Category Archives: Destination Tips

THE BEST PICTURE I NEVER TOOK: Lake Crescent at Dusk, Washington State, USA

There is one photo I never took, one of a scene far more beautiful than any I’ve ever seen to date . . .

The breathtaking view was on a long drive on the northwest route toward Port Angeles in the state of Washington, U.S.A., as Day 5 of our 3-week Teardrop Trailer trip was nearing an end.

We had been traveling North on coastal Route 101 since we left Oregon, but once we were about halfway up into the state of Washington, much to our dismay, Route 101 began wandering inland. When we hit the town of Artic, we had a decision to make. On this far northwest part of Washington State referred to as the Olympic Peninsula, Route 101 became a circular loop that traveled loosely along the west, north, and east edges of this tall rectangle land mass. Along the south edge were several highways and roads that collectively connected the west leg of 101 to the east leg of 101. Olympic National Park sat smack in the middle of the peninsula, surrounded by Olympic National Forest and tons of State Parks.

Since our destination for the night was a campground just inside the north entrance of Olympic National Park, due north from Artic as the crow flies, we had to decide whether to head east out of Artic on Route 107 and make out way on various other highways and roads until we reached the east leg of Route 101 heading northward along the eastern side of Olympic National Park or to continue on Route 101 out of Artic and head northwest along the western side of Olympic National Park.

Our GPS told us the preferred route would be the eastern one, promising to be picturesque due to an expansive lake region along the way. But because we ached to see Washington’s coastline, we ignored the GPS and headed for the western route, hoping to score views of the Pacific on the part of the road that ran north out of the town of Queets and continued for 12 miles directly on the coast before hitting Oil City.

When we reached that stretch of road, water views were hard to come by. Trees separated us from the open views we were used to along California’s coastline, so we took a turn off the road and visited Kalaloch Beach 4. There, we parked the car and, with dog in tow, headed down a pine tree-lined trail to a driftwood walking bridge where a rocky beach opened up before us.

Down the full length of the beach as far as the eye could see was a perfect line of pine tree soldiers, standing shoulder to shoulder, keeping watch over their fallen brethren that lay strewn along the coastline with their weathered, fair-skinned trunks and branches exposed to the elements.

The marine layer fog that blocked our view of the Pacific on much of the coastal ride in Oregon and into Washington, too, finally dissipated at Kalaloch Beach. We were grateful for the lighter misty spray that met us there and enjoyed a long walk on the beach, taking in the sounds and smells of the Pacific Ocean.

Afterwards, we made our way back onto Route 101 and continued on what was supposed to be a scenic part of the ride. We were in an area known as Olympic National Forest, and though the heavily forested area had its own beauty, we were still smarting from not having seen as much of the Oregon and Washington coastline as we hoped to. And we were tired—dead tired. The tall, uniform, untouchable forest trees that lined the highway quickly felt monotonous and had the effect of a slow hypnosis, making us sleepy . . . very sleepy.

That is, until the road turned eastward to continue along what we thought was the northern coastline of Washington, along what we thought was the Strait of Juan de Fuca that separates the U.S. from Canada. After a while, the road narrowed considerably and took on a wiggly serpentine shape. Guardrails and steep hillsides bridled close by. The cloudy sky above deepened into a mystical blue-gray. We seemed alone on the road—alone except for the dreamy dusk that surrounded us.

A snake-like lane of dark water appeared unannounced alongside our highway road, rising to a level equal with the road, taking on the road’s form as if it were part of it. I felt claustrophobic in its presence. I couldn’t tell where the black water ended and the black road began. Around every turn, I half-expected the road would be flooded.

Beyond the water was an even deeper blackness, unidentifiable at first. Only when the water mirrored a pattern of clouds that appeared in the twilight blue-gray sky above did we begin to see what lay on the other side . . . black Fiji-like mountains lining the other edge of the water, on what we thought must be the Canadian side of the waterway. To this scene, my mind attached tranquil and mysterious scenes of places I’d only read about in books, places where mystics lived and weary seekers traveled en route to their hearts’ desires. It was intoxicating.

My partner and I wanted nothing more than to stop along the road, absorb the moment, and stay awhile. But the distracting road, the dwindling daylight, and the ticking clock all made it impossible. I ached to catch the scene on my camera, but the serpentine road offered no safe way to do so, none at least that we could take advantage of in the moment. And honestly, even if she wanted to, this amateur photographer would not have been able to capture near darkness and sheer wonderment on her cheap point-and-shoot camera, no matter how hard she tried.

