After leaving Crater Lake, we made our way across the the huge state of Oregon on our way to Grand Teton and Yellowstone. Since we left around 3:30 in the afternoon, we knew we wouldn’t make it that far before needing to stop for the evening, but each hour we drove would be an hour less the next day. It was actually nice to be driving with the sun setting behind us instead of in our windshield as it had been for the majority of the trip. We were heading east, toward home – that was a good feeling.
Now that we had the little camper instead of camping in a tent, we figured if needed we could just stop for the night at a rest area. We drove and drove and finally stopped for the night at a little rest area on route 20 in Buchanan, Oregon. Ironically all of the previous rest areas we passes were very nice, but this one ended up being a gravel parking lot with a pit toilet. No worries for us, we figured that would mean a peaceful night of sleep without worrying about people stopping in.
For some reason we both woke up around 2:30 am and couldn’t go back to sleep. So we got up, made coffee by the light of the moon and millions of stars and then headed off down the road. We stopped at Craters of the Moon National Monument around noon. It was such an interesting place and really does look like the surface of the moon. After driving through, we hit the road again heading toward Grand Teton National Park hoping to arrive before dark so we could camp in the park.
We drove our little car and camper over Teton Pass, which made it clear that the next car we buy will be a little beefier, especially important for our eventual trip up to Alaska. Not that we had trouble, we just had to take it very slowly. At least it was a beautiful drive and we were rewarded with the breathtaking Grand Teton Mountain Range at the end.
We headed up to Colter Bay Campground at the top of the park to spend the night. We were disappointed with the campground, they put us in the RV section and we were surrounded by giant RV’s with their generators running, spewing out exhaust and creating quite a racket. We decided that from then on we’d stay at the lesser known campgrounds so we wouldn’t have this problem. It was quite amazing to us that so many people go “camping” and spend their time in their giant houses on wheels watching TV while deer walk right by their camper and they don’t even notice.
The next morning we were up with before the sun and off to drive south through Grand Teton. We have found that it’s best to drive through the parks early to see wildlife and to avoid the other tourists who are usually still sleeping cozily in their big RV’s. Not to mention you get to watch a fabulous sunrise each morning!
After driving through the park, we headed back to the campground, hitched up our camper and headed north to Yellowstone National Park.
On our way we met a few like minded folks who had built themselves a tiny travel trailer as well, it was very similar to ours. He stopped by just to see our camper and to chat with us. Check my Flickr Photostream for more photos of each part of the trip, I’ll be uploading them as I have time.
Do you get up early when you travel, or do you sleep in?
Other posts from this trip:
Tiny Trailer Travels Part I
Tiny Trailer Travels Part II
Tiny Trailer Travels Part III
Tiny Trailer Travels Part IV
Tiny Trailer Travels Part V
Tiny Trailer Travels Part VI