May 12, 2008

So today marked the day of “veering off the plan”.  The aforementioned rain and snow that was predicted to hit Grand Teton National Park last night was right on schedule.  We slept soundly but woke in puddles of freezing cold water.  Inside the tent.  Josh and Huster were especially soggy, including tent, sleeping mats, sleeping bags and clothing.  I managed to escape somewhat dry. 

As we emerged from the tent, we realized the temperature had also droppped drastically.  Possibly in the low 20’s.  So at 6am we started to tear down camp.  Cold, wet and very, very tired.  I don’t have picutures of this to share with you because, well, it just wasn’t pretty.  Or cheerful.  And my hands could not possibly have manipulated the camera under such frigid conditions.  Keep in mind that we have not showered in four days and, because of the far-below-freezing temperatures, none of us were brave enough to “take advantage” of the cold-water-only sinks.  No shower, no teeth-brushing, no washing up.  Period. 

By 7am we were set to drive up further north (I know, I know) into Yellowstone National Park, as planned.  The drive was actually beautiful.  A fresh coat of crisp, white snow. 


As we arrived to the gate between Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park, we were greeted by a “Road Closed” sign.  Not to be discouraged, we assumed this meant that specifically this gate was closed, possibly leaving others opened.  At that hopeful moment, a park ranger drove by to let us know that Yellowstone National Park (the ENTIRE park) was CLOSED due to heavy snow fall.  In May. 

This was as close as we got:


So, again, not to be discouraged (we are a hearty crew), we tured to plan B.  Which, up to that moment, had not been conceived.  We turned around, Josh driving, Huster scanning the map of Wyoming/Idaho and Amber flipping pages of the Let’s Go USA guide book we picked up before leaving Ohio.  Luckily. 

Collaboratively, we decided to exit through the south entrace of Grand Teton National Park, pass through Jackson Hole and cross through the Rocky Mountains at Teton Pass.  And on into Idaho.  


(Grand Teton, Jackson Hole)

Now allow me a moment of honesty. I did not have high expectations for Idaho.  I am from the midwest.  We farm.  And the only sliver of information I have concerning life in Idaho involves potatoes.  Farming potatoes.  Furthermore,  in the midwest, we have two variations in landscape: flat and only slightly less flat.  Alas, I did not have high expectations of Idaho. 

I was wrong.  Idaho was mountainous and beautiful.  Snow capped mountains, green rolling hills (Ireland-esque!), fertile fields and wide, open spaces. 


Our guidebook directed us to a (and quite possibly the only) landmark between Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming and Boise, Idaho.  Craters of the Moon National Park in Arco, Idaho.   A strange, dark park full of dried volcanic lava.  And not exceptionally pretty.  It did get us out of the car and moving for a short period of time but I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves:


Huster and Josh could not resist the temptation to liken the environment to that of Mordor in Lord of the Rings.  They can been seen here reinacting a scene.  (nerdy.)

And now, we’ve arrived at Hostel Boise in (you guessed it) Boise, Idaho.  A warm, soft bed, free wifi, and a spacious lawn on which to dry all of our camping gear in the sun.  Oh…and the BEST PART…a HOT SHOWER!!


We really don’t know where we’re going tomorrow.  Somewhere in east/central Washington.  En route to Seattle.


4 Responses to “”

  1. schmanda said

    well way to go, Idaho. who knew? and nice hostel. again…Idaho? Hostel? free wifi? craziness. i SO miss you! (but i am glad i escaped the soggy, cold awakening)

    note: you succeeded in cajoling me to post with your “i’m posting from Boise” comment.

    apartment pictures posted!

  2. jo said

    sounds like an exciting time. i’m trying not to be jealous. (even the mishaps sounds like a positive alternative to work 🙂
    and hey, you saw elk. that must make all the wetness worth it, right?

  3. jo said

    hey amber. looks as if you are having an adventure! sorry to hear about the mishaps.
    it is currently slushing here (rain and snowing), so i take back everything i said about it never raining here.
    and i’m glad you were able to see elk.

  4. jo said

    shoot. my comments never show up until like 2 hours later, so i always repeat myself. dangit!

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