No, instead we gazed to the left as much as possible while darting hyper-vigilant glances at a commanding road. I willed my body to relax so I could capture the view as much as possible with my mind.  I knew I would not soon forget it and would someday attempt to write about it and share it.

At times, that’s all we can do. Be absolutely present in the moment. Tune ourselves into the layers upon layers of mind-boggling detail nature has to offer. Absorb, remember, and share our stories of the incredible beauty that surrounds us every day.

It was not until the next day that we figured out what this enchanting waterway was . . . it was NOT the Strait of Juan de Fuca and our view was not Canada. Instead, we were riding along lovely and enchanting Lake Crescent.

I searched and searched through images on the internet, but could not find any that captured what we saw that evening. Here, instead, is a picture I’ve doctored up from the internet that is far less striking and, frankly, pales in comparison in every way imaginable. Trust me, the one in my mind is a zillion times more amazing.


Who: Outdoors and traveling enthusiasts, National Park enthusiasts

What: Breathtaking drive along Lake Crescent in Washington State, U.S.A.

Where: On Route 101 in Washington State, approaching the North entrance to Olympic National Park from the west

When: We did the drive as part of our 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip in late August and early September 2014.

Why: You must experience this gorgeous drive at dusk and then spend a day exploring a hiking trail that promises to be quite stunning on the other (non-highway) side of the lake. We didn’t get to hike when we went, but will be back again to Lake Crescent to do so in the future.

How: Motor vehicle only. The road is too narrow and too curvy to hike, bicycle, or horse ride. It would be far too dangerous for anything other than motor vehicles.


To see our original 3-week Teardrop Trailer trip route map, click on the first post of this mini-series:

Teardrop Trailer Summer Road Trip: 9 NW States, 8 Nat’l Parks


If FACEBOOK is your thing, LIKE us on FACEBOOK and see all our latest posts:

www.facebook.com/TeardropAdventures.com

Or if you want to get timely updates of the posts we’re sharing here on Teardrop Adventures, use the FOLLOW button(s) on this website to enter your email and you’ll get updates directly to your email box. It’s a safe and secure environment, and we promise not to sell your email address to the underground mob in exchange for the dark chocolate we crave. Really. Promise. No, really.

DAY_7_01

Get Yer Kicks in Williams, AZ: Gateway to Grand Canyon’s South Rim

Need a ROUTE 66 fix? Need a GRAND CANYON fix? Need a CAMPING fix? Need a FOOD fix or a MUSIC fix? Get Yer Kicks in Williams, AZ, just one hour from the GRAND CANYON.

Williams, AZ, Arizona tourism, Route 66Twice in the past year, we made a stop in Williams, AZ, with our teardrop trailer. We had a great time both times, enough to say that from now on, Williams will remain on our must-do list when heading up from our current home in Phoenix, AZ, to Grand Canyon National Park.

The town of Williams, AZ is a really great place to visit on your way to or from the south entrance of the Grand Canyon. We enjoyed it’s cozy, eclectic, old-town feel . . .

it’s restaurants (Cruiser’s Route 66 Cafe) . . .

Williams, AZ, Arizona tourism, Route 66
Excellent ribs at Cruiser’s Route 66 Cafe in Williams, AZ

it’s music  (Vincent Z performing at Cruiser’s Route 66 Cafe) . . .

Williams, AZ, Arizona tourism, Route 66
Musician Vincent Z (www.vincentzmusic.com) providing excellent entertainment while we dined at Cruiser’s Route 66 Cafe in Williams, AZ

it’s plentiful gift shops . . .

Williams, AZ, Arizona tourism, Route 66

and even the shoot-em-up cowboy showdown that erupted in the streets (promptly at scheduled show times throughout the day) . . .

Williams, AZ, Arizona tourism, Route 66 Williams, AZ, Arizona tourism, Route 66

We were even entertained by our friend, Dave, while we waited for our food to arrive at Cruiser’s Restaurant . . .

One more great thing in Williams, AZ, is you can wander over to the Grand Canyon Railway railroad station and treat yourself to a comfortable, scenic ride to the Grand Canyon by train. They have all kinds of events going on, including the popular Christmastime “Polar Express” ride (something I think I’ll make a point of doing sometime!). Check out the Grand Canyon Railway event page for more info.

We were in Williams, AZ, on the polar opposite of Christmastime . . . on July 4th, 2015, when we met up with other teardrop trailer and vintage trailer owners at a camping meetup at Kaibab Lake Campground. Kaibab Lake Campground is part of the Kaibab National Forest, which has a rather large footprint at the foothills of the Grand Canyon and beyond.

