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Old 09-21-2012, 10:45 PM   #91
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Back at camp I flexed my culinary muscles and whipped up a gourmet meal of macaroni and cheese with hotdog- Kristhawee loved it


There were some really nice kids camping with their father in the site next to us and Kristhawee hit it off with them. He wanted to show them the Land Yacht-

Man that little girl was funny- no front teeth and covered in soot and ash, and she really wanted my son to sleep over in her tent

Her big brother was a really nice kid-


Three up on the Land Yacht


Had to take turns "driving"


She got a turn too-


We ended up hanging around the fire making smores together.

Their dad shared some beers with me

The kids played well together and I enjoyed talking to their dad, a divorced father, who, like me, had his kids for the summer and was taking them on a big road trip.

Tomorrow we're going to Grand Teton National Park!!
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Old 09-22-2012, 05:35 AM   #92
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Monday, July 23rd

Good morning from Lewis Lake Campground, Yellowstone National Park!


Kristhawee helped me make breakfast


Bonne appetit!


We packed up and hit the road, following the Lewis River south towards Grand Teton National Park-


Another beautiful day!


Leaving Yellowstone National Park-


Entering Grand Teton National Park


I was hoping to get a spot in either Colter Bay or Signal Mountain campgrounds but by the time we reached them they were full...

The John D Rockefeller Jr Memorial Parkway was a great ride!


Our first glimpse of the Grand Tetons off in the distance-


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Old 09-22-2012, 08:58 AM   #93
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We ride south along the shore of Jackson Lake-


Traffic is light, the weather is perfect and the views are amazing!


Looking across Jackson Lake at the Grand Tetons-




We've just passed 2100 miles on our journey. Only ~4400 more miles to go!


The mighty Grand Tetons!


Approaching Jenny Lake-


I believe that is Mount Moran straight ahead!





Fantastic road!


I know we have "bike porn" pics; how about "pavement porn"?




A closer look at the spectacular Grand Teton range-




Approaching Jackson Hole-


Welcome to Jackson, Wyoming!
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Old 09-23-2012, 04:27 AM   #94
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Jackson Hole is a cool little tourist town-


Rolling in to town from the north you see the Snow King ski resort on the south side of town-


There's a really cool little park right in the center of town and on all four corners are these arches made of elk antlers-


We wandered around town, checking out the sites. Some pretty cool art galleries. Kristhawee was pretty impressed by these animal sculptures in front of the Mountain Trails Gallery-


That's one BIG Moose!


Hangin with the sheriff ;)




Chillin with Abe


and Ben Franklin-


Tons of restaurants, and after suffering my cooking in recent days I reckoned it was time to get a properly cooked meal Kristhawee chose the E.leaven Restaurant and Bakery. He had chicken fingers with fruit-

My funny funny boy, we had a running joke this summer- he's at that age, where whenever you put something on his plate that he hasn't had before, he just immediately says, "I don't like that".

The first instance was at Grandma's house in MN- the first morning we were there Grandma went out into her garden and picked a big bowl of fresh raspberries and offered them to him at breakfast. "I don't like that" he says, which prompted me to force feed him one, after which he came back with "I like that!!!"

I lost track of all the different times we repeated this little game over the course of the summer, but I recall that with the fruit salad he said he liked grapes but not honey dew or cantaloupe. "I don't like that" he says, which of course means he has to try it. And of course, once he does, "I like that!!" He sure discovered a lot of new foods during our travels!

I enjoyed a killer taco salad


After lunch we headed back to the park in the middle of town-


The park was full of kids, so I let Kristhawee play while I made some phone calls. I knew that I'd need to tires for the Land Yacht sooner than later and decided I'd get them put on in Walla Walla, WA where we were planning to stop for a few days to visit one of my very best friends from college.

Big props to Motorcycle-Superstore.com for sorting me out with new Bridgestone Battlax BT-020 OEM Replacement tires at an awesome price, shipped direct to their recommended shop in Walla Walla. I placed my order while sitting in the park in Jackson, Wyoming. I wish I could remember the name of the guy who helped me- he was really knowledgeable and got my order processed and shipped in record time.

