, and then replaced in 1966 by a new construction. Before 1919, there was only a rowboat to cross the river.

The pioneers who crossed the country encountered numbers of impassable gorges like this one. A gorge we crossed in a few seconds with our car.

Shortly after passing crowded Jackson (many people fly there and rent a car to go to Yellowstone), we arrived at the quiet south entrance of Grand Teton National Park and spent the night in Colter Bay village on Jackson Lake, in a cozy historic log cabin.

Some people engraved names and dates on the logs around the bed heads.

No phone and no TV in the cabin, no internet - except at the office, but we decided not trying to be connected for the rest of the trip. And that was good.

We left the few food items we had in the car, due to the presence of bears, and not only black bears. At the registration office, we were told that two female grizzly and their cubs, 5 animals in total, were in the close area.

But we felt more threatened by the mosquitoes which attacked us upon our arrival. We bought an insect repellent (all natural!) first thing the following morning at the general store.

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