This campground is quite large and can accommodate anything from tents to large RVs. If you check out my previous blog post about the 4th of July trip, the photos of cool vintage and teardrop trailers give you a feel for the site layouts and terrain at the campground.

You can fish and kayak on Lake Kaibab, but in July, the lake was significantly lower than usual due to a dry summer. There is a boat ramp and a fishing pier, although the fishing pier at Kaibab Lake Campground led you out to a grassy area instead of to actual water. Remember to bring your bicycles, so if the fishing scene is a bust, you can at least enjoy tooling around plenty of roadway within the campground itself.

Downtown Williams held a great, old-fashioned 4th of July parade when we were there (plenty of pictures on my last blog post), exactly the kind of thing we were into with our vintage-inspired trailer.

In October 2015, we were back in Williams again when our friends from England came for a visit. This time, we camped an hour away in Grand Canyon National Park for a night, at Mather Campground at the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. Honestly, we didn’t care for the campsite itself (#147) at Mather Campground.  We were stuck in a parking pad that was really just a slight bulge in the roadway, a pullover really, with a few large rocks around it. Muddy. Muddy. Muddy.

We did, however, score a great view of a family of elk passing through the site across the way from us, and also scored some close-up pictures while hiding behind trees and bushes.

And we even saw this . . .

Grand Canyon Nationa Park, South Rim, Mather Campground

Again in October, we took in the splendor of Grand Canyon National Park, snapping photos, and looking down upon hiking trails in her belly that we planned to tackle some day.

Grand Canyon National Park South Rim Grand Canyon National Park South Rim

Overall, Williams, AZ, is a great place to situate yourself for a week while you check out some of what you’ve seen here and plenty more–like Flagstaff, AZ, (40 minutes away by car) or Sedona, AZ, (1 hour, 20 minutes away by car) both easy day trips from Williams.

All you have to do now is get out and enjoy it all!


Say, if you liked this blog post,
be sure to FOLLOW US by using the buttons/links
on the upper-left corner of this website
(email option, WordPress user option, TWITTER option, and FACEBOOK option are available).

If FACEBOOK is your thang,
we’ve made it easier on you . . .

just click right below to go directly to our FACEBOOK page
and then make sure to LIKE or FOLLOW us there!

PLEASE LIKE Teardrop Adventures on FACEBOOK!!!


Happy trails, y’all!

 

WILLIAMS_07042015_140Sue J signature

Got Gas? Utah Offers an Old-Time Fix

Confession: Sometimes the smell of gas makes me weak in the knees–in a good way. That, and the smell of used motor oil and Gunk.

These three things–gas, used motor oil, and Gunk–in combination transport me back to a significant portion of my youth where I spent a lot of time helping Dad in our garage. Gunk was a product my dad used to clean his hands at the end of a day fixing one of several Volkswagen engines or their interchangeable-parts-cousins, one of several lawnmower engines.

I’m pretty sure Gunk, a cleaning product with the fine aroma of gasoline, was meant for cleaning car engines, but Dad kept jars of it in the garage and the house for soaking his fingers like he was soaking in Palmolive. (Palmolive was a dishwashing liquid, peddled for other purposes on their TV commercials, such as skin beautification–I can still remember Madge, Palmolive’s TV-commercial mascot, saying, “So gentle, you can soak your hands in it.”)  No insult to Dad (God rest his soul.), but I seriously doubt  Gunk’s inventors envisioned their product being used as part of my father’s beauty regimen.

Odd as it seems, altogether or individually, gasoline, motor oil, and Gunk transport me back to a happy childhood. Grease-soaked rags. Bolts. Workbenches. And Dad.

So, it should not have been a surprise to me (nor now, to you!) that I found myself snapping pictures of gas pumps on our recent lengthy road trip to eight national parks in the west and northwest United States.

The initial rush might have hit me back at this eclectic barn/garage in Oregon on the way north to Olympic National Park in Washington State:

eclectic garage, vintage tools

In Wyoming, somewhere near Colter Bay in Grand Teton National Park, I snapped this photo of a well-kept (or well-refurbished), old-school Texaco pump:

vintage gas pump, antique gas pump, Texaco, fire-chief

Then, I got a rush of nostalgia when we stopped for gas at this Sinclair gas station shortly after entering the state of Utah (I’ll bet I haven’t seen a Sinclair dinosaur since I was a kid.):

nostalgia, Sinclair gas stations, Sinclair dinosaur

We hit the mother load outside of Lake Utah State Park in Provo, Utah, with this great display alongside a storage facility. Fabulous! I love the antique visible (a.k.a. see-through) gas pumps.

