Around the World... One Journey at a Time. Around the World... One Journey at a Time.






Across the U.S.: Day 60

by Kathy 26. October 2009 14:25

<< Day 59: Yellowstone (Mammoth Springs) to the Grand Tetons  | Day 61: Park City to California Border >>


Grand Tetons To Park City, Utah

 

We were awakened last night by a thunder and lightning storm, which whisked away the haze and left the morning air crisp and clear.

Our view of the Grand Tetons:


The smells of the cottonwood trees and other plant life were more intense after the rain, just as Ranger Michael had said two days ago.

Our plan for today was to drive to Park City, Utah, using backroads as much as possible. It would be a long day on the road, almost 7 hours of driving.

Before leaving, Genevieve and Sebastian set off on a small hike around the campground.


Heading out, we saw buffalo grazing in the nearby fields:


A dainty-looking pronghorn was mixed in with the stout bison figures.

Some last views of the Grand Teton range:



As we drove south toward Jackson, we passed the National Museum of Wildlife Art. We didn’t have time to visit, but we enjoyed the outdoor sculptures, as well as the architecture of the building (which blended in beautifully with the hill behind it).




Jackson is a popular ski town in the winter, and we could identify the ski runs from the tree patterns around the town.

The downtown area had many rafting-trip businesses, small hotels, restaurants and shops:


We saw two different arches made from antlers.  Here is one of them:

Beyond Jackson were many small farms and lots of horses.


The hillsides were covered in aspen trees, which have white bark. When we first saw the aspen trees, they contrasted so greatly with the surrounding fir trees that we thought they were pine trees infested with bark beetles (like we had seen in Yellowstone).

Our road ran along the Snake River, which we crossed and re-crossed countless times.


The Boy Scout High Adventure Camp was located next to the road, and had what appeared to be a challenging obstacle course.

Here was a narrow bridge that obviously was not designed for our tall and wide RV.

We passed numerous rafting groups. Here are some rafts on a calm stretch of the river:

As the canyon walls got steeper, the river narrowed, creating more white water.

Views through the canyon:



This lake was at the top of a wide flat valley.


The valley had many farms.


The double-flag barn:

This house spoke to me of solitude.

A simple fence design:

In the town of Afton, Wyoming, we drove under the “World’s Largest ElkHorn Arch”:

We laughed at this playful bear (too much to drink, perhaps?):

We passed through Bridger National Forest.

After cresting a mountain pass, at 7500 feet, our road descended through an area with pale red soil and much fewer trees.


Welcome to Idaho!

The wind was pretty ferocious in this valley, full of farms.

Some of the homes:




We climbed a mountain with a very steep grade, through hills covered in sagebrush. The road downhill was freshly paved and wound through Montpelier Canyon, which is part of the Caribou National Forest.

This was definitely not a landscape where one “can’t see the forest for the trees.” (Whisper: There aren't many trees.  And where is the forest?)


The road-builders had cut through large sections of rock:


In the town of Montpelier, Idaho, we happened upon the National Oregon/California Trail Center.


We stopped to have lunch and see the exhibits inside the Center.

In the mid-to-late 1800’s more than 200,000 men, women and children traveled 2000 miles across the western United States on the Oregon/California Trail, most seeking new homes or a way to make their fortune. The journey took five months by wagon, often pulled by oxen.

Montpelier was settled by Mormons in 1864 and provided a resting stop for travelers along the way. When wagon trains reached Montpelier, they had already gone about 1000 miles, and they still had to cross many more miles of tough terrain to reach Oregon or California.

One of the challenges for the travelers after leaving Montpelier was to cross a high mountain known as “Big Hill.” The descent was so steep that many wagons had to be tied to trees with rope, and let down slowly. A monument to the Big Hill lies outside the Center, and we all had fun "helping" this wagon get down the hill:



We were welcomed into the museum by Dave:

The museum offers a “living history” tour, but we simply didn’t have the time to linger and enjoy it. We did, however, browse through many of the museum exhibits.

There were many paintings that represented various aspects of the Trail. Here is one by Gary Stone, showing the difficulty of crossing a rock-strewn area:

The journey involved many hardships, and approximately 20,000 people died on the Trail.

Other exhibits in the museum focused on the founding of Montpelier.

We also learned that when the railroad finally connected Portland with the Midwest in 1884, steam trains quickly replaced wagon trains as the means for western migration.

