Christian Kemp's USA travelogs

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I woke up from another cold night before 7am. I left Yosemite NP, and stopped at Colter Bay Village in Grand Teton NP to take a shower and do laundry. The shower was refreshing, and very welcome, but I soon got bored waiting for my laundry to wash and dry.

Clouds mask the top of the Grand Teton peaks at Snake River Overlook By 10am, I was on the road again, and headed through Grand Teton NP on the main gighway, only stopping along the way a few times. At Snake River Overlook - third time I stopped there - I was getting decent light, but once again there were clouds obscuring at least a part of the tetons.

On the way out of Wyoming, on Highway 26, I had an impatient driver behind me. I drove slightly above the legal speed limit, and he overtook me at a spot where he really shouldn't have, and then proceeded to really gun his pickup down the road. I was still kinda surprised to see him again a few miles later, stopped by a police offer.

Next time I stopped, I was already in Idaho. The area was "South Fork of the Snake River", the information panel informed me. Even though I just stopped becaused it was a rest stop next to highway 26, and I needed a rest stop; the landscape was fairly nice. Still, with no trails or further views, I was on my way again pretty soon. My next stop was in Idaho Falls, which didn't really turn out to be anything spectacular.

Heat transfer experimental reactors at EBR-I, "world's first nuclear power plant" along Highway 20 in Idaho Next up, I crossed some more desert terrain, taking Highway 20 west. This area is probably most famous for housing atomic power research facilities. It's home to the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory, and one can still see Experimental Breeder Reactor-I (EBR-I), the first reactor to generate useable amounts of electricity from nuclear energy. On December 20, 1951, when it was first fired up, it lighted four light bulbs, and was later used to generate the electricity for its building until it was decommissioned in 1964.

Close-up of a flower on Devil's Orchard Trail in Craters of the Moon National Monument After some more driving, I arrived in Craters of The Moon with a few hours of daylight left, and spend those driving a short loop, and walking a few of the shorter trails in this volcanic wasteland. I also realized that on my trip so far, I had done not enough with my photography skill - "complacent" might not be the right word, but it's the first that comes to mind. Specifically, there's so much that can be done with close-ups and with selective focus - even if the weather doesn't cooperate - that I hadn't done until then. One big advantage (if used well) of digital cameras is that they have a small depth of field... that is to say, one can better control what gets focus and what doesn't. On entirely too many occasions so far, I had been perfectly happy with just snapping away