Here’s a great article about these antique visible gas pumps from a fella who pumped them when they weren’t antiques . . .

Vintage Visible Gas Pumps

and then check out this great video showing a working vintage gas pump in Glendale, Utah. I love it!



DAY_7_01


If FACEBOOK is your thing, LIKE us on FACEBOOK and see all our latest posts:

www.facebook.com/TeardropAdventures.com


This was just one experience of many on our three-week Teardrop Trailer Summer Road Trip to eight national parks in the western United States. To see our original trip route map, click on the first post of this mini-series:

Teardrop Trailer Summer Road Trip: 9 NW States, 8 Nat’l Parks

or check out any of our posts along the way . . .

Day 1, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Travel Log: Willits, CA, KOA Campground

Early Day 2, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Toilet Bowls, Vintage New Yorkers, and the Eclectic

Later Day 2, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Drive-Thru Redwoods, Giants, and Castles

Day 3, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Gigantic Marshmallows of Oregon

Day 4, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Captivating Washington Coastline

Day 5, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Olympiad Deer, Bald Eagles, and Chica Birds

Early Day 6, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Port Townsend, WA, See It All and Sea Otters Too!

Later Day 6, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge, WA

Day 7, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Goodbye Olympic Peninsula; Hello Seattle!

Day 8, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Hay, Washington! Spuds! Spokane!

Day 9, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: It’s a Dog’s Life for Me

Midway on 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Just Stop; You’re Missing It!

3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Wild, Wicked Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone Bison vs. Humans: You Can’t Fix Stupid

3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Wildlife IN YOUR FACE in Grand Teton National Park

Day 14, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Journey to the Center of Utah

Day 14, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Journey to the Center of Utah

I’m officially in the wild-animal Twilight Zone. It’s no joke that animals are literally in my face on this trip (remember my encounters from the last post? 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Wildlife IN YOUR FACE in Grand Teton National Park). Even after leaving Wyoming’s wildlife-abundant national parks, we still happened upon large critters on the road to Utah . . .

teardrop trailer, vintage trailer, tiny trailer, national park road trip, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Utah, Wyoming, wildlife

teardrop trailer, vintage trailer, tiny trailer, national park road trip, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Utah, Wyoming, wildlife

that brazenly stopped traffic and sauntered by my car window . . .

teardrop trailer, vintage trailer, tiny trailer, national park road trip, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Utah, Wyoming, wildlife

When we left the “Yellowstone / Grand Teton / Jackson Hole” area on Day 15, we made our way to Utah.  Are you familiar with the saying “It’s the journey, not the destination?” Well, I can honestly say the best part of this trip for me has often been the drive to the next place. Most of the time, I’ve been hanging out the window with my camera, taking pictures on the fly, or reaching over Mark while he drives to take pictures out HIS window. At this point of the trip, just willy nilly holding the camera out the window and snapping  photos works, too.

By now, it should be clear that I remain obsessed with hay on this trip,

teardrop trailer, vintage trailer, tiny trailer, national park road trip,, Utah, Wyoming, journey not the destination, landscape, hay, scenery

how hay is stored,

teardrop trailer, vintage trailer, tiny trailer, national park road trip,, Utah, Wyoming, journey not the destination, landscape, hay, scenery

how hay ends up looking like this . . .

teardrop trailer, vintage trailer, tiny trailer, national park road trip,, Utah, Wyoming, journey not the destination, landscape, hay, scenery

when it started off looking like this . . .

teardrop trailer, vintage trailer, tiny trailer, national park road trip,, Utah, Wyoming, journey not the destination, landscape, hay, scenery

This New York suburbanite had no idea that lush green hay fields went through a cutting process that lumped the cuttings in neat rows and left them to dry, later to be rolled and bound. Whether drying hay chased itself in huge crop circles or raced along in straight lines with trains that helped define property lines, hay kept grabbing my attention. Maybe there’s a future for me in processing hay. Anything is possible.

teardrop trailer, vintage trailer, tiny trailer, national park road trip,, Utah, Wyoming, journey not the destination, landscape, hay, scenery

