four years ago today [2012.09.13]
having run out of propane in the middle of the night, with temperatures in the low 20’s, i worried about the water pipes freezing in the camper. i got up at dawn and quickly headed down to a lower elevation where it'd be warmer. there were no issues.. the inside temperature of the camper was probably over freezing from having had the heat on part of the night. on my way out of yellowstone, i saw the sun rising and stopped to explore at a spot where i heard strange animal sounds/calls i had never heard before. leaving yellowstone, i crossed the continental divide and was most of the way to the west coast.
i headed towards the grand tetons and saw it was pretty hazy due to recent fires. i had breakfast when i got there, and went to the visitor center where i talked to a young park ranger about some of the areas to explore. when she told me about one of the trails she’d recently been on, i remember her asking if i knew what to do if i saw a bear.. i think i said “don’t run?” and she gave me other suggestions. i wandered about the park and found some nice lakes with views of the mountains. it was nice to be in warmer temperatures than the night before. it was crazy how much the temperature could change in the mountains. it was in the low 20’s on this morning, when just 2-3 days prior it was 90 degrees, and the following day it’d be 85. i saw more wildlife and on my way out of the park, went looking for the spot where ansel adams created his famous photograph from. i met someone else there who said he thought it was just down a little bit from the overlook where we were.
after leaving the park, i crossed teton pass, a 10% grade climb up to a nearly 1.6 mile elevation.. i only got 5.1 mpg driving up it. i dropped down to 2nd and then 1st gear on the descent, which my truck read as 6 degrees, or a 12% grade.. the engine was loud but i didn’t have to wear down the brakes nor experience the 4 tons of truck and camper quickly accelerating out of control down the winding road. it was good to know my rig could handle the mountain roads, and fun to encounter drives i didn’t know would be part of the adventure.