Floating down the Snake River

It took three cars!

After hiking we decided to take a kayak float down the Snake River.  Jane and Ron each had their own kayak and John and I were going in John’s kayak.  We were all getting in a the Dam at Jackson Lake.  The plan was for John and I to float down to Pacific Creek and get out there.  Jane and Ron who are more experienced kayakers would then continue on down to Deadman’s and exit the river there.

That’s where the confusion starts.  Jane and Ron drove their car with their kayaks down to the dam where they unloaded them.  Ron stayed there to watch the kayaks.  John and I both drove our cars to Dead Man’s.  Then Jane drove from the dam to Dead Man’s where she left her car.  She hopped in John’s car and I followed him to Pacific Creek where I left my car.  Then off in John’s car to the dam where we started our float.

Here we are at the dam.

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All these pics were taken by Jane as she has a waterproof camera.  I didn’t want to take the chance of ruining mine.  I guess a waterproof camera is on my wish list when I get to Amazon this winter.

You hardly have to paddle at all since the current carries you downstream.  You don’t even realize how fast you are going until you look at the bank.  Very cool!

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Spotted a bald eagle!

We were really fortunate to spot a bald eagle.  It caught a fish and took it back to it’s nest just next to the river.  Then it proceeded to feed it’s young.  We couldn’t see the babies but we could tell it was feeding them.  That was really an amazing experience.

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This is a pic of John and I watching the bald eagle in it’s nest.

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Ron brought his fishing pole with him and did some fishing while floating downstream.  He did catch a small fish but threw it back in.

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We estimated we floated about 5 miles and then got out at Pacific Creek.  What a great time we had.  Jane and Ron floated further down to Dead Man’s which took another 2 hours.  It was a perfect day to float down this beautiful river.

On the way back to the campground we took the inner road through Grand Teton NP.  It had spectacular views of the mountains.

 

Hiking to Inspiration Point

Took the ferry across Jenny Lake

Jane suggested we hike up to Inspiration Point, so Jane, Linda, Tony and myself left early to head on over to Jenny Lake.  We hopped on the ferry there which took us to the trailhead.  It is a steep trail for the first .7 of a mile as it has an elevation gain of 417 feet.

We saw this waterfall going up the trail.

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We stopped for a break before hitting the top where I took this pic of my hiking companions Jane, Linda and Tony.

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No wildlife but lots of beautiful scenery

This next pic shows the trail we have come up thus far.  However we are still not at Inspiration Point.

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In this next pic you can see the ferry landing at the boat dock.  We will end the trail at the same boat dock to go back across the lake.

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Now we are on the Cascade Canyon trail that leads way back into a canyon between the beautiful mountains.

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This is a pic of the trail.  It was mostly flat and not difficult at this point.

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We ran across a large pond and were hopping to see some moose drinking.  There were a lot of people on the trail at different times and it must have scared all the wildlife away.  Luckily we did not come upon a bear, but we were all equipped with bear spray just in case.

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Jane and Tony are much faster hikers so they decided to go ahead down the trail while Linda and I set our own pace.  We did run into several hikers with large backpacks that had spent the night way up on the mountain.  We could see many different waterfalls all along the trail.

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There were also several pics of the creek that we followed.

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This was a great experience.  Of course we had to hike back and down the same elevation gain that we came up.  It was almost more difficult climbing done then it was going up as there were many people making the climb up.  We then got on the ferry for the ride back across Jenny Lake.  Then Linda and I went to Dornans at Moose Junction for a much needed pitcher of water and a pizza and sandwich.  It turned out to be a great day.  We hiked 8.6 miles over hill and dale (HA!) and saw some great scenery.  Not too shabby for an old fart like me.

 

 

Slide Lake and beyond + Chica

Off to Slide Lake

A few of us decided to drive up to Slide Lake and do some kayaking.  The road to it starts about 2 miles past Kelly, WY.  The road gets rather rough the last couple of miles although it is paved.  Slide Lake is past the Gros Ventre Slide where there was a huge mountain slide.  It is very beautiful back there.  All the pics taken today seem rather dark but it was because we were getting the smoke from the Idaho fire.