We headed out of Wyoming via Route 89 South, despite the fact we planned on taking I-15 South. The trip via I-15 may have gotten us to Provo, Utah, faster, but it was so pleasurable to travel a very rural Route 89. If we hadn’t gone this way, besides missing in-your-face cattle and dozens of hay fields, we wouldn’t have been able to take this shot while passing through Afton . . .

teardrop trailer, vintage trailer, tiny trailer, national park road trip,, Utah, Wyoming, journey not the destination, landscape, hay, scenery, Afton

or this shot of three dogs riding at 70 mph on the back of a fifth-wheel truck . . .

teardrop trailer, vintage trailer, tiny trailer, national park road trip,, Utah, Wyoming, journey not the destination, landscape, hay, scenery

You see that country dog there? He’s looking at our suburbanite dog, thinking either “You think YOUR life is tough?” or “That’s right. No biggie. I do this every day.” I can’t be sure which, but I was impressed.

The truck’s toothless, smiling driver gave us a thumbs up, no doubt for our teardrop trailer, at about the same time I was giving him a thumbs up for his bad-ass dogs. Our dog simply groaned, something to the effect of “Really? And what am I? Chopped liver?”

Shortly after, we crossed the Utah border. If the “Welcome to Utah” sign hadn’t announced the state line, the immediate change in terrain would’ve done the trick.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

A few hours later, we were settled in our resting place for the night, Lake Utah State Park in Provo, Utah, where we managed to hook up with my niece who just flew in that same day from the east coast to attend college at BYU.

teardrop trailer, vintage trailer, tiny trailer, national park road trip,, Utah, Wyoming, journey not the destination, landscape, scenery, Provo, Utah Lake State Park DAY_14_22 DAY_14_23

teardrop trailer, vintage trailer, tiny trailer, national park road trip,, Utah, Wyoming, journey not the destination, landscape, scenery, Provo, Utah Lake State Park

All in all, this has been a great trip thus far . . . every . . .  last . . . bit of it!



 

DAY_7_01

We’re happy to help!

If you have any questions about where we’ve been, any aspects of the experience we didn’t share here, please use our ‘Contact’ page to send us an email with your question(s). We’ll do our best to provide you the answer if we know it or will at least fabricate something entirely convincing.

If FACEBOOK is your thing, LIKE us on FACEBOOK and see all our latest posts:

www.facebook.com/TeardropAdventures.com


To see our original trip route map, click on the first post of this mini-series:

Teardrop Trailer Summer Road Trip: 9 NW States, 8 Nat’l Parks

Or any of our stops so far on the way . . .

Day 1, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Travel Log: Willits, CA, KOA Campground

Early Day 2, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Toilet Bowls, Vintage New Yorkers, and the Eclectic

Later Day 2, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Drive-Thru Redwoods, Giants, and Castles

Day 3, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Gigantic Marshmallows of Oregon

Day 4, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Captivating Washington Coastline

Day 5, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Olympiad Deer, Bald Eagles, and Chica Birds

Early Day 6, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Port Townsend, WA, See It All and Sea Otters Too!

Later Day 6, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge, WA

Day 7, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Goodbye Olympic Peninsula; Hello Seattle!

Day 8, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Hay, Washington! Spuds! Spokane!

Day 9, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: It’s a Dog’s Life for Me

Midway on 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Just Stop; You’re Missing It!

3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Wild, Wicked Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone Bison vs. Humans: You Can’t Fix Stupid

3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Wildlife IN YOUR FACE in Grand Teton National Park

3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Wildlife IN YOUR FACE in Grand Teton National Park

Or is that ON YOUR FEET?

Wildlife in and around Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming aren’t bashful. In fact, they seem to know they own the place. Boisterous chipmunks like to rub it in your face, or rub their face into you, as the case may be.

Grand Teton National Park and area, wildlife viewings, Wyoming, Jenny Lake, Colter Bay, Jackson Hole, moose, mule deer, bison

In the Tetons, humans can’t vie for secondary nor even tertiary position in the food chain.

Moose ignore you while munching on a veggie breakfast . . .

Even mamma and her baby don’t seem too concerned.

Hell, bison routinely overtake the roadways as if the asphalt were designed for hooves instead of cars. An adult bison weighs about a ton. Needless to say, few autos challenge their collective decision.

This mule deer stepped right up to our campsite at Gros Ventre Campground (the same campground–just south of Grand Teton–where we had all of our moose sightings) and asked for a cup of salt.

Grand Teton National Park and area, wildlife viewings, Wyoming, Jenny Lake, Colter Bay, Jackson Hole, moose, mule deer, bison

We redirected him and his eight-point rack that-a-way while we attempted to discreetly shove our 80-pound dog this-a-way into our car to avoid a confrontation.

