A continuation of my travels after visiting the Beartooth Highway in Wyoming/Montana.
After camping in Teton Canyon near Driggs, Idaho, I continued to travel south.
You’ve probably realized that I generally don’t travel great distances unless forced to, so I only made it as far as Alpine, WY, which is located near the Grey’s, The Salt, and The Snake River. Water was certainly flowing, as it was still raining. I was no longer IN the clouds but was under them instead.
I camped the night in the Bridge-Teton National Forest, and I don’t think I saw another female head into the woods. Instead, there were streams of big trucks driving in with every kind of gun and hunting paraphernalia one can imagine.
I don’t feel comfortable in these circumstances, but once again, all the campgrounds I passed on the way were closed, and this was my only choice.
I parked in a dispersed camping spot that had two exits, wasn’t swamped in mud, and parked my vehicle in a manner that I could drive it out of either exit without too much maneuvering. I also made sure that no-one could see that I was a female on my own, and I put my 5.11 water bottle in the window in clear sight. I’m not sure if that was a silly gesture or not, but I’d been assured by a survivalist that 5.11 means ‘don’t mess with me’, and it might deter people from doing just that. I’ve considered putting a 5.11 sticker on my vehicle, but not sure if this will send the wrong message at other times or not. (Would love some input on this please).
The only time I was alerted to a possible visitor was when one of the numerous speeding trucks that were whizzing by, slowed down and stopped. The men inside got out and looked over at my vehicle, they had a discussion, then I heard one say “Oh, let us just go somewhere else.” I think they were considering camping in that spot, but I had parked right in the middle of it to deter campers wanting to share it, and there wasn’t a good spot for them to set up without being practically on top of me. It worked. I had been concerned about the spot though, because it was littered with shell casings, and was clearly a favorite spot to use for target practice, but it was the best spot I could find.
Yes, camping in the national forest on my own does tend to be a little scary. It is not the safest place for a woman, at least during hunting season.
Anyhow, I survived the night, and the next morning was happy to find a café in Alpine with organic coffee.
Hmmmmmm. Yes, it was still raining, so I continued south, and drove through some ferocious weather. Despite spending an incredible couple of hours at Fossil Butte National Monument I actually covered some distance, at least by my standards, and made it to The Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area. However, once again, the campgrounds were closed, and all the little side roads I turned on to were so deep with mud, that I didn’t even consider trying them. I ended up parking by a water tower near Buckboard Marina and felt safer than I had in a long time. Only one vehicle drove down the road for the entire evening.
The next day I took my time driving through the recreation area, and really enjoyed all the signs along the road that explained what rock formations I was driving through, such as the Jurassic, and what kinds of animals roamed the earth at that time. Very interesting indeed.
I ended up making it all the way down to I70, and it just so happened that my friend Jo was camping at Rabbit Valley, CO, that night. So I met up with him.
I was back in Colorado and had almost gone full-circle from where I started.
So this part of my trip was over. I guess it was sort of my vacation. I was back to familiar territory, just a hop, skip, and jump from Utah, where I can live very inexpensively indeed, and the temps are considerably warmer during the month of October.
(And that is where I am now, at the time of this writing, on October 16, 2014).
Until next time… enjoying the lovely warm weather in Utah, while treasuring memories of a truly incredible road trip.