Farson/Jackson/Dubois Loop

Monday I took a break and spent the day planning my route and booking Airbnb’s for the first month of my post-Lander life. June 25 I will hit the road and travel over to southern Idaho (just west of where I am now), then down to Utah to spend more time in some of their National Parks, and Arizona – a state I largely neglected during my earlier trips to the southwest.

Tuesday I drove back down to Farson, where we enjoyed ice cream on the way home from Flaming Gorge on Sunday, but this time I turned right and headed northwest towards Jackson, next to the Grand Teton mountains and the border with Idaho. From there I drove a little further north and then turned right to head southeast back towards Dubois which I visited about a week earlier.

After passing Red Canyon south of Lander and before the road started going through mostly open space when I got past Atlantic City I saw these bright wildflowers next to the road, a sure sign that it was going to be a great day:

I arrived at the crossroads in Farson and turned right to start heading northwest. This sign was along the fenceline of a ranch just north of Farson:

Although it may look solid it is mostly air. The four leaf clovers were either cut near the corners or were welded on later. The line through the middle and the little man were also either cut out or welded on later. Not sure what the name of the ranch is but it struck as a very clever, if labor intensive, sign.

As I was driving north towards Pinedale, which I would reach before Jackson, I was driving through a large open area with scrub-brush on either side of the highway, much like the road from Lander to Farson. I did a double-take when I saw this sign which said I was entering a National Forest.

Huh?

Well, when I drove a few hundred feet further I saw a sign saying I was exiting the National Forest and realized it was just a prankster labeling the three small trees next to the highway as a forest. Oh, the easy life of a park ranger to have this plum assignment…

I continued on up the road to the town of Pinedale. I had read online that there was a road called “Skyline Drive” overlooking a lake and stopped at the Visitor Center in town to find out where it was. I had to backtrack a short ways before I could start climbing the mountain next to the town. Once I got up towards the top I had a very nice view of Fremont Lake below me and the mountains off in the distance:

I had driven up into the eastern portion of the Teton-Bridgerton National Forest (a real forest) and was looking west towards the western portion of the same Forest and the start of the Teton Mountain range which would become Grand Teton National Park up past Jackson. I climbed up as far as the road went at which point I was at about 9300 feet elevation. The town of Pinedale is at 7,180 and the Skyline Drive was about 13 miles long. Once at the top I had a view of the Wind River Mountains to the east:

I stopped on the way down for another look at Fremont Lake before getting down to Highway 191 to continue my trek to Jackson.

As I got closer to Jackson the road got a little more interesting as I got in to more mountainous terrain. There was a small rain system passing through the area so at some points there was a light drizzle and I was in an overcast area while the mountains ahead of me were in bright sunshine. I hope it is a clear day when I pass through the area again as I leave Wyoming as there were some great photo ops which I passed on because the conditions were less than ideal.

In the panorama above I appear to have captured a UFO, hovering over the road. It is actually a quirk of taking panorama photos when a vehicle or animal is passing through the frame and can result in some rather amusing distortions. In this case it appears to have been a black pickup traveling right-to-left as I panned the camera left-to-right resulting in a severely “shortened” tiny-truck with tiny-wheels.

The photo above is a portion of the Grand Tetons, northwest of Jackson. The photo below is looking back from a little further up the road and includes a glimpse of the Snake River.

I have posted numerous photos of this area before and won’t repeat them here.

I turned right when I got to Moran, north of Jackson, and started east through the Togwotee Pass on my way to Dubois.

When I got to Dubois I stopped at the National Bighorn Sheep Interpretive Center and took some photos of the displays there:

South of town I stopped at the huge National Museum of Military Vehicles, the largest private collection of such vehicles in the world. There are several large displays indoors and many vehicles under roof outside. It is an impressive display of all types of vehicles from several major conflicts and if you are interested in such things you would very much enjoy a visit to Dubois to see it for yourself.

I can’t say as I have ever thought of a canoe as a military vehicle but in the strict definition of the word I suppose it is:

I was also struck by how small early tanks were. The one below is shorter than my Nissan Altima:

As I left Dubois to head home to Lander I passed this formation which I had seen in an earlier trip but the sun was hitting it at a better angle.

It was a great day as I drove through a variety of landscapes and made it home in time for a yummy enchilada dinner that my sister-in-law Jen made!