The museum contained an old Thomas Edison cylinder phonograph machine, the Amberola. Linda (a museum worker) demonstrated the Amberola for Genevieve and Sebastian. The song played was “I’m Sorry I made You Cry.”


Linda also demonstrated the use of an old cash register that had been used in a Monpelier store.



We were very grateful for Linda’s attention, as she pointed out things that we might have overlooked on our own. For example, she showed us this wooden grave marker with an “all seeing eye” and a Mason compass carved on it.

The marker had been placed on the grave of a man named Hugh Sommers, who had died in 1920 while passing through the valley. The grave marker had been created by the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, a fraternal organization. (The wooden marker had fallen over in the cemetary, and a new stone marker now stands in its place.)

The museum also had a display about the Native Americans who used to live in the valley before being driven out by European-Americans.


Near the Center was a park with a small playground that the children enjoyed before we continued our drive.

Sebastian, the monkey:

The roads leading out of town were sparsely populated and didn’t have many signs.


We were supposed to be on a road that would wind south beside a long body of water, Bear Lake. When we had traveled for 20 minutes without seeing a lake, I knew that we had missed a turn somewhere.

I looked on the map and discovered that we were on a road heading east, not south. Plan “B” was quickly created, with a route that would link our current road with one that would get us heading south again.

We crossed vast, open stretches of terrain.



There weren’t a lot of trees. This homebuilder had used the natural slope of earth to create some privacy:

The sky entertained us with its constantly changing cloud formations:

In the distance, we could see rain.

And even more rain.

Welcome to Utah!

Our road zig-zagged between Utah and Wyoming, crossing the state-line several times this afternoon.

Here are some of the homes we saw.






This small group of houses had a water tower, but the name of the town or community was not painted on the side.

The school in the tiny town of Woodruff:

We all smiled back at this barn:

Four large trucks passed us in the opposite direction, carrying huge concrete beams. Here are the first two:


The Bear River Lumber Mill had big stacks of sawed wood, as well as a large area with tree logs ready to be processed.

Our narrow road connected with Interstate 80 for the last hour into Park City.

We passed a train hauling many UPS truck trailers:

The train from the other direction. I waved, and the engineer waved back.

Some people were fishing on Echo Reservoir:

We stayed in a small RV park on the outskirts of Park City.

We said our goodbyes to Chris—she would be staying a few days in Park City with some good friends. She had been a fabulous addition to our group during the past week—the perfect house guest, really. We were so glad that she could join us.

Genevieve and Sebastian were thrilled to find a rock climbing wall at the RV park. They both shimmied to the top multiple times.







It was wonderful to see their self-confidence building with each climb!

The sun and clouds overhead appeared to have formed the entrance to another dimension.

We enjoyed some delicious sushi tonight at a nearby restaurant. After dinner, we topped the evening off with a relaxing swim in the pool.

 

<< Day 59: Yellowstone (Mammoth Springs) to the Grand Tetons  | Day 61: Park City to California Border >>

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Comments (6) -

10/27/2009 7:13:38 AM #

becky

auuughhhh!  you were in park city and didn't see sundance...oh, and the food.  the food is out of this world.  well, i can see that without a blanket of snow the charm would be fading...but sundance is always beautiful.  and during the summer they give rides up the ski lifts to drop off for mountain biking and hikes or just to see the view and then there's the lodge and the grill/the tree room (my alltime favorite restaurants)...can you tell it was my retreat from provo when i went to school there?  sorry to be a geek - but next time your in the area - let me know...so many awesome things for kids to do...from the heber creeper (an old open train that goes all the way through the canyon following a river) to the waterfalls to the canyon.  sigh.  i'm hankering for a roadtrip.  if only the film festival hadn't gotten so big and turned into some creepy thing where people like paris hilton show up bedecked in furs to get her pic taken in the snow...it used to be a pretty amazing event that everyone could participate in.  

truly, i can't wait for the kids to grow up so we can hit the road and show them the world and finally see some of the sights i've missed in all my travels.  this is a fun little glimpse into my future (cross my fingers).

becky United States | Reply

10/27/2009 4:28:32 PM #

Kathy

Becky, we did some fun activities in Park City the next morning, but then we were in "homeward bound" mode and didn't linger.  The area was definitely lovely and deserves a longer stay (next time!).

