|It is with very great regret that we said goodbye to Yellowstone today, and made our way west. Of course, per our usual way of doing things, we went west by going south - the way out of Yellowstone was to the south, and we drove through Grand Teton National Park. We had originally planned to spend one of our three days there, but decided not to give up any time at Yellowstone, and in the end we were glad we did it the way we did. Grand Teton is gorgeous, lots of snow-capped mountains, trees, and a lake, but there isn't as much to stop and see there. No geysers, for instance, and the scenery we could see just by pulling over in the overlooks. Plus, there were voracious mosquitoes everywhere, so when we did get out of the car, we were kind of miserable. Our big moment of excitement in Grand Teton: we came upon one of the traffic jams typical of the area (Yellowstone has a lot of them), caused by people stopping to look at wildlife, and we got to see a moose! He loped across a field, across the road, and across the field on the other side. Yay! He was a fine addition to our wildlife tally.
We had resigned ourselves to not being able to go to church, because we had not been able to find out anything about churches in the area (there are no towns nearby), but as we drove through Grand Teton we saw a sign for the Chapel of the Sacred Heart. We pulled in and discovered that it was a Catholic church, and that Sunday mass was about 45 minutes away. So, we hung out there until mass time, mostly in the car because of the aforementioned mosquitoes. It was a cute, little, log-cabin church, with a very cheerful Filipino priest. Unfortunately, all of the readings and the sermon were about food, and we had not had breakfast and had almost no food left in our trip provisions because we had not been able to find a grocery store as we had hoped we would, so the sermon made us very hungry! After church we were able to find a restaurant, though, so at least we got some food in our stomachs before we started driving in earnest.
Once we were heading out of Grand Teton I traded seats with G; she sat in the front and I sat in the back behind J. That was because we thought that we would be driving through mountains on the kind of roads that scare me silly. I guess we did go through some of that toward the beginning of the drive - I was asleep at that point, but for the rest of the day, driving through Idaho, though we could see mountains in the distance we were not driving up and down mountains on treacherous, curvy roads. In the end I spent the whole day in the back seat for nothing (though G certainly didn't mind it).
One the whole we were not too jazzed about Idaho. It's not a good looking state - too much brown and barrenness. Also, we were trying to find a grocery store, and we had a terribly hard time of it - and when we finally did find one it was closed because it was Sunday! We finally ended up buying some rolls at a convenience store in order to make our sandwiches.
We did find somewhere nice to eat, stopping in Twin Falls and making our way to Shoshone Falls State Park. There is a canyon that cuts through with the Snake River flowing through it, and it makes a beautiful plunge. They call it the Niagara of the West, but they clearly have not seen Niagara if they think it compares, still, we thought it was lovely. There was an informational sign with a map showing, among other things, where Evel Knievel jumped the gorge, and though we didn't go see the site, I kind of liked knowing it was nearby.
After that there was nothing left to do but drive; we had reservations in Nevada for the night and wanted to get to our hotel at an early hour for a change (we didn't, really).