The Journey is the Objective

August 29, 2017

I woke up early to a bustling campground.  I made coffee in my Stanley french press and cooked eggs for breakfast tacos on the Coleman Duel Fuel Camp Stove.  After breakfast, I considered loading the MiniTrail and migrating to another campground.  

In first-come-first-serve campgrounds, changing campsites has to be done as early as possible because the best campgrounds have to be snatched up when ealry risers vacate for the day.  It's nice to drive without the extra weight on the rear bumper, so I decided to keep the my current campsite.  I left the MiniTrail and Moto-Transporter locked to the picnic table...

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

After two days exploring Yellowstone, it was time to head north out of Wyoming.  I'm headed to Glacier National Park in northeast Montana.  There's a couple of ways to get there from Yellowstone but the journey is the objective

I've decided to take the longer route through Missoula, home to the University of Montana.  I've alway wanted to visit Missoula but had never made it up there.  I lived in Boulder, Colorado for 10 years and had always heard Missoula described as a smaller, less populated Boulder.

I was starting out from Yellowstone's Canyon Village Campground located at the east intersect...

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...

August 21, 2017

I woke up reseted on Sunday morning, excited to make the 2-hour drive into Jackson.  The fact that I'd finally reached Wyoming from Dallas via San Diego only added to the satisfaction. 

The road to Jackson wasn't very busy so I was optimistic that crowds might be less than predicted.   I was still concerned about finding a place to camp so I drove with some urgency.

Passing through Bondurant, 4o miles from Jackson. the Bridger-Teton Ranger Station had a tent set up to provide eclipse information.  I grabbed a map and some free eclipse glasses sporting Smokey Bear on the side.  

My plan was to camp in Grand T...

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