On Our Way West

Dan and Betty with the camper in the background

This post is not about Pentwater. I mean, can you believe it? You’d think I worked for the Pentwater Tourism board with how much I post about the place. However, it is time to say Goodbye to Pentwater and get ready for our next adventure!

Due to planning – or rather – more how the planning played out, we had just five days at home after Pentwater before heading west for our big Grand Tetons/Yellowstone trip.The way it worked out, we had to drive four days straight in order to arrive on Day 1 of our coveted reservation in Colter Bay RV park in Grand Teton National Park.

As a side note, I swore when we went to Jupiter, Florida three plus years ago, that I was not going to schedule that many driving days in a row. I am still committed to that philosophy. However, when you win the great mouse click race, you take the prize you get. Even if it means driving four days in a row.

This post is a description of our route and daily distance from St. Charles, MO to our campsite in Colter Bay. The posts that follow will describe our days in these most famous – the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone – National Parks.

Day 1 – St. Charles, MO to Nebraska City, NE

395 miles. Here we stayed at Hidden Falls Cabins and RV Park. It was a nice enough place.

Day 2 – Nebraska City, NE to Ogallala, NE

322 miles. Here we stayed at the KOA. Again, it was fine.

Day 3 – Ogallala, NE to Rawlins, WY

315 miles. Another KOA in Rawlins – which was fine. However, after three days of driving and two nights of spaghetti for dinner, we decided to walk to a nearby restaurant. The restaurant’s name was the “County 6 Bar and Grill.” I think the “6” refers to how many items are on the menu – with a hamburger and a cheeseburger counting as two. Also, two different sizes of rib-eye steak count as another two. Add in a flat iron steak and a Bob Steak sandwich, and you got your six. No matter. It wasn’t spaghetti, so we were happy.

In the morning, we were ready to hit the road again, just like this classic car at the campground.

Class blue car on a trailer in the KOA campground.
KOA in Rawlins, WY

Day 4 – Rawlins, WY to Colter Bay in Grand Teton National Park and GTNP – Day 1

266 miles. We had finally arrived.

After months of planning, four days of driving, 1,298 miles and $718 in gas, we had arrived. In Grand Teton National Park.

Our first stop in the park was at the Colter Bay gas station. As soon as I stepped out of the car, I was instantly smitten as the air smelled of fresh pine trees. Every so often, during our days at Grand Teton, I’d catch a whiff of this natural scent. I loved it.

Next, we headed to our campground.

Our campsite in Colter Bay RV Park
Colter Bay RV Park

The Colter Bay RV Park campground is nestled among the park’s forest of lodgepole pines. Every campsite is a pull through complete with full hook ups.

After getting all set up, we walked over to the information area and signed up for the next day to take a four hour tour of Grand Teton National Park. After four days of driving, it sounded quite nice to have someone else drive us around the park. A rafting excursion was also offered, and while we did not choose that, it did sound like a wonderful possibility.

After dinner in our camper, we noticed a small path through the trees. We followed it and found ourselves right across a parking lot from the park’s amphitheater. There, we attended a top notch ranger program about elk. Our evening was an informative and entertaining presentation of the details of elk mating given by a very animated national park ranger. The program was absolutely delightful.

National Park Ranger
Colter Bay Amphitheater

After the program, we made the short walk back to the trailer, tired and so happy. It had been a good day, and we were anxious to see and do more. Dan set the alarm clock in his head, so we could get up and be on time for our guided tour the following morning.

There’s room for one more, if you’d like to come along.

53 comments

  1. Quite a trip. I’m so glad you got to go. That many miles each day will sure wear you out but the reward in the end was spectacular. You had a really nice site. Like you we also try to find tours so that we can become familiar with the area we are in. Have a great day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Our site in Grand Tetons was really nice. We were fortunate to be the last one on an outside row. It was spacious, and it was by the trees. I do like to take the tours at a new place. The guides are very knowledgeable and often give tips for places to see later. The miles were a lot. I would have liked to have taken more days and see what was around each stop for a day or two. However, when I made the reservations, there was one block open at Yellowstone, so I grabbed it. Still, we were glad to have this trip. Hope you have a good week!

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    • Thank you, Terry! This was the first time we started another trip before I had finished the previous trip’s posts. And it drove me crazy! I decided I had to write the posts in chronological order. It helped me to write short notes for each day and also to make a list of posts to write. We’re home for a month, so I should be able to get caught up. I am so glad you are a reader of my blog. I always appreciate your enthusiasm and positive outlook! Hope you have a great week!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I know all about back to back trips and having 4 days to regroup. But it sounds like you are having a wonderful time and it has been worth it. I am going to share this post with my husband so he can see how many miles you traveled each day, where you camped overnight, etc. I assume your spaghetti dinners were cooked in the RV? Can you leave the RV attached to your vehicle, or do you have to unhook it for the nights en route?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, Meg. It was worth it. Dan makes a batch of spaghetti at home before we leave. Then, on travel days, he just heats up some in the microwave for our dinner. We add a salad or peaches, and we’re good. If we are just there for an overnight stop, we leave the travel trailer hooked up to our vehicle. Also, if we stay somewhere for a few days where we did unhook, we often hook up the night before we leave. That just makes things a bit easier in the morning when we are trying to get out of there. I like Dan’s “rule” of about 300 miles. We get to our campsite usually around 3. This allows us to get set up in the day, avoid rush hour traffic, and take a nice walk. Thanks for your comment, and enjoy your day!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I really liked Grand Teton, too. Maybe even more than Yellowstone. Our travel trailer is a 2019 Micro Lite 23FBKS. We bought it new and are on our 4th year with it. It’s been great. Good quality. It has a Murphy Bed which Dan puts up and down in about 10 seconds. It has a dinette which we wanted since we like to play games. I don’t think they make that exact model anymore, but the new models are very close. It is a couples trailer. We’ve looked at new ones (like when we get ours serviced), and I have not seen one I like better. So, yes, we do love it. I wrote a review of it a while back. Just in case you are interested: https://chambersontheroad.com/2021/01/16/review-of-our-micro-lite/ Any other questions, I am happy to answer if I can. Thanks for your comment, and enjoy your day!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Well, Dan did the driving. We have a Costco card, so we do get cash back for the gas. At least that’s what we keep telling ourselves. 🙂 Hotel rooms in that area are outrageous, so comparatively, the gas isn’t too bad. The car – I’ll tell you what I know. It’s blue. Hope you have a great week!

