Wouldn’t you know, today is the first day since my arrival that I woke up to clearing skies, sunshine and a federal government shutdown. All the entrances to the park have been blockaded and the campgrounds told to boot everybody out. I figured I would head up Route 89/191 and would at least be able to watch for moose around the oxbow area and north past Colter Bay, and be able to get some nice landscape shots of the Tetons from that vantage point. On the internet it was noted that the highway through the park was kept open during the last shutdown in 1995, though all the access roads into the park from this route were blocked off.
However, I was forcefully told by a park ranger that there would be NO travel on these state roads during this shutdown.
After being turned around by the rangers at the Moran entrance to Grand Teton National Park, I encountered a large herd of bison and stopped to take some shots. These guys were part of a large herd of at least 200 animals and they seemed to be moving north towards Yellowstone with a purpose. This could well have been a scene from the old west.
Heading back towards the Gros Ventre campground I came upon a couple of pronghorn bucks traveling separately along the edge of the woods by the Gros Ventre River.
When they got within 30 feet of each other, they squared off and began a pretty serious skirmish that finally ended with one chasing the other out of the meadow they were in.
After grabbing lunch at the motorhome, and with the park now out of bounds, I decided to go back through Jackson, up over the Teton Pass on Route 22 to Victor, Idaho, take Route 31 south from there to Route 26 east along the Snake River and the Palisades Reservoir, then to complete the loop, 89 to 191/189 north back to Jackson. An interesting ride ( note to self and other RV’ers, be advised that Route 22 up and over the Teton Pass is not one I would want to attempt with my motorhome, a very long steep grade ) through rich Idaho farmland, scenic canyons, and the Snake River Valley.
I found some surprisingly colorful foliage enroute in the area of the palisades reservoir.
Along with this abandoned farmhouse. Made it home just before dark, and though it turned out to be a little longer day trip than I had anticipated, I do believe it was worth the trip.