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beautiful pics
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DRIVING - Southern and Western Wyoming.


After the sand dunes, I drove up into Wyoming and camped in Medicine Bow NF. I didn’t have or want to spend a lot of time looking for a good campsite since I’d only be spending the night there and taking off in the morning.

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I’m on a fairly short timeline to get to Seattle, so I drove straight through a big chunk of Wyoming. I drove from my camping site in Medicine Bow straight up to La Barge, WY.

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On the way, I came upon a HUGE lake/reservoir. It appears the Green River is dammed there. I saw a little area with a turnout and a small beach, so I pulled off.

I found one of the coolest history info signs I’ve seen so far:

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And then I went for a swim!
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Once I made it up to La Barge, I took some back roads up to Alpine. I went along La Barge Rd. (315), which becomes a number of other roads. Most of this road went along a nice little river.

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The following 1 user says Thank You to FALCON for this post:
Jahmai (05-28-2017)
.... continued...

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Something I didn’t know until I happened upon signs - there is national forest land along this route. On google maps, there is no green area so I thought it was all private land. But it’s actually a part of some National Forest. The NF border is about 40 miles from La Barge. I stopped to camp right after hitting the NF. I think I lost my campsite pictures.

The next morning, I drove the rest of the way to Alpine and then Jackson. I guess a bunch of emigrants traveled along this route.  It’s about 90 miles from La Barge to Alpine, along a road that I didn’t traverse very quickly.

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Here are some seriously amateur videos. The first two are dash cam views while driving. I’ve been having trouble recording video with my GoPro - I end up with gaps where it didn’t record. At first I thought this was from the GoPro getting too hot (which it definitely does at times), but it also happens when it’s not very hot. So then I figured the micro SD card I’m using can’t support a fast enough writing speed. So I recorded in 720p and I think that video may still have gaps. I need to look into it further. So these driving videos below are from using time lapse pictures (some parts 1 picture per second and some parts 1 picture per 1/2 second.) And they are not very good. But if you’d like an idea of what driving these roads is like, here you go:

Driving through southern Wyoming to the Green River lake.

La Barge Road
(This shows part of the road - basically the first 10-20 miles.)

Part of my dip in the river

This is the route I took from Medicine Bow to Alpine. I also drove up to Jackson that same day (but for some reason I can’t get google to route correctly from Alpine to Jackson. Maybe something to do with the fire road closures. I took 89 and 191 and it’s a great drive.

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The following 1 user says Thank You to FALCON for this post:
Jahmai (05-28-2017)
(07-15-2016, 08:36 AM)USExplorer Wrote: Send me a PM when you swing by Grand Teton; I'm currently working in Colter Bay Village.

(07-15-2016, 10:33 AM)masterplumber Wrote: Falcon, awesome pictures. I'll be at North Fork campground above Meeker, CO this weekend visiting a friend. If you swing through that way I'd love to meet you. Ram 2500 with red cargo trailer conversion. Person I'm visiting is the campground host and has been on the road several years - could be a wealth of information.

Sorry I missed you guys. I didn't want to go that far west in CO.. Than, in Grand Teton, I didn't like the smoke and didn't spend much time there (Went up to Yellowstone instead)
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(07-21-2016, 07:59 AM)highdesertranger Wrote: very nice, great pics. the rock formation is a foundation. if there is no wood from a collapsed cabin it was for a tent.....

Thanks :-)

(07-21-2016, 09:21 PM)Cammalu Wrote: Gorgeous photos! Is that van 4 WD?

