Author Topic: NYC - CA - NYC Solo National Parks Road Trip Summer 2020  (Read 5846 times)

Offline jose34

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Re: NYC - CA - NYC Solo National Parks Road Trip Summer 2020
« Reply #75 on: September 06, 2020, 05:55:49 PM »
Know its crazy exhausting to go across country by yourself and write but anxiously awaiting next segment.... I guess good things you wait for.  :)
Hoping all the comments would keep you going more than Milts BBQ sauce   ;)

Offline shmelive

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Re: NYC - CA - NYC Solo National Parks Road Trip Summer 2020
« Reply #76 on: September 10, 2020, 01:20:30 AM »
Know its crazy exhausting to go across country by yourself and write but anxiously awaiting next segment.... I guess good things you wait for.  :)
Hoping all the comments would keep you going more than Milts BBQ sauce   ;)

Thanks for your patience!! Stand by for next post...

Offline shmelive

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Re: NYC - CA - NYC Solo National Parks Road Trip Summer 2020
« Reply #77 on: September 10, 2020, 01:47:23 AM »
TR Week 2, Day 1 - Sunday

It’s Beartooth time! At the suggestion of @Something Fishy and @BCL I set myself up for the most scenic way to get to Yellowstone: The Beartooth Scenic Byway. I left my weekend resort early in the morning, after a last goodbye to the river and views…



And then was off. It was a long, winding way through the mountains…



And I had to stop many, many times to take pictures.









You are beautiful...

...no matter what they say.


Is that the Beartooth?

Truly worth it to take this windy road to Yellowstone.

At Silver Gate, I stopped to fuel up..


And then on to Yellowstone!



I used my Annual Pass to get it. Ka-Ching! If you’re going to any large National Park, I strongly recommend downloading the NPS app, and downloading the maps before you go (while you still have service). I used the maps function extensively - it was very helpful to know where I was on the map at any given point on the long, windy roads.

I did a great deal of planning to make sure to get as much in as I could in one day. This site was most helpful:
https://www.earthtrekkers.com/one-day-in-yellowstone-itinerary/

I entered through the Northeast entrance, and traveled through Lamar Valley - one of Yellowstone’s best places to see wildlife. I was NOT prepared for what happened.



I stopped and took a picture or two and kept driving. Suddenly, the car in front of me stopped, and then began just inching forward. I did the same, and soon came across something huge flailing around on the side of the road. Eventually I realized that it was a bison, scratching itself on the dirt hill on the side of the road. I had no idea how large and powerful bison are! I caught myself with my mouth open as I inched past and tried to take some pics. Wow.





There were a fair amount of bison herds along the road, though none quite as close. At one point, two elk raced along the plains, parallel with my car. It was surreal.

Lamar Valley continued to amaze.






Some bison in the distance there.

I continued along to Mammoth Springs (out of my way, but there was a road closure) and headed toward the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. Again, surreal views. The pictures just don’t do it justice, but that didn’t stop me from trying. I focused on the South Rim here, I didn’t make it to the North Rim.









I drove and walked around with my mouth open, like a fool. Like a glorious, happy fool.

Next, it was time for the Midway Geyser Basin. The entire Yellowstone is on top of an active volcano. At some point it will erupt again and we’ll all be toast. Until then, we get to enjoy the volcanic activity bubbling to the surface in the form of geysers and springs.









There’s a boardwalk past a bunch of the springs. Naturally-occurring colors that you’ve never seen before. Don’t step in - you won’t make it out alive.











Luckily I knew when Old Faithful was going to erupt next, thanks to the NPS app and their predicted eruption times! It amazes me that we have this ability and technology.



I got to Old Faithful early and got a good seat. A middle-aged Mormon couple sat down next to me (a few feet away, COVID style) and we caught a good shmuz while we waited.



Soon enough….



I stopped at the gift shop. Had to get some goodies. They sure do like their huckleberry here...



By then, I was tired. I nixed West Thumb, and continued south to where I was staying in Grand Teton National Park. More on that next post!

Offline Yehoshua

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Re: NYC - CA - NYC Solo National Parks Road Trip Summer 2020
« Reply #78 on: September 10, 2020, 08:56:41 AM »
Nice! Yellowstone is really pretty. I'm glad it didn't disappoint.

Offline CRACKERJACK

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Re: NYC - CA - NYC Solo National Parks Road Trip Summer 2020
« Reply #79 on: September 10, 2020, 09:00:07 AM »

I entered through the Northeast entrance, and traveled through Lamar Valley - one of Yellowstone’s best places to see wildlife. I was NOT prepared for what happened.

I stopped and took a picture or two and kept driving. Suddenly, the car in front of me stopped, and 
You had me there! i was sure you saw a grizzly!

great tr! love the style of writing!

Offline jose34

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Re: NYC - CA - NYC Solo National Parks Road Trip Summer 2020
« Reply #80 on: September 10, 2020, 08:38:00 PM »
Nice! Can't wait for next post

Offline Moshe123

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Re: NYC - CA - NYC Solo National Parks Road Trip Summer 2020
« Reply #81 on: September 10, 2020, 09:01:26 PM »
Amazing!

