Colter Bay RV Park. First, a word about bears. Thankfully, the bears in this part of the country have not learned how to rip out your window or peel the side of your vehicle off in order to get food like they do in Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks. You do have to put your garbage in bear-proof dumpsters though. They are just like regular trash cans, but there’s an empty pic-a-nic basket nearby to distract their attention.
A lakeshore trail runs along the lake behind the visitor center and starting at the marina, which is just a short walk or drive from the RV campground.
A small bridge of land provided a nice view and a place to skip numerous rocks. A family from Atlanta came along and we traded photography skills.
Another awesome moment as a bald eagle flew low right over our heads. My wife was able to catch it in mid-flight. Though it seems a lot farther away from this view. Maybe you had to be there.
Skipping rocks takes a lot out of you. Good place for a break.
At this point, we are running out of places to find our moose. The next possibility is the marsh flats in front of Jackson Lake Lodge. It’s a bit late in the day for moose sightings, but we check it out anyway. Chips. Salsa. Amazing views. Some kind of ground squirrel.
But no moose.
As we travel south, here we see Mt. Moran. There is a famous shot of this peak from this view by a guy named Ansel Adams, famous for being too poor to buy a color camera.
And even from inside the RV, the view makes you want to get out and take a look.
Sometimes the wonders of nature create a euphoria which is hard to contain.
At this point, we are running massively behind and I promised the kids we could take a boat ride across Jenny Lake as long as we hurry, wait, what’s this? Even the moths are beautiful here.
Anyway, enough of that, let’s get to the boat… a waterfall is alleged to be over there somewhere. The driver warned of bears. Bear spray safely stored in the RV.
On the hike to Hidden Falls (another place where, incidentally, a ranger told me she saw a moose).
Hidden Falls. Amazing. And moose-less.
Along the hike back to the boat.
While we were waiting for the boat, my daughter sits on this rock and says, “Daddy…I like it here.” Another of the moments that make this all worth it.
We catch one of the last boats, thus avoiding an extra 2 mile hike.
Amazing side trip. Completely worth it. Incredibly behind schedule to get to our campsite at Dinosaur National Monument. We pass the National Elk Refuge, which doesn’t seem to have any visible elk. We may have read something about the elk only being there at certain times. In any case, we’ve got no more time for you, elk. Moose, yes. Elk, no. Onward through Jackson.
Jackson is soon in the rear view mirror, and even though we are so far behind schedule, it seems that we didn’t get enough time in the Jackson Hole area. The drive south is really nice. Tons of pronghorn antelope, which have been pretty much everywhere on the trip. They are the fastest land animal in North America. And then, with my eagle eye, I spy off in the distance… Is it? … Could it be???? IT ABSOLUTELY IS!!!
… a plastic bull moose. Argh.
So I came to the realization that it was not to be. Maybe a last ditch effort in Rocky Mountain National Park. We’ll see. And then up on a hill outside of any sort of declared park, more bighorn sheep.
We pulled off to make some sandwiches at this gas station with an interesting suggestion for cowboys.
There ends up being no possible way to get to Dinosaur tonight, so we bypass a KOA (suckers) and pull into the Walmart in Rock Springs, Wyoming. The parking lot is wall-to-wall RVs, so we are of course in the right place. We read something in an RV book about never asking permission to stay. The way the story goes is, the people ask if they can park in the lot and are told “no”. When they ask, “What about all of those campers out there?” “They didn’t ask,” comes the reply. Anyway, I don’t think there’s any danger of that here. This is the scene in the morning.