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Dad and Kerry's 2003 Trip to British Columbia

Day 1 - From Home to WYOMING

THURSDAY, 14 August 2003

I'm writing from my tent in the KOA Kampground near Hoback Junction, some 14 miles south of Jackson, Wyoming. Dad is in his own tent nearby, "sleeping loudly". He turned in at about 8:45 (or later) and by 9:00 he was out. Amazing.

Dad woke me up at 8:30 at home this morning, thinking that I was just being lazy, I guess. Later on he found out that I went to bed at 4:30, so I only got 4 hours of sleep. That's OK - we really did need to get underway. Sue took Mom along with her [on] the Relief Society temple trip this morning. They were picked up around 9:15, so we had to say our goodbyes in kind of a hurry. After they left, Dad and I went to the State Farm office and bought a 3-month policy for the Pontiac - 2 months of which will get reimbursed when we cancel it within 30 days (after Randy insures it in Arkansas). Then we came home and finished packing.


Dad said a prayer for us and our loved ones, and we were on the road at 10:30.

We got on State Street (U.S. Highway 89) and stayed on it through American Fork. By then we were both tired of stopping at red lights, so rather than staying on 89 a few more miles (to Lehi), we hopped on I-15. We rode up through Salt Lake City, past Bountiful (where a car swerved suddenly into my lane while I was pointing out the temple to Dad - close one!) and Farmington and Ogden, and took the Willard exit [Point #3 on the map above] back onto US 89. We turned right at Brigham City and took 89 to Logan [Map Point #4]. We went up to the temple grounds long enough to take a picture or two,

and then went back "downtown" to have lunch at the old-style McDonald's on Main Street.

We filled up at a Smith's gas station and got back on the road.

Ahhh! Finally...a twisty road! From Logan to Garden City (on Bear Lake) we had not only a curvy river road but some great alpine scenery, including one of my favorites: light green aspen trees next to (or in among) dark green pines. We stopped at an overlook before descending into Garden City, to see the high-up view of Bear Lake. I was hoping to show Dad the incredible blue of the water, but it wasn't the same as 2 years ago. I guess the water is too shallow because of the drought.

At the overlook we spoke with (mostly listened to) a man who pulled up on a trike (3-wheeled motorcycle) with his wife. They were on their way home to Salt Lake City, having just been to Yellowstone and other places. The man offered plenty of "suggestions" about what things we really needed to see - including the Beartooth ... Mountains? ... which is out of our way for this trip. Afterwards Dad pointed out some dark clouds many miles away - to the northeast of the lake.

We wound our way down to Garden City [Map Point #5] and stopped at La Beau's for a pair of LARGE peach shakes. It was plenty hot out, so we ate them in the shade [KJB: under the trees behind the building].

Then we headed north along the lake for 30 miles to Montpelier, Idaho [Map Point #6]. Dad later told me that 5 miles after that [peach] shake he started having a lot of trouble staying awake. He hadn't been noticing the lightning coming from those clouds he had pointed out earlier, and which were now obviously dumping bucketloads of rain directly in front of us. He also hadn't noticed the signs about a detour - a "temporary" US 89 that followed highway 30 southeast out of Montpelier instead of going northeast.

The detour was a blessing in disguise, because it escorted us completely around the storm that we would otherwise have had to go straight through! It was a 30-mile detour, the second half of which was on WY 89. A lot of it was spent going uphill and/or into the wind, and at one point my bike had a fuel-system-related "hiccup". So when I saw some cheap gas in Afton, WY I pulled in even though I'd gone fewer miles than usual. This time Dad had noticed the signs about Afton being the home of Rulon Gardner; I totally missed them. He mentioned it to the young man who worked at the gas station, who promptly pointed out Rulon's mother's house and Rulon's brother (who owns the gas station)! I told the young man about a similar thing that happened in Rome on my mission with Sophia Loren's sister.

We rode the rest of the way through Star Valley and eventually more curvy "river road" along the Snake River. There were several rafts on the river, some burnt-out sections of trees, and neat sights. Around Hoback Junction Dad pointed out the menacing clouds in front of us, and that it would not be nice to try to make camp on a wet site. For some reason I pushed on for several miles but then agreed with him and returned to this KOA. He's NEVER stayed at one before! It's kind of expensive and crowded, so we'll probably stay at a Park Service or Forest Service campground tomorrow.

[We were given a "golf cart tour" around the KOA, and checked out the sites circled on the map below. We ended up choosing site 71A.]


PS - It's been raining since about the time I started writing!

Miles covered today: 332
Total miles covered: 332

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