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Diary Last Updated: Jun 16th, 2015 - 16:51:13

Stage 1 - Day 14
By Dick & Pip Smith
May 22, 2006, 10:04

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Dick started driving at 7am heading north back into the Grand Teton National Park.  Just inside the Park entrance we turned right and headed to the Chapel of Transfiguration.  Dick had been to the Chapel in 1966 and remembered a 35mm slide he had taken looking through the glass  window behind the alter at the Tetons.  Naturally I repeated the photograph
Chapel of Tranfiguration in Grand Teton National Park near Moose
Beautiful yellow wild flowers were scattered throughout the Park
The window behind the alter inside the Chapel of Transfiguration


We headed further north and stopped near Jenny Lake and had a hot breakfast, hot showers and checked our emails.  No passer by would have realised what was going on inside our home on wheels!!
We stopped to capture the sun on the Grand Tetons for a few minutes
On the road to Jenny Lake


Dick commented that there had been one major change since his visit in 1966.  In those days he often saw bears on the road being fed by the tourists.  Today we didn’t sight a bear in Yellowstone or the Grand Tetons National Park.   There are large fines if people feed the wildlife and this seems to have worked.


We drove to the String Lake Trailhead and went for a magnificent five and a half kilometer walk around the lake.
Trees reflected in the still waters of String Lake
Grand Teton Mountains reflected in String Lake
On the way we met a number of seasonal workers who were repairing the track.  One said he was paid $15 per hour and he said it was pretty good money.
Dick talking to the seasonal Park workers repairing the track
There was quite a bit of snow and ice on the track on the western side of the Lake however we loved to be out walking
We had to walk through snow drifts on the track
A recent fire had burnt some of the trees on the edge of String Lake


It was 52 degrees F in a high haze.  We headed back to Jackson Hole, parked in the public car park and walked around the boardwalks.
Dick met a grissly bear on the board walk in Jackson Hole
We found a Bigfoot and Dick has now abandoned his scepticism and has become a believer!!!!
Dick found bigfoot inside a shop in Jackson Hole


We walked through the City Park with the famous antler arches.
Dick standing under the arch made of antlers
Dick remembered these from 1966, there was only one then, there are now four, one on each corner of the City Park.  By 2pm we were heading south towards Denver via Hobock Junction and the Snake River.
Driving down the highway beside the Snake River
At one stage we saw a group of rafters and we stopped at their pick up point
Rafters coming into the pick-up point on the Snake River
They were trainee guides practising for the opening of the season.  The river was very high and it would have been quite risky rafting in such circumstances.


We headed down highway 89 through Afton, Geneva and then through Cokeville to Granger.
A lovely old farm we passed along the road
On the way we came across an enormous thunderstorm and stopped beside the road to let it move away.
Just after the thunderstorm had moved away from us
At this stage the road followed the Bear River and the old Oregan Trail.  Of course it was warm outside but we were still over 6,000ft in altitude so it would be freezing in winter.


Just near Geneva we passed two genuine cowboys on their horses with their dogs.
A Wyoming cowboy
They gave us a friendly wave but it was obvious we were in the USA not Australia.  They just looked so different to our jackaroos.


It suddenly dawned on Pip why we had come this way - because it would take us on the main San Francisco – Cheyenne railway line! - one of the busiest railways in the USA.  We could smell the sage bushes as we drove after the downpour of rain.  We passed a huge open cut coal mine, a power station and of course the occasional oil well.
An oil well
The USA is just so wealthy.


At Opal there were some interesting old buildings which we photographed.
The old buildings in Opal
We joined highway 80 at Little America and finally stopped for the night at Peru siding just before Jamestown and Green River.  Dick backed the Earthroamer close to an enormous railway cutting where huge long trains came in both directions every thirty minutes.  Dick was in heaven!!
Dick very excited to find the ideal place to spend the night and watch trains
Our Earthroamer parked as close to the railway cutting as possible
He headed off to have a closer look while I cooked dinner. 


We celebrated the trip so far and how happy we were with an Aussie wine, Yellow Tail Chardonnay that we had bought at Old Faithful grocery store.  Dick counted the trains, their frequency and size – the record was 125 trucks with 3 engines.


We went off to sleep with the noise of trains shaking the Earthroamer as they roared by.


451km today total 5634km total


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