As if this all weren’t enough, I had a run-in with this grizzly. As you can see, I was more frightened of him than he of me . . .

grizzly bear, Grand Teton National Park and area, wildlife viewings, Wyoming, Jenny Lake, Colter Bay, Jackson Hole, moose, mule deer, bison

From the safety of a fort we found at the edge of Colter Bay, Mark tried to track the bear after it ran away  . . .

I found an anti-social elk who seemed kinda stiff . . .

elk, Craig Thomas Discovery & Visitor Center, Grand Teton National Park and area, wildlife viewings, Wyoming, Jenny Lake, Colter Bay, Jackson Hole, moose, mule deer, bison

and imagined how many fell to create an archway as grand as this . . .

Grand Teton National Park and area, wildlife viewings, Wyoming, Jenny Lake, Colter Bay, Jackson Hole, moose, mule deer, bison

We had some close-up moments with the wildlife at Grand Teton. It was amazing but is always dangerous. So, make sure you give wildlife respect by giving them space (Yellowstone Bison vs. Humans: You Can’t Fix Stupid), especially when they seem to want to get in YOUR face.

No matter where we drove in Grand Teton, her white-capped, rugged peaks stole the show and crowded the camera lens. Just like the wildlife, the mountains themselves reminded us that we share this planet with more powerful and beautiful things.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

As with Yellowstone  (3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Wild, Wicked Yellowstone National Park), we only spent what added up to a day-and-a-half at Grand Teton. A few days is not enough to explore any national park, and Grand Teton is no different.  It’s a hiker’s, climber’s, explorer’s paradise . . .

Craig Thomas Discovery & Visitor Center, Grand Teton National Park and area, wildlife viewings, Wyoming, Jenny Lake, Colter Bay, Jackson Hole, moose, mule deer, bison
Okay, so I’m just faking it at the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center at Grand Teton National Park, but . . . you know . . . I could do it if I wanted to . . . IF I wanted to. 🙂

And oh so easy on the eyes. Just to prove a point, Mark said there’s no such thing as a bad picture in the Tetons and proved it by willy nilly snapping a picture out the car window without looking. And he was right . . .

Grand Teton National Park and area, wildlife viewings, Wyoming, Jenny Lake, Colter Bay, Jackson Hole, moose, mule deer, bison

We know we’ll be back some day.  But a three-week road trip, in the end amounting to 4,400 miles, requires a tight schedule. Utah and five of its best national parks is the next stop. Onward and outward!



 

DAY_7_01

We’re happy to help!

If you have any questions about where we’ve been, any aspects of the experience we didn’t share here, please use our ‘Contact’ page to send us an email with your question(s). We’ll do our best to provide you the answer if we know it or will at least fabricate something entirely convincing.

If FACEBOOK is your thing, LIKE us on FACEBOOK and see all our latest posts:

www.facebook.com/TeardropAdventures.com


 

To see our original trip route map, click on the first post of this mini-series:

Teardrop Trailer Summer Road Trip: 9 NW States, 8 Nat’l Parks

Or any of our stops so far on the way . . .

Day 1, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Travel Log: Willits, CA, KOA Campground

Early Day 2, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Toilet Bowls, Vintage New Yorkers, and the Eclectic

Later Day 2, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Drive-Thru Redwoods, Giants, and Castles

Day 3, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Gigantic Marshmallows of Oregon

Day 4, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Captivating Washington Coastline

Day 5, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Olympiad Deer, Bald Eagles, and Chica Birds

Early Day 6, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Port Townsend, WA, See It All and Sea Otters Too!

Later Day 6, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge, WA

Day 7, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Goodbye Olympic Peninsula; Hello Seattle!

Day 8, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Hay, Washington! Spuds! Spokane!

Day 9, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: It’s a Dog’s Life for Me

Midway on 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Just Stop; You’re Missing It!

3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Wild, Wicked Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone Bison vs. Humans: You Can’t Fix Stupid

One ton of locomotive-grade muscle vs. 140 pounds of brain matter-challenged human flesh.
Do the math . . . carry the nine . . . Bison beats Humans every time.

At Yellowstone National Park, I saw a brown blip on my visual radar. Binoculars confirmed my suspicion. I had spotted a wild animal–in this case, a bison.

bison attacks humans, stupidity, respect for nature, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, wildlife attacks
Bison at river’s edge

I trailed it for a while from across a river until I saw it come to water’s edge and realized it may actually cross the river, and sure enough . . .

bison attacks humans, stupidity, respect for nature, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, wildlife attacks
That bison swam across that river in a FLASH!

