Grand Teton National Park: June 25-27, 2018


Teton Mountain Range

The Tetons are truly mesmerizing.

The National Park Service has a real dilemma on their hands.  The most popular parks are being loved to death.  The crowds overwhelm the roads, facilities, and trails.  On our one hike, we saw two trails that were closed due to damage because of heavy use and were being repaired, so the sign said.  You try not to let the masses impact your enjoyment, but it does.  The idea of getting out in nature, at least for us, has been to escape the crowds and detox from the hustle and bustle of everyday living.  I don’t know what the answer is to the problem, but they need to figure something out before we ruin these national treasures.

When we were planning this trip, even though Yellowstone is only 30 miles away, we decided to skip it because of the crowds.  I’ve been there many times as a kid growing up in Idaho Falls, and Amelia once, but she was so young she only has vague recollections.  Perhaps when she retires we’ll go off season, if there’s such a thing as an off season then.

Just like when we were at the Grand Canyon and Bryce, we boondocked right outside of the park boundary on national forest land.  Our site was just okay.  It’s become a popular boondock spot because of websites like campendium, so you’ll never be alone.  The dirt road is heavily traveled and dusty.  But the reason why we cut our stay short was the mosquitoes!  If West Nile Virus is still a thing, then we most certainly got it.  Our spoiled San Diego skin is not used to being penetrated by mosquitoes.  We must be a delicacy the way they were coming after us.  In the morning and evening, while taking shelter in the Airstream, the mosquitoes were outside clinging onto the screens.  I have no doubt those little rat bastards knew we were inside.

Serendipitously our paths crossed with the Lynch family and they camped right next to us.  It was a real treat to spend time with them.  Jim used to lay tile with my brother and we haven’t seen him and his family since we left Mammoth.




A wiseman (my cousin in Tahoe) once told me there are only two seasons in the mountains, white and orange.  He wasn’t kidding.  We hit numerous one lane flagman situations on the drive from Park City to the Tetons.


Our spot with a beautiful field of cinquefoils and geraniums.



My favorite shot: this was our first evening about 30 yards from our campsite.


Old lady jonesing on a rawhide.


The hike to Hidden Falls with the Lynch family


Me and Jim


The Lynch family and Amelia at Hidden Falls


Play the above video!


Trying to recapture the famous Ansel Adams photograph.


Amelia, ankle deep in the Snake


Love the sign, but it doesn’t matter.  People don’t pay attention.  It’s frustrating as hell to come up on someone, yell at them, and get zero response.


Amelia without earbuds on the Putt Putt trail.  There wasn’t anything putt putt about it.


Driving way from our spot

Jordanelle State Park, Utah: June 19-25, 2018


Every afternoon big puffy clouds would come in.


Interstate 15 in Utah has always been and still is a death alley for deer.  You can hardly go 20 minutes without seeing a huge blood splatter on the road and clumps of deer hair.  Then if you look over to the shoulder you’ll see a mangled dead deer.

Jordanelle State Park is located between Heber City and Park City.  Thanks to a pro tip from  Watsons Wander we booked site #44.  It felt luxurious to spend six nights at one spot with a great lake view and more space than some crowded boondock spots.  We had perfect breezy weather with occasional afternoon gusts and never hot.  An added bonus, the free showers had water pressure so strong you didn’t even need soap.  It would blast the dirt and two layers of skin right off of you.

Some communities thrive and grow, others stagnate and die slow deaths.  Park City is the former.  Granted it’s been 25 years since I’ve been here, but I didn’t recognize it at all.  It is now sprawling with a hoity toity upscale resort vibe.  While Heber City reminded me of Bishop.

The mountain biking is stellar, and lucky us, our friend Joy lives here.  She guided us on two rides, Wasatch Crest and some Mid Mountain Park City stuff.  On the other three rides we did she supplied us with great intel and detailed directions.  And as if all of that wasn’t enough, she invited us to a dinner party at her house.  Her husband Tim did a terrific job grilling for nine people.  It was a very nice evening of dining and socializing.

There were even more flowers here than Cedar Breaks.   Amelia and Sara were having a hard time with it not getting dark until 9:30pm.  The problem I was having with the extra daylight was it seemed like I should have one more beer, so I did!



Coexist, now that’s an idea.


Amelia hike-a-biking to the top of Puke Hill on the Wasatch Crest, just shy of 10,000 feet.


Wasatch Crest Trail


A Swallowtail and a Brushfoots butterfly


Loving her summer vacation


I couldn’t identify this one, but didn’t want to leave it out since it was so Dr. Seuss.


Richardson’s Geranium


Wasatch Beardtongue


Prairie Flax




Green Gentian: it can get up to six feet tall and live multiple years, but dies once it blooms.


Sticky Starwort


Finally a decent sunset


We did a little hike in the Pinebrook area up to this memorial ski lift bench.


I brought a little San Diego with us since Utah has such asinine liquor laws.


If this is what you’d imagined riding in Park City looks like, then you are correct!


Kudos for the awesome trail system!


Joy and Amelia

Cedar Breaks National Monument: June 17-19, 2018


Point Supreme 10,350 feet


Cedar Breaks lived up to our expectations.  It was uncrowded and both the scenery and high altitude were breathtaking.  We did a four mile hike to Ramparts Overlook.  There was no doubt we were no longer at sea level.  Everyone knows Amelia loves flowers, and there were flowers galore.  We were told it was still early flower season and in 2-3 weeks it would really be going off.

Unknown to us, but a known issue to Dometic, their refrigerators do not work well while on propane at high elevation.  Every few hours the flame would go out.  I guess it was a good thing this was only a two night stop.

We are off to the Park City area for some mountain biking!



Sitting pretty and getting plenty of afternoon sun for the solar panel


The meadow across from our campsite. The Spruce Bark Beetle has killed thousands of trees.


Definitely dangerous, but it’s nice not having everything fenced in.


Aspen Bluebells, these were everywhere.


Colorado Columbine





Silvery Lupine



Yellow bellied marmot enjoying the morning sun


One tough tree, Ancient Bristlecone Pine


Parry’s Primrose


Ramparts Overlook


I couldn’t identify this one.


Lanceleaf stonecrop


Cushion Phlox


Free range puggle at Lake Panguitch


Creeping Barberry



Three mile dirt road to the summit.  The Civilian Conservation Corps was a pretty amazing public work relief program.


Brian Head Peak looking down on the Cedar Breaks amphitheater