We left Yellowstone Park around 11:00 AM on Sunday. Stopped at the dump station on the way out to empty one tank and fill another. We left via the west entrance and very soon passed through West Yellowstone. Little did we realize this would be the largest town we’d pass through until we arrived at Rexburg, ID. No biggie except that we probably should have bought beer before going any further. It was mostly downhill to Rexburg so it was an easy drive.
We got into town mid-afternoon. Stopped at Albertson’s to get some groceries and libations only to find that local ordinance prohibits sales of alcohol on Sunday. Since you can’t throw a rock without hitting an LDS church in Rexburg, this isn’t really that surprising. Just annoying. And really, what’s the point? Afraid we’ll get too drunk to go to church? Afraid that sitting home with a beer will be more attractive than going to church? Want to punish us heathens that don’t go to church? What? Can’t think of a single valid argument in favor of prohibiting sales only on Sunday. Want to be a dry town? Then be a dry town all the time, not just on Sunday. But there’s a big profit to be made from the sales of alcoholic beverages the other 6 days of the week so let’s not be too hasty. Oh well. We’re headed to Utah so I guess we better start keeping track of what day of the week it is. However, Lulu talked to a young man in Albertson’s and he directed her to a gas station/convenience store a few blocks away, just outside the city limits, where we could buy some beer.
We’d told our friends Deanna and Jason that we wouldn’t be at their place until Monday afternoon and, not wanting to screw up any plans they might have and also needing showers and a laundromat, we opted to stay in a full hook-ups RV park for the night. Found a great deal at Thompson’s RV Park in Thornton, about 4 miles south of Rexburg proper. Being the off-season, our stay was only $20/night with a Good Sam card. Actually, they normally only honor Passport America but, being the off-season, gladly honored Good Sam. I believe we could have probably gotten the same price with a library card. We got a call from Jason later and, when he found out we were in Rexburg, we made dinner plans. Lulu made a huge batch of spaghetti sauce and we invited Jason, Deanna and the kids out to the RV park for dinner. The park, being small and the comings and goings watched over closely by the manager, I thought it’d be a good idea to go over and let her know our plans so she wouldn’t freak when a car full of strangers drove right past her motorhome and over to ours. Well, that was when I was informed that this is a 55 and older park and that children are not allowed, even, apparently for a visit. Pretty weird since there were only 3 occupied RVs in the place, including ours. Who’s going to be bothered? But, I’m sure you know how it goes. Give someone a little authority, they set their jaws and there’s no arguing with them. So we had to cancel our dinner plans. Odd for a place in Mormon-heavy Rexburg to be so anti-family.
Monday we headed over to Jason and Deanna’s and had a very pleasant time visiting and playing with the kids. When Jason got home from work, we all piled in the van and headed out to nearby Archer, Idaho, to Big Jud’s for some burgers. This is one of those places that serves a wide variety of burgers but their main claim to fame are the giant burgers. There’s a one-pound one and a two-pound one. We decided to go a little lighter and just get the regular burgers. Jason and I had the one with bacon, pepper jack and buffalo sauce. It was really good and we were all stuffed by the time we left. On the way home, we stopped at a place along the Snake River and hiked up to a lookout point to walk some our dinner off.
Tuesday late morning, after breakfast and playing catch with Kenyon and tic-tac-toe with both he and Maya, we headed off towards Jackson, Wyoming. Jason warned me that the grade going to Jackson directly hits 10% at times. While I’m sure we’ve pulled a 10% grade before, albeit in 1st gear, we decided to give Flipper a break and take an alternate route that he suggested. We followed Hwy 33 to Driggs and then got on Hwy 31 which took us alongside the Grand Tetons and through some beautiful fall foliage.
The pictures don’t even begin to do the colors justice. They didn’t even pick up the oranges and reds and, of course, we were always just past the really good shots by the time the camera was fired. It was gorgeous. We climbed a bit of a grade alongside the Palisades Reservoir in eastern Idaho before turning north at Alpine, Wyoming. The drive up from Alpine to Jackson was a very mild climb. I think we did the whole thing, or almost all of it, in 4th gear.
Arrived in Jackson early-late afternoon and located a Visitor Information center where we got a Wyoming road map, a Utah road map and directions to the only RV park in town. There were others in nearby towns or we could opt to drive up to Teton National Park and camp for cheap. The RV parks were ridiculously expensive (~$65/night after the Good Sam discount!), but we wanted showers so we paid it. Considering the times we’ve stayed places free or cheap, this doesn’t bring the average cost/night up very much. But still.
Today we’re going to park the rig near downtown and get out and explore the place a little by foot before turning south towards Kemmerer, Wyoming. Found some BLM campsites near there that are mostly free, so that’s good.
Yellowstone to Thornton, ID: 114 miles
Thornton, ID to Rexburg, ID, including driving around town: 13 miles
Rexburg, ID to Jackson, WY: 148 miles
Total to-date: 2663 miles (63 miles/day)