Monday, June 04, 2007

Road trip redux, day three

Slept extremely well at the Super 8 in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The concierge there was probably the nicest, most articulate and friendly ones I've ever encountered. Her name was Olga and she had a delightful Eastern European accent. She spoke perfect English, always had a ready smile and was eager to help with anything we needed. She didn't act like we were cutting into her Solitaire time. Very refreshing.

Out of Steamboat, we turned north. We got to Routt National Forest, about twenty miles out, when we got to a dirt road. Dad realized he'd taken the wrong turn north! We checked the atlas, however, and it showed that the dirt road led into Wyoming through the park and that we'd end up near a small town in Wyoming called Savery. He finally agreed we'd go for it; we're on vacation, right?

It turned out to be the most serendipitous mistake we've ever made. I have never seen a more beautiful place in my LIFE. It wasn't so much rugged mountain peaks as it was just gentle mountains and the greenest valleys full of wildflowers and mule deer and elk breezing through, and endless aspen glades. We stopped and carved our names into the white aspen bark, just as people had been doing for fifty years prior to our arrival (we actually saw one tree carved in 1957). I hope I get a chance someday to go back and see my name.

Wyoming was rather desolate throughout the southwestern part we drove in. We did, however, find two different places where they had put up historical markers to denote the still-visible wagon ruts from the Oregon trail and from the Overland Stagecoach. Mind-boggling, it was.

Everything was barren, arid and sand-colored until suddenly, just over the horizon north of Rock Springs, we could see the snow-capped peaks of the Continental Divide. We reached some of these mountains a few hours later in the Bridger-Teton National Forest. I couldn't take photographs there... not because it was prohibited or anything, but just because I was too speechless at the beauty around every corner to even consider trying to capture it. Just promise me that you'll take the drive up from Rock Springs to Jackson, Wyoming someday. You'll be glad you did.

You know how some things are just so beautiful that it hurts to look at them? The Bridger-Teton forest was like that for me. Go there. Go there as soon as you can. I mean it.

Jackson has changed hugely in the twenty years since I last visited it... it was always a little touristy, but now it's just plain highfalutin'. Phew! It's still quite a lovely place to visit, I'll grant you that. But it's not as quaint and rugged as it used to be. Roads are wider, there are more amenities from the modern-day world available to guests and residents alike... it's just very new and very different from the way it was.

Supper was at Mountain High Pizza Pie. From the sounds of it, they all enjoyed it. I, however, must eat soup. Everyplace we've stopped to eat has had something I could order, but not this place, so I just admired everyone else's pizza slices. Actually, even before my obstruction, I had trouble with pizza. It's just too bready for me. But I was glad everyone else was having a nice time.

After supper we all walked up to the square and got our pictures made by the famous antler-arches. This hotel's wireless connection is a bit dodgy, so I'm having a leetle bit of trouble uploading all the pictures I had intended to. So you can go check them all out at my Picasa site: Yellowstone Trip 2007.

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