Nope. It's 2wd. I put a lunchbox locker in the rear end. That was a HUGE improvement in the open differential the van originally had. It's definitely not as good as 4x4, but it's WAY better than normal 2wds.
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Another trip through paradise !
You'd make a good tribal scout.................
Stay Tuned

Weirdo Overlord  YARC CRVL edition
12 "Stinkin'Badges"  a "Full Monty Badge" 2 "Just Ignore Me" clusters  4 "Pine Cone" clusters  one "Stinkin' Badger" and 4 of the coveted "Flying Manure Spreader"awards! (What a "Stinkin' " honor !) + ROOIRIA

1981 Travelcraft Class C - 23'
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Ok, so I think I left off having made it up to Jackson. In short, Jackson is a cool town. I’d never seen so many obvious Vandwellers. (Flagstaff comes close, but there it’s more overland trucks and SUVs).  The bad part about Jackson: the super-tourists and super tourist shops at the town square.

I observed the vacation process of the female Asian tourist:
- Always, ALWAYS walk with phone in hand. Half of the time, phone pointed at face either taking selfies or participating on social media.
- Walk up to something (could anything that stands out: maybe the arches made of (fake?) elk horns at each corner of the town square, or maybe the war memorial in the middle of it)
- Look at that thing for 2.5 seconds. Don’t read any of the text.
- Take selfies for the next 280 seconds. After the perfect selfie, take a picture with various combinations of your travel partners. If you are in front of a statue, pose just like the statue.

This was not specific to asian women, but they seemed to be the most developed in this phone-centric vacation process.

I saw a guy who sealed the deal on the Jackson town square image: he was walking across the street recording what was probably a video using a phone on a selfie stick. Halfway across the street, he finishes the video, and tucks the selfie stick under his arm. He also has a DSLR hanging from his neck. Ok, maybe next he will use that to take a picture? Nope. Syke! He pulls a TABLET out of I can’t remember where, and holds it up in front of him to take a picture (probably of the elk horn arch he was approaching) This man has fully mastered the art of juggling multiple devices to produce the highest rate of Facebook and Snapchat spam.

The town square is not all bad. There are some cool shops there. I was impressed with the hats in those shops. I don’t know hat names - these are big round ones, but not full cowboy hats. They seemed like ok deals for how nice they appeared. I could use a hat like that, but I don’t know prices or how to judge quality, so I passed, assuming they are as overpriced as some of the other things in their store.

The next better thing about the town square is the free Wifi. There is Jackson city-provided Wifi there. It works better towards the south side of the square. This was important, because while I had a full signal, the Verizon cellular data speed in Jackson is worthless for anything other than text.

The best thing about the square was a conversation I had there. I was sitting on a bench reading a book, and an older gentleman sat down on the other end of the bench. He wasn’t doing anything, just sitting there and looking around. He had been there 20-30 minutes when I got to a stopping point in my book and struck up a conversation with him. He’s had an interesting life, at least as far as his career goes. He grew up in NYC and at age 15, right after his father died, he quit school and bought a dump truck and a chainsaw. He went out to Western NY and hustled himself a job doing tree maintenance work at a college or university. Then he went to school there. He went down a few career paths, leading to him being involved very early in the semiconductor industry, and eventually getting a big windfall from the sale of a startup company he co-founded. He’s traveled to a many different parts of the world and is a thoughtful and clear-speaking guy. He had very good advice, but it was nearly all about work. I tried to get some advice from him on long-term self-actualization, but the best I could get was advice on where to spend time this fall/winter given my outdoor activity interests (he said California).

I spent about a day and a half in Jackson. I got maps and good advice at the visitor’s center, and bought a one-year National Parks pass. Next, I drove up into Grand Teton National park. I went to Jenny lake to go for a bike ride. There aren’t any good roads for road cycling in GTNP, but there is a 22 mile bike trail going from Jackson to Jenny lake. So I drove up to the lake and road to Jackson and back. I rode pretty hard and while I felt ok most of the ride, during the last 25% of it, I was fatigued. I could ride ok at an endurance or even tempo pace, but I had absolutely no top end punch. I didn’t really intend to ride so hard/long that I’d deplete my muscle glycogen like that. I used to ride a LOT, and was in WAY better shape a few years ago. It’s hard not to always compare myself to my best fitness

