07.20.15 The gloriously beautiful world of the Grand Teton!

Monday, July 20, 2015 – Not far from our campground is the beginning of a beautiful 44 mile scenic route around the Grand Teton.  All of the turnouts and stop off spots are nicely done and easy to get to.  The pictures below are in the order of the scenic route.  The drive today was 4 hours long and every stop was breathtakingly beautiful!  When I can remember I’ll point out where we were!

20150720_102914 (Small) 20150720_141647 (Small) 20150720_103111 (Small)  Snake River Turnout and Snake River20150720_103708 (Small) 20150720_104003 (Small) 20150720_104032 (Small) 20150720_104311 (Small) 20150720_104418 (Small)Next stop along the way – I loved the lavender wildflowers here

20150720_110057 (Small)Oxbow Bend Turnout – thank goodness I took pictures of some signs!!20150720_112536 (Small)20150720_112152 (Small)Jackson Lake Dam and Reservoir

20150720_113642 (Small)20150720_113410 (Small) 20150720_113430 (Small) 20150720_113917 (Small) 20150720_114127 (Small) 20150720_114735 (Small)On both side of the resevoir there were Life Rings.  Nothing prevents you from going right down to the water so I imagine they might be used often.20150720_114911 (Small) 20150720_115036 (Small)We packed a picnic lunch and at by the other end of Jackson Lake which was beautiful.

11173332_10101585715201324_6576285925696858168_nNext stop was the Chapel of the Sacred Heart – beautiful old Catholic church where they actually still have Mass. This lovely bench was outside and Roy and I enjoyed some resting time there!20150720_121133 (Small) 20150720_121211 (Small) 20150720_121414 (Small) 20150720_121526 (Small) 20150720_121746 (Small)

Signal Mountain and Lake20150720_124049 (Small)

Fairly close up pictures of parts of the Grand Teton20150720_125147 (Small) 20150720_132329 (Small)Leigh Lake – this was the most congested of our entire drive.  Hard to find a parking space and lots of people around and in the lake having a wonderful time. 20150720_134102 (Small) 20150720_134238 (Small) 20150720_134537 (Small) 20150720_134545 (Small)There are more wildflowers in this park than I’ve ever seen (along with too much sage bush).  At the visitors center I purchased some wildflower seeds from this area to plant at our house in Amite when we return.  One of the flowers I bought is the one in the picture below.    20150720_140203 (Small)

Jenny Lake –  Jenny lake and Leigh lake were named after a woman and her husband who were among the first settlers (we learned this from the Forest Ranger on Sunday).  She was a Shoshone Indian  who had six children with her husband.  They took in a young woman and child who happened to have small pox.  It spread and killed Jenny and all six children.  Her husband married again and had three more children but they didn’t name anything after them.  20150720_141311 (Small) 20150720_141601 (Small)We are plenty tired from all this beauty!!  Tomorrow we head out to Yellowstone.  We have no place to stay there and could not get reservations anywhere.  Hopefully we will find a good boondocking place just outside the Yellowstone park area.  We did a lot of research and found 12 campgrounds outside of the park where we might be able to boondock if they are not full when we get there.  We’re getting up bright and early Tuesday to get out of here and cover the 113 miles between our campground here and the ones near the north entrance of Yellowstone.  Gonna be a fun time!!

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07.19.15 Worshiping God in the Amphitheater! and visiting Jackson, WY

acmnpSunday, July 19, 2015 – Sunday evening we attended the National Park Service’s Interdenominational Worship Service at our campground. It was held in the amphitheater here in the campground.  We are parked right next to the road leading to the amphitheater so we walked to church!

I did not know they did this until now.  There are over 200 young people who love  Christ and give of their time to have Worship Services in many of the National Parks.   The group is called A Christian Ministry for National Parks or ACMNP.

A quote from their webpage says it perfectly.  “Whether you’re passing through the parks with your family, live nearby, or are working seasonally, we’d love to worship God together in the beauty and splendor of the great outdoors!”

I know a lot of people who read our blog live in RVs and may not know about this20150719_153357.  Here’s a link to their main webpage http://www.acmnp.com  and here’s a link to the list of parks and times of their services, http://www.acmnp.com/news-events/service.  Our park is Gros Ventre Campground and what they have listed for times has changed so be sure to check on that when you check in at your campground.

We sang hymns and other worship songs from their song book and they read scripture and had a sermon.  Sitting out in the open with God’s beautiful trees and other beauty around us was wonderful.  I will definitely choose to attend one of these rather than go inside a building any time we’re in a National Park.  Here’s a picture of two of the three young people who lead the service.

20150719_192805After the worship service a whole slew of people joined us for the Forest Ranger program.   A charming lady ranger told us the story behind some of the mountain, valley and area names.  Seems Jackson Hole is the valley between all the 20150719_19344320150719_195926mountain ranges and Jackson is the town within that valley.  The area we are currently in is Gros Ventre, pronounced “Gro-Vant”  (the a is like open your mouth and say ah!) which is a far fetch from what we were calling it!

Something I never imagined was what Grand Teton means.  Here’s the story from the internet.  French trappers are responsible for naming the three peaks now known as the South, Middle, and Grand Teton. They called the mountains “Les Trois Tetons,” or “The Three Breasts.” The Grand Teton—the tallest of the three—literally means “the big breast.” 

