In mid April, Janet and I took a week long road trip out to the Grand Tetons, Yellowstone and The Badlands. This was about as early in the season as you would want to do this trip – many of the trails were still closed and most still had snow on them, particularly those in the Tetons. Fortunately there are a lot of trails, so we had plenty of hikes available for our few days in the park.
The trip started out with a bit of excitement when at about 9:30 at night, with Janet asking how the packing was going, I realized that we had planned on going the week before and including Memorial Day and not the week after. There had originally been talk of doing two weeks, which was then abbreviated. We had discussed doing before or after and we agreed on before, but I noted after on the calendar. Oops.
So, I got to Chicago early Saturday morning and we transferred stuff, and headed out later Saturday morning. The goal for the first day was to make it to Sidney, NB, which we did. I’ve been through the flat expanse of Nebraska before… it really didn’t *require* a second visit. There was a Walmart and a Cabela’s just off the freeway in Sidney, so that was convenient for food and last minute supplies.
The only major event, other than logging wildlife along the route, was the discovery that Sierra Trading Post has a brick and mortar store – an outlet in Cheyenne, WY. Being a connoisseur of great deals on possibly fine stuff, we had to stop. We both picked up a few apparel items, some bear bells (so they can find us easier), a can of bear spray, and maybe a few other odds and ends that caught our attention.
We probably spent too much time at Sierra Trading Post, but that was OK since the day’s goal was just to get to the Tetons and we didn’t really expect to arrive in time to hike anything. We saw two moose just off the side of the road on the drive in – sadly they were the only moose sightings of the trip. We arrived just before sunset, around 8pm, just early enough to pitch the tent before dark. Many of the camp sites, a good chunk of the loop at the Jenny Lake campground, were still snow-covered. There were two left when we got there, one had snow on part of the site and one had a snow bank getting into the site. We chose the one which we could use the Subaru to plow through.
It gets cold in the Tetons in April, be warned. 15 degree down sleeping bags coupled with sleeping pads come in handy. I suspect it got just below freezing, but we were comfy.
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