My neck, feet, and hands/wrists were quite fatigued by the end of the ride. It was too far/ too hard.. I need to ride less than that - about half as much at that exertion. That will be plenty to improve my fitness. And I need to work back up to all of my body being able to handle hard and long rides. There one silver lining in this is that I can get great workouts in without having to ride a bunch of hours now :-D  :-D

The Tetons are really cool mountains. As my brother described to me about a week before, the area is pretty flat, and all the sudden the mountains shoot up steeply. They are very different from the Colorado rockies. They were similar to the mountains I saw years ago in Banff. I had a good clear view of them while driving up and while bicycling south. But when cycling back north, I noticed a lot of smoke from one or two of the nearby forest fires rolling in. By the time I got back to Jenny lake, it was really smoky and hazy. Enough to spoil all the good views. I didn’t take any pictures in GTNP before the smoke, and then it wasn’t worth it.

I was going to drive over to the National Forest east of GTNP to camp, but as I started driving that way, I could see it was smoky over there too. I decided to head up into Yellowstone and see if it was better there. So I drove north and the smoke gradually faded from view.

I didn’t take any pictures in Jackson. I need to start taking pictures in the towns also.

This was after I’d been driving north a bit, and it was less smoky than in the middle of GTNP, but still enough to spoil a view.

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I stopped at some of the geysers/hot springs/whatever they’re called. I did stop at Old Faithful. I was really hungry and decided to eat before I walked over. It erupted while I was eating. It was too late in the evening to wait around for the next one, so I continued west.

I’m just going to dump the pictures out. I’ll do some ruminating later on my overall impressions of Yellowstone and the surrounding areas.

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If you fall off, CERTAIN DEATH!
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When I’d get gusts of wind blowing from this one towards me, I’d feel pockets of air 30+ degrees warmer than ambient. wow!
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… Continued…

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(That’s a “Overdrive off” light, not a check engine)

I drove out the western edge of Yellowstone, to the town named West Yellowstone. I like this town much better than Jackson. It’s also a complete tourist town, but it has a different feel. It feels older. Simpler. Less like it’s trying to be something it shouldn’t be. It felt like a town suited to it’s purpose - to house, feed, and supply people going in and out of Yellowstone. No fancy jewelry stores. No designer clothes stores. It does have a few too many T-shirt stores, but if that’s a town’s only issue they are doing very well. Also, even while there were a lot of obvious tourists, including asian women, almost NO ONE had their phone in their face. People here seemed more in the moment. More connected with their travel partners. After the Jackson town square, that was very refreshing.

I’ll be going back through West Yellowstone on my way out of the area, and I promise I’ll take pictures this time.

I felt like I had been doing too much and moving too fast, so I spent about 36 hours holed up in West Yellowstone. When I left, it was to drive back into Yellowstone, taking the following route:

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I stopped to hike up Mt. Washburn
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Is that a goat? (It almost looks like it could be a deer or elk in the picture, but it is MUCH smaller than those - like half the size.)
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I was wondering what kind of waves were shooting through my body from all the stuff mounted on this lookout building at the top of Mt. Washburn.
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…. continued..

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Then I carried on driving towards and onto the Beartooth Scenic byway.
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I was surprised by how many waterfalls are in Yellowstone. I saw probably 15 so far.
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I was wondering if these bison are living as wild, or if they are cared for or managed. Anyone know? They seemed as docile as fully domesticated animals. If these act the same as the bison did two hundred years ago, it’s clear how easily a group of people could hunt them to extinction. You could walk up to these bison and shoot them execution style any they might not take a step in any direction other than falling over.

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Up next, camping at the northeast border of Yellowstone and driving the Beartooth pass! The views are about to get BIG!
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Thanks for the tour - my friend is the seasonal ranger at Mt Washburn working as a fire lookout - he lives in the glass area.

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