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The Salt Lake City caitol building sits in front of the wastch Mountain range.

South by Southwest – Rocky Mountain Road Trip Part 3

Our Rocky Mountain Road Trip had us leaving Yellowstone Park after just a couple of days. We felt as though we barely scratched the surface of what there is to see. We made a note to ourselves that there would have to be a return trip at some time in the future. For now we aimed our car South by Southwest toward Grand Teton National Park. The rolling hills welcomed us, as we barreled down the highway. Soon we caught our first glimpse of the majestic mountain range.Th Grand Teton Mountain Range appears between pine tree lined sides of the highway leading south our of Yellowstone National Park.

Ahead we could see our next stop, Jenny Lake.  Here we stretched our legs on one of the mountain trails. Soon we were making our way to our evening’s stop at Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Elk antlers are intertwined to form an arch in a park in Jackson Hole, wyoming.

The Peaceful Valley

The late afternoon was wearing on by the time we arrived, but there was still time for a little shopping. We found our way to our lodging at the Inn on the Creek. It is appropriately named, as it sits right beside Flat Creek. We strolled along the creek a little bit, and watched a few ducks play in the water. Dinner was at a nearby restaurant, which was within walking distance. The days activities had wore on us, so we had no issue falling asleep that night.

The stone first floor is capped with a barnlike second story wooden structure of the Inn on the River in Jackson Hile, Wyoming. Hanging plants and flower filled planters adorn the front of this quaint lodging option.

The next morning we joined our fellow guests at the inn for a wonderful breakfast. A little more time downtown, before heading off toward our next location. Our itinerary was jammed packed, so we would only spend two nights at the same place once on this journey. The road south followed along the Snake River, which afforded us some nice views during the day. After a bit, the river dumped into a reservoir, and we continued on without it. As we drove through a selection of small towns in southwestern Wyoming, we noticed a pattern of displaying antlers in various ways. It was an odd, yet entertaining sight.

A pair of fighting elk bucks sit atop a row oof intertwined elk antlers to form a decorative arch in Afton, Wyoming.

As lunchtime approached, we turned west toward Idaho. Less than 20 miles across the state line we pulled into Montpelier, Idaho. This town of less than 3,000 happens to be home to The National Oregon/California Trail Center. My research had uncovered this little gem, and we were quite excited to check it out. Of course, it would have to wait until after we had lunch.

The sign identifies the city of Montpelier, Idaho, which is the home of the National Oregon California Trail Center.

Unusual Lodging

After a delightful visit, we headed south toward Bear Lake, and the Idaho/Utah border. A short stop to gaze at the amazing blue waters of the lake, and we were back on track. The highway meandered through the Wasatch Mountain Range, which is quite small compared to the Rocky Mountain Range. Our route had us passing through the canyon walls. By early evening we pulled in to Logan, Utah, where we would spend the night at Anniversary Inn. This unique bed & breakfast had the makings to be one of most memorable lodging choices along the trip. We were both eager to see it.

An antique Harley-davidson motorcycle sits beside an antique Mobilgas pump in one of the unique suites at the Anniversary Inn located in Logan, Utah.

A Capitol Day

The following morning we lingered around the inn, as we hated to leave. Our itinerary only had us traveling about 100 miles that day. We would be visiting the Hogle Zoo and seeing the Great Salt Lake. The Salt Lake ended up being none too exciting. It did afford an excellent view of the city with the mountains in the background. Our stay was short, and we made off toward the zoo. Here we spent the afternoon in a state of zoological bliss. The zoo had some interesting displays, although it was only about 2/3 the size of the Kansas City Zoo.

A cylidrical display of an Amur tiger is used as decoration at the Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City, Utah.

A 30 minute drive from the zoo landed us in Park City, Utah. Here I had scored what I felt was the best deal of the whole trip. An evening at the Waldorf Astoria in Park City usually comes with a hefty price tag. With some handy work on Price-line, I was able to get a room for around $100. I’m sure that the fact that it was not ski season played in to the ability to get such a deal. Of course, I still considered it a success. While the lodging the night before had been the most unique so far, this was by far the most luxurious. They pull out all of the stops to make sure their guests are treated to the highest level of service. We certainly felt like royalty. We would like to make a return visit to this hotel during a snowier period.

The large stone and wood lodge is the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Park City, Utah. Rocks and greenery adorn the front lawn, as the waning sunlight casts red hues on the evening sky.
Photo courtesy Waldorf Astoria Park City

Heading Toward The Rocky Mountain Range

The next morning we woke refreshed, and ready for a new day. The next 400 mile leg that would take us back to the Rocky Mountains. Just under halfway into the drive we crossed into Colorado. The first town we came to was named Dinosaur. It appears that the residents and business owners wanted the town to clearly represent its given name.

Bright white stenciled letters on a dark brown sign denote to travelers "Welcome To Colorful Colorado".

Three concrete cast dinosaur replicas are located within a chain link area in front of a brick building in Dinosaur, Colorado.

An oversized comical dinosaur statue is found in Colorado. The dinosaur is wearing a cowboy hat and eating a watermelon.

Off and on throughout the day we would see the mountain range growing in the distance. By early evening, we would arrive in our destination of Grand Lake, Colorado. For now we were enjoying the wonders of nature that surrounded us on our Rocky Mountain Road Trip.

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