America the beautiful…Grand Tetons and Yellowstone

After yet another lapse in blog posts, we resume our story. When we last left off, TD and I spent some QT with our friends in St. Louis. Our next stop was Boulder, Colorado where we hooked up with our homies who used to live in San Francisco. I gotta say, the town is gorgeous with cute shops, progressive thinking and amazing nature nearby. There are few places where you can go hiking in beautiful mountains (the Flatirons) literally at the edge of town.

It was almost too perfect – everyone is super fit, mostly white and happy. Hmm…I guess I’m missing the diversity and charming grime of San Francisco. Afterwards, we spent a few days with Peggy and Jo from Pun Pun at their Colorado compound, where they escape Thailand’s monsoon season. We loved catching up with them, working on the Earthship house and hiking amongst all the wildflowers.

Next up was something we had been looking forward to for the whole ride – The Grand Tetons and Yellowstone. Originally, we were going to hit up way more national parks but we were short on time and made some cuts. The Tetons at dawn, with the sunlight hitting the mountain face, are awesome (as in the original definition of inspiring awe) sight.

Grand Tetons and Yellowstone 1

We camped at Jenny Lake, which fills up early in the day but is absolutely worth it. If you arrive too late (like we did around 6 pm), spend the night outside the park and get back to the Jenny Lake ranger station early (6 am) to get spots from people who are leaving. We hiked around Jenny Lake and up into Cascade Canyon for a moderate day hike and spotted lots of moose, elk, and other creatures.

Yellowstone is right next to the Tetons and your $25 vehicle pass is good for both parks for a week. It’s so close that we kept our campsite back at Jenny Lake and just drove to Yellowstone for the day. The park is BIG and very popular. Basically, Yellowstone is the caldera of an ancient volcano and is famous for its geysers. We stuck to the south loop and hit up highlights like Old Faithful, multicolored hot springs and gawked at the buffalo.

The unfortunate thing is that most of the sights are located off roads, which means everyone tours the park by car. It’s a little like Disneyland in that you drive to a sight, get out and walk along a paved path, take pictures, then drive to the next location. I much preferred being away from the cars and deep in the woods as in the Tetons.

Grand Tetons and Yellowstone 2

And with that, we headed even farther west. Getting closer and closer to home and marking the final days of our road trip.

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