After our ZIP-lining adventure we continued our trip to Bozeman (still Montana) from where we wanted to visit one of the greatest national parks of the United States, one we had not been to ever before: Yellow Stone which is actually located in Wyoming. And it sure was worth the trip. We saw the famous geysers, rocks covered in the sediments left behind by them, fantastic and diverse landscapes and wildlife including bears and herds of wild buffalo. The animals are so used to people that they hardly pay any attention to them. In fact we came so close to some of the buffalos that we could have reached out the car window and touched them. They walked across a parking lot between cars and people and seemed perfectly comfortable doing it. This is more than can be said for Princess. She decided that those beasts had come close enough and took it upon herself to try and protect us by starting to furiously bark at them. Good girl! We did not see “Old Faithful”. When we arrived there we found out that we had just missed it and would have to wait for over an hour for it to go off again. But we had seen many other geysers and it was getting late after we had stopped so many places to take pictures that we decided to get back to the campground.
After we had moved our rig to Tetonia, the other national park we visited in Wyoming was Grand Teton, a park we had never heard of before and don’t know how well known it is. Grand Teton is a nice high plateau with beautiful mountains in the background and a wildlife refuge and it would be very nice for hiking. Unfortunately, though understandably, one is not allowed to take a dog on hiking trails in any of the national parks in the United States. So we were limited to the views from the road and parking areas and didn’t get a chance to go out into the more remote parts. As nice as it is to have a dog and as much as we love Princess, there can be a little downside to dog ownership, too.
Then we were off to see more parks in southern Utah. You might have read about our unintentional stop in North Salt on the way there two blog posts back. We finally made it to a nice looking RV park we had found on the internet and booked for a week. But after just one night we had to leave there because of the altitude which gave André problems with breathing. So we ended up in Hatch which really is ideally located for trips to Brice, Zion, Red Rocks and Grand Canyon National Parks. With so much to see we had a busy week ahead of us. But before we even got to Hatch we came across a kind of a mountain pass and hit some snow. SNOW! In August! In southern Utah! Crazy!!! Who would have expected that? We just took it slow and easy on the road and made it safely to the other side.
The four parks we were going to visit from Hatch are among those we had visited way back during our very first trip to the United States. Like others of the kind we still didn’t want to miss them and are glad we revisited them. Memories from our first trip came alive and we compared them whit what we were seeing now and made new memories, too. Of course a lot had changed over all those years since our first time here. While the parks have always been made to attract tourists and outdoors enthusiasts alike, they are now much better accessible for vehicles which for the reasons I told you about regarding dogs, is important to us. We took it all in and after many more pictures decided that we would come back here anytime again. The one thing we did differently from last time is that this time around we went to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon as opposite to the better known and more visited South Rim. Sue and Princess had quiet the adventure there and learned a valuable lesson. You can read all about that in Hunter’s and Trapper’s blog “Blame it all on Princess?” of September 1, 2013. You won’t believe what they did!
The week was over way too soon and we hit the road again. Our destination this time was Cortez. Along the way we planned to see Monument Valley National Park, again one we had been to before, and then Mesa Verde. This park had not been on our list last time and after discussing the route and detour it would take to get there instead of bypassing Cortez and heading to Moab the quickest possible way, we decided to take the time to visit those two parks. Monument Valley has become much better accessible, too, since we’ve been there over 20 years ago. Then one could only go into the valley on guided tours. Now there is a road which people can drive themselves if they dare. It’s not really bad but comes close enough to off-roading in some parts to make many people prefer a guided tour. Of course we could not drive through the valley with our fifth wheel in tow so we came up with the idea to drop it right there in the parking lot and then drive our truck into the valley. We always find that we find a lot of nice subjects to take pictures of that we would not get to photograph out of a tour bus which stops at certain locations only. And we did find nice angles, views and details.
To be continued.