The Dniester River with Moldova on the left and Transnistria on the right. Photo taken December 10, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Tiraspol, Transnistria...the country that doesn't exist.

Where are they going next? Northern Moldova. Arrive December 11th.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Usually, we win. But sometimes...

We've had three beautiful boondocking sites in a row, and so I guess we were due for a bad one.

It wasn't so much that it was bad, it was just so difficult to find a suitable overnight spot near Jackson, Wyoming...and then when we did get all settled, we almost got kicked out!

We got up at 7:00am, and started the motorhome right away to warm things up. Might as well use the engine heat instead of propane because we had a long driving day ahead of us anyhow so we got on the road right away.

By the time we got to Rock Springs we were all warmed up and found somewhere to use the internet and had a hot drink and breakfast.

Boring.

I gotta say, the section of road between Rock Springs and Pinedale Wyoming is a boring stretch of driving. 

Oh, almost forgot to tell you...we almost ran out of gas! I'm pretty good at figuring our available driving distance. Actually, given that we really did make it to our planned fuel stop must mean that I really am good at figuring it out! 

I wanted to arrive in Rock Springs pretty near empty because they had gas there for $2.23 a gallon USD ($0.75 per litre CAD). I had it figured that we would still have three or four gallons in our 60 gallon tank when we arrived there. But we had done some steep uphills so probably didn't get our normal 10 mpg for the trip. Anyhow, we pulled up to the stop light just before the gas station and Sherman died! I think what happened is that the little bit of fuel in the tank had sloshed to the front of the tank when I hit the brakes to stop at the light. Anyhow, as soon as the light turned green I turned the key and he fired up again and ran well until we got to the pumps.

Anyway, we filled up at a great price, and the plan came together as expected. But I did cut things pretty close!

Just outside of Rock Springs, Wyoming.

We made it to the town of Pinedale (pop 2,030) and stopped for lunch outside of their library and used the fast free unsecured internet there...thanks Pinedale! Using our BearExtender WiFi Booster and Range Extender antenna we had no problem connecting from the comfort of our motorhome. Nice!

This farm truck pulled up, and Ruth noticed these three dogs on the back of the deck. They weren't attached to anything, and they stayed right where they were while the driver left and came back. 

After we were finished at the library, we stopped at a Napa Auto parts store. Sherman's wiper blades have been deteriorating quickly, and we needed some new ones. They're not a popular version though, and I would have been surprised if they had them in stock. Sure enough they didn't, however the guy offered to order them and have them shipped to the Jackson store for pickup this morning. Good service. So we went ahead and ordered them and now that we're in Jackson we should be picking them up in an hour or so.

Just outside of Pinedale we started getting closer to the mountains.

I love the mountains. Even with snow on them!

Watch for wildlife crossing the highway!

Heading into the mountains.

The road between Pinedale and Jackson is really scenic.

The river is really flowing with lots of spring runoff.

We made it into Jackson at about 3:30pm. It's a really busy tourist town. And at this time of year there aren't many tourists so I would hate to be here when it's busy!

The only reason we're here is to pick up an Amazon package that I had ordered. Again, I had it shipped "General Delivery" and again the system worked perfectly. My package was waiting at the post office. Sherman needed a new fresh water pump, and the local RV dealers wanted $120. Even Camping World wanted $123, or $87 if you ordered it online.

Amazon shipped it for free, and with no taxes. Total cost $60.95!!

So if you need a new pump, or just want to carry around a spare, this is a great deal...


It poured buckets of rain for about a half an hour while we were at the post office. Then, it was time to try and find an overnight spot. This town is not RV friendly for overnighting. "No overnight parking" and "No camping" signs everywhere. They obviously have had a problem during busy season, but I think they should lighten up in the off season. I even went to the Napa store and asked them because we'd be picking up our wiper blades this morning anyhow, but really, their parking area was tight as it was and they said no. They also said their town is "run by a bunch of yuppies" and that's why there are so many restrictions. Yep, could be.

If you're wanting to visit this area, the cheapest camping and boondocking is located in the National Forest areas around Jackson and Yellowstone. More expensive in the parks themselves. Also, boondocking in the National Forests in this area is only allowed from the end of Labor Day weekend until April 30th. During busy season, you can only overnight in organized campgrounds.

Anyhow, we headed north about 9 miles to the Jackson Hole airport.

Saw some bison along the way.

They sure are funny lookin' animals.

At the entrance road to the airport, there was a tiny sign showing a tent with an X through it. We assumed that this meant "no tent camping at the side of the road". When we got to the airport, there were no restriction signs at all, only signs saying that you had to buy a permit to park overnight, and that permit was $10. Okay, so we bought a permit. Not ideal, but at least we had fast free airport wifi that we could pickup from inside the motorhome. Not ideal, but not bad.

Sherman, parked up at Jackson Hole Airport.

We followed the rules, and bought a $10 permit from the machine.

Around 10:00pm, just as we're thinking about hitting the sack, we get a knock on the door.