Kathy United States | Reply

10/28/2009 9:47:15 AM #

becky

quick question...everyone get bored now and then, but do the kids ever whine about wanting to go home or any of that?  is it fleeting when they do, if ever?  i was thinking about it and your kids look so happy and content and are always playing with big smiles - just wondered what some of the struggles have been, if any.  or do you pretty much have to stay one step ahead of them with planned out activities and what not?

becky United States | Reply

10/29/2009 11:55:57 AM #

Kathy

Becky, we were actually surprised that the kids flowed along so beautifully.  Neither Genevieve nor Sebastian ever complained that they wanted to go home.  However, Genevieve did comment several times during the last few weeks that she "missed" her room, with her books and belongings.  A lot of careful planning went into this trip (based upon lessons we learned from our past travels with the kids).  Every day was different.  Flexibility was critical; as much as possible, I tried to have various options for us to do, based upon our moods.  We tried to limit our driving to 4 hours or less, and we also created an itinerary with a lot of balance in it--different activities, museums, kid's playtime, "new" experiences, swimming, etc.  In doing research, I always tried to look at a proposed activity from the children's perspectives.  The RV was great for keeping the children entertained while on the road--they could do puzzles, play games together, read, take naps, look out the window, watch movies or other programs on the DVD player (we stock up during the year with new programs that they haven't seen yet; "Bill Nye the Science Guy" was a huge hit, so we brought along about 10 of his DVD's), and entertain themselves.  Traveling together in such close quarters for two solid months, I thought we would have some difficult moments, but we really didn't.  I think that the kids viewed each day as a new adventure (which it was!), and they woke up fresh and excited, wanting to know, "What are we doing today?!"  Our kids are also at the ages now where they are pretty easy-going, and excellent travelers. Feel free to ask more questions!  Kathy

Kathy United States | Reply

10/11/2010 10:18:52 AM #

Brendon Dickerson

Hey, My name is Brendon Dickerson, and I am a resident of Mountain View Wyoming.  I was just looking through your photos of Wyoming, when I found one of the Bear River Lumber mill.  That mill has been in our family for years, and I have spent a pretty good amount of time there when I was younger.  I just thought it was cool to see a picture of someplace that I am familiar with on the Internet.  I hope you enjoyed all the time you got to spend in Wyoming

Brendon Dickerson United States | Reply

10/11/2010 10:45:02 AM #

Kathy

Brendon, we really enjoyed our time in Wyoming--it is a beautiful state with lots of amazing scenery.  I'm glad that you found our photo of the Bear River Lumber Mill.  Thank you for sharing your family connection with the mill.  The surrounding area didn't seem to have a lot of tall trees; we were wondering where the logs come from, and whether it is more difficult now to find trees for the mill.
Thank you again for your comments!
Kathy    

Kathy United States | Reply

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Places We’ve Been, w/Quick Links

Bhutan
   Bumthang Valley
   Gom Kora
   Kanglung
   Mongar
   Paro Valley
   Punakha Dzong
   Sangdrup Jongkhar
   Thimphu
   Tongsa
   Wangdi Phrodrang

Bolivia
   Caranavi
   Guanay
   Janko Marca
   La Paz
   Laguna Colorada
   Laguna Verde
   Llica
   Potosí
   Queteña
   Rurrenabaque
   Sajama
   Salar de Coipasa
   Salar de Uyuni
   San Pablo
   Santa Rosa
   Sorata
   Sud Lipez
   Tupiza
   World’s Most Dangerous Road

Canada
   Banff National Park
   Battle Hill Nat'l Hist. Site
   Boya Lake Prov. Park, BC
   Burns Lake Bike Park
   Canyon Sainte-Anne
   Chetwynd
   Dawson Creek
   Eastern Townships
   Fort Nelson
   Isle-aux-Coudres
   Jasper National Park
   Kluane Lake, YK
   'Ksan Historical Village
   Lake Louise
   Liard Hot Springs
   Montreal
   Niagara Falls
   Ottawa
   Quebec City
   Quesnel
   Thousand Islands
   Toronto
   Vancouver
   Vancouver Island
   Victoria
   Watson Lake
   Whistler
   Whitehorse

China
   Beijing
   Datong
   Forbidden City
   Great Wall at Mutianyu
   Hong Kong
   HuaShan
   Lijiang
   Summer Palace
   Terracotta Warriors
   Tiananmen Square
   Xi’an
   Yangshuo
   Yungang Caves

