5-1406900070-7-jpg-1Each of our trips involves a significant amount of planning. Driving time is scheduled. Destination time is scheduled, and even freestyle time is scheduled.  By the time we had headed out of Idaho, we had earned one freestyle day out of a total of 5 scheduled for the whole trip.  Don’t laugh.  This is simply the way that it has to be to cover as much ground as we do in the shortest time.  Freestyle days are adjustments to the regularly scheduled program. If we find a place we absolutely love we can stay longer than we planned. Conversely if we are not happy where we are we can leave early and earn more free time.  Flaming River Gorge was a spot where we picked up 2 freestyle days.

The destination was Firehole Canyon Campground in the Flaming River Gorge Recreation area in Wyoming.

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.En route we stopped in Jackson, Wyoming.  Jackson was a cool resort town with everything you would expect from a western ski town. Overpriced tourist shops pretentious restaurants, and a lot of dudes with trendy beards and hot girlfriends.

We ate lunch at a place we found from the Diners Drive Inns and Dives website .  Hunter had a really great Ramen noodle bowl and Colby had some kick ass mac and cheese.  Kristi and I settled for fried chicken and a Cuban sandwich.  All of it was  great. When in Jackson Wyoming, go to Café Genevieve. You will not be disappointed.

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The commute to and from our campsite into Jackson was a bit of an issue.  There was a major accident. The road was closed for 30 minutes at a time. Through the game of telephone from those closer to the accident site we learned the morbid details of the crash while we were parked on the highway.  Up ahead 6 miles 2 motorcycles collided with oncoming traffic in a horrific scene.  Unlike the previous fictional tale that I told you, this one was real, and I will spare you the details. All I will say is that as I passed the accident scene and saw the bikes on the ground and the car that they hit I was immediately filled with a deep sadness. Someone’s father/brother/husband was now gone and they would be receiving a terrible phone call shortly.

 

.Back safely at the RV we started the obligatory campfire and settled in for the night.  I found myself alone for a long time contemplating life and what I had seen by the light of the fire and the glow of the moon.  It is a short life that we live and it could be made even shorter at any moment.  Even more reason to continue our adventures regardless of the price, time, or circumstances that try to get in the way.  A man is not measured by the time in his life, but rather by the life in his time.

The next day we soldiered on towards Flaming River Gorge, Wyoming.  You may wonder where I come up with such destinations.  Well, I will tell you. Many of these spots have been suggested by my friend Lolo.  Lolo is a mom and wife who much like us spent many years doing cross country trips with her two young sons and husband. She blogged the whole time and eventually accumulated 10 years of trips. It is her blog that not only gives me inspiration, but also suggestions for great destinations.

Firehole Canyon Campground was her suggestion. She had been there in 2003 with her boys who at the time were the same age as mine.

 

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She had great pictures of everyone frolicking in the water and fishing. The backdrop of the buttes and red cliffs were awesome.  I could not wait to get there. We had scheduled 3 days to soak in the beauty of this place.  The drive in did not disappoint. The campground was as beautiful as the pictures. However after we found our site, I quickly noticed a problem. There was a giant 6 foot chain link fence separating us from the lake! I did not see that in Lolo’s blog!  Over the past 11 years some genius in Wyoming government decided that direct access to fresh water may be dangerous to people with allergies to water.  The solution of course was a 2 mile chain link fence as opposed to a warning sign for those who may be allergic to water. This sucked!  The setting was great, but the location was all about the water. Without direct access to it there was no reason to stay.  Kristi was desperate to do laundry at this point in the trip and there were no facilities for 40 miles.  I am so proud of my wife. She immediately went into old school mode and broke out a wash bucket and started scrubbing clothes.  The dry air and hot sun dried everything quickly. I swear the whole process was at least an hour quicker than any laundry trip she has done in any commercial campground.  Don’t judge! It’s not sexist! I drive, she does laundry. It is simply a division of labor. We all enjoyed one night under the stars at Flaming River Gorge and hit the road towards Colorado early the next morning.