Grand Teton National Park & Jackson Hole, WY

Leaving the campground on our final morning in Yellowstone was bittersweet. It was another beautiful day but it was a day that we would also be leaving the park. Our route south out of the park took us past West Thumb Basin so we stopped one last time to look at the deep blue hot springs and the great views of Lake Yellowstone. From there we continued on the parks lone road south. This took awhile as there was a lot of construction so only one lane could go at a time. It wasn’t the worst place for this to happen though as we were stopped next to a few small lakes which had great views. (Almost anyplace that you stop in Yellowstone, forced or not, has great views.) After we made our way past the construction we passed the park entrance and we were out.

Grand Teton National Park is only 10 miles south of Yellowstone so within a few minutes we were at the Teton visitor’s center collecting info on the park. The road that we were driving on was named the John D. Rockefeller parkway. We later found out that while Grand Teton National Park was established in the late 1920’s, a good portion of the park that exists today came from land purchased and donated by Rockefeller as he loved the area and did not want to see the land taken by developers. While Grand Teton is nowhere near the size and does not have the diverse landscapes of Yellowstone, the Teton mountain range is itself spectacular. The mountains jutted straight up from the earth, looking like they would be almost impossible to climb. We stopped at almost every scenic viewpoint and drove the scenic drive through the park before reaching the southern entrance close to Jackson.

Prior to arriving in Jackson we had decided that we needed to get out of Bubbles for a few nights and focus on our website, blogs and videos. Cell service or WIFI was nonexistent in Yellowstone as well as in our previous stop in the Black Hills so it had been quite a while since we had been able to update everyone on our travels. We found a hotel in the heart of Jackson, checking in and showering before going out. After a happy hour drink and some delicious tacos for dinner we called it a night. The next day we woke up and after breakfast at the hotel we had work to do. Lucky for us there was a laundry mat right at the hotel. After starting our laundry we got to work on our blog (actually Julie did). I had been able to keep on writing blog posts, as internet was not needed to write however it is needed for creating videos.

After creating videos and while waiting for them to upload we hopped back in to Bubbles and headed back to Grand Teton. The day before we had noticed a bike path that went through almost the entire park and we wanted to ride on it. We drove a little ways north into the park before finding a parking area on the bike path, unloaded the bikes and we were off. From where we parked we rode 6 miles north to Jenny Lake. Jenny Lake is a beautiful lake with lush pine covered forest on one end and the start of a mountain on the other end. It seemed here, unlike Yellowstone that most of the people enjoying this park were Jackson locals. After exploring the lake for a bit we noticed that the clouds had changed and that a storm was about to roll in. We hopped back onto our bikes and raced back to the van as fast as we could as it got windier with a small amount of rain. (We did find out during this that we are in better shape than we thought as the Jackson area is at around 6000 feet and we rode 6 miles as fast as we could with little problem). Once we made it back to Bubbles it did rain but not as much as the sky looked like it was going to. After making it back to the hotel, changing clothes we headed back out to the town. Jackson is a really neat western style town with boardwalks instead of sidewalks, great stores, restaurants and parks (more than just Grand Teton) close by. We stopped at what we thought was a BBQ restaurant only to find out that they stopped serving BBQ but they did have margarita flights (who can resist that?!?). We enjoyed a flight then found an actual BBQ restaurant for dinner. By the time we got back to our hotel after dinner all the videos had uploaded and was back on track.

The next morning before leaving Jackson we stopped across the street from the hotel at an urban greenhouse called Vertical Harvest. It was a really neat concept. The building was very skinny but 3 stories tall. The plants were in long baskets separated by a few inches and were brought from the floor to skylights for sunlight and watered as they went up and down on the vertical conveyor belt of sorts. Its pretty amazing as the building sits on 1/10 of an acre but produces over 100,000 pounds of fresh produce every year. Most of the produce went to local restaurants with a small store open to the public near the entrance. We had gone in a few days earlier to check it out but didn’t want purchase anything yet as we would not have used it for a few days. So on this day we went in and bought a few ripe tomatoes and a bag of butter lettuce that we were told had just been picked earlier that day. Produce in hand we hopped into Bubbles and headed south.

We drove through mountainous eastern Wyoming curving through forests, across rivers and through lush farm valleys. We eventually said goodbye to Wyoming and crossed into extreme southeast Idaho. We were only in Idaho for a short while as our destination for the night was Bear Lake, Utah. I had visited Bear Lake on a trip back in 2003 with my buddy Matt and had remembered it being spectacular as it had an incredible intense blue color, which looked amazing when contrasted with the surrounding mostly brown colored landscape. The lake itself is split, half in Idaho and half in Utah so as we crossed the border between the states we were able to stop and take pictures with both the Welcome to Utah & Welcome to Idaho signs. Our stop for the night was Epic Park which was a small RV park and Marina all in one. We were there in the middle of the week so there was only one other person there which suited us just fine. Once we checked in we walked down to the crystal clear water taking in the sight. The blue of the water was just as I had remembered it, just stunning. That night we made dinner on our grill outside taking in the stunning views. This became one of the top 5 views from an RV Park on our trip.

Next up….We travel to southern Utah and see the Mighty 5 Utah National Parks!

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