Friday, June 20, 2008

Surfing the gap

We are at the Canyon Campground, near the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone (map).

Frankly, I did not expect to get on-line here; satellite imagery and anecdotal evidence all pointed to too much tree cover, and we knew our space was pre-assigned when we booked it yesterday morning, with no consideration for access. Nevertheless, we got extremely lucky, and we are on-line courtesy of a narrow gap in the trees in exactly the right direction. Had they put us in any other loop, with the roadway in any other orientation, we'd likely not be on.

The downside to this loop is that it is about as far away from everything as is possible to be here, but, hey, that's what the scooters are for. So we took them out just as soon as we arrived here about noon. Once we figured out that we had satellite access, we zipped right back down to the check-in about a mile away, and asked if the space was also available tomorrow night. It's not, so I booked a night at Bridge Bay, south of here, where I am also expecting to be off-line. We'll see how it goes.

That put us out and about on the scoots early in the day, and we rode through the little village, checking out the restaurant option for tonight (looks fine), the stores, and the visitor education center, which did live up to expectations. It was relatively warm (we're at 8K feet here, and there are still piles of snow throughout the campground) and sunny, and so we then rode down to Artists Point and took in the spectacular beauty of the Grand Canyon. June is the wettest month here, and the volume of water cascading over Upper and Lower falls was quite a sight.

We've now taken in most of the sights in this area, as North Rim drive is closed this season. So I don't feel too bad about spending only a night. In fact, we had planned to move Odyssey down to the visitor center parking tomorrow after checkout, while we rode around the area; now, however, I am thinking we'll load the scooters at checkout time and head to Lake Village, to get a mid-day start there tomorrow, too.

Tomorrow night at Bridge Bay will be our last night in the park; with any luck, there will be some space available at one of the half-dozen Forest Service campgrounds east of the east entrance Sunday night. If not, no big deal, as it's only another 45 minutes to the Wal-Mart supercenter in Cody, where we'll need to stop anyway for many sorely needed supplies.

1 comment:

  1. Four years ago, while camped at Buffalo Bill State Park near Cody, WY, I made a tour of all the NFS campgrounds between the east entrance to Yellowstone and Buffalo Bill SP. Here are my observations:

    Shoshone National Forest Campgrounds, Wyoming

    The Shoshone National Forest is located between the east entrance to Yellowstone National Park and Cody, Wyoming. Highway 14 follows the North Fork of the Shoshone River up into Yellowstone and eight National Forest Service campgrounds are located along this route. Surprisingly, some of these campgrounds can accommodate big rigs and one even has water and electric hookups. All campgrounds are located less than a quarter mile off highway 14. Unless otherwise noted, there are no hookups, the fee is $10 per day, and all campgrounds are on the Shoshone River in a forest setting. This is bear country and campsites contain a bear-proof container. Most sites had a picnic table and fire ring. I did not stay at any of these campgrounds but I did ride through each one and these are my observations. The numbers in parenthesis after the campground name are the number of miles from the east entrance of Yellowstone National Park

    Three Mile (3) – Wide interior roads. Many sites big enough for large rigs. Some pull-thrus. No popups or tents.

    Eagle Creek (7) - Wide interior roads. Many sites big enough for large rigs. Some pull-thrus. Easy back-ins. No popups or tents.

    Newton Creek (14) - Not as spacious as the previous campgrounds, especially in the east loop. Popups and tents OK

    Rey Hale (16) - About 10 of the 30 sites have W/E ($15). No trees.

    Clearwater (20) - Tent campging only.

    Elk Fork (22) - Not on the Shoshone River. Lots of horse trailers and a horse corral. Horse trail. I would hesitate to take a rig longer than 30' into this campground.

    Wapiti (22) – Closed for repairs this season

    Big Game (23) - Small sites and some low branches might cause a problem for rigs over
    30' plus a tow vehicle or toad. Two big sites, one a pull-thru and the other an easy back-in but those low branches are going to cause some damage for high rigs.


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