We thought July 6th would be a write-off day. The girls spent the night with Kathy & Dave so Michelle and I could get up early and head in to Jackson to try and sort out the van. We still didn’t know what would happen since all shops had been closed over the holiday weekend. So we left camp full of apprehension and a certainty that the day would be an expensive one.
Fortunately, that bleak feeling was quickly diminished by the stunning beauty of the Tetons. Our drive back to town put us on the plateau nearly alone. We saw maybe one or two other cars and got sublime views of the mountains.
We couldn’t call a tow truck until we got to town and were certain the van hadn’t been towed. Fortunately, it was there, and there wasn’t even a ticket on it. Apparently my hand written plea worked. Or maybe no one was working over the holiday weekend. We called the AAA approved truck who let us know that there were only two shops in town that were AAA – the tire shop, who would be so busy as to not get around to the van for a day or two, and their shop. So we went with them. And they were able to order a part from Twin Falls and get things working that day. It was the alternator and the battery terminals were bad. Watching the van get loaded on the flatbed, then hauled through town was something.
Michelle and I got coffee at Smiths, the Kroger grocer for the area, then strolled through the backroads of town where I continued to bore Michelle with childhood memories of where I remember a playground being, and this one time when I though I heard a kid getting spanked by wait staff at a restaurant, which seems preposterous now, but I remember being on my best behavior the rest of that trip. We also stopped by a paddling shop and looked at 14′ rafts with angling frames. They had one on sale for $4000 which would have been a lot of fun to take on the Snake if we had time to do so. I was actually really bitter about not getting to canoe from below Jackson lake on the river for a bit. It’s one of the reasons I brought the canoe, but travel is full of surprises.
We continued to walk around and got a t-shirt for Hilly (which we’ve somehow lost), a few clothes for Michelle, and a sweet jacket for me that was on clearance. We then met up with the rest of the crew and walked around town for a bit, then had lunch at Snake River Brewing, which was excellent except for Michelle’s cold and unmelted grilled cheese (which she sent back).
When we got back to camp, there was a note from the rangers that they had confiscated our empty water jug because there’s a no coolers outside campers rule in the park. I guess I get it, but it’s an empty water jug. But while we’re talking about coolers, the insulated growler that I filled with ice water in Burley still had a lot of ice in it. Not bad!
The rest of our stay we talked about what was next. Yellowstone. Which is probably good since we had showers for the rest of the day.