The Journey is the Objective

August 3, 2018

August. Time to hit the road.

Olympic National Park in Washington State is the main objective for 2018.  

Why Olympic?  Well, it's a National Park I've never visited, so that checks off the most basic requirement.  I've heard good things .  The pictures also seem to have an etherial quality, so I'm excited about the photographic opportunities as well.

So Olympic as the impetus seemed like a solid plan.  Its Proximity to North Cascades. Rainer, and Crater Lake National Parks sealed the deal.  The Northwest is a great choice for 2018.

Being from Dallas means Washington State isn't close.  I've planned for 3 weeks but max...

September 4, 2017

My stay in Rocky Mountain National Park was just an overnighter.  I found a campsite at Timber Creek Campground just inside The Park's East Entrance.  I unloaded the MiniTrail and went for a short ride to do some fishing at the Baker-Bowen trailhead.  I fished for a couple of hours and returned to the campsite to get some wood and make a fire.

The Timber Creek Campground was once heavily wooded, but a pine beetle infestation left the site without its mature trees.  Today it looks barren, offering no privacy from other campers in adjacent sites, particularly when compared to other campgrounds in the park....

August 29, 2017

For my last full day in Glacier, I wanted to drive up to Polebridge, a remote area on the west edge of the park, near the U.S. border with Canada.  Polebridge is a part of Glacier where the roads are unpaved and nature is pristine.   

Before heading north, I did a little more campsite recon.  This time I drove through the Fish Creek Campground, just a few minutes north from Apgar. It's a large campground with serval loops and many great sites.   Fish Creek is different for a couple of reasons; they take reservations and they have showers.  Since there are no pay showers in the park, this can be an imp...

August 27, 2017

I arrived at West Glacier about  5 in the afternoon.  The drive between Missoula and Glacier is beautiful, particularly the section along the east shore of Lake Flathead.  I passed several state parks on the lake shore and thought it might be nice to camp at one on my next time through.  

This is my first time to visit Glacier National Park so I wanted to get a campground and start getting familiar with the park.  A sign at the park entrance listed campgrounds with open sites and fortunately there were options.   

My first stop was the Apgar Visitor Center but it was already closed.  I stretc...

August 26, 2017

Arriving at Yellowstone in the afternoon on the previous day meant I had to camp outside the park.  After exploring Yellowstone's Geyser basin, I had to return to my campsite at Flagg Ranch Campground, a few minutes outside of Yellowstone's South Entrance.  

The plan for the day was to explore the east side of of the Yellowstone Caldera.  From Flagg Ranch, I drove north to West Thumb, then took the east side of the south loop along Lake Yellowstone.

I pulled off at Mud Volcano and checked out Dragon's Mouth Spring, a gurgling cave with billowing plumes of sulfur-smelling steam.  It actually sounds like there's a grumpy dragon in th...

August 24, 2017

The road network in Yellowstone National Park is laid out in a massive figure-8 with a north and south loop.  The west side of the south loop connects Grant Village with Maddison Campground.  

From Grant Village at the south end of the south loop, the road crosses the Continental Divide three times before traversing Upper, Midway and Lower Geyser Basin.  In the process, travelers are treated to two incredible geological formations: Old Faithful and Grand Prismatic Spring.

Old Faithful is situated in the Upper Geyser Basin and has a well-marked exit off the main road. The complex is sprawling, complete with lodgi...

August 24, 2017

With Jackson in the rear view mirror, I continued north on US 191 through the Moran Entrance Station.  The 7-day entrance fee for Grand Teton and Yellowstone is $50 but I planned to purchase a pass valid 12 months from the month of purchase.  The Annual Pass grants admission (for the bearer's car and its occupants) to all National Parks and 2,000 federal recreation sites, .  

Passes are usually available at park entrances but the Moran Station had sold out during the heavy eclipse crowds..  The Park Ranger at the gate let me go through without paying so I could purchase the Annual Pass at Yellows...

August 24, 2017

The eclipse worked out exactly as I hoped, except for one thing. I dropped my phone in a cooler of ice water and afterward it wouldn't turn on.  I had plans to go rafting the following day but replacing my phone became the top priority.

The first stop was the AT&T store in Jackson to get the cost of replacement.   I definitely need a phone before heading to Yellowstone but I didn't want to spend $600 on a new one.  I also didn't want to lose all the photos on my phone so I decided to take some time to explore other options.  

I eventually...

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