I ordered new brake pads too because the brakes on the Land Yacht were squealing like mad at slow speeds, especially the back brake, and try as I could, I just couldn't see the damn pads, so assumed they were squealing because they were about worn out. (Seriously though, is there a way to check the rear pads on a K1200LT without taking the caliper off? Cuz I sure couldn't figure out how to check the pads with the caliper on the bike...)

Well, turns out the pads were fine and I later learned that the K1200LT is just known for having really annoying squeaky brakes. Oh well, the EBC HH replacement pads I bought were pretty cheap. $107 for a full set. Thanks again Motorcycle-Superstore.com!
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Old 09-23-2012, 12:34 PM   #95
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Colter Bay, Signal Mountain, and Jenny Lake campgrounds were all full so we ended up staying at the Gros Ventre campground which is right on the edge of Grand Teton National Park and just across the Gros Ventre River from the National Elk Refuge.

The hosts there were really nice and gave us the cheap hiker/biker rate and a cool wildlife activity book for Kristhawee.

It was a nice warm day so we hit the Gros Ventre river to cool down-


Kristhawee was having fun finding the shed skins of some kind of bug that molted by the thousands in this area-


The water was very cold so he didn't swim much, but seeing as how the campground had no showers I jumped in for a quick scrub

Kristhawee was fascinated by those bugs-


It was a beautiful spot and we had it all to ourselves-


The thistles were in bloom and I got a good shot of one of the flowers-


Kristhawee showing off one of the bug skins that he found. Weird creepy looking bugs with big pincers or stingers on the tail, I'm glad they only left their skins- I wouldn't have wanted to go swimming with them.


Hiking back to our campsite we both carried some driftwood from the river for use in our campfire later in the evening-


That evening there was a ranger program about the Pronghorn, which it turns out, is a pretty interesting critter-

They are not related to deer, elk, goats or sheep. Their closest living relative is the giraffe! The pronghorn is the second-fastest land animal in the world, second only to the cheetah. But unlike a cheetah, Pronghorn can sustain high speeds for long distances. There is no predator in North America that can come even close to catching a Pronghorn. They're one of the only animals that can eat and digest sage. Pretty tough animals, but just like deer and elk, they get hit by traffic so I added the Pronghorn to the list of animals to watch out for when we were riding.

After the sun went down the temperature dropped quickly. Kristhawee bundled up for dinner. Spanish rice with hotdog


Snuggled up in our sleeping bags and read Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book. Tonight's story: Rikki Tikki Tavi, the adventures of the valiant young mongoose who was taken in by an English family and subsequently saved them from a number of poisonous serpents. A timeless classic, I really enjoyed re-reading it and Kristhawee loved the story, but never lasted more than a few pages before he'd pass out. It took us a few nights to get through it. Now he REALLY wants a pet mongoose
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Old 09-24-2012, 11:34 AM   #96
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Tuesday July 24th we woke up early to grey skies and the threat of rain. It had rained a bit during the night and it's never fun packing a wet tent, but fortunately we didn't have far to go today.


The Gros Ventre campground was ok, but nothing special and not close to anything. I was hoping that if we hit Jenny Lake early enough we might get lucky and score a spot there. The Jenny Lake campground is tent only and first come first serve. It only has 49 spots and fills up fast!

Riding to Jenny Lake-


Looks pretty cold up in the mountains-


We got lucky and snagged a great spot!!

There was a really nice family from Wisconsin who was packing up. They had a couple girls close to Kristhawee's age so the kids played while the parents packed and I chatted with their grandpa.

No trailers, campers, or generators are allowed at Jenny Lake Campground and vehicles cannot be over 8-feet high or 14 feet long. Campsites are available on a first come basis and fill early in the day. Reservations are not accepted in advance for Jenny Lake Campground.

As we're setting up our tent a huge buck elk wandered through out site-


What a beautiful animal! I'm so happy that we got a spot at this wonderful campground
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Old 09-24-2012, 12:55 PM   #97
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The Jenny Lake Campground is just a hop skip and a jump away from the Ranger Station, Visitor Center and Boat Dock for the Jenny Lake shuttle boat.


