Monday, June 30, 2008

A road less traveled or should not have been traveled at all...

I will skip the second day trip to Yellowstone for now and catch up later, I think that makes two Blog’s that I need to fill you in on, but first:

Saturday we moved to another campground, only 16 miles south of where we were at Henry’s Lake state park. We met our wonderful neighbors who live near here and shared two dinners with them. During one of our conversations I mentioned that we had decided to take a long day trip to Teton National park and had found that there was a east-west route that would cut off several hours of driving on already traveled roads. Our neighbor cautioned us that the road is only passable part of the year and is a very bad road. Never being one to shy away from a challenge we decided to get up early (5:00AM-Jackie--5:30 Dick) and get on the road early. Let me insert here that the trip east to west is about 50 miles.

I had Googled “Ashton, Idaho to Flagg Valley Ranch, Wyoming and came up with little information. The route starts just 20 miles south of our camp and ends just south of the south entrance to Yellowstone, between Yellowstone and Teton National Park. I was able to find the route on our GPS, so with a lunch packed and the dog in the back seat, we hit the road Monday morning.
We found the road and headed east out of Ashton and the road took us through some beautiful farm country. We ran across a moose in one of the fields. (Interesting that all the way through Yellowstone we didn't see one moose, yet here in farm country we did!)

We got a chuckle out of a cemetery that we came across. Was this some kind of an omen? (Actually, we came across Squirrel Creek just down the road.)
We finally came to the end of the pavement and continued by the sign wondering what it really meant. We debated it for a while and figured it had something to do with winter snowmobiling. No problem we can make it, we agreed.
I stopped to take some more wildflower pictures but was attacked by the mosquitoes to the point that they blocked the truck door so I had to fight them off to get back in.

As we progressed, the road got worse and worse and worse, but we just put it into 4-wheel drive and were able to get it through some deep ruts.
At 2 hours and about 41 miles on the road and with less than 9 miles to go we came around a corner to find “ROAD CLOSED” sign. After debating the question of what to do, we decided that we have come this far so let’s see what is beyond the sign. Around it we went, and locked in 4-wheel drive headed up the road to come around another corner to find why it was closed.

Not sure how long the Jeep had been high centered on a downed tree, and no one was around, but it sure stopped us from going any further. To make matters worse, I had to back out through the snow and mud.

We finally got turned around and headed back to Ashton. On the way back we took a road marked on the map to a Boy Scout Camp. It was about five miles up, then down to a beautiful site with a lake, a new lodge and some cabins. When we came back to the main road from there, we ran across two bicyclists. They had come through from Flagg Ranch and we one their way to Canada. They said accepting a ride from us would be "cheating", so we went on. Once back to Ashton, we took another long trip to view some of the beauty in eastern Idaho. Arrived back home at 5:30PM after another 11-hour day on the road. This is a picture of part of the Tetons from the "west" side, looking east. Not what we had planned, but still made the best of it and it gave us more fond memories.

Found this old one room school house in the middle of a wheat field.
You can see the sky in this picture. We passed through a couple of thunderstorms, but by the time we got back to camp it was nice again. Another great day. Off tomorrow for more adventures--stay tuned.


Jen said...

Wow..what an adventure. Watch out for the mosquitoes...there's a lot of West Nile around here. And, Joe and I are back home, if you happen to pass back through.

michelle said...

What an adventure. I know you didn't plan it but how boring it would be if you never ran into any bumps in the road.