Costa Rica
   Arenal Volcano
   Finca Corsicana
   Hanging Bridges
   Manuel Antonio
   Poas Volcano
   Proyecto Asis
   Quepos
   Sarchi
   Sky Trek Zip Lining
   Venado Caves
   Zarcero

France
   Paris

Ecuador
   Amazon Rainforest
   Chaquiñan Bicycle Trail
   La Mitad del Mundo
   Napo Wildlife Center
   Papallacta Hot Springs
   Proyecto DCR
   Quito
   Yasuní National Park

India
   Bagdogra
   Darjeeling
   Delhi
   Gawahati
   Jaigaon
   Kalimpong

Mexico
   Baja California
   Crucecita
   Frida Kahlo Museum
   Hierve el Agua
   Huatulco
   Marietas Islands
   Mazunte
   Mexico City
   Monte Alban
   Oaxaca City
   Patzcuaro
   Puerto Angel
   Puerto Escondido
   Puerto Vallarta
   San Agustin
   San Martin Tilcajete
   Santa Fe de la Laguna
   Santa María el Tule
   Sayulita
   Studio of Jacobo Angeles
   Teotihuacán
   Teotitlán del Valle
   TzinTzunTzan
   Yagul
   Yelapa

Namibia
   Caprivi
   Dead Vlei
   Elondo Village
   Etosha Nat'l Park
   Hippo Pools Camp
   Hoba Meteorite
   Katutura
   Khowarib Camp
   Moose McGregor's Bakery
   Mowani Camp
   Ngepi Camp
   Nkasa Lupala
   n'Kwzi Camp
   River Dance Lodge
   Seisfontein
   Seisriem Camp
   Sossusvlie
   Swakopmund
   Treesleeper Camp
   Twyfeltein
   Windhoek

Peru
   Balsas
   Barranca
   Cajabamba
   Cajamarca
   Caraz
   Cañón del Pato
   Celendín
   Cerro de Pasco
   Chachapoyas
   Cusco
   Huamachuco
   Huánico
   Huaraz
   La Oroya
   Leymebamba
   Llanganuco
   Lima
   Machu Picchu
   Moyobamba
   Nuevo Jaén
   Pallasca
   Pampas
   Tápuc
   Tarapoto
   Tarma
   Tingo Maria
   Tocache
   Yungay Memorial

Portugal
   Burgau
   Coimbra
   Evora
   Lisbon
   Marvao
   Nazare
   Obidos
   Portimao
   Sintra
   Sitio

South Africa
   Johannesburg

Spain
   Barcelona
   Bilbao
   Hondarribia
   Madrid
   Montserrat
   Nerja
   Rock of Gibraltar
   Ronda
   Santillana del Mar
   Tolosa
   Zaragoza

United States National Parks
   Arches National Park, UT
   Badlands National Park, SD
   Bandelier National Monument, NM
   Bryce Canyon National Park, UT
   Cahokia Mounds (UNESCO site), IL
   Carlsbad Caverns National Park, NM
   Canyon de Chelly Nat'l Monument, AZ
   Cape Hatteras National Shoreline, NC
   Capitol Reef National Park, UT
   Civil Rights Memorial, AL
   Death Valley National Park, CA
   Denali National Park, AK
   Devil’s Tower National Monument, WY
   El Morro National Monument, NM
   Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C.
   Glacier National Park, MT
   Grand Canyon National Park, AZ
   Grand Tetons National Park, WY
   Great Basin National Park, NV
   Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, HI
   Joshua Tree National Park, CA
   Kaloko-Honokohau Nat'l Hist. Park, HI
   Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks, NM
   King's Canyon National Park, CA
   Martin Luther King Jr. Nat'l Hist. Site, GA
   Mesa Verde National Park, CO
   Montezuma's Castle Nat'l Monument, AZ
   Monticello, VA
   Mount Rushmore National Memorial, SD
   Mt. Rainier National Park, WA
   Olympic National Park, WA
   Petrified Wood National Park, AZ
   Pinnacles National Monument, CA
   Pu'uhonua o Honaunau Nat'l Hist Pk, HI
   Pu'ukohola Heiau Nat'l Historic Site, HI
   San Antonio Missions Nat'l Hist. Park, TX
   Tuzigoot National Monument, AZ
   Walnut Canyon National Monument, AZ
   Washington Monument
   White Sands National Monument, NM
   Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, AK
   Wright Brothers National Memorial in NC
   Yellowstone National Park, WY
   Yosemite National Park, CA

