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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > TR Ironbutt Cannonball run: Grand Teton NP

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Buzzcut1

Norcal

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Posted: 07/31/16 09:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Further

You anticipate, you plan, you pack, and then you play the cards that you get dealt. Grand Teton National Park was our destination. We figure on taking off right after work on Friday and getting a good 6 hour dent in on the drive. Google said it would take around 14 hours , Liars...

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Things did not start off as planned. I finished my shift and the old truck turned over but would not fire up. Ruth had to finish loading the gear and dogs by herself then come get me in “Max”. I left my old truck in the work parking lot and off we rolled.

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We hit traffic, bad traffic Its 216 miles to Sparks Nevada. It took over 5 hours. On the internet is said you could boondock in the Nugget parking lot, well their signs said otherwise but we saw the parking lot security guys and asked for permission. They were really cool and told us where we could park for the night on their lot and not get disturbed and they notified the graveyard crew to not bother us. Very nice of them

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We set off at 7:30 am after 6 hours of sleep. Google said 10 hours, they lied again We rolled in at midnight.. call me Iron Butt

Miles of high desert rolled by with the AC blasting away as it was over 100*

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I had this zombie stare for hours on end
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I was starting to wonder if there really was going to be light at the end of the tunnel
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even the dogs passed out
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Idaho, I don't care what the sign says. 70 is my max comfort level
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Idaho Falls at around 7pm Great box even better pizza...
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We made it in exhausted. Walked the dogs then passed out at around 1am.

So much for recovery time. We had an invite to go kayak the Snake river with friends so I was off to the park office at 8am to get our inspection and permits. Luckily we had to go thought the boat inspection station in Idaho and the park accepted their inspection paperwork and we just had to pay fees to get our permits.

We launched just below the Jackson Lake dam on the Snake River and had a great float
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one of our party did turtle and after getting helped back into her boat a bilge pump was put to work
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Jackson Lake and the Tetons
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me and Ruth
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The following day being horse people we had to take a short trail ride at Flagg ranch
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Then we hustled down to Coulter Bay to go on a hike with an interpretive Ranger out to Swan Lake. We had a great time.

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Lilly pads, Great Moose feeding area
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Thats a major Wild Fire off in the distance. That is smoke not clouds
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the Ranger giving one of his many talks on the plants, animals and geolgy of the area
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great views
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Beaver lodges
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Always wear your Bear Spray
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Early the next morning we struck out on a 7 mile hike to work up an appetite for breakfast

This is a mated pair of Sandhill Cranes
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such beautiful country
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Well when we got back to camp another RV.net resident had rolled in and we got invited to paddle the Snake again. Twist my arm...it was Cliff Bars for breakfast... So the Two B's and Ruth and I set off down river

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Hobie Mirage pedal drives make slow flat water sections very nice
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We had a Bald Eagle jump off a branch and swoop on by us
https://youtu.be/BM9RfSi_c2k

Video from on the River
https://youtu.be/2nQIfgsaqW0

After paddling I did a bit of fly fishing. Too bad there was no catching involved but none of the drift boat guys were having any luck either. Later in the evening with storm clouds moving in it got a bit creepy. I was out by myself in Grizzly country with thickets right behind me. I heard something moving on the other side and decided to take a brisk walk back to the camper. Yes I had bear spray on a holster on my waders.

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a half hour later and I was near the dam and feeling much more relaxed
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Spillway video
https://youtu.be/MF_NUzm7gwY

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We sat by the river and grilled up some chicken breasts that I sliced up into a chopped salad for dinner

One of the nice things about the Flagg Ranch area is that you are right next to Yellowstone's south entrance. Day trip!! In retrospect, Yellowstone is stunning but the crowds really bite, It's almost as bad a Yosemite in the summer but the drivers in Yellowstone are the worst. The day trip was awesome though. We did the southern loop counter clockwise

Elk were the first animals that we encountered
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Stunning vistas
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Buffalo
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no I ain't moving, you go around
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Swans
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Upper Yellowstone falls area
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Falls Video
https://youtu.be/t1riF8yNUU8

Big Fat Marmot
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the only way to travel
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or not
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Finally we hit the Geysers, OMG the crowds were insane. We only hit the Biscuit Area
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Osprey
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There was even a line to leave Yellowstone. Get a pass or keep your receipt handy. This guy could not find his and was arguing about having to pay twice
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All things come to an end and it was getting time to head home. I was not going to pull another Iron Butt Buzzcut Cannonball run back to California across the desert so we decide to take the backroads

as Robert Frost wrote

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

We headed west into Idaho and on to Oregon using highways 20 and 26 spectacular drive, few cars, the Malhuer River canyon was awesome.