The guy introduces himself as Eric from airport security, and immediately says that "There's no camping allowed here and you'll have to leave".

I tell him, "We're not camping. Just parking overnight, as the sign says, and we've paid our $10 fee. If we were camping, you would see our lawn chairs and awning out, and we would be having a campfire."

I think he saw a little bit of humor there, and Ruth explained that we would soon be turning out the lights and that we would leave first thing in the morning. We also explained that we had an impossible time in town trying to find somewhere to overnight, and that this was a last resort. 

He said that we could probably have parked in one of the park turnouts at this time of year and that the police "Usually" wouldn't bother you. I didn't like the use of the word "usually".

Anyhow, Eric said that we seemed like nice folks and he understood our situation and we were okay for the night. Thanks for enforcing the rules with some common sense Eric!

And so we spent the night, but we left as soon as we woke up. Now, we're back in town and waiting for our wiper blades to be ready for pickup at the Napa store.

Today, we're heading west into Idaho (another new state for us!) because the direct route north into Yellowstone isn't open for the season yet. It's only a short detour though, and I think I found us a decent looking overnight spot in the National Forest a couple of miles outside of the park entrance. Hopefully it goes a little smoother for us tonight!

Yesterday's drive, 233 miles (373 kms).


18 comments:

  1. East of Yellowstone a few years back, I found a boondock site just inside the neighboring NF, but the local "good ole boys" seemed to get a real kick out of honking their horns and shouting epithets in the middle of the night. Their feeling was, "If you ain't payin', you ain't stayin'." I found the same attitude outside Glacier NP in Montana.

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    1. Some people have no consideration for others! So far we have had lots of peace and quiet, I would hate to be here at the busy time of year though.

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  2. I'm amazed at how you have time to do all that driving and also figure out where you are going to camp. Your pictures of this leg of your travels are just beautiful. Well not the airport ones so much. . Hope it's Ruth I'm complimenting since I assume you were driving.

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    1. Yes, most of today's pics were taken by Ruth!

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  3. Thats cutting it pretty close on the fuel, the closest we came was we put 73 gallons in a 75 gallon tank, Now we don't let it get that low anymore.

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    1. We probably had about the same amount left in the tank s well. The only reason we stalled was that at the stop light the gas sloshed to the other end of the tank, still it was a little too close for comfort.

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  4. Not sure if you already passed it, but there is a little scenic route loop starting in Ashton. It is (Hwy. 47) that goes back into Hwy 20 after about 15 miles or so. On this scenic route (47) you can see the spectacular Mesa Falls. It is beautiful & I highly recommend it if you have the time to stop. There is an outlook on the upper falls.

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    1. Unfortunately we had but only just! I noticed this little bypass on the map just on the north side of Ashton, we looked for the road but soon realized that the bypass must have started in town and by that time Kevin didn't want to retrace our steps so we continued on. Now, we are really regretting that we didn't return back to town and take the bypass. We will remember that next time we are in the area. Thanks for thinking of us Lori.

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  5. A long time ago, I traveled where you are traveling now. And I found joy blogging about it, as you find joy in blogging now.

    George

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    1. I remember reading about your adventures here George, and how much you enjoyed the area. We really wish we had more time here but will hopefully return again in the fall.

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  6. This time of year, most of the forest service campgrounds (higher elevations) aren't open yet. May 15th is their usual opening target date.

    We cut it close like that just once and did NOT like it ... too stressful. We like getting the best (cheapest) gas price we can, but we're willing to pony up and pay two cents/gal more for the peace of mind! Glad you got gas when you did!! Be careful, tho.

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    1. We are finding that out. Some of the National Forests will allow dispersed camping after Labor Day up until April 30th but not all the Nat'l Forests allow this, just another thing to check out whenever anyone is in this area between those times.

      I think we have only had this happen once before that we got this close. It's not so bad when you are close to gas stations but if you are in the middle of nowhere then it be a big problem and we would never let it happen in that case.

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  7. I think we come close at once on any long trip. But, like you, we know our limits.

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    1. Yep, that is the main thing, knowing your limits. Again, if we were driving in the middle of nowhere then we wouldn't let ourselves get that close.

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  8. Just outside of Jackson before you get to the airport is Gros Ventre National Park....$11 for seniors.
    http://www.nps.gov/grte/planyourvisit/campgrounds.htm

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    1. Thanks Rick...but Gros Ventre Campground doesn't open until early May. Plus...we're not seniors...

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  9. Ruth and Kevin! Thank you for the incredible pictures! I have been following your blog for awhile and really enjoy seeing an area of the US that I haven't been it. Plus I really enjoy your travels outside the US and Canada. I'm not into camping, even with an RV, so it's all very interesting to me. Stay safe! Kay

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    1. You re welcome Kay, so glad that you are enjoying our adventures. Hopefully then, with our travels outside of the U.S., Canada and Mexico, we might be able to entice you to get out there and travel some of the other interesting areas in the world. :-)

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