I had to stop at McDonalds in Truckee for a big glass of ice for my cooler. The ice has finally melted from it -- after three days!
The drive through the mountains is always beautiful...but it gets a little boring out in the middle of Wyoming with not much to look at.
I had some snacks, finished off the lime chips from last night, and stopped for gas and more fee ice in Winnemuca around 11. Had a nice little picnic lunch at a scenic rest stop a little after noon. More tuna packets and a few chips.
My cruising at 90mph days ended when I turned off the interstate on to highway 93 north in Wells.
Slower speed limit and since it was two lane, I actually had to pay a little more attention to the road. (I.e. No more instagramming and blogging while driving.) Getting stuck behind lots of slow trucks and then some road construction really killed my good time!
Clearly haven't cleaned the windshield in awhile...but I got a picture of the state sign! Only two I've missed are Wyoming and California.
Anyways, I was really surprised with the vast emptiness of Idaho! I mean there was just nothing out there! For a long time!
I finally got back on an interstate outside of Twin Falls, and retuned to my phone for entertainment. I was scrolling through my Instagram feed when I saw @backpackbren posted a picture about heading to the Tetons! So I messaged her to see if she wanted to meet up there! It was a shot in the dark. I'd never used Instagram for anything but lookin at pictures, but she seemed like a really cool gal and we were both car camping on our own...so why not meet up!?
Oh yeah - I was supposed to be Couchsurfing tonight, but the guy I was supposed to be staying with messaged me this afternoon and said he had some things come up and couldn't host me anymore! Oh well. My car is just fine, and now I had a cool new friend to meet up with. Bren said to meet her at Schwabackers Landing for sunset at 8pm.
So I kept on driving. Today seemed like such a long driving day for some reason! It got better when I started getting closer to the Tetons and Jackson! Such a beautiful area!
I didn't get any pictures of Jackson as I cruised right through, but I really had no desire to stop once I saw how packed and busy it was! The whole town was like a zoo! I couldn't believe how many tourists there were there! I was hoping it was still early enough in the summer to beat some of them but I guess not.
So yeah, I kept on driving right on through and out to the Tetons and Schwabacker Landing. I was driving like a crazy woman to get there on time, and I pulled in right at 8pm. 11 hours of driving!
The sun was just slipping behind the Tetons when I got there, and I thought I was too late! But Bren was right there and she assured me the best was yet to come.
So we took off down the trail like old friends who had known each other for years! She's 28, from the Netherlands, and road tripping across the US and Canada for like 5 months or something crazy like that. She used to be a PE teacher and just decided she needed to travel and see the world! So cool! She's so fun and we already have plans to hang out the next few days here in Tetons and Yellowstone! Thank you, Instagram, for a new travel buddy!
Okay so back to the sunset... We followed the path to a little opening where the river came through and there was a perfect reflection of the Tetons right there.
We definitely weren't the only ones there. Those dang photographers always hog the good spots!
Bren and I sat on a wooden bench and talked for awhile, eventually squeezing in with the photographers to get a few pictures, but the clouds didn't light up like we were hoping they would. It was still pretty!
It got cold fast, and we were both freezing! She read my mind when she said, "Do you want to run back to the car?" YES, yes I do. So we took off for the jog back. We talked to a guy in the parking lot that said we could park overnight near the Moulton Barn on Mormon Row...so that's where we took off for.
Except Google decided to send me 2miles past it down a dirt road. Ugh. We eventually found it, and decided to just park our cars down the road on a little pullout. And that's where I am now. All bundled up in a fleece onesie and a down sleeping bag...hoping I 1. Don't freeze to death and 2. That a bear doesn't break in my car and eat all my food. Bren is right next door with her bear spray and said she isn't scared to use it, so I'm going to let her handle that.
Off to sleep now. 10:40pm and a 5:25am alarm to photograph this barn at sunrise. Then a hike to a canyon and a visit to Jenny Lake...that's all on the agenda for tomorrow! So happy to have a new friend to adventure with! :)