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2002 West Camping Vacation Travel Log - page 2 of 5
Week 2 ~ Monday July 29 to Sunday August 4, 2002

Monday July 29 - Just had to do the laundry (whoopy!). Still having trouble connecting to the Internet. Drove all over the area... Seven Falls, Cheyenne Canyon, Helen Hunt Falls (not the actress), city of Fountain to find Joe & Kelly's old house, Garden of the Gods & Manitou Springs. Not much water in the rivers and streams. Dry, dry, dry.

Tuesday July 30 - We visited a fossil park and saw fossils, of course, and petrified tree trunks on a nature walk with a ranger. Then went to the famous gold mining town of Cripple Creek which is mostly casinos now - Diane lost, but Alan won (paid for a tank of gas). Went to the Flying W Ranch for old west town, chuckwagon dinner and singing cowhands - great show - met Walt the owner - nice guy. (stinkin' millionaire). They serve 1200 dinners at each night's show.

The booming town of Cripple Creek which was once a very famous gold mining town. They are mining a new kind of gold now. On Tuesday, in the late afternoon, the tourists were there playing the slots.
Here is The Brass Ass which used to be a gift shop from which I bought a beer mug about 20 years ago. No money in gifts and now it's a casino. It looks like all the gift shops are casinos now.

Wednesday July 31 - We met some really nice people from Breckenridge OK at the campground. We hit the road again for a long day of driving. Aspen is pretty and Independence Pass (12,095 ft) was absolutely breath-taking - road work along the way - now we have a cracked windshield - spent the night at Stagecoach Campground in Meeker, CO - we have stayed in worse CG, but not many.
(Note: This campground does not exist in 2017 - just as well.)

View from up by Independence Pass. This will make all of you jealous.
We have been all over Colorado and this is the best.

Thursday Aug 1 - We drove thru some really beautiful Utah scenery - red rock and messas - and stopped at Dinosaur National Park and then Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area. We checked in at the Mustang Ridge campground in Flaming Gorge NRA - nice - good showers. The park has large expanses of fire damage - devastated areas - scary. We have some awesome pictures of this mess.

Out on the Open Range of Utah, the cows take their part of the road.
Utah with miles and miles and miles of nothing. Alright, there's tumbleweed.

Friday Aug 2 - Diane: looked for wild horses and thinks she saw some, but they passed before I could get the camera out. The skies were overcast with very lightly scattered showers all day. They really need this rain here. We got the LAST site at Coulter Bay RV Park in Grand Teton National Park. Showers are $3 extra per person here. Beautiful country. Mountains do not have foothills, but rise from park area to 13,000 feet - gorgeous! (Oh, do we have a lot of pictures!). This park is on our "Best" list for sure.

This is Coulter Bay with the Grand Tetons in the rear.
Every afternoon storm clouds roll on over the mountains. Some really spectacular skies.

Saturday Aug 3 - Alan surprised me with tickets for a boat tour around Jackson Lake - we saw several bald eagles and pelicans! Ranger Pat gave geology lessons and Captain Bob pointed out the wildlife. The usual afternoon thunderstorms hit again after the boat deal so we decided to tour the various lodges in the park. Camping here is $40/night, but the lodges (with breakfast and dinner, horseback riding and use of bicycles) are $579-619 per day! That, of course, includes a free shower. Finally got the cell phone and notebook modem working so we can now get a internet connection and retrieve all the E-mails. We're working to send replies and pictures tonight and tomorrow.

What were those horny Frenchmen thinking when they named the Grand Tetons.

The Grand Tetons seen from across Jackson Lake.

Sunday Aug 4 - We went to a non-denom church in the campground and there were more people attending than at Trinity in Berkley. Left for Yellowstone National Park to see Old Faithful and the Paint Pots and smell the sulfur fumes. We have been here a few times and didn't want to spend too much time here so we drove through, stopping too many times to count and took a lot more pictures. It's a beautiful place with the lakes, streams and mountains. It's an eerie place with all the thermal activity. We spent the night at Indian Creek campground in Yellowstone. Rustic camping. Absolutely beautiful camping, very quiet and comes equipped with a Grizzly bear. This was great! (Alan) This scared the sh*t out of me! (Diane) As we were driving into the campground, the rangers (with guns) were walking along the road watching a Grizzly bear walking parallel to the road. As we drove very, very slowly past them the bear came closer to the road (about 40 or 50 ft) and we took our pictures and promptly moved on into the campground. Lots of tent campers (with lots of guts with bears wandering around). Diane wouldn't even leave the trailer to pee. The best rustic camping ever.

Once in a lifetime experience! We were less than 50 ft from a Grizzly bear.
We were just looking for a simple black bear.
Everybody loves Old Faithful. It erupts about every 90 minutes. Cool.
Typical streams and meadows of Yellowstone National Park.
If anybody can identify this, send me an email with the answer and you will win a prize.

It was cold at night. There was frost on the picnic table in the morning.

And this is the end of Week 2 of our vacation. Go back to Week 1 -- Go to Week 3