As we left Grand Teton a herd of elk gave us a send off
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The folks that run the Vale Trails RV park in Vale Oregon deserve big props. We assumed that they were on Pacific Time, nope Mountain Time. We learned that when we called to find a space. They waited over an hour after their closing time to get us settled in a full hook up spot, it was 100* out and 30 amp service for the AC was mighty nice. Funny thing was that we camped next to another TC from California he was also the second owner hand both of our rigs were originally sold by the same Lance Dealer in the Central Valley (same sticker on both Lances)

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Malhuer River
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I love the High Desert. Both Lake Albert and Goose Lake on 395 above Alturas are seriously low after years of Drought. Honey lake by Susanville is now bone dry
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Wildfire just north of Reno on 395
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For our last night out we went up to the Donner Summit Sno Park area at over 7000' off I80. It dropped down to a lovely 50* vs 100* on the valley floor. All we needed was to open the windows and run the fantastic fan
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home with a seriously filthy truck
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I planned on washing it today but it took me all day just to off load everything, change the oil and go check on my other truck at work. Wouldn't you know it, the sucker fired right up and I drove it home...

* This post was last edited 09/17/16 10:50am by Buzzcut1 *   View edit history


2011 F350 6.7L Diesel 4x4 CrewCab longbed Dually, 08 Lance 1055, Torqlift Talons, Fast Guns, upper and lower Stable Loads, Super Hitch, 48" Super Truss, Airlift loadlifter 5000 extreme airbags


Vinsil

Oregon

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Posted: 07/31/16 09:45pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for sharing!


I did 14 hours on my last trip....never again!


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mike/kellie

northern calif.

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Posted: 07/31/16 09:52pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great trip report and awesome pictures. I know what you mean about what Google says and what the road milage signs say. It took 3 days to make up our 6 hour delay during the spring. Looking svelt!


2015 Host Mammoth triple slide w/ TorkLift Fastguns
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jimh425

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Posted: 07/31/16 10:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Looks like a great trip! I was in the same area earlier this year.

Google maps always thinks I'm going to drive the max speed as well which is killer on the mileage estimates on the 80 mph roads! Well, I could drive 80 but 65-70 is closer to my real max speed!


'10 Ford F-450, 6.4, 4.30, 4x4, 14,500 GVWR, '06 Host Rainer 950 Dbl Slide, Torklift Talon tiedowns, Glow Steps, and Fastguns. Bilstein 4600s, Firestone Air Bags, Hankook DH-01 225/19.5 Fs, Curt front hitch, Energy Suspension bump stops.


NVR2L82AV8

Las Vegas

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Posted: 07/31/16 10:24pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Outstanding. I agree. Those long treks in the seat wear out my seat cushion!!


2013 AF 990
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kknowlton

southeast Idaho

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Posted: 07/31/16 10:26pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great trip report - thanks so much for sharing. Beautiful photos too!

Ranger Tim

Idaho

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Posted: 07/31/16 10:39pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

That's right! You folks keep on driving past central Idaho on your runs to the crowds in Yellowstone. That keeps the Sawtooths and the Stanley Basin relatively clear of people. No matter that the views are still stunning and the fishing is epic.

Glad you found the Snake so much fun. Yellowstone is an awesome place but best seen before the crowds descend. Unfortunately the weather window is limited to June-mid September. The Tetons are postcard perfect and Jenny Lake is idyllic. I totally understand the grizzly goosebumps! Even though I live two hours away I still carry when outside around my place. My wife had a big cat watch her pick cherries last Saturday and she didn't know it was there until I arrived to collect her. Best to play it safe...

Excellent photos and great descriptive captions. Thanks for the trip!


Ranger Tim
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rexlion

Broken Arrow OK

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Posted: 07/31/16 11:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

That was no bilge pump. Tell the truth... you drank too much water and couldn't hold it any longer, right? [emoticon] lol

What a nice bunch of photos.


Mike G.
--for now, using a cargo trailer for camping--
Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. --Benjamin Franklin
photo: Yosemite Valley view from Taft Point


Naio

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Posted: 07/31/16 11:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I saw this thread and I thought, 'Yay! Another TR from Buzzcut!' And it is one of your best. Thank you.


3/4 timing in a DIY van conversion. Backroads, mountains, boondocking, sometimes big cities for a change of pace.


msiminoff

Silicon Valley, CA

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Posted: 07/31/16 11:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the trip report Buzz!
Our family passed through those parks just a couple weeks back.... they sure do have some great rangers there. [emoticon]
Cheers,
-Mark


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