August 10-22 2016, Dubois, Wyoming
After such a great week in Custer, we were not sure what to expect in Dubois, (Du-boys) Wyoming. We had tried to get reservations in Yellowstone National Park, but we were to late in the season to make that happen. On August 25, 2016, our nation will be celebrating the 100 year anniversary of all our National Parks. Which means, everyone had made plans a year ago to visit the parks, not 2 weeks before they wanted to go.
While researching, Jackson and Yellowstone, I found Longhorn Ranch & RV Resort, luckily they had room for us for the 10 days we would be there. Usually, I get on Google Earth to check out the campground and surrounding area to check out what it looks like, not this time, I was just glad to find a place.
I was a little apprehensive, as we were driving there were very few trees, yikes, would we not have trees? I was pleasantly surprised, it was a wonderful campground, large sites, on the Wind River, we could see the majestic red/yellow colored sandstone mountains from the campground.
We decided to go to the Chamber of Commerce and get information about the town, to see what the town had to offer to visitors. It just happened to be the busiest week of the summer for the town, there were Chariot races, buffalo BBQ, rodeo, square dancing and a music fest. Yea, our weekend was planned. The big thing we were happy to hear was we could drive the buggy on the streets and there was an off road map to show where we could take the buggy.
I’m sad to say that the only thing we did make it to that weekend was the buffalo bbq, which was held at the park. The volunteer fire department served, we had corn, beans, slaw, buffalo burgers, and sliced roast with gravy. We both liked the buffalo so much that when we went to the grocery we bought buffalo steaks, burgers and sausage.
We took off in the buggy up into the mountains, we found a wonderful river, 3 beautiful lakes, many rough rocky roads, lots of cows blocking the roads that were not happy with us.
One mom got separated from her baby and gave us the evil eye and bellowed quite loudly. There were also numerous signs with big bear prints on them announcing that we would probably see one. Thankfully, we did not.
Eating our lunch, sitting on rocks along the river, looking at all the wonderful granite mountains and watching the fly fisherman, and thanking God for such a wonderful country we live in, all the while looking around making sure we did not get a surprise big brown visitor.
Guy, found a great stream to go fishing on, as well, as a beaver pond that had lots of trout. It was a great find as he brought back 2 nice sized trout for dinner, he let most of them go. He also, went to right out our door to the river to practiced his fly fishing, but no luck. There were to many other fisherman out fishing!
It was 60 miles from our campground to the Tetons, and 80 miles to Yellowstone National Park. We decided to take our lunch with us to the Tetons so we could take Lacilou. Stopping at a lookout area to take pictures was so disappointing due to haze surrounding the mountains, I didn’t get very good shots. I thought maybe once we got closer it would be clearer, but, that didn’t change things. ( We went back to the Tetons 3 times trying to see if the sky was clear but due to a new fire in Yellowstone, they were still hazy)
Due to the park anniversary, it was packed with people and cars, it was almost impossible to stop at any turn out or historical marker. We did find a place at Jenny Lake and hiked down to the water, we took our lunch, sat on the rocks and admired the Teton mountains. Lacilou had a great time chasing the waves that were made by the tour boats across the lake.
We had heard that you should see lots of animals in the Tetons, I had the camera ready because I was going to get lots of pictures. There were no moose, no elk, no bears, but we did see buffalo just as we were at the end of the road going home. They were behind fences and not close to us at all.
I got out my 300 ft lens and tried to get some close ups. Guy even went down some dirt roads off the beaten road trying to find animals, to no avail. When we talked to our camping neighbors they talked about the moose and bears that they saw. Darn!!
Guy and I had not planned to go into Yellowstone due to the crowds, but then we thought, darn, we are here lets just do it. When Guy was 16, he worked at the Hamilton Stores as a dish washer. So, off we went looking for the store/restaurant, Hamiltons. Not saying how old he is but 50 years ago, Yellowstone looked very different. Needless to say the store is gone, the roads have all been moved, there are all new buildings and campgrounds. Again, we only saw 1 buffalo, laying down in the grass with his head looking the other direction.
Visiting Old Faithful, we drove around the parking lots numerous times trying to find somewhere to park. We finally found an empty field and parked, we were the only ones parked there, when we came back everyone else had taken our lead, the field had turned into a parking lot. I guess we started something.
It was hard getting pictures of Old Faithful as we could not get close, we stood back at the lodge, which turned out to be the best place to stand. It was pretty amazing watching the steam shoot up out of the ground.
We drove by the Tetons again, as we headed to Jackson, for the day hoping for a few better pictures, but the haze was actually worse as the fire was getting bigger, so I didn’t even attempt to take pictures.
The town of Jackson was a surprise to me, what a busy place, lots of hustle and bustle going on. The town surrounds a quaint little park, where you can sit and just enjoy your day. There was a guitar player that was attracting people with his music, people were sitting on benches listening, or eating ice cream!! Yum! Guy and I walked the square looking in the art museums, jewelry stores, tee shirt stores, boot stores and hat stores.
My Guy is always on the hunt for unique pieces of jewelry, things that you don’t see all the time, well, he zeroed in on a jewelry store off the main street and found a beautiful black jade square pendant, with gold surrounding the pendant and a diamond in the center.
We left the store and decided food was needed, right outside was a Thai Restaurant, we sat outside under umbrellas, people watching. The sun was out, the sky had big puffy white clouds, a slight breeze was blowing and the food was excellent. When we left the restaurant, he turned back to the jewelry store and got the necklace for me for our 46th anniversary.
As we headed back to our campground I was hoping to find the buffalo close enough so I could get a few pictures. They were still in the fields and were somewhat closer but I still had to take out the bigger 300’ lens and try to rest my arm on the side of the truck.
Wow, Guy and I have been blown away by the amazing beauty we have seen coming across the Northern part of the US. There is such diversity in this country, every part is unique in its own way, from areas loaded with trees and vegetation to the vast prairie land with the prairie grasses that blow in the breeze, that go on for miles, to tall mountains, short mountains some with sharp hard edges and those that are smooth edged and sparse of trees. We have learned to appreciate and love the diversity of each area.
We are always talking about how lucky we are to travel the way we do. Checking out the states, the places we have seen and are very glad we made this decision to leave all the trappings of house and yard to others, so that we are free to experience new and different places in this wonderful country. We have always been travelers, but mostly in other countries and are glad we finally can explore the U.S.
Off, we head to Bryce Canyon, just for a short 4 days, as we are gaining on Bullhead City, Arizona, where we meet up with my sister, Penny and her husband, Roger. The 4 of us will camp our way to the Grand Canyon, and then on to Colorado, where we have rented a cabin in Lake City, Co. Guy and Penny can do some fishing, while Roger and I sit on the side with our adult beverage. There are numerous off road trails where we will go buggy riding.
So y’all come on back and check in with us to see how much trouble the 4 of us get into.
Remember: This is the day the Lord has made, be happy and rejoice in it.