We learned more about what to do if we see a bear.  We also learned you can buy bear spray at $45 a can……….  I guess if I was confronted by a bear I’d wish I had spent that $45 but we didn’t.    She gave a very interesting one hour presentation taking lots of questions throughout from the audience in the amphitheater.

That’s what we did in the evening Sunday but during the day we drove into Jackson to see more of the town.  It’s just adorable and every building has such a charm you can’t help but snap pictures!  I was driving (which I like to do because Roy won’t go where I want to go!!) so not too many pictures were taken.

20150719_150046   20150719_133227 20150719_132513After driving all around Jackson and seeing all we wanted to see we headed to the local Albertson’s.  We have an Albertson’s in Hammond so we thought we’d shop somewhere familiar.  This Albertson’s did not look or feel anything like the Hammond one.   It was huge but we found our way around and shopped for things we could eat this coming week without using too much electricity.

IMG_1560When we returned to the campground we drove through it to see more than we saw coming in.  This is a huge place with tent camping, electric RV hookups and mostly dry camping.  Probably over 500 individual tents or RVs in the campground.  Here’s one of the Be Bear Aware signs! 20150719_151955You can see Dora in the center of this picture across the big field of sage bushes as we enter the campground.20150719_152108

Some of the dozens of small tents here.  I just can’t imagine sleeping in a tent with bears around or sleeping in all the bushes with other critters around……..20150719_152747 20150719_152752 20150719_152926Here’s Dora amongst the multitude of sage bushes that are truly everywhere!20150719_153200On Monday we toured the Grand Teton Mountain Range and took hundreds of pictures, all jaw dropping beautiful sights!  That was an amazing adventure for Dora’s Explorers and I can’t wait to share it with ya’ll!

I am running out of photo storage space for this blog.  I’ve been shrinking a lot of the photos sizes to make some space since I don’t want to have to buy any!  If someone wants to foot the $200 cost of increasing our space we’d welcome it!!  I’ve seen on some people’s blogs where they direct you to an off WordPress site to see the majority of their pictures. I may try that. When we’re on the road I write almost every day and you’ve seen how many pictures we include.  I want to be able to continue doing that so you may see some changes in the blog to accomplish that!

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07.18.15 Grand Teton National Park here we come!

9263_10153482470714939_4339326639948529096_nSaturday, July 18, 2015 – After staying in one location for two weeks, being back on the road was fun!  As we got closer to the Grand Teton National Park the scenery got more and more beautiful! And cooler and cooler!  The beach scene to the left is a stark contrast to summer here in the mountains.  Long sleeves, jackets and long blue jeans are proper attire for a 51 degree day!

We drove through Jackson (also known as Jackson Hole), Wyoming.  The pictures below are of Jackson plus a couple I got off the internet that were better than mine! Jackson is a coooooool town.  We plan to go back Sunday afternoon when we’re not in big old Dora and check out the town some.

JH1JH7 JH5 images 1902_655_Jackson_Hole_Wyoming_Town_Square_md JH4 JH3 JH2We stopped at the information center and picked up a map of the area including a couple off road boondocking locations to JHWCcheck out.  The only one north of us (going towards Grand Teton) was off Long Silver Lake which is a beautiful lake in the middle of no where!  Perfect for us!  Except that we got no internet reception (not even a smidgen).  Since I work on the weekends using the internet we drove all around there looking for at least 3G but found nothing in the wilderness areas.  We drove for several miles, enjoying the scenery but when the road became too narrow and rough for Dora and Boots (not to mention Roy and Rosalyn’s fillings getting knocked around) we turned back and returned to civilization.

Here’s some pictures on our way to Jackson from Boulder.

GTY12 3 4 5 7 8These are pictures of the scenic views while searching for an overnight stop.

GTYSIGNGTY10 GTY13 GTY14

Dora was hoping she’d get to stay here next to the beautiful lake but it was not meant to be!GTYDORA Since we couldn’t find anywhere to stay in the wilderness, we came back to Gros Ventre Campground (a National Park Service campground) where we got great internet reception and could boondock, but at a fee.  We paid our $12 a night for four nights (to get us through the weekend and Monday) and parked.  Dora is a big, long girl and barely fit into their tiny spots.  Lots of tents here and much smaller RVs.  If I had plenty of money we could have two rigs, one large and one small for times like this!   We love our Dora so as along as she can hold up to the treatment she sometimes gets, we’re good!

This is a picture of  the mountains from the road leading into this campground.  That’s sage brush all over the ground.  GTYGVCVIEW

We’re under a Bear Alert here so there’s no food or anything left outside.  They are so serious about this that we had to sign something when we checked in saying we were aware of all the Bear rules.  We also saw Buffalo Crossing signs all down the highways.

We are just a couple of miles from the entrance to Grand Teton’s scenic highway.  Monday we are going to visit Grand Teton. Can’t wait!! Then we’re on to Yellowstone for the rest of the week.

There is an amphitheater down a road across the street from where we are parked in the campground.  They have Worship Services there on Sunday so we’re going tomorrow!

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