Time to travel! But where should we go? Don’t laugh – we have another set of Escapee friends who are spending the summer work camping in Daniel, Wyoming. This is the only destination we had actually preplanned to see friends. So we head north out of Fort Collins through Laramie, WY, where our niece Jessie R. got her PhD in Astronomy and taught undergrad. Then on west to Rock Springs WY, a barren looking oil rig town, to overnight at a KOA, the only show in town.
Tue Sep 23
Rock Springs Wy to Daniel, Wy – 114 mi
We are headed north for three days with Tom and Diane, the camp hosts at a petite BLM park, Warren Bridge Campground.
Near Daniel is Pinedale, Wy., the mountain man capital of America and the site of historic mountain man gatherings. They have a fantastic museum to preserve it all.
I love the Pinedale motto . . . “All the civilization you need.” There is no Wal-Mart within 100 miles of here. (Must go south to Rock Springs.)
Thu Sep 25
Daniel, Wy to Jackson Hole, Wy – 40 mi
We take a side trip in our car to Jackson, Wy. It’s just 40 miles north of us, but what a spectacular drive!
We cruise all over downtown Jackson, nestled in the valley called Jackson Hole, and notice that we are the only non-millionaires in town. We eat breakfast at the national historic, wood-floored Cafe Genevieve. Their homemade hash is so divine, we take an extra order and eat it for lunch. We stop next door to buy true French bread at Persephone Bakery, then spend the day touring Grand Teton National Park.
Here are the Grand Tetons from the highway:
The pioneers found the best view of the Tetons in the park and built a log chapel there in 1925 with a big picture window up front framing that breathtaking view.
Also in the park there once was a busy ferry crossing the Snake River, built in 1892 by Bill and brother Holiday Menor. Their home and general store are preserved and still selling dry goods today to tourists. Of the two Menor brothers, one was menor than the other.
On our way home, we stop for 30 minutes to visit our friends Nancy and Dave, “Shadowtracks.” They are summer employees at Jackson Hole Tourist Center, and what a madhouse that place was!!!
At night we invite a 20-something couple to come over from their pup tent and sit with the four of us at our campfire. They are both engineers from Prague, Czech Republic, speaking perfect English. They share with us their homemade drink, Slivovitz, and we, luckily, have a loaf of true French bread to give them.
On Saturday morning we bid adieu to dear friends Tom and Dianne, who are also leaving the park. It’s the end of their summer job as camp hosts. Old Man Winter is driving the Polar Express into Daniel, Wyoming.
Sat Sep 27
Daniel, Wy to Provo, Ut
Now I have a problem. My lip has a small sore that hasn’t healed in three months. Dianne gives us a great tip about a lovely Elks Club in Provo Utah where we can live cheap but comfy, and the town is just the right size to visit a dermatologist. My other choice would be Jackson, Wy, where prices would be more Hollywood-style. I call Provo and get a Monday morning appointment at Central Utah Clinic, which has several dermatologists. We drive to Provo and park at the Elks on University Ave with Brigham Young University all around us.
Provo is a fascinating town with a gorgeous bank of Wasatch mountains that runs for miles right alongside Main Street, so close you can reach out and almost touch them.
The much-loved jewel of downtown Provo was this spectacular Mormon Temple built in 1883 in Gothic Revivial style. Tragically, it burned in 2010 but is actually being rebuilt. It wouldn’t be Provo without her.
Tue Sep 30
We drive up the mountains on Provo Canyon Rd. to Hwy 92, the Alpine Scenic Highway. Halfway around the loop you arrive at Sundance Mountain Resort, the movie festival and ski resort owned by Robert Redford.
We have an elite lunch there with movie directors, socialites and Robert Redford wannabes. This place is indescribably beautiful but what we most enjoy is the fascinating history — land surveyers (Scott and John Stewart) came in the 1890’s and picked this mountain valley as the most beautiful of everything they had seen out west. They bought it for their own homestead. In 1944, their sons opened a ski resort with a T-bar rope tow. Redford bought it in 1969. There are tons of wonderful photos online.
While we are here at Elks we take advantage of our fixed address to order Tupelo honey from the tupelo flower that grows in Tates Hell Swamp near Apalachicola, Fl. There is nothing in the world like it. I got four one pound jars for $10 each from Smiley Honey. Tupelo honey will never crystallize on your shelf.
end chapter 3
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