It wasn't long ago on a chilly, rainy day at the ranch that Steven and I pulled out our apps and maps and began planning our trip back to Washington. Our goal was to be in Bellingham by June 13 for Zoe's graduation from Western Washington University, but everything between the ranch and Bellingham was wide open. We could go anywhere. Oh, the possibilities!
After some boondocking in Utah with Clarke and Elaine, and visiting my cousin in Ogden, we had planned to travel west through Idaho and into Oregon for a slow, month-long meander through the eastern part of the state. But then I happened to mention to Steven that from Ogden, we would be awfully close to the Teton Valley in eastern Idaho and that we could squeeze in a short two-day visit before moving on west. That, we decided, was a no-brainer.
Why the Teton Valley? We own property there. In 2006 we purchased 3.25 acres in Tetonia, ID in the foothills of the Grand Teton mountains. From our little slice of Heaven known officially and affectionately as Lot 5, we have a four-peak view of the Tetons. It's gorgeous. We have always thought someday we might like to build a little "Lobin" on Lot 5 and retire there. A Lobin is half lodge, half cabin. You know, Goldilocks-sized - not too big, not too small. Just right.
In addition to checking in on our property, we were looking forward to visiting the small towns in the valley - Tetonia, Driggs and Victor. It was a lot to take on for a two-day visit, which wasn't nearly enough. At the time, though, two things kept us from planning a longer stay. First, it was April. Last time I was in the Teton Valley in April was 2008 when I took my Mom to see Lot 5. She didn't see much, because the entire region was under five feet of snow. We figured it was just too early in the season to plan a longer stay. You can read about that trip here. Second, the RV park in Tetonia where we had stayed over the years had apparently closed down a few years ago. There wasn't much of an affordable alternative, so two days was it.
But the more I thought about it, the more I wondered why the RV park had closed. It was a great little campground and motel. It just didn't make sense that it would simply close down. So I did a little research, looking back on newspaper articles to see if I could learn anything. There was nothing about the closing, but lo and behold, I found an article indicating that it had been purchased and recently reopened under a new name. YIPPEE!!! We called and made reservations for six days. We arrived in sunny, warm weather, and quickly extended our stay to two weeks. I am not usually very happy when we extend a stay, but this one was my idea. That's how much I love the Teton Valley.
There are plenty of other gorgeous valleys in the foothills of beautiful mountains across the country, but what makes the Teton Valley so special is its proximity to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Those are two gigantic cherries on top of an already stunning sundae and are certainly a huge factor of why we love the valley so much.
The weather for our two week stay was mostly gorgeous sunshine and perfect temperatures. Because of that, we outdid ourselves in the picnic department, traveling to both Yellowstone and Grand Teton NP on numerous occasions just to see what was shaking and have some lunch by the river. It was kind of glorious, actually. And when it was time to leave, we didn't want to go far. We packed up and headed Bakers Hole in West Yellowstone, MT.
As usual, Steven made some beautiful photographs. You can check them out by clicking on each story below.