June 3, 2014
Today was a rest day from the very start. It was cool last night, and even with the heater set low (too low) it ran quite a bit. I located a propane distributor in Jackson, so before we heard off to the Great Basin National Park, we’ll top off the propane and we’ll be OK with hot water and heat. This trip has mostly been about keeping warm, as opposed to needing air conditioning. I’m sure that will change on the return trip home ,when we’re way south in the warm states.
When we went to bed last night there were five or six people around us in RV’s. At 7AM, they were all gone. Didn’t hear one of them leave. We finally started the day around 8 AM, which lately is late for us, but very nice. The batteries did pretty well last night, and weren’t run down to the point where I was concerned. I ran the gas water heater and there was hot water for showers, and I ran the generator for an hour to give the batteries a chance to recharge, while we perked coffee and Louise later used her hot iron hair thing.
We had a nice breakfast of omelets, toast, OJ and coffee, at a very leisurely pace, and I read the NY Times that I purchased the day before at the Teton Lodge. What a great start to the morning. We didn’t have to meet anyone, see anything, go anywhere, just wander around at whatever pace we felt. The overcast morning didn’t provide any stimulation to getting out and seeing the scenery.
I purchased a pair of new low beam lamps for the RV ‘s headlights the day before and after the leisurely start, decided that I’d replace them. The job was amazingly simple, and within 15 minutes I had both replaced. I saved the old working, passenger side, lamp in case one of the new ones burned out. It’s easier than hunting around for one when you are in the nether areas. We straightened up the dashboard area of the RV which may not seem like much, but when you’re driving 200 to 300 miles per day, there are things that you would like available without fumbling around while doing 65 miles per hour on a secondary road.
We had seen a nicer site the day before. The initial site was OK, but there was a pine tree with low branches that beat the snot out of the RV, so we looked at the appealing site, knew it was vacant for our last night and made arrangements before we left to have it. It had a little crest that turned out to be one of the more level sites we’ve had on the whole trip. No blocking for level. Woo Hoo!
We drove south on Route 89, and the further we drove, the clearer the skies got. I wanted to visit the town of Kelly the day before, and since it wasn’t spectacular weather, we set for it on the outset. The town looks really good. When I first saw the town for the first time in 1973, the place was a wreck. There was an abandoned Sinclair gas station, and not a living soul in sight. The place looked desolate. Not a place you would like to say you visited when your last name is Kelly. We revisited the place about 17 years ago, and it looked better, but not much. I think that there was a post office, but it wasn’t open. This time, there was a nice coffee and sandwich shop that had a full kitchen and walk in cooler box, but the young woman running the place said she didn’t have any baked goods because it wasn’t that type of place. She couldn’t cook. We had coffee, left, took goofy photos that I’ll compare against the ones I took previously, if I can find them, wrote post cards and then mailed them hoping that the postmark will actually say ‘Kelly, Wy’.
I drove to the Teton Glacier turnout , and while I got the bikes off the RV and cleaned them, Louise made lunch. I’m glad that I checked, because the bolt holding the bikes to the RV had loosened up, and the whole thing was a loose as hell. We carry a pretty complete set of tools, so it wasn’t any trouble to make sure things were snug, hopefully for a long time. I’ll check periodically. I also checked the rear end of the RV. Apparently while we were in Yellowstone, I blew out the passenger side rear shock. I made several calls at lunch and no one, either here or in Provo, Utah, our next destination, has any. We’ll figure something out, and fix it then, and not worry in the meantime.
The bike ride was great. The initial part of the ride was through sagebrush interspersed with some yellow daisy like flowers, with Tetons to the left and foothills covered in grass, fir trees and sagebrush. We stopped and took pictures of the flowers,mountains and beautiful scenery. I don’t think that we could have picked a better place to take a rest day.
Eventually we found ourselves at the South Jenny Lake Junction. I had taken a picture of some birds soaring at altitude. I first thought that they were a large group of buzzards, but they were the wrong color. They looked like storks, but I wasn’t sure. There were two rangers stationed at the interpretative station and when I told them that I had a question about birds, they both announced that they were geologists. We had a very nice conversation and it was revealed that the older woman had a PhD from the Colorado School of Mines, and the other was a Fulbright Fellow from Columbia with her masters from New Zealand. I don’t think the government appreciates the caliber and quality of people who volunteer at National Parks for whatever their personal reasons. They are paid nothing versus what they bring to the parks.
Having our fill of information, we cycled to a spot we’ve been to many times, on String Lake, a very beautiful, scenic place. The weather was supposed to get stormy in the afternoon, so we decided enough was enough, and cycled back to the RV. The ride seemed much quicker on the return leg. The bikes were excellent, fun to ride, and allowed us to cover a lot more area than we would have ever covered on foot. I figure that we coverd abut seven miles round trip, and had a fun time doing it. As we arrived at the RV, there were the first sprinkles of rain, so we packed everything up, and drove back to the new campsite.
It was early, so I wrote some, and Louise did some chores that were on my list. I’m pleased to say that we seem to have caught up on the things to do list. It turns out than a RV is much like a boat. There always seems to be a bunch of things both remediative and proactive that must be done. With the exception of the broken shock, which I can not currently do anything about, everything seems to be caught up. What a feeling!
We had a dinner of leftover fried chicken. The microwave in the RV is the first convection microwave I’ve ever used, and when the one in the regular house goes south, one similar to the RV will replace it. The microwave has a setting where you can roast things at 450 degrees while microwaving it at 30 percent. The chicken was as good as the day we bought it. Chicken, mashed potatoes, corn and a little white wine made for a perfect meal. Then we talked for about an hour and a half about all sort of things, like we did when we were courting. One of the best days in a long time.
Tomorrow, hopefully, it’s off to Utah Lake State Park in Provo Utah, and then on to the Great Basin National Park west of Ely, Nevada.