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    • I am glad you’ll be along. I think you got the last spot! 😉 I really did like Grand Teton NP and look forward to writing the posts. When I was debating how to handle posting (since we were starting a new trip, and I hadn’t finished the first trip’s posts yet), you made a comment – “I like to go in order and if I’m behind, so be it.” Or something along those lines. That comment struck a chord with me. And that’s when I decided, I am not posting out of order. So, thanks for your thoughts. Hope you have a great week!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve looked forward to your national park posts, Betty. You could make a trip to the dentist sound exciting!

    Your pictures are also thought provoking. For instance, the lovely park ranger looks like she’s in mid sentence when you took the photo. I wonder what she was saying❓

    Yes, over $700 is a lot to spend on gas. But of you want to play gotta pay!

    I can’t wait for your next installment.😀

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    • Thank you, David. I appreciate your encouraging support. The park ranger was so enthusiastic! I’m not surprised I caught her talking. She was probably describing some elk behavior. $700 is a lot for gas. However, I went to the website to see how much one night at Jackson Lake Lodge cost (right down the road from our campsite). Rooms start at $394. This is why I put a Dollar Tree decal over a stain on a shirt. 🙂 I like to be careful with money, so I can spend it on what really matters to me. One of those things is seeing this beautiful country. But you already knew that. Hope you have a wonderful week!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh how exciting I have been looking forward to these posts! I have never been to either park but my siblings and I have been talking about having one of our SibSabs at Yellowstone. I can’t wait to read about all of the things y’all see and do.

    When I read your mileage and cost at the beginning of your post, I wondered with your proclivity towards math calculations if you determined your per mile gas cost (there’s that double nickel again). I guess pulling a trailer really eats that up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi David. Thanks for your support! Hopefully, my posts will helpful to you and give you an idea or two should you have a SibSab at Yellowstone. It definitely is God’s country! I only figured the total cost in gas, and I do have that for the whole trip. However, I didn’t figure per mile gas cost. Maybe we really don’t want to know. 🙂 Gas prices did go down a bit during our trip, so we were glad for that. Even with the cost of gas, I love traveling in our Micro Lite. I have a lot to catch up on, but I am going to take my time and do the best I can with each post. Hope you have a great day!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Looks like a nice place to go. I’ve never been past Wyoming. Love that blue car! I like Dan’s idea of 300 miles a day. Last time I drove the 8 hours straight from my dad’s. Toooooo long. We usually split it and do 4 hours one day, 4 hours the next. I’ll keep that 300 miles in mind next time. Pretty pictures.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan’s idea of limiting the miles is because pulling a travel trailer can be tiring. He doesn’t want to be one bit tired. I like the fact that we can get somewhere and still take a nice walk. But I agree – I would not want to drive for 8 hours straight either! Thanks for your comments, and I hope you have a great week!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. That’s a lot of miles. With only six items on the list, I’d guess those dishes were pretty good. I mean, after all, you can only eat one. Good Post! Looking forward to hearing more about your trip.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Linda! I am glad you are along. I certainly understand being in catch-up mode. It just means you out there living life! And that’s a good thing! Hope you have a good week!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Your trip is very exciting. I can’t wait to hear more about it. Those were long days but it got you where you wanted to be. Very nice. I am so glad you came upon the ranger talk. It is nice to hear what they say and then ask where they suggest we go. I also like to ask the campground hosts where their favorite place to eat is and what they like to do. We have been given great insight into local areas.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are exactly right. I always make a point of talking with the park rangers. I have always found them to be so passionate and knowledgeable. However, I hadn’t thought much about campground hosts. I like your suggestions to ask about a place to eat and things to do. I can think of one time when talking with a campground host, and he did make an excellent suggestion for a place to visit. Thanks for your comment!

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  8. So glad you took us along, but I’m exhausted from all those early rises and miles driven! 🙂 Seriously, you’re taking in some great destinations. I’d love to know more about elk — a fascinating creature if there ever was one (sorely underrated!). – Marty

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ditto on the 300 miles per day rule! We’re planning a long trip in October to leave the trailer stored in warmer weather for the winter. We’ll see how our idea pans out…
    Colter Bay is a great campground. I’m excited to hear all about your adventures!

    Liked by 1 person

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