On Friday we drove to Jackson Hole. It was a long drive because the road between Old Faithful and West Thumb was closed for repairs. Therefore, we had to detour about 50 miles through Norris and Canyon to get to West Thumb and the South Entrance to Yellowstone. That meant passing the site of our off road experience earlier in the week.
It also enable me (Paul) to visit West Thumb, where I worked in the summers of 1968-69. This is always a nostalgic stop. West Thumb village was razed after my summer of 69 and the facilities moved a few miles south to Grant Village. However, the historic ranger station and the geyser basin remain. The boardwalks around the hotpots and geysers have changed several times since my summers here. The geyser basin’s changes are as substantial as those of the manmade environment. West Thumb basin has cooled considerably in 45 years, but in recent years there seems to be some new hot spots to the north of the basin. It is very interesting for me to see my old friend change.
We dropped down from Yellowstone through the south entrance into Jackson Hole with bright sunshine showing the way. Friday afternoon was spent casually driving down Jackson Hole, stopping to take photos and do some walking, and enjoying the day. We knew it was to be our last good weather for a while. Since then we have been in clouds with alternating rain, snow, thunder and lightning, and very briefs sun breaks. Today it is snowing, but the temps are high enough that it isn’t sticking down here in the valley.
The weather has given us the motivation to visit art galleries in Jackson, of which there are many. Art here is western focused, wildlife focused, and quite expensive. The quality varies a great deal. The star of the show is the National Museum of Wildlife Art. Their collection of wildlife art spanning over 200 years is wonderful. We highly recommend this as a stop if you are in the area.
Tomorrow we head toward Denver, but will stop in Rawlins Wyoming overnight. We’re hoping for dry and snow-free roads.