United States, Cities and Places
   The Alamo, TX
   Alaska Wildlife Conservation Cntr.
   Alpine Loop in CO
   Anchorage, AK
   Antares Junction, AZ
   Arctic Circle, AK
   Barrel Oak Winery in VA
   Biloxi, MS
   Bottle Tree Farm in CA
   Calico Ghost Town, CA
   Canfield Mountain Trail System, ID
   Cape St. Vincent, NY
   Carson City, NV
   Carter Caves State Park in KY
   Chappie-Shasta OHV Area, CA
   Child's Glacier, AK
   Circle B Chuckwagon Show in SD
   City Museum in MO
   Cody, WY
   Corn Palace in SD
   Crazy Horse Memorial in SD
   Custer State Park, SD
   Dalton Highway, AK
   Dinosaur Tracks in AZ
   Discovery Place in Charlotte, NC
   Dry Falls (Sun Lakes-Dry Falls), WA
   Fairbanks, AK
   Front Royal, VA
   Gallup, NM
   Goffs, CA
   Grand Canyon Caves, AZ
   Grand Canyon Skywalk, AZ
   Grave Digger Monster Truck in NC
   Great Salt Lake, UT
   Hackberry General Store in AZ
   Hannibal, MO
   Hatteras Island, NC
   Hawaii (Big Island)
   Hickison Petroglyphs, NV
   Holbrook, AZ
   Hole in the Rock, UT
   Homer, AK
   Honey Island Swamp Tour in LA
   Hoover Dam, NV
   Hyder, AK
   Jim Gray’s Petrified Wood Co. in AZ
   John’s Peak OHV Area, OR
   Kailua-Kona, HI
   Keepers of the Wild Nature Park in AZ
   Kennecott, AK
   Kennecott Copper Mine in UT
   Kingman, AZ
   Lake Havasu, AZ
   Lake Tahoe, NV
   Las Vegas, NV (winter 2010)
   Little Brown Church in IA
   London Bridge in AZ
   Loneliest Road in America, Hwy. 50, NV
   Los Angeles, CA
   Lost Colony Show on Roanoke Isl., NC
   Lowe’s Speedway in NC
   Mardi Gras World in LA
   Mark Twain Museum in MO
   Meteor Crater, AZ
   Million Dollar Highway, CO
   Minnesota Zoo
   Mitchell, SD
   Moab, UT
   Moab, UT (dirt biking)
   Montgomery, AL
   Montpelier, ID
   Navajo Nation, AZ
   Needles, CA
   Nevada Beach, NV
   Newberry Springs, CA
   New River Gorge, WV
   New Orleans, LA
   Niagara Falls 
   North Pole, AK
   Oatman, AZ
   Old Faithful Geyser in WY
   Omak Stampede, WA
   Painted Desert, AZ
   Park City, UT (summer)
   Plymouth, NC
   Portage Valley, AK
   Portland, OR
   Prospect OHV Trail System, OR
   Resaca, GA
   Riverside State Park, WA
   Rock City in TN
   Rosa Parks Library and Museum in AL
   Roswell, NM
   Russian River, AK
   Salt Lake City, UT
   San Antonio, TX
   San Diego, CA
   San Juan Islands, WA
   San Francisco, CA
   Santa Catalina Island, CA
   Seattle, WA
   Sedona, AZ
   Shoe Tree in CA
   Shoe Tree in NV
   Silverton, CO
   Sonora, TX
   St. Louis, MO
   St. Paul, MN
   Talkeetna, AK
   Telluride, CO
   Route 66
   Twin Knobs Recreation Area in KY
   Virginia Beach, VA
   Washington D.C.
   Wayne Fitzgerrell State Park in IL
   Williamsburg, VA
   Winom Frazier OHV Area, OR
   Winslow, AZ
   Zion National Park, UT

Planning Our Adventures

For us, each journey begins with the initial heart pangs to venture to a certain part of the world. Then the ideas start coming together . . . ahh, the possibilities . . . and the dream evolves gradually into an actual plan. But, oh, the joy of the dream!  Click here to learn more about how we plan and prepare for our journeys.

Where Are We Now?

Click here to discover where we are now, as well as our uncoming travel plans.


Words for the Heart

“. . . and then the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

Anais Nin