Eager to snap a good photo, I ran to the car for a camera, but by the time I returned, the bison was gone. Gone! What the? Where the? Who the?

Holy crap! That’s one fast bison!

I guess I was standing there quite a while searching for the behemoth mammal from roughly 200 yards away from the forested patch it slipped into when I turned around and saw the empty road behind me suddenly full of cars and curious humans. Nobody knew yet what they were looking for. They just figured I’d seen something good and were ready to get their chance to do the same.

That’s right. To the best of my knowledge, nobody else had seen the bison or how fast the steam engine of a mammal only moments ago crossed the waterway. Nobody but me had recently been reminded the impressive power of these animals.

This guy dressed in bright purple and yellow–part of a crew of three similarly dressed tourists who had literally ran INTO, and now out of, the forest in search of the beast–had no concept of its ability to maim.

bison attacks humans, stupidity, respect for nature, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, wildlife attacks
See the brightly dressed tourist on the far right . . . I know for the sure the bison does. Ugggggh.

This misguided photographer sure didn’t get a fresh reminder of the animal’s strength . . .

bison attacks humans, stupidity, respect for nature, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, wildlife attacks
Already, against federal regulations, tourist is less than 25 yards (75 feet) from this large animal.
bison attacks humans, stupidity, respect for nature, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, wildlife attacks
And now tourist is even closer, possibly 25 FEET at the most!

And this trio of clueless tourists were unconcerned, backs turned to the bison, carrying on like they were at a Hollywood photo shoot . . .

bison attacks humans, stupidity, respect for nature, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, wildlife attacks
Not one of these tourists is keeping an eye on the bison!
bison attacks humans, stupidity, respect for nature, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, wildlife attacks
Again, against federal regulations, these tourists are possibly 30 FEET maximum away from the wild bison–posing for pictures, most of the time with their backs to the animal.

In the height of concern for these folks who clearly missed the entire common-sense series of lectures from their parents when growing up, I did the only sane thing I could. I switched the camera to video mode and waited to catch what would surely be the next viral video on YouTube:  “Tourists skewed like toasted marshmallows at Yellowstone National Park”

To avoid being all sensationalist and melodramatic about this account, I did my research and wanted to share with you a few words from a National Park Service web page. It reaffirms the repeated warning on every handout we received at the entry gates to the park, “Federal regulations require you stay at least . . . 25 YARDS away from . . . bison . . .” and “If an animal moves closer to you, you should move to maintain the appropriate distance.”

Here is the additional information I researched directly from the National Park Service web page:

The best description of a bison’s temperament is UNPREDICTABLE. They usually appear peaceful, unconcerned, even lazy, yet they may attack anything, often without warning or apparent reason. To a casual observer, a grazing bison appears slow and clumsy, but he can outrun, out turn, and traverse rougher terrain than all but the fleetest horse. They can move at speeds of up to thirty-five miles per hour and cover long distances at a lumbering gallop.

Their most obvious weapon is the horns that both male and female have. But their head, with its massive skull, can be used as a battering ram, effectively using the momentum produced by two thousand pounds moving at thirty miles per hour! The hind legs can also be used to kill or maim with devastating effect.

So . . . I say . . . go ahead folks. Ignore the warnings at the national parks and get those winning photographs you so desire. I’m just sitting here with my video camera focused just right, waiting to strike gold with my video of YOU on YouTube. You might be infinitely famous as a result of my efforts when your name is as well-known around the world as McDonald’s or Michael Jackson, but you’ll be six feet underground and unable to cash in on your instantaneous fame.

Me, however . . . I’ll be raking in the dough and sporting me some fancy yellow and purple hiking duds like the guy below, only I’ll be . . . you know . . . alive.

bison attacks humans, stupidity, respect for nature, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, wildlife attacks
Most other folks didn’t need a neon sign to know they should stay a safe distance away. The guy in the bright yellow and purple outfit thought otherwise.

Oh. And the bison? If this all played out the way it could have, the bison wouldn’t have fared any better than its victim. Instead of sauntering away, like it was trying to do, it likely would’ve been penalized with a death sentence for bashing its 2,000-pound head into a brightly colored humanoid traipsing into the unfortunate animal’s natural, 75-foot-diameter happy space.

bison attacks humans, stupidity, respect for nature, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, wildlife attacks
2,000 pounds of muscle and mayhem (if it so desired). Can run an easy 35 miles per hour. Idiot tourists live to see another day.

