For our big summer trip with the Scamp we headed to the Continental Divide to see Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone and hike to Taggart Lake. What an incredible trip, these are two magnificent national parks that we highly recommend visiting! While we had an amazing long week, the trip started out in a panic. As we pulled out of the driveway we realized our RF break controller was not connecting to our trailer brakes – in fact the little controller hooked into the lighter was completely dead. Not a fun way to start the day when you need to be in Spokane by the evening. We were able to run up to our local RV repair shop and they had us purchase a Bluetooth brake controller and we were on our way after about a two hour delay – credit to Ryan’s RV Town in Everett, they saved the day! About a month later I opened up the little RF controller and found a broken plastic piece that was causing two wires to cross that shouldn’t which was frying the fuse each time, turned out to be an easy fix and now we have two brake controllers. I think redundancy on the brakes is probably a good thing so will keep both for future trailer emergencies!
So we were off to Spokane – and arrived a little late but were able to quickly setup camp and headed into town for dinner. We stayed at Riverside State Park Bowl and Pitcher campground. It was a hot day and if not for the delay we probably would have jumped in the river there, it is quite a nice park right on the Spokane River just 10 minutes outside of the city. We will definitely go back for a long weekend to enjoy the river and because Spokane is just a great place for a weekend visit. They have great food, great parks, and lots of birds to see as well. We spotted a flock of Spokane’s famous Wild Turkeys just wandering through a residential neighborhood!
Day two of the road trip we headed across Idaho and into Montana, our destination for the evening was Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park. Another campground that we have to visit again! We had hoped to have time to visit the caverns while on our visit but due to time constraints for getting to Grand Teton weren’t able to do the cavern tours which were all around midday. Despite missing the caverns we had a great night camping here – it was a beautiful clear sky and we sat outside and watched the Perseids Meteor Shower. We easily saw 15 to 25 meteors in just about a 30 minute period due to the clear sky and no nearby city lights. The next day when packing up we did some morning birding and were visited by Western Wood-Peewee’s, Eastern Kingbirds, and right by our campsite resting quietly in a tree a Common Nighthawk. We were very excited to spot the Nighthawk, being that they only feed at night or very early morning they are not easy to spot, and definitely not when grounded.
Finally on day three we drove through Yellowstone and down to Grand Teton National Park. We camped at Colter Bay on the large Jackson Lake where there are incredible views of the mountains. Colter Bay was named after John Colter, whom after doing some research on Yellowstone I found to have the most interesting story. He was part of Lewis and Clark’s expedition but left early and later spent time in Yellowstone and Grant Teton working as a trapper, he was the first white person to report on the geothermal activity of the area and nobody believed him, he also was caught by Blackfoot’s and forced to run for a hunt and actually managed to escape fleeing naked on foot and hiding in a Beaver Den!
From Grand Teton we spent one day paddle boarding Jackson Lake, there are tiny islands we were able to paddle to on a gorgeous sunny day. We had incredible views of the Mountains from the islands. The second day we drove South to visit Jackson Hole and stopped to hike to Taggart Lake. This was a relatively easy three mile roundtrip hike through the woods up to a stunning lake below the Grand Tetons. On the lake we saw a distant Bald Eagle and solo Common Merganser travelling across the lake. With loads of wildflowers and stream crossings this was a great hike to do with the kids. We of course also jumped in the lake to cool off from the hot summer day! There are many trails from the same area as well as you can head deeper into the mountains or over to nearby Bradley Lake as well.
Make sure to check out all the pictures in the gallery below – next post will be on the second half of our adventure visiting Yellowstone National Park!