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 found the Computer Clinic in Jackson. The technician seemed confident he could fix it for under $300. He had a lot of work ahead of me, but I gave him the go-ahead and waited in town for the work to be done. It took most of the day but he was successful and he only charged me $100.. If you need a phone fixed in Jackson, I recommend talking to Computer Clinic first.
At a bar waiting for the technician to call, I began to appreciate how the shadow of a total solar eclipse affects people. Totality is a club.
Connecting with so many people over that experience wouldn't have happened had my phone not been damaged. It felt good to Sometimes it's good when things go wrong.
I return to the campground and started to plan my next move. My next stop was Yellowstone but I wanted to see more of Grand Teton before heading that way..
On Wednesday, I said farewell to Ed, the solo motorcyclist who let me share his campground.. I wanted to do some dispersed camping so I drove west through Kelly and into the Bridger-Teton National Forest. I followed the Gros-Ventre River up the valley toward Lower Slide Lake.
I found a great spot above the river to camp Wednesday night. It was a pullout on an exposed outcropping with a great view the valley below. I popped the top, drank beer, and gazed at the starts until well after midnight.
The next morning I got the car ready to drive north then explored the canyon on the MiniTrail. I found a motorcycle trail on the main road above Lower Slide Lake. I rode the trail a ways back then returned to the Element and got on the road..
On my way down the canyon, I stopped a few times to appreciate the view of the mountains and the Gros Ventre River.
I also stopped near the mouth of the canyon to check out the remains of an abandoned log cabin. It sat in a beautiful spot with a perfect view of the Teton Range.
The road winds through beautiful groves as it make its way back to US 89. I took 89 north Moran then east toward about 15 miles.
I stopped by the ranger station to ask about dispersed camping. On a tip, I decided to fish the creek that crosses the highway 100 yards west of the station.
By August the big fish have moved down stream to bigger water. I grabbed a 2-weight Butterstick anyway, and spent an hour on the stream watching trout fry crush a little elk hair caddis. I'll be back to this spot for sure. It had a lot of fish..
That night I camped on a forest road south of highway. I didn't raise the roof, opting instead to sleep in the back on my sleeping pad. Sleeping inside the cabin was noticeably warmer than a soft-sided tent on the roof, but the roof is much more comfortable.
I woke up rested, ready to hit the road and start the next adventure. . I stopped for gas then continued back toward Grand Teton National Park.
At Moran I turned north, entering Grand Teton National Park and following the signs to Yellowstone.