Saturday, July 15, 2017

The end of our journey

When we went through Yellowstone last week, the boys asked if we could come home through there again. They really enjoyed the geysers, hot springs, mud pots, and all the wildlife we saw on our quick tour of the park earlier in our trip. I enjoyed it too, and thought maybe the week after July 4th, it would be less crowded and we might also be able to find availability in a campground in Grand Teton National Park.

We drove back down the hill outside Gardiner on Wednesday morning and right into Yellowstone National Park. Since we had the motor home this time, I knew we would be able to leave Hanna in there with the AC running if necessary and that way we all could enjoy the visitor's centers and some of the boardwalk tours of the geyser basins. We stopped at Midway Geyser Basin (since we had toured Norris Basin the week before) and left Hanna in Minnie and took the boardwalk around the pools.
We journeyed on to Old Faithful and found a full parking lot again. I have a small rant here. I got really steamed because there are very few long spaces marked Buses or RV, and yet a lot of cars pull in and use them as end to end parking spaces. They could drive around or wait 15 minutes and find a single spot, but if I have to find a double car space, I might drive around all day and never find one. I lucked out in discovering a few open Bus/RV spots near the Ranger Station and pulled into one of them. By the time we came out an hour and a half later, cars had filled up the remaining available ones there, too. That's when I'd like to be a cop and have a ticket book. Rant over.

Anyway, we were there just 20 minutes before Old Faithful went off again, this time beating the estimated time. We watched in awe again, enjoying the cooler day than we had the previous week. We perused the Visitor's Education Center, and stopped in the Gift Shop so Steven could buy his mom a gift. Then we headed south toward Teton.

We pulled into Colter Bay Campground around 3:00 and were tickled to find they had plenty of availability. They assign spaces at the entrance based on your size and whether you want generator or non-generator loop. We selected non-generator. This spot was not as nice as the one I got last year, which was on the end of a loop, and quite private. This one was the first space off the main road, so we did get some road noise, but it was a pretty spot and the boys got to build their fire. (That was always a priority every night. They got really expert at roasting marshmallows and making delicious gooey S'mores.)

Thursday was a long driving day, with Pioneer Campground outside Fairfield, ID as our destination. It was just a half mile past a ski area, and we drove up there. The ski area was just a big dirt parking lot with a couple buildings (all closed for the season) and the ski lift. As we drove past, we noticed several trailers and motorhomes camped in the parking lot. I slowed down and asked a man standing near one if he knew if there was space in the campground up the road. He responded it was closed due to flooding. I asked if that was why so many were parked there at the ski area, and he said no, they were part of an archery club and had a meet this weekend. I said I thought we would pull in and camp there for the night and since we were leaving in the morning, probably wouldn't be in anyone's way. He said, help yourself. There's plenty of space! So we did just that. The biggest drawback was the boys couldn't make a fire on their last night camping, and we didn't have cell signal, but we entertained ourselves with games and DVDs and before we knew it, it was bedtime.

Our final journey to Boise was without incident and we pulled up in front of the Holsinger's house before noon. Steven's dog Lucy was a very happy girl to see her favorite boy. Nathan's flight took off for Phoenix the next day.
Photo by Robin
Photo by Brian
It was a wonderful journey! I thoroughly enjoyed having the boys and showing them such wonderful places in our big beautiful country. I think they were the perfect age to do this trip. They were extremely good travelers, and very good friends. They never fought once with each other. They were a big help to me ... most of the time. Toward the end, I did lose my patience one evening, and then they scrambled around cleaning up everything inside and out. 😁 I'll miss my traveling buddies, but I won't miss their stinky feet and other stinky things. 😉

I'm in Boise for a couple days recouping, and then will head north toward Glacier National Park and northern Idaho until the solar eclipse on August 21. By that time, I may be ready to turn my rig toward home.


  1. Glad you had such a good time. I'm in the same boat as you with a RV trying to find parking, but I can also see the passenger car drivers point of view. "Why should RVs get special parking spots and there is no place for me to park? If they were handicapped I could see it."

  2. I'm kind of mixed on the RV/Bus parking too. If you can fit two or three cars in one and there are no RVs around at the time, then maybe that's the most efficient use.

    Feel free to delete this heretical comment!