Well done, Einstein. Happy now?

Folks, get out there and have fun. Visit your national parks. But, for the love of Pete, read the handouts you receive at the entry gates. Heed the warnings. Be a good global citizen and respect nature. Your life could depend on it.



DAY_7_01

If FACEBOOK is your thing, LIKE us on FACEBOOK and see all our latest posts:

www.facebook.com/TeardropAdventures.com


 

This was just one experience of many on our three-week Teardrop Trailer Summer Road Trip to eight national parks in the western United States. To see our original trip route map, click on the first post of this mini-series:

Teardrop Trailer Summer Road Trip: 9 NW States, 8 Nat’l Parks

or check out any of our posts along the way . . .

Day 1, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Travel Log: Willits, CA, KOA Campground

Early Day 2, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Toilet Bowls, Vintage New Yorkers, and the Eclectic

Later Day 2, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Drive-Thru Redwoods, Giants, and Castles

Day 3, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Gigantic Marshmallows of Oregon

Day 4, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Captivating Washington Coastline

Day 5, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Olympiad Deer, Bald Eagles, and Chica Birds

Early Day 6, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Port Townsend, WA, See It All and Sea Otters Too!

Later Day 6, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge, WA

Day 7, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Goodbye Olympic Peninsula; Hello Seattle!

Day 8, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Hay, Washington! Spuds! Spokane!

Day 9, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: It’s a Dog’s Life for Me

Midway on 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Just Stop; You’re Missing It!

3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Wild, Wicked Yellowstone National Park

3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Wild, Wicked Yellowstone National Park

Day 10:

Yellowstone blew us away. She was anything but serene as she let off some steam . . . a hot-headed gal by nature—beautiful, but turbulent and unpredictable.

Our date with her started a little flat . . .

Yellowstone National Park, geysers, volcano, hot springs, wildlife, bison, elk, hiking, trails

We immediately saw her wild side and knew we should keep our distance . . .

Grand Tetons, Yellowstone National Park, geysers, volcano, hot springs, wildlife, bison, elk, hiking, trails Grand Tetons, Yellowstone National Park, geysers, volcano, hot springs, wildlife, bison, elk, hiking, trails

But she was so bubbly and vivacious, we couldn’t help but be lured in. Cavernous aqua eyes called to us . . .

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

She was steamy . . .

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

And caustic . . .

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

But she gave us hope . . .

Grand Tetons, Yellowstone National Park, geysers, volcano, hot springs, wildlife, bison, elk, hiking, trails Grand Tetons, Yellowstone National Park, geysers, volcano, hot springs, wildlife, bison, elk, hiking, trailsWe simply couldn’t stay away and came back yet another day.

Day 12:

Whereas we saw her West Side on date one, on date two, we explored her East Side.

She drew us in as she did the day before . . .

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

But her toxicity puzzled us and made us curious enough to ask for some insight from a park ranger . . .

Yellowstone National Park, geysers, volcano, hot springs, wildlife, bison, elk, hiking, trails

There is no sugar-coating it. Yellowstone is wild. She’s a fire-breathing dragon . . .

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

She is unstable . . .

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

But mostly, she is beautiful.

We only spent what added up to a day-and-a-half with Yellowstone. We barely scratched the surface of what she has to offer. The end result is the experience has only made us hungry for more.

As with most national parks, a few days is not enough to explore Yellowstone fully–nor is a week, nor possibly a lifetime. Our nation’s national parks are living, breathing entities that change as much as we do–rough days and calm days, bouts of death and rebirth. The rawness of the parks emulates the human experience in a visceral and often poetic way on the quintessential but unpredictable stage set of life.



 

DAY_7_01

We’re happy to help!

If you have any questions about where we’ve been, any aspects of the experience we didn’t share here, please use our ‘Contact’ page to send us an email with your question(s). We’ll do our best to provide you the answer if we know it or will at least fabricate something entirely convincing.

If FACEBOOK is your thing, LIKE us on FACEBOOK and see all our latest posts:

www.facebook.com/TeardropAdventures.com


 

To see our original trip route map, click on the first post of this mini-series:

Teardrop Trailer Summer Road Trip: 9 NW States, 8 Nat’l Parks


Remember…

If you see us the road, HONK!
If you take a picture of us and want to share it, or if you just want to say hi, visit us on FACEBOOK at:

www.facebook.com/TeardropAdventures.com