Friday, March 17, 2017

Across America Part III

At the end of  last week, we had gotten up early and hit the road, heading for Wyoming. At the campground in Estes Park we had picked up a brochure about the great dinosaur collection at Western Wyoming Community College in Rock Springs. Since we tried to break up the long drives with things that might interest the boys, we made a stop. What a great place!

They had a multitude of bones and fossils besides Triceratops and Xiphactinus Audax, and with plenty of opportunities for Ryan to point things out à la Vanna White, it was a really enjoyable time for all of us.

Another thing we liked to stop for was a good hiking opportunity. Here is Justin, nature observer extraordinaire, looking for wildlife on a hiking trail in Rock Springs.

After staying the night in Rock Springs, we headed to another great town in Wyoming, Jackson. We all loved the antler arches around the Town Square. Jackson Hole is home to the National Elk Refuge, and for more than 50 years the local Boy Scouts have helped to gather the antlers that the elk naturally shed over the winter. Some of these antlers are auctioned off and some have been used to build the iconic arches. Someday I'm going to visit Jackson Hole in the winter so I can see the thousands of live elk on the Refuge and not just shed antlers.

Now it's time for a true confession: I love fish hatcheries. I don't know why, but I find the idea and process of raising thousands of fish fascinating. When I saw the sign for the National Fish Hatchery in Jackson, we had to visit.

They raise trout (mainly cutthroat) for stocking waters in Wyoming and Idaho. We met a retired couple that were living there in an RV for the summer and volunteering at the hatchery. Who know, that might be us in five years or so!

I mentioned last week that Rocky Mountain National Park was one of my favorite National Parks, but Grand Teton National Park is also right up there in my top three. The views are stunning from almost every place in the park.

Snake River Overlook:

My all-time favorite family photo taken at Oxbow Bend:

And examining stumps and skipping stones at Jackson Lake:

It's a known fact that breakfast even tastes better if you eat it next to Mount Moran.

Next week: Yellowstone Ho! (I bet you thought we were never going to get there.) 


  1. Wow, those vistas are gorgeous! And I love the shed antler arches. We enjoy hunting for sheds in the spring although I personally have never found one.

  2. Your Friday posts are bringing back so many memories of the trip we made across country when I was a kid. Love your photos. I think I could easily live in the West. It is gorgeous country! Santa Fe (which we did not visit when I was a kid, but my husband and I were there a number of years ago) is one of my most favorite spots.

  3. Ahhh. The prettiest corner of Wyoming! (I spent my adolescent years in Cheyenne . . . in the opposite corner of the state. Trust me . . . not so picturesque.) What a wonderful adventure. (Jackson is my favorite Wyoming town.) (Cody is #2.)

  4. Oh my, I love the "Vanna White" poses! Great photos and such wonderful memories!! Now I'm remembering the trip from WI to OR & back that my sisters & I took in 1979...

  5. I have never ever read the sentence "i love fish hatcheries...." the things I learn! I've been enjoying your trip down memory lane immensely!

  6. The Vanna pose is quite spectacular (as is that fish!!) I will have to dig out our photos from Jackson Hole/Yellowstone (although my kids were much smaller!! What an awesome trip you had!

  7. I am really enjoying this travelogue because I have never been to any of these places. Thanks, Bonny!

    1. Thank YOU for reading! If you ever get a chance, I'd highly recommend a visit to any of them!

  8. Seeing you and your family enjoying a cross-country trip, much as my family did, is so much fun. Grand Teton is dear to my heart! I've made several trips there over my lifetime (it's only 6 hours away) and really should go more often. When I was younger we had several fish hatcheries in the area (yes, like just up the street!). I know they're still around but I'm not even sure where the nearest one is.

  9. The Tetons will always hold a very special place in my heart. We camped there the first summer we moved to Wyoming (and many times after). The mountains are simply stunning...and bonus points if they're reflected in a lake - that family photo is wonderful!

  10. Thank-you for these wonderful pictures and memories! We have that Snake River shot too. Wyoming is such a wonderful place!


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