Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Tetons, John, a moose on the loose

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My first brush with the Tetons was the movie "Shane" With Alan Ladd, Jean Austin, Van Heflin, Jack Palance, a very young Ben Johnson and introducing Brandon DeWilde. Sod busters and bad ranchers and the best bar room brawl since Spencer Tracey in "Bad Day at Black Rock." The real star of the movie was the Teton Mountain Range used as the backdrop. So visiting here again is like visiting old friends. The lakes (Jenny, String and Jackson), The mountains Moran, Grand Teton, Rockchuck Peak and Symmetry Spire and others. What makes the Teton Range so beautiful is that you can see the mountains from up close to 15 miles away and the view is magnificent. Most other places you can go into the mountains but you just can't see the majesty.

Today was a fantastic day to tour Teaton National Park. With the exception of some haze from the earlier rains. I have a million pictures of mountains (that IS the main attraction) so I'm not posting them all here for the sake of all mountain haters but I did set up a photobucket account for mountain lovers to see more than I will show here.

Click on this link to see the rest of the pictures in a larger size

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Jenny lake was as beautiful as I remember her, reflecting the mountains and sky beyond. When the lake is placid the mirrored reflections take your breath away. An older gentle man was taken to this spot by his son and as I was walking down to take pictures all he could say over and over was "I can't believe this, oh my!"

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The scrabble queen (she beat the moron again 348 to 287) spotted a young moose and got an interesting if not partially obscured picture as we drove by.

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Near the Buffalo Range I met a man named John who was from San Diego so we naturally, in the midst of all this natural splendor, talked about the San Diego real estate market.

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We also talked about a chance encounter he had with a buffalo and that he actually scratched the buffalo's head. While standing near a sign that read not recommended to approach animals. Before the long arm of the law tries to track down John that incident was years ago and not at the park.

After a full day of driving all of 60 miles within the park we returned to our campsite through Jackson, Wyoming.

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Jackson is a really cool place where you can have a Latte with your eco-awareness and buy your trendy clothing at Orvis instead of Walmart. It's also the location where Clint Eastwood and William Smith duke it out in "Any Which Way you Can" the sequel to "Any which way but loose."

The beauty of the park is worth seeing over and over and the town, while a little pretentious is a great place to visit. We give it four thumbs up because that's all the thumbs we have between us.

Teton Village

Not much to say other than we drove into early spring again. It was nice arriving at Teton village to a crisp coolness in the air. After some very warm days it felt pretty good. I took a few pictures from here in the campground, fixed dinner, Scrabble queen beat me again (I'll get even soon I hope), and I wrote the blog entry for the previous day. I should have added the first picture of the office at the campground in Baker City so I'll add it here.

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The view is spactacular here in the Tetons. Beautiful mountains all around and yet it's the little scenes that tend to capture my intrest like this picture of the sun filtered through the aspins with some steam rising behind them.

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or the view of snake river flowing toward Twin Falls and beyond from a rest stop on the way

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but I love simple pictures like this one

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but the grand views are wonderful as well

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Well I'm chatting with Matt so I better close for the day ... I'm not very good at talking and construing blogs at the same time.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Baker City, Oregon - Oregon Trail National Interpretive Center

We had a very nice drive from Cascade Locks and the next day went to the Oregon Trail National Interpretive Center (I like to call it a walk through history) set on a hill overlooking the ruts from when settlers who followed Lewis and Clark drove their wagons through the valley on their way to the Pacific.

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Westward migration had already begun by trappers and on the ocean by sea going explorers. What Lewis and Clark did was map the territory for the settlers to use in the westward migration.

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We caught them early in the day as some nice people like Nancy were setting up a recreation of a settlers campsite. Scraccle Queen asked if the dresses were hot. Nancy explained thatr the blousieness of the frontier dresses acted as a cooler as the wind blew through them and it was kind of being like a walking swamp cooler.

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My favorite picture from the campsite was of this man and little girl.

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The museum at the center featured so great exhibits and movies about the area. This picture is a very small portion of a hugh mural on one of the walls.

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Saturday, May 28, 2005

Baker City or bust

Started out as a beautiful drive along the Columbia River - the most scenic part of the drive was from Cascade Locks to The Dalles...
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Ran into a mess on the Interstate caused by RV trailer accident that re-routed all the traffic to a service road
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note the arrow in the top left corner (sorry for the bugs on the windshield) that's a bald eagle that I had no idea was in the picture
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We are debating taking a side trip up to the Teton Range (not named after a Ton of Tea) and Jackson Hole Wyoming. It will cost us a day and about 300 miles but I think it's worth the time and gas. It's one of the most beautiful places on earth for us nature lovers.

Baker City looks like a really nice place that I'm sure will grow into a great get-away area and the setting is magnificent but very in the middle of nowhere.

I'm tired and lost again at Scrabble to the goddess of words do I'll sign off for now
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Not much of a picture - night one view of the pool and laundry at the Cascade Locks KOA from our RV

I really hope the rest of the trip isn't as frustrating as today. Arrived at camping world (with a reservation) to have a roof vent fan installed and an oil change. The reservation was for 10 am and they finally got it in at 11 after telling us the vent cover they had quoted 3 weeks ago would invalidate the warranty for the fan so add $50 to the bill cha-ching. At noon they were done and the RV was moved to the bay for an oil change.... they didn't have a filter in stock but one was brought in to Wilsonville(where Camping World is located) from Portland. Camping World is a good name for this place since we were camped on a grass island watching an hour job take 3 after starting an hour late.

Ok that was the bad news. Better news was that the KOA in Cascade Locks was ok (except for their carpenter ants) and partial lack of WiFi (internet connectivity) By partial I mean we could connect for about 1 minute at a time so I managed to get some email.

The really bright side is the driving was ok except for my wrong turn onto I84 going west instead of east. I was only about 10 miles out of the way. The drive along the Columbia river was beautiful making it all worth while.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Day -1 Prepared to go

Packing up the final gear for a trip to the right shore (if you are in the northern hemisphere). Who knows how long we will be gone but it will be an adventure for sure.

Oregon is the starting point I-5 exit 182 (in this case an entrance) heading north to .........

Camping world to have a roof vent and cover with a high performance, high tech fan....

then on to Cascade Locks, Oregon for the night. The drive up the Columbia should be beautiful as usual.

I'll look for John Kerry windboarding as we go.

We will go through Pendleton to Baker City.

The first day is always the one I need to get my nomadic genes in gear. Hope I can get some good pictures, write some nonsense and enjoy the new Satellite TV and Satellite Radio system installed last week.

Onward and upward,


©Paul Viel