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When we got their the weather was very cold and the wind was blowing hard.  We all decided it would not be a good day to go out on the lake.  Here is a pic of John trying to stay warm and Linda discussing our plans.

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This pic is of a beautiful farm located right on the lake.

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Down the gravel road to further campgrounds

Everyone headed back to the campgrounds, but I wanted to drive on to see the next campground about 5 miles down a gravel road.  John wanted to go as well so we headed on down that road.  It was washboard road most of the way and very bumpy.  We made it to the campground, which was very small.  It would be great for tent camping and fishermen as it was right on the river.

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Driving back we passed this beautiful rock formation.  This is the actual color of the rock although the sky was different because we were getting the smoke form the fire in Idaho for the first time.

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There were several large farms located in these canyons with lots of horses and cattle.  We also passed a ranch that did trail rides through the area.

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The river was really nice back there. 

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Chica in the spotlight

Many of you have asked for more Chica pics and how she is adapting to Wyoming.  Chica is doing very well.  She likes to sit up in the window and watch all the doggies pass by during their walks through the campground.  She is not accustomed to that many dogs all the time.  She and I have been working on her barking each time a dog passes near our rig.  She is getting very good at not barking and of course she is rewarded with cookies for being such a good girl.

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Here she is playing with her favorite toy ducky.  She loves her ducky and loves to make it squeak.

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We had a “Happy Hour” and invited Shannon who works as a camp host at the Jenny Lake campground.  Chica was a bit wiggly so it turned out a bit blurry.

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Life is Good!

Picking up mail

Short hike to the post office

The other day Linda had to pick up her mail at the post office.  The nearest one is in Kelly, WY, less the 2 miles from our campsites.  So off we went on a trail that led down to the river and through the woods(HA! Just kidding!)

The trail did lead us next to the river for a short distance.

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 This was the beautiful scenery of the mountains to our left.

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Then we made it to the small town of Kelly, WY where they had a post office a small sandwich store and a small school with schoolyard and many private residences.

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Inside the store they had this sign.  I bet you won’t find this sign in many stores.  By the way we did not run into any bison nearby.

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 This is probably the smallest post office I have ever seen.

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This is a nice view of the Teton Mountains as we were walking back along the road.

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Drove into Jackson

Later that day I drove in to Jackson with John to fill my external tank with propane.  It looks like traffic has died down a bit as vacations are starting to wind down since kids have to be back in school shortly.  It is still rather busy, but just not as bad.

While there I also picked up some bear spray.  On the return trip we saw this big guy crossing the road.  They don’t seem to have any fear of cars or people.  I guess if I were that big I wouldn’t care either.

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The weather is very nice here and we haven’t had any rain for a few days now.  The campgrounds have been almost full on a few days, but seem to be thinning out a bit now.

Off on a hike

Waking up to a moose

Today Ally, Linda and I had planned on hiking to Phelps Lake.  We were leaving at 8:00am to avoid the rush and get an early start before it gets too hot.

I set my alarm for 6:00am (YUK!) as I wanted to eat a good breakfast.  A car caught my attention that was stopped directly in front of my campsite.  I looked out my window and noticed my new neighbor.

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 There is nothing like waking up to a bull moose eating 20’ from your doorway.  Luckily Chica was fast asleep and didn’t make a sound (except for her snoring).

 This guy then moved to the campsite directly across from me and continued eating his morning breakfast.

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 He finally looked up but was not interested in me whatsoever.  Breakfast seemed like a better idea.  I had gone out my door to get a better picture,  but stayed right at the door in case he decided to make a move toward me.

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Hiking to Phelps Lake

We made the drive to the Phelps Lake area and then started our hike to the lake.  Ally was our guide for the day.  On the way we passed a beautiful water fall.

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Here is a pic of Linda and Ally crossing over on a bridge.

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We finally made it to Phelps Lake.  What a gorgeous view.

