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The drive from New Mexico to Wyoming, Part 1: Finally getting to Grand Tetons

After leaving my friend in Utah, I headed up towards Wyoming. I got a later start than I wanted, but I was very well rested. Before I could even get out of Utah, though, I came across Bridal Veil Waterfall, on the side of Hwy 189. As it turns out, there are actually several Bridal Veil Falls in our country, but this one was right along the road with plenty of view points and no charge. There was a bit of traffic and people going to the Falls. I chose not to hike down to them, simply due to time constraints, but hope to go back in the future and make that hike. I did, though, get some wonderful shots of the falls.

Here is the information sign from the falls:

The falls were beautiful, but so was the scenery around the falls, so I had to get pictures of them, too. The rocks in this area were just amazing.

I finally tore myself away from Bridal Veil Falls and headed out again. About an hour up the road, in Coalville, UT, the road passed by Echo Reservoir. Though the water was low due to a drought, it was still beautiful, so I took some more photos.

I left there and headed north and finally reached Wyoming! Not too long after crossing the state line, I stopped at the Bear River Rest Area. And there, much to my joy, were the first Buffalo (Bison)! I fell in love with Bison when on my first trip out West with the UGA Honors program geology trip. We were given stern lectures about not approaching wild animals, and especially the Bison. There were signs in the park that showed a Bison throwing a person, no words, just that. Yet, on one of the boardwalks we went on, there was a big bull, just sitting by the boardwalk close enough for us to reach out and touch it (we did not). I was besotted. I had teased my co-workers before leaving that I was going to steal a baby Bison and bring it back to be our dispatch pet (I am a 911 dispatcher when I am not taking photos or writing). Of course, I was just joking, but there it was, a Mama Bison with her Baby Bison! I had to get pictures of them and sent to my coworkers saying I had found a baby to steal. Please note: I would never in my life do such a thing, but it is fun to tease them about it. Anyway, here are the photos:

You can tell in the photos above the vast difference between my camera photos and the one photo from my phone. The camera is so much better. The rest stop also had a covered wagon, of course.

With a happy place inside due to seeing the Bison, I headed back North towards Grand Teton and my son, my excitement growing the closer I got. Now, I do want to note that I was warned that when driving out West that I needed to fill up my gas tank as soon as I hit a half tank. Well, in my excitement to get to my son, I did not get gas when I should have. I was about two hours out of Yellowstone when I realized that I was dangerously low on gas and had no idea where the next gas station was. Fortunately, I was using Google Maps and still had service (something that would come into play once I got to the National Parks). There was a gas station not too far away, so I went there. The name of the gas station was Elkhorn Bar & Trading Post, one of the combination businesses that seem to be popular out West possibly due to the limited population and large spaces between populated areas (very few big name stores except in the larger cities, unlike here in Georgia). I knew that my dogs were also probably desperate, so I went inside and asked if I could walk my dogs on the far side of the parking lot, near Garden Creek. The female inside was very nice and agreed, so I happily took my dogs out over there. It was amazing, the mountains, the clear air (well, except the thin layer of smoke from the fires further West), the creek nearby, it was Heaven! After walking the dogs a bit, and resisting the urge to remove my socks and shoes and dip into the creek, I pulled out my camera and took some pictures of this place. If you are ever driving through Bondurant, Wyoming, I strongly suggest stopping at the Elkhorn for some refreshment and a walk by the creek.

A little over an hour later, I finally drove into the Grand Tetons National Park. The joy of seeing my son after several months apart keeping me going. Now, I will give you a peek at the mountains, same picture, first in color, second in black and white.

I hope you enjoyed our little trip and my next post will be all the wonderful pictures from the Grand Tetons.

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