I have very fond memories of hiking here with my mom when I was a kid. The weather was clearing up and Kristhawee was keen to go on a hike, so off we went. The view from Jenny Lake Campground-


It's a 5.2 mile hike to Hidden Falls, but if you take the shuttle boat that shaves off about 2.5 miles


Jenny Lake is so clean and clear, from the boat dock we could see many fish in the water, but we didn't bring the fishing pole and anyway, no fishing allowed on the dock.

I bought a one way ticket for us on the Jenny Lake Shuttle Boat. All aboard!


Kristhawee on Jenny Lake, Grand Teton National Park-


It's a short ride, but what a view!


On the far side on Jenny Lake Kristhawee posed for a picture with the "Jenny Leigh"-


Starting up the trail to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point-


Hiking with my son- it's a short but fairly steep trail. He did great!


Lots of very tame ground squirrels begging for food-


These ground squirrels are pretty darn cute. Kristhawee kept trying to catch them and I kept warning him that he'd get bit if he actually managed to grab one.


Onwards and upwards!


C'mon Kristhawee, you can do it!


Sunkist break


Cascade Creek!


Pretty please don't fall in!!!


Crossing Cascade Creek-




We made it!!


Kristhawee at Hidden Falls, Grand Teton National Park-


I'm proud of him for hiking all the way up here- I tell him he's a pretty tough five year old


Father and son at Hidden Falls, Grand Teton National Park-
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Old 09-24-2012, 10:23 PM   #98
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We enjoyed a nice picnic lunch under the shade of a huge tree at Hidden Falls. After lunch Kristhawee got a second wind and told me he wanted to continue on to Inspiration Point. Good on ya!


Playing at Cascade Creek-


He was getting annoyed by all the pictures I was taking


I told him he'd enjoy seeing these pictures in years to come-


What a view! But we're not at Inspiration Point yet!


The trail is pretty rough and challenging in spots-


Yeah! We made it! Inspiration Point, 7200 feet!


Father and son at Inspiration Point, Grand Teton National Park-
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Old 09-25-2012, 05:55 AM   #99
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There were a bunch of ground squirrels and chipmunks up at Inspiration Point


My son wasn't the only one that wanted to feed them-




Of course, feeding the wildlife is against the rules and a ranger came along and put a stop to it


Another pic of us at Inspiration Point-


Marmots!!






Kristhawee and his new friend were still trying to catch the critters-


Amazingly, Kristhawee wanted to keep going up the trail! I told him about Lake Solitude and he said he wanted to see it. But that's a BIG hike and if we wanted to attempt something like that we would have needed to have left much much earlier and carry a lot more food and water. I'm so impressed by his "can do" attitude. I never had to push him on our hikes and I was constantly surprised by his stamina and endurance.

We hiked a little further up the trail so that Kristhawee could get a better look at the snow in the higher elevations-


It was getting late and the clouds were building- we started down-


I mentioned earlier that I bought one way tickets for the Jenny Lake shuttle boat. Kristhawee really wanted to go back on the boat, but I convinced him that the hike around the lake would be fun. He doesn't look very convinced


It rained a bit, nothing heavy-


Back at the boat dock- we made it!!
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Old 09-25-2012, 09:19 AM   #100
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Kristhawee showing off one of the bug skins that he found. Weird creepy looking bugs with big pincers or stingers on the tail, I'm glad they only left their skins- I wouldn't have wanted to go swimming with them.

Tony, those shed skins look like they belong to Stoneflies, order Plecoptera. Stone flies look scary but they do not bite, sting, or pinch. The nymphs live in the water so you may well have been swimming with them!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plecoptera
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Old 09-25-2012, 10:44 PM   #101
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How long do you think the trip feeling would last with you among lots of things to think of everyday!?
Damn, I think that would be forever. Especially this is the trip with your lovely son. For sure, he will never forget an amazing trip with his beloved daddy.
Great write up and photos Tony.
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Old 09-28-2012, 10:47 AM   #102
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Tony, those shed skins look like they belong to Stoneflies, order Plecoptera. Stone flies look scary but they do not bite, sting, or pinch. The nymphs live in the water so you may well have been swimming with them!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plecoptera
Hey! Thanks for solving that mystery. Weird that I've never seen bugs like that before; from your link it sounds like they're quite common. I'll forward the link to my son; I know he'll be happy to find out what they are.
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Old 09-28-2012, 10:50 AM   #103
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How long do you think the trip feeling would last with you among lots of things to think of everyday!?
Damn, I think that would be forever. Especially this is the trip with your lovely son. For sure, he will never forget an amazing trip with his beloved daddy.
Great write up and photos Tony.
Thanks Viethorse! Neither my son nor I wanted the trip to end- it was such a fantastic summer. I was very sad to leave him but look forward to more great adventures in years to come!
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Old 09-28-2012, 11:17 AM   #104
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I was very impressed that Kristhawee could accomplish a 4-5 mile hike like that! Rewarded him with ice cream at the Jenny Lake General Store and then we went to check out the visitor center-


