Life at Gros Vente Campground Grand Tetons, August 3, 2017

IMG_5919

This is what you see when you walk out of the Krogers Supermarket in Jackson, Wy.

Terry and I are spending the day in Jackson doing some boring things.  After we put our laundry into the “Lost Sock Laundromat” we slipped into Krogers Supermarket for a few things.  We were so shell shocked from the Jackson traffic that it took two trips to Krogers before I looked up and saw the mountain.

We’re not thrilled with the traffic snarled streets — and we keep wondering what this will be like in a couple weeks when the hordes come pouring in for the eclipse — but today there were a few reminders that we are definitely NOT in NJ.  Or in western New York for that matter.

 

 

 

For example, in the shopping center there was a charging station for electric cars.

…………………………………

We ran into a woman the other day who was planning a foray into the Black Hills of South Dakota.

We told her not to go.  For the next ten days, approximately half a million motorcyclists will be in the Black Hills for the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.  It is likely that every motel and campground has been booked for months — and the roads will be clogged with motorcycles. AND campgrounds and hotels charge way more during Sturgis than any other time of year.

Terry looks wistfully at the bikers in our campground — I told him maybe we should get a toy hauler (an RV that has a garage).  He knows I’m not serious.  Once upon a time I liked the role of Motorcycle Mama and we did some touring, but for me the thrill is gone.

. . . . . .  . It is now August 9

Fishing Jem view of river

The Gros Ventre River is just a couple minutes away from our campsite. I go there in the mornings to practice Tai Chi. Here Terry and the grandsons are trying a little fishing.

     

Moose_2_cropped

We’d heard that Gros Ventre campground was known for the moose that come through — and finally one morning on the way to dump water I saw two of them grazing by the restroom. I ran for Terry who followed them to take pictures. Moose can run 35 mph and swim 6mph for up to two hours.  They also have no upper front teeth.  Someone said there were a couple of buck with huge antlers on the nearby road,  but we haven’t seen them yet.

Slide-view-from-rubble

In between the hills in the background and the rocks ins the foreground lies the Gros Ventre River.  The rocks you see were carried from the hills during a monumental rock slide in 1925.  See the next picture for the details

Gros VEntre Slide Info

Two years later there was another rumble and the top 60 feet of the dam broke away and charged down the river, destroying homesteads and killing several people.

AND FINALLY:TUTORIAL ON DRY CAMPING:  (experienced campers might want to skip the next 2 paragraphs)

 

 Here in the Tetons we are constantly cautioned to BEWARE OF ATTRACTING BEARS.  It’s actually as much for the bears’ protection as our own, because if bears aggressively go after campers’ food, they may need to be killed.  So we are allowed to leave nothing food related outside.  This means that if you are washing dishes outside you can’t pour your dishwater on the ground — even if you have used biodegradable soap — because the smell of food in the dishwater could attract a bear.  You are expected to carry your water to what is a giant toilet and flush it down.  Even though we are in a trailer and I mostly wash dishes inside, I carry my dishwater to the giant  toilet because we don’t have sewer hookups — and once our gray water tank is filled — that is it.  We have to move the trailer to a dump station or cease using water inside.

     For us this is not such a burden since we are right across from the giant toilet.  But others in the campground might need to walk more than a couple city blocks to the giant toilet.  And if they have lots of dishes the buckets could be heavy and they might need more than one trip.

OKAY — EVERYONE ELSE CAN NOW JOIN THE POST

DID YOU KNOW:  In many of the Canadian Provincial and National Parks that we’ve visited, campers are supplied with sinks for washing dishes — so there’s no need to lug dirty greasy water.  Sometimes there are protected areas where tent campers can eat when it rains.  Not so much in American National Parks.  Of courses Canadian public parks are usually more expensive than American.  But then — Canadians have National Health Insurance.   If we had National Health Insurance — and Americans didn’t have to worry about being bankrupted from a hospital stay — most of us wouldn’t grouse about a few extra dollars for campgrounds that supplied us with  camper sinks.

Taggart - The Lake

The other day we hiked to Taggart Lake — we were in complete denial about the weather so had no rain gear and we got completely soaked. But it was a beautiful uphill path and after hiking all summer in extremely hot conditions this hike felt great — even with the rain.

Charlie

I’ve done a fair amount of bonding in the bathroom. Pictured here is Charlie who was camping for the first time ever when I met her. Then I found out that she saw a solar eclipse in France in 1999 — on August 11 — which was her BIRTHDAY!!!! I’m looking at this chance encounter as an omen that there will be good weather on MY birthday on August 21.

 

And so, on that note, I leave you.  The weather has turned rainy and cold.  There is haze settling over the valley from fires in Utah, Montana, Idaho and nearby Teton National Forest.  This, of course, makes us nervous about viewing conditions for the eclipse.  But I tell myself over and over that this trip is about the journey.

With love,

Ruth

 

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