We had planned to stay in Jackson just one day but Casey convinced us to stay an extra day if she agreed to take us the 40 miles we went off route to visit. We spent our first day in town in Casey’s amazing new place (a guest cabin of one of her clients), while she and a new friend Dale made repairs on her rental property. We relaxed while washing clothes, making food in a real kitchen, and enjoyed the windows everywhere displaying the vast beauty of northwestern Wyoming. Of course a furious wind storm picked up in the afternoon, but we were comfortable, sheltered from the elements.
That night when Casey and Dale returned, we set up a bed in the back of Casey’s van to stay out of the wind. Casey set us up with a big mattress, blankets, and pillows, making our car camp more like a cozy little motel. We slept well and woke to Dale and Casey making oatmeal and coffee before we set off for the day.
Casey and Dale, who had only met a week before but had a rapport like an old married couple, did not have any obligations for the next few days so they decided to join us for the evening. It was a lovely day spent in great company. Dale has been on innumerable tours and adventures so his extensive knowledge and experience makes for great stories. Casey is a cyclist with a level of enthusiasm and energy that impressed and delighted us. The pair made for great company and lots of laughs.
We had arranged to drive through Teton National Park with Casey and Dale, another touring cyclist who was also staying with Casey. So we packed up and set off for a day checking out the wildlife and scenery. We first went to the grocery store where we met up with a couple Spanish cyclists who we hoped to meet up with again. We stopped many times park to find the perfect place to camp and saw some moose, bison, and numerous birds. We saw the Spaniards a few times before we had a picnic beside a creek with the Tetons in the background.
We settled on the Flagg Ranch campground because our friend Henry said he was camping for there for free. The camp we found charged and is situated between the Teton and Yellowstone Parks, so we were disappointed that our Annual Parks pass would not give us a discount. The campground was a whopping $37 per night so we spent our time there trying to recoup our losses: spreading out to multiple sites, collecting wild chives for our breakfast, and collecting picnic tables. We joked and were so comfortable in each other’s company that it felt like we had known each other for years.
We traded Dale some of our supplies for a can of bear pepper spray and a can of dog pepper spray just in time to set out into the thick bear country of Yellowstone.
We parted ways in the morning and as they headed right toward Jackson we turned left toward Yellowstone.