Offline JuryDuty

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Re: NYC - CA - NYC Solo National Parks Road Trip Summer 2020
« Reply #82 on: September 13, 2020, 11:10:36 AM »
Added a wiki. It's my first time, so let me know if anything is wonky. I tested it, so it should work
Jury Duty: A time with nothing to do but chill and write a TR. Kinda like the beach without a view and an ocean breeze.

Offline shmelive

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Re: NYC - CA - NYC Solo National Parks Road Trip Summer 2020
« Reply #83 on: September 13, 2020, 12:14:31 PM »
Added a wiki. It's my first time, so let me know if anything is wonky. I tested it, so it should work
Cool, looks great!!

Offline shmelive

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Re: NYC - CA - NYC Solo National Parks Road Trip Summer 2020
« Reply #84 on: September 20, 2020, 11:40:22 PM »
TR Week 2, Day 1 - Sunday - Part II

I was majorly pooped by the time I was done with Yellowstone, so I'm glad I found a hotel not too far away. Well, the word hotel is charitable. The Signal Mountain Lodge's main attraction is its location, and nothing else. I chose it because of exactly that - the Lodge is located IN Grand Teton National Park, which lies directly south of Yellowstone.



With sun setting and eyes drooping, I headed south. I was excited to use my American the Beautiful Pass (since this third use would make it "worth it"), but there were no rangers at the entrance! So I just drove straight in.

It was about 40 minutes to the Lodge. I pulled up to the lobby, checked in, was given a map and a "good luck" in finding my room. Oh, and a warning about bears. Yikes. I found my room, which was actually more of a summer bungalow, but I was pretty spooked about the bear thing. Next time I'm bringing bear spray! Oh, and when I asked about the wifi (remember, I was seeing clients over Zoom most morning) I was told not to expect video-call quality, "unless people aren't really using the internet in the morning". Yikes. At least the room had a coffee pot.

The room was comfortable enough, and I wasn't eaten by a bear.

Sunday's totals: 255 miles, about 6.5 hours of driving, 1 close encounter with a bison, no bears.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2020, 12:41:57 AM by shmelive »

Offline shmelive

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Re: NYC - CA - NYC Solo National Parks Road Trip Summer 2020
« Reply #85 on: September 21, 2020, 12:40:58 AM »
TR Week 2, Day 2 - Monday

Waking up in the forest, in a bungalow, next to a lake, inside a National Park = not bad.



I rose, made coffee, saw clients (the internet speed was blessedly fine), and checked out. Oh, I skipped the part where I begged for late checkout. They weren't too charitable.

The room was expensive - I paid $304 for the night - and was fairly basic. Again, location wins.

It was cloudy and chilly, with rain in the forecast. And it was just as well, because I wasn't up for a full National Park day! Even though I was literally in my second National Park in two days.

First, a trip to Jenny Lake, which I was told not to miss. It was only 15 minutes away.

Obligatory through-the-windshield pic:





It was only a short walk from the parking lot to the lake:




And then, the most breathtaking view, even in the mist:



You can see the ferry here.




I didn't have the energy to hike around the lake, and it was cold and rainy too. So I sat and ate my lunch and pondered the view. Definitely a nice place to eat lunch. 5/5 Stars, would go again. The wait service was a bit grumpy, though. Must have been the weather.

Another do-not-miss, according the internet, was Mormon Row: a bunch of quaint houses with the Tetons in the background. The mist put a bit of a damper on the views.



At that point, it started raining in earnest, and also the longest line of Corvettes I've ever seen started arriving and promised to cause a major traffic jam. I was told to avoid the livestock, so I hoofed it out of there!





I got the sign on the way out, since it was dark when I entered.


And then it was off to Jackson, Wyoming.



I had to stop at the horns:



Jackson is a tourist attraction and a major travel destination. I found that out when I googled the town and one of the first results that came up was "Where do celebrities stay in Jackson?" (Answer: at least four places where rooms start at $900 a night. Nice to dream about as I cozy up at my Holiday Inn.)

Fun fact: Tetons is adapted from French. It means "teat". Take that one home.



It was mostly horns, gift shops, and a 20-person line to get into Starbucks. And it was raining. I got moving south. It was a truly scenic drive:



With some colorful rest-stops:





And then - Utah.



The scenic byways continued.


It was a long drive, but I'm glad I pushed through all the way to Salt Lake City. After a hopefully restful night and a morning full of clients, it would be time to head East.

Oh, and laundry. It was laundry day, so I made sure to stay at the Candlewood Salt Lake City Airport, so I would be able to wear clean clothing. I wouldn't say it was effortless (my dryer kept stopping), but eventually my clothes were clean. I fell asleep dreaming of grand tetons. I mean, The Grand Tetons.

Totals: 307 miles, about 5.5 driving hours, and no Tshirts bought because they didn't have good ones in my size.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2020, 01:24:32 AM by shmelive »