The Jenny Lake Visitor Center is particularly nice- it's in a beautiful old CCC building and there are sofas around a big stone fireplace where you can sit and read books.

Headed back to camp-


I thought (hoped?) that Kristhawee would be tired from the hike and that maybe we could take a nap.... He looks a bit tired, sitting on the bear box in our campsite-


Nope! He met some nice kids from New York and wanted to play play play! Good lord he has mad energy!

There was a ranger talk about wolves that evening-


Kristhawee was hanging with his new friends from New York- really nice family!


The kids found a baby robin that had fallen out of its nest. They were so concerned and fascinated by it and wanted one of us adults to put it back in the nest, which, as I understand it, you're not supposed to do.

Just then the nice Ranger who had given the wolf talk came by and I asked her what we should do. Her sage advice: "Let it be". So with the Ranger's backing we insisted that the kids leave the baby bird where it was. They took it upon themselves to build the baby bird a nest of sorts and covered him up with grass to keep him warm. In the morning the baby bird was gone and a quick thinking parent told the kids that the mommy Robin had come down in the night and picked up the baby and put it back in the nest. Ah, don't you just love happy endings?

The temperature dropped quickly when the sun went down- a big fire kept us nice and warm


Once we were snug in our sleeping bags we started Kipling's story "Toomai of the Elephants". What a fantastic story- check out the first paragraph:

"Kala Nag (Black Snake), a wise old elephant, has been taken up to the Garo hills to help in the yearly drive to catch wild elephants and break them in. His driver, Big Toomai, takes no pleasure in the work, but Little Toomai, his ten year old son, delights in the camp life. When the wild tuskers are being driven into the Keddah (the stockade) Little Toomai sits high on a post shouting and waving, and when a driver drops the end of a rope, he slips down among the feet of the elephants at peril of his life and throws it up to him. "

My son loves this story (and so do I), but he only lasts a few pages before he passes out. Sweet dreams my beautiful boy- I'll see you in the morning!
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Old 09-28-2012, 12:38 PM   #105
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Gooo morning from Jenny Lake, Grand Teton National Park! Gee, does somebody need to pee??


It was so nice having the General Store walking distance from our campground- fresh milk, bacon, cereal and coffee for breakfast!


Bacon!!


Yet another beautiful day!


Northface Nebula- our home for the summer. Big thanks to my good friend Jeremy who lent us his tent, stove, and a sleeping bag


Map of Jenny Lake Campground-

If memory serves, we were in site 13. Fantastic campground- one of my favorites on this trip.

I needed to print and send a fax so we rode to Jackson and hit the beautiful Teton County Library-

Kristhawee LOVES libraries- he picks the books and I read them.

They had some toys too- he was definitely enjoying himself-


Then, for something completely different, we went and saw a movie. Kristhawee got to choose from Ice Age, Spiderman and Batman. He chose the bat-

I quite liked the movie, but it really wasn't a kids flick and was more violent than I would have liked. Still, my son seemed to enjoy it.

After the movie we wandered around town a bit, did some shopping and had dinner at my son's favorite place-


We got back to camp just after dark, Kristhawee was passed out on the back of the bike. Man, I really would have like to have spent another day or two in Grand Teton, but we were supposed to hook up with friends at Glacier NP and if we didn't leave the next day we'd miss them... Turns out one summer just isn't enough time to see and do all the things we'd like.
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