National Parks

Grand Teton National Park Part 2

We checked out of Buffalo Fireside RV campsite and made our way to our next campsite – headwaters at Flagg Ranch, just outside Grand Teton National Park but inside John D Rockefeller Memorial Parkway and a mile South of Yellowstone National Park. What a fantastic location. Highly recommend this place. Nestled amongst trees, the distance between each campsite is decent, the trees buffer out a lot of the noise. There were log cabins, tent and RV sites intermingled amongst each other. The facilities were basic but decent, with a small gas station and convenience store in walkable distance.

Our Flagg Ranch campsite
We painted a picture in Aviana’s window

The next day we decided to have a day ‘at home’. No driving anywhere. The day before, as we were driving to our next campsite, Aviana told us that she wanted to go home. It came out of no where really. It made us sad and realized that she was missing all her things and friends. So taking an ‘at home’ day was mostly about chilling out with Aviana.

Aviana learning how to roast a marshmallow
Gluten free s’mores!

It was also the first day of ‘home school’. We have planned Montessori lessons for the next few months Monday to Friday, no more than 30 minutes a day, led by her. The themes planned for each week are mostly around the subjects of the places we will be visiting. So this week the theme is flowers and plants, introducing what earth is, it’s layers and what geysers and volcanoes are (because of course, we are heading to Yellowstone!). Aviana enjoyed homeschooling during lockdown, but her teachers did a 20 minute video and we prepared the lesson materials the day before. It was a lot of work for us, but it showed us how Aviana thrives on learning new things.

Art – Pushpin art
Science lesson – Land, air and water
Motor skills lesson – Cleaning dirty cars (get it??!! )
Language lesson

We took a quick bike ride from our campsite to snake river a few miles away, we discovered an incredible campsite for boondocking. Although the road on the map says no trailers/RVs, we could easily get to this campsite to boondock at campsite 1. You would have to be lucky to snag a site as they are not reservable and you probably also need a permit as it is technically backcountry.

A perfect place to boondock

On our day back in Grand Teton National park we headed to Jackson Dam (thanks to Frozen 2 Aviana is inquiring over Dams). It was pretty, but once you’ve seen something like the Hoover Dam, it’s nothing in comparison. We headed to Colter Bay for a 2 mile hike along ‘lakeshore trail’. We found about .5 of a mile in a gorgeous spot for bathing in the lake. Aviana loved splashing around in the water, the weather was perfect and the view SPECTACULAR!!! Does it get much better than this? I asked how we can beat this for the rest of our trip? Had we peaked too soon??!!

Off we hike around the lakeshore
Our view for lunch – spoilt much?

Eventually after taking lunch on the shore we packed up to complete the rest of our two mile hike. Aviana stayed in the carrier for the rest of the hike. She was not in the mood for walking, but that was OK because she is still just about tolerable to carry on my back (she’s over 32lbs). It’s hard work carrying her in the soft structured carrier when going uphill. Especially when she wants to snooze!! Overall a pleasant hike to finish up our stay at the Grand Teton National Park.

It should be noted that internet access has been extremely limited during our stay at the park – which has had its pluses and minuses. We are anticipating it to be just as bad when we head to Yellowstone for a week. So these blog posts may all come at once!!

The Road Trip

Panic!

Chris received an email from the people we were planning to boondock and store our trailer with for a week whilst we camp at Yellowstone National Park. They said ‘sorry something came up we have to cancel’. That was it. Aghhhhh it’s July, peak season at Yellowstone, even with COVID-19 when we were booking in April everywhere was seemingly full. We were lucky to score this free boondocking camp site through ‘boondockers welcome’. We also had the challenge of almost zero internet and just 7 days to find somewhere to stay for two nights as well as store our trailer for 5 nights.

Oh did I tell you it was peak season….at YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK!!! This place attracts up to 30 000 visitors a day at old faithful alone. Yes, think I may have mentioned this.

Oh bugger.

Chris called around some campsites and found out there was somewhere we could leave our RV on some chamber of commerce land. But every time he tried to email them the internet stopped. But then he found another boondocking location to the north of Yellowstone. It took a while for the site owner to reply and she said it was possible for us to stay!!! Woohoo!!! The small ask the owner had was on the second night we wouldn’t be able to wander the property because they had guests. We can cope with that limitation 🙂

Keep your fingers crossed this doesn’t fall through for us!