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Seven miles or three miles..

At this point we talked about hiking back to the Visitor’s Center, which was 1-½ miles for a total of a 3-mile hike.  Our other option was to hike around the lake.  The girls were willing to do it, but left it entirely up to me.  I couldn’t wuss out so I said lets go for it.

So off we trudged around the lake.  I was really glad we did this as the scenery was fabulous.

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Here is a pic of Ally and Linda on the trail.  We each carried bear spray with us, as this is bear country.  Jane had loaned me hers until I can pick some up in town.  She had spotted a bear close to her yesterday, while hiking.

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Here are more pics of the lake.

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Spotted a huge Bull Moose

We passed a huge Bull Moose eating about 20’ from the trail.  I took pics but they did not turn out, as it was very dark.  Here is a stream we crossed.  The water is crystal clear.

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The scenery around the lake is so cool!

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We reached a hug rock where lots of kids were jumping off into the water.  I can imagine that the water was very cold.

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The entire hike was 7 miles.  I have not hiked that far in some time.  I was a bit tired and had sore muscles but really enjoyed it.  I am looking forward to many more hikes like this while I am here.

Pawdicure on the way to Gros Ventre, WY

Chica’s Pawdicure

After leaving Riverside campground we headed to Idaho Falls, ID for a couple of things.  I had to stop in Walmart to pick up a prescription and supplies and Chica needed a pawdicure.  She last had her nails trimmed in Mesa, AZ shortly after we found each other.

They were getting too long so we headed to a Petsmart where you didn’t need an appointment.  I also mentioned in my last post that she was going to get her teeth cleaned.  That was wrong.  She was only going to get a breath freshener.  Here she is waiting to get her nails down.

Am I next Dad?

Am I next Dad?

It took quite a while and two people to complete the job.  I don’t think she was too happy at the time.

I thought this was a pawdicure not a two-on-one wrestling match

I thought this was a pawdicure not a two-on-one wrestling match

On to Gros Ventre

After the pawdicure and the stop at Walmart we made the drive to Gros Ventre campgrounds.  It is northeast of Jackson, WY.  I figured I may be able to fill up with propane there.  No way Jose!  Jackson was slammed with lots of traffic, both cars and campers.  I decided to head on out to the campground as I had enough propane to last me a few days.

John and Linda had talked to the camp hosts and they were reserving a spot right next to them.  The cost of camping here is $21 per night, but only $10.50 with the geezer card.  This is a bit more then I have been paying, but they have the beautiful mountains and lots to do as well.  It is really a great bargain.

The next day John and I drove into town to fill up my 5 gal. tank with propane.  On the way we saw this herd of bison crossing the road.  They had been down to the river and were no heading up to graze.  Needless to say it stopped traffic.

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Kayaking on the Snake River

The following day seven of us decided to go kayaking.  It was a long drive to where we started and we had several cars.  It was really great fun even though I started off facing the wrong way in my kayak.  DUH!!

This is where we put into the water.

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John and Linda with all the inflatable kayaks blown up and ready to go.

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This is John and Linda on the water.

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It was a great time and it gave me a chance to practice my kayaking skills. ???

Farmer’s Market in Jackson

The next day was spent checking out the fabulous farmer’s market in Jackson.  John and Linda drove me around Jackson and we walked around the downtown area.  The farmer’s market was held in a park downtown.

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The entrance to the park was made entirely of antlers.  How cool!

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Let’s Party!!

On Friday everyone got together for a party with lots of great food and conversation.  We invited the camp hosts in our campground as well as Shannon, who is another camp host at Jenny Lake.  She and I worked together at Amazon last winter and saw each other at Apache Junction last spring while she was camped there.  It was really good to see her again and we had a lot of catching up to do.

After dinner, we all sat around the campfire and Ally roasted marshmallows and made us all Samores.   It was a great time.  I also saw Tony who I had also worked with at Amazon.

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I plan to stay at Gros Ventre until after Labor Day.  There is lots of great things to do here and terrific friends to do them with.