Jackson Hole to Fossil Butte National Monument following the Green River
We arose at first light and were on the road about 6:30am we were looking to capture the early morning views of the mountains from along the road side before having breakfast on top of Signal Mountain.
Once on the road we stopped off at a couple of viewpoints for some magnificent early morning views. There was a good mix of sun and fog to give it that real mountain feel. The temperature was also obliging with near zero most of the morning.
After a few stops along the way and the vain searching for the moose we headed towards Signal Mountain. The Signal Mountain Summit Road climbs to panoramic views of the Teton Range, Jackson Hole valley and Jackson Lake. We tested each of the viewpoints and I made a pot of coffee to warm us up a little and Shoeleh tried desperately to get that perfect mountain photo.
So after we finished the coffee we drove down the mountain spotting a few elk along the way and drove toward the visitor centre of Grand Teton National Park http://www.nps.gov/grte/index.htm before we headed off along the back road toward Teton Village and Jackson Hole.
Once at Jackson Hole we bought ourselves tickets to ride the Jackson Hole Aerial Tram http://www.jacksonhole.com/summer-ride-the-tram.html. The cable car ascends over 4000 feet and provides panoramic views of Jackson Hole, the Snake River Valley, Grand Teton National Park and the staggering summit of the Grand Teton! Now we had considered undertaking a walk at the summit. However, it was cold and windy so we went for a short stroll before deciding that we could better spend our time doing other things than undertaking the 7km descent on a cold windy day.
So we went back to ride the tram back down to the village. While waiting we got to watch a worker doing one of those jobs where you just think thank god it is not me. They ride on top of the trams to the stanchions then climb out to oil and check the guides for the cable car. Like I said it was very cold and windy and this is the guys job. Everyone waiting for the tram down watched and wondered at the work being undertaken.
Once we got to the base it was time for some - Shopping! Once again things were on sale and very cheap, Shoeleh managed to find similar pants to the ones she bought on special in Alaska, at even a more special price here. I also replaced my lost/broken sunglasses. So having done our bit for the economy we headed back to Clancy and made ourselves some lunch.
Driving to somewhere
Now we had decided that this would be our goodbye to Teton, feeling quite sad as it had been an amazing three days and we really felt that it was a little better than Yellowstone.
We had no plan now as to where we were going next! I had some places I thought would be interesting, Salt Lake City was too far away so we would also need to stop along the way, not that we were sure we were even heading towards Salt Lake City. So we drove past the KOA on the Snake River and continued southward. We drove along and looked at some amazing scenery as we passed through the ranges.
On the other side we followed the Green River. This part of the journey was interesting in both the scenery and history. There were a number of interpretive signs along the way and I stopped to read many of them. Some of the historically interesting pieces around the settler routes and there crossing of the Green River at various points. The scenery varied between sagebrush desert to fields of crops, with some mining platforms to keep me interested. Along the way we got to see a lot more pronghorns than we saw in the National Park.
By the time we got to Fontenelle Reservoir we had reached agreement to go to Fossil Butte National Monument http://www.nps.gov/fobu/index.htm. The trip took us past a power station and coal transports as well as cattle farms. There were not many towns along the way and traffic likewise was sparse.
Now the Fossil Butte National Monument deserved more time than we ended up giving, in part as we arrived only an hour before closing and also we were still not sure where we were going to or staying. After our brief visit we were back to Clancy with the decision to stay at …
Lyman KOA http://koa.com/ won out in the end so we headed off to find Lyman and the KOA. We arrived in the daylight to a near empty campground. Upon arrival the owner was helpful and informative, he also convinced us of the merits of the KOA card which provides us with discounts at all KOA Kampgrounds.
After cooking dinner in the daylight and reorganising Clancy for the nights rest, we went and did our laundry. The KOA turned out to be a great stoping point as it provided us with a clean campground, laundry and WiFi access. We spent the time of the washing planning the possibilities for the next days still without coming up with a final decision.
Animals Spotted: Elk, Pronghorns, cattle, horses, ravens, and other birdsDay Sixty-eight