From Turpin Meadow to Jackson

Well hello world…it’s been awhile. We’ve been without an internet connection since we left Dubois, WY on Tuesday morning. Our cell service returned yesterday when we arrived in the Teton National Park, but with only 2 or 3 bars of extended, we wern’t able to get online. Until now. As I write this we’re hanging out at a very cool library in Jackson, sucking up the Internet and catching up on work/emails/research/blogging.

Turpin Meadow
Landscaping outside the Teton County Library

Everything in this town is cool. And judging by the amount of people and cars clogging up the downtown streets, we aren’t the only ones who think so. The public park has not one, not two, not three, but four antler arches gracing the various entrances to the park.

Turpin Meadow
Welcome to Jackson (or Jackson Hole-the town is called by both names)
Turpin Meadow
Under the antlers

We walked around the town for a bit and had lunch at a second story pizza place overlooking the streets below.

Turpin Meadow
Second story dinning
Turpin Meadow
Pesto Pollo pizza!

The streets of Jackson are overflowing with art galleries and western themed clothing stores, but my favorite place was this little garden shop that we spotted down a side street. Too bad it wasn’t open.

Turpin Meadow
See the kitty by the railing?

I’m getting ahead of myself though- way ahead. Let’s back up to Tuesday and a single track, winding five mile dirt road that took us to the Turpin Meadow Campground. Turns out there was another way to get there that would have only meant a three tenths of mile drive on the dirt road, but what can I say, we like an adventure.

Turpin Meadow
Arriving at the campground
Turpin Meadow
Dirty, dirty airstream & yes, some of this dirt did sneak its way inside.

Turpin Meadows is a small 18 site forest service campground with no amenities, but lots of privacy and isolation. The price was right too at only $10 a night. We picked a nice site among the Lodgepole Pines and squeezed our way in.

Turpin Meadow
Among the Pines

This place is located about 30 miles east of the Teton National Park on the very southern edge of the Teton Wilderness. In addition to the campground there was also an Outfitters site where horses and pack animals take hunters and those seeking adventure out into the back country. The constant coming and going of horses and people made for some good entertainment way out in the middle of nowhere.

Turpin Meadow
Hoses and pack animals at the end of a long day

What did we do way out in the wilderness with not a speck of cell phone or internet service? Well…we hiked in the meadow and found some stunning late summer wildflowers.

Turpin Meadow
Carduus nutans or Bristle Thistle
Turpin Meadow
Couldn’t find the name of this one- but I loved it!

We took Phin down to the Buffalo Fork river for a swim.

Turpin Meadow
Tall Tim & wet Phin

We tried to gaze at the mountains in the distance, but smoke from wildfires in Montana completely obscured our views.

Turpin Meadow
If you look closely you can just make out the outline of the jagged peaks in the distance. Without the smoke this must be an amazing view.

I started another sewing project.

Turpin Meadow
Sewing in the forest

And we had a fire to take the chill out of the night air. At around 6,000 ft elevation the nights were a bit chilly. The first night it went down to the low 50s. This is quite a change from hot & humid Minnesota.

Turpin Meadow
Our carefully contained fire. The fire danger around here is at extreme high level and we don’t want to be responsible for the next wildfire!

After two nights we left the solitude of the forest and headed into the national park. If you’ve never visited the Tetons, put it on your list of places to go right now. With no foothills to soften the transition from meadow to mountain these jagged rocky peaks seem to magically rise out of the earth. As you can see the lingering smoke obscures the mountain view, but does not take away from the stark beauty of this wild mountain range.

Turpin Meadow
The Tallest peak on the left is Grand Teton which rises to 13,776 feet above sea level.

We are staying at the Signal Mountain Campground on the east side of Jackson lake. With only 86 sites this is one of the smaller campgrounds in the park that allows RV. No hook ups, but we are perfectly able to be self sufficient for a few days. Colter Bay is the only campground in the park with hookups, and not only is it unappealing because it has 350 sites, but it also costs $57 a night- ouch! Signal Lake was a great choice for us because with the lake nearby we were able to take our crazy water loving dog swimming (twice yesterday).

Turpin Meadow
Phin in the Tetons
Turpin Meadow
Tim looks at the mountains & Phin looks at Tim anxiously awaiting a rock throw.
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Could he be any happier?

This is more of a tenting campground than an RV spot, which means the sites are small and the campground road is very narrow. The limit for RV size is 30′ for good reason. We arrived around 10 and found a spot that we fit into, but had to wedge the truck diagonal and sideways to get it out of the road. Among the many tenters we spotted a few pop up trailers, and few pull behinds our size & one monstrous 5th wheel that somehow squeezed into a spot. Another reason why we are happy to have a 25′ trailer is because it means we can go to places like this. No pics of our site yet to share, but we are staying another 2 nights before heading north into Yellowstone, so they’ll be plenty of time for that. Tomorrow we have a boat ride and hike planned. Hopefully some wildlife sighting as well. We looked on the drive down to Jackson, but not an animal in sight. Oh well, maybe tomorrow. As I mentioned at the beginning, our Interent connection is unusable at our site (at least 5 min to load one page) so not sure when the next blog post will come, but I promise more pictures of mountains and lakes.

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A space saving salad spinner. Both the bowl and stainer collapse for storage. The bowl also doubles as a large mixing bowl.

$16.00

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