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Heading north up I-15 through Utah we found that, although Salt Lake City was interesting and the churches were beautiful, the general topography was quite ugly. A saline lake surrounded by an alkaline valley that can't even grow a decent weed. Once leaving N.W. out through Logan, however, everything changes, and it becomes quite beautiful climbing up Logan Canyon. Before we left Salt Lake, a trip east over to Promintory Point and the Golden Spike historic site, where the railroads from east and west met was well worth while. Both, original locomotives are there and restored and fully operational. In fact several times a day they back them up about a 1/2 mile and bring them together again at the point where the famous "golden spike" was driven. A lecture by the historian there was very interesting and detailed the events before, during, and after the famous incident.

 

After topping Logan Canyon in N.E. Utah, we wound down into the Bear Lake area. It's a beautiful area with a good sized lake and a quaint town. Here we stayed the night at a KOA campground. It was raspberry season and raspberry "anything" was available in town. We stopped at a little take-out place for a sandwich and a great raspberry shake that needed a spoon to be eaten.

 

Continuing north and crossing into the west side of Wyoming, we arrived in Jackson Hole. It has to be the largest "tourist trap" we've ever seen. It's worse (from my viewpoint) than Sedona, AZ. Even Carol, the "professional" shopper got tired in a hurry. The town square had four arches made entirely of elk antlers, one of which can be seen in the picture. A day of window shopping, some lunch, and we were ready to continue on to the Grand Tetons, just up the road from Jackson.

 

The Grand Tetons are spectacular. They were largely covered in clouds when we arrived but cleared a bit later on. Some of the numerous glaciers can be seen nestled among the peaks. The glacier formed lakes at the base of the Tetons are crystal clear and surrounded by lush forests. We stayed for two days at Grand Teton R.V. Park near the north end of the park.

 

On to Yellowstone National Park...

 

The main roads within the park itself are shaped in roughly a figure 8, with it being about 100 miles around each loop of the 8. The largest point of interest areas are spotted around the 8. We dropped the 5th wheel at Fishing Bridge RV park and during the day traveled around the figure 8 to the various sites. It usually takes most of the day to see each major area and we put over 400 miles on the truck just traveling out and back to each major area on a daily basis. We spent 6 days in the park and saw most of the major areas. If you've never been there it is a "must see" and plan on at least for a 5 or 6 day stay.

 

No trip to Yellowstone is complete without the obligatory picture of Old Faithful. Actually the eruptions don't last but about a minute and we found the other geysers, pools, mud pots, etc. to be the real attractions. The full walk around the old faithful area is about 4 miles and definitely should be done. Grand geyser, along the walk, erupts for about 20 minutes and although is slightly smaller than Old Faithful is much more violent and exciting, plus you are able to be right alongside it.

 

Geo-thermal is the keyword in Yellowstone. Activity is everywhere. Most of the walk in the old faithful area is on winding boardwalks with things bubbling and squirting everywhere you go. Occasionally one of the many larger geysers will start spewing and everyone will stop and look or if close enough will run that way to see it before it quits. It's really a lot of fun and quite spectacular. At the entrance to each major area in the park are kiosks with brochures explaining what you're about to see, they're a must.

 

Scalding hot pools like this one are crystal clear and due to the various salts in solution usually have this fantastic blue tint.

 

The brilliant white deposits with hot steaming water flowing over it was a real photo opportunity. This isn't a touched up photo, it really looks like this!

 

These two pictures are in the area called the "Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone". We think it is the most beautiful area of the park, and these photos hardly do it justice. The falls in the left photo is Upper Falls and is the largest in the park, about 400 ft. drop. You just stand there for a long time soaking it in. The deposits from present and past geothermal activity add fantastic colors to the canyon walls. I also took 2 hours of video while in the park.

 

Wild life is everywhere. Buffalo herds, moose, bear and elk. You never know when or where. When traveling in the park, people stopped in the middle of the road ahead usually means you're going to get to see something super. Sometimes 20 or 30 vehicles just stop for a while to look, no one's in a hurry.

 

On the way back our route took us through Idaho and the Sawtooth Mountain Recreation Area. You have to take a loop out from the main highway to go through the recreation area but it's well worth the detour. The canyon that you climb up from the south  into is super.

 

Then it was on to Twin Falls Idaho with a great view of Shoshone falls.  In the springtime the water flows over all the rock faces and the width is actually greater than Niagra Falls.

 

If you ever get the chance to go to Yellowstone, Do It!! You'll never forget it!

 

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