Grand Teton National Park – driving through..

Pays to leave early, what a beautiful sunrise.

Left Moran by 6:30, gaining entrance to the Grand Teton National Park by 7. Stopped at the first pull off and noted this group of happy campers on a 4 hour water journey. Arrangements for these outings can be made at the lodges throughout the Parks and there are many options available.

Looks like a fun option..

After this stopped in the Jackson Lake Lodge area. In all lodge areas gas stations with full service are available, as well as other services for car, health, and hygiene.

Jackson Lake, an enormous body of water with smoky mountains providing a mysterious view.

The John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway, is an integral part of this Park. Rockefeller visited Jackson Hole in the 1920s and was concerned how development was being conducted. He purchased and donated 32,000 acres to the Park. Much of the trees along this Parkway were dying and unsure why.

The South Entrance to Yellowstone awaits at the end of the Rockefeller Parkway. Stopped at the first waterfall past the entrance. Had a short walk in, but worth it, Crawford Creek.

On to see more of Yellowstone.

Buffalo Valley Ranch

You never know what Expedia has to offer so when this option appeared on their web site verses paying double for a hotel room I jumped at the chance. For $79. a night I slept in a tepee and believe the same rate would be for a family of four.

Inside Teepee
There are also covered wagon accommodations – unsure of price and area inside.

Arrived at 9:45 pm, and big mistake as it was dark, and too late to appreciate the area, which is beautiful. All pictures taken in this blog were at 6 a.m.

There are horses to ride at the ranch,

as well as waterfront areas to enjoy.

A full service restaurant is on site.

This family experience will be one you’ll talk about for years..

Buffalo Valley Ranch is a short ride from Grand Teton National Park in Moran, Wyoming. For more information check out the Expedia web site, or contact the ranch directly at 307-543-2477.

No financial remuneration is received from this blog, only want to share a fun time with others.

Yellowstone National Park – Old Faithful

This sign was welcomed after driving through the Grand Teton Park. Here I received a map to assist with my journey to Old Faithful. Since signage is limited at the Parks, as well as lighting, (and it gets very dark here), recommend asking for two maps or bringing tape to keep the map intact as it will be folded again and again… Also, whatever paper information the ranger offers – take.

Old Faithful Area

The area around the geyser is developed with many accommodations – hotels, restaurants, and gift shops. Lodging on the Park sites begin at over $300 per night and must be booked at least a year in advance. Those seen were lovely, but reasonable lodgings are few in this area – next blog.

There is ample parking in this area and it is a short walk to Old Faithful from the parking lot. Old Faithful rises every 30 to 45 minutes. There is an AP which gives approximate times of spewing. Around Old Faithful are many benches and the area is comfortable with visitors sharing insights so it is a pleasant experience as you wait. And there she blows..

What an impressive site and she spews much taller than this last picture, however, unable to capture the height.

Around Old Faithful is a walkway where a series of small geysers are active. Park rangers walk these areas, answer questions, and give insights. Yellowstone Park is actually one large volcano and 48% of the world’s geothermic activity is concentrated here. Many steamy geothermic spots are next to the roads as you drive. Stay clear as they are HOT.

Fascinating, but, need to depart as lodgings beckoned. Some parting shots.

Forgot to mention this.. Wasn’t up for a hike but can you imagine the views?
The greenery co-exists with the heated areas, one wonders, how??

What beautiful colors and forms.

Mother Nature at her finest.

Grand Teton National Park

Arrived at the entrance to the Grand Teton National Park at 3 p.m. after starting the journey at 5 a.m. Excited to have arrived decided to bypass the Park and head for Old Faithful. While another 2 1/2 hour journey beautiful weather was with me and clear air contributed to the scenery.

Stopping to stretch my legs after entering the Park came across this mobile unit warning visitors of bears. Those who hike at the Parks are told to carry bear spray. While I saw no bears during my visit there is much wildlife and they are in close proximity so do not be foolish should you visit. Visitors have been killed. Keep food secured so as not to attract these creatures and while they accept pictures from a distance do not attempt to touch as they are wild.

A path near this mobile unit was closed and security was monitoring the site to ensure no hikers took the trail.

And while on Park roads more friendly human visitors on horse back may be seen. As they have the right of way enjoy the driving break as they cross..

Tomorrow: Yellowstone Arrival – Yahooo!!!

Jackson Hole to Grand Tetons

Somehow in the journey returned through Utah, then on to more mountains.

During a flat stretch of road two hours away from destination located a former haunt my daughter and I visited. Here we rented a cabin and watched movies on the drive in screen from our cabin porch. Unsure if things have changed but if you want a unique adventure check out the Spuds Drive-In. Believe they have started doing music festivals.

Then on to another mountain pass. What views and hair pin turns..

And one last picture as this is where I stopped to pick up a few rocks for my garden. Always the avid gardener..

After this portion of the journey found myself in Jackson Hole. What a beautiful spot with many bike trails, shops, restaurants, music venues, and homes starting at 2.5 million according to the local newspaper. It is the haunt of many Hollywood types and for us normal folk it is a pleasant pass through on the way to the National Parks.

There are several entrances to Yellowstone. Taking the southern entrance allows you to visit The Grand Teton National Park first then journey north to Yellowstone. See both. Each have separate fees, however, a combination pass can be purchased. This portion of the Park is free.

Tetons on the way to the actual park. While the smoke from the California wildfires hid the majesty of these Tetons, one can make out in the shadows their majesty.

What an amazing site, and the sites have only begun. Each time I thought I had seen the most amazing view another surpassed the former. Stay tuned.

On my way to Yellowstone…

and what a way it was with Waze making the 4 hour trek into an 8 hour journey. Lost all faith in my constant companion as she, or is it he, placed me on Idaho back roads to reach my destination. Gratefully a paper map was available so constant companion, (WAZE), was turned off as I began my own piloting.

I still love you WAZE..

While the beauty of the mountains remain beyond words, the smoke from the California wildfires definitely obscured the views and burned the eyes. One wonders how those fire fighters are handling this and know there will be a special place in Heaven for them.

Note smoke

Driving I 80 West to I 84 came across Devil’s Slide. What a beautiful site of nature.

Throughout the drive NPR kept me awake and shocked with news of the Afghanistan fall. Who knew after 20 years at war a country could fall in 11 days? Saddened and sickened by what was to come I continued to drive. Then a text with an interesting picture from my daughter came to view during a brief stop. Look who she met while doing her weekend gig managing a Brooklyn Flea Market, Chuck Schumer.

Certainly lifted my spirits to continue the next 4 hours.

Have much to write about my Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park adventure. So much to see and do in nature’s bounty. Will try to make it as interesting as possible.

And as always, stay tuned.

Bear World

The entrance where fees are paid and instructions given.

Decided to begin at the Visitor Center…

Interesting Gift Shop

Then on to the Petting Zoo

Here you can feed goats and Canadian Geese

For the price of the visit there is also a small selection of rides for little ones.

And for an additional fee you can feed the baby bears.

Next.. to the Park where the drive is done through the animal habitat. Visits through the Park are unlimited. The first part of the drive were elk, goats, and bison.

Now, drum roll…on to the main event.. The Bears of which there are over 40.

Bear Family
Bear Chillin’
Bear bathing
Bear walking back from his bath..
Bear sleeping – they gravitate to these coverings.
Bear nuzzling the grill of the car. Bear walked up to the front of the car and spent 30 seconds inspecting the grill. Believe it might be as there were bees in the grill earlier in the day. Instruction sheets are given at the beginning of the journey – read and adhere.
Final Shot – for a laugh what do you think he’s doing?

And the gates close, tour completed…

What a fun visit.

Note: I receive no monetary compensation for this blog. Only do it for fun.


On my way to Bear World

Decided to explore more of Idaho and Bear World was recommended. On my way found several other spots along I-15 North where adult folks and families can explore.

  • Exit 63 Caribou National Forest – great place for hikers
  • Exit 67 Fort Hall Museum – in Pocatello takes you back to the world of trappers, and explorers. Great kid visit.
  • Exit 69 Museum of Natural History -state natural history museum on the grounds of the University of Idaho, Pocatello.
  • Exit 80 The Shoshone-Bannock Casino and Tribal Museum – the cleanest casino I’ve ever visited. The Camas Sports Grill had a variety of reasonably priced, tasty selections, with friendly servers. While no wins here for me it was a fun visit. On the day of my visit the Tribal Museum was closed, call for hours.
  • Exit 93 – The Potato Museum
  • Exit 309 – Viet Nam Memorial – Lest we forget..
  • Exit 310 – Historic Idaho Falls – what a beautiful spot. The River Walk along the falls hosts unforgettable views with colorful flowers, and restaurants/shops are nearby.
The State Museum of Idaho – not far from the Falls
  • Exit 322 Jefferson County lists a TV and Pioneer Museum – another option to explore as well as Squealers Fun Park which offers miniature golf, go karts, and rock climbing.

Much to do on the way..but the bears await!

Lava Hot Springs, Idaho

Arrived on a balmy late afternoon in Lava Hot Springs. After motel check in immediately rented a tube for the rapids.

Tubes can be rented by the hour, half day, or day, for a reasonable rate. This fee includes transportation to the beginning of the rapids and pick up at the end of the run. Takes 10 to 15 minutes to make a run through the rapids.

The Tubing

Besides the tubing there are hot springs pools in town to soak away aches and pains. The water temperatures in each of the pools vary starting at 102 and peaking at 112 degrees.. Feels so good…

And while there take in the flowers as they are beautiful.

Visit the town once you are done soaking.


And for those needing a little more excitement..

Much fun is to be had in Lava Springs.


NPR – University of Wyoming Students Endorse Mandatory Vaccination

This is an opinion blog, but please read on.. it will only take a moment, and as a nurse this issue is very personal to me.

During the 2 1/2 hour drive to Lava Springs heard much NPR. In case you are unaware it is National Public Radio, and a vital resource in these appalling times of hate and misinformation. Driving in these areas little is available on the radio except Bible preachers giving their own slant on God’s words to promote their views, therefore, NPR is my go-to.

28% of the Wyoming county where I reside are vaccinated. 10 days ago the local Walmart was closed for 24 hours for cleaning as 48 workers tested positive. Here people laugh or boo when you say you are vaccinated. As a former New Yorker who knew of coffins in the streets awaiting pick up, I know what is to come.

The University of Wyoming students interviewed by the local NPR station are requesting mandatory vaccination for their University and beyond. Their arguments were calm, slowly spoken, and from the heart stating how the German Measles, Smallpox, and Polio Vaccines protected them. They are concerned that when they attend classes they are unaware who are vaccinated and feel unsafe.

Please get vaccinated for your neighbors, health care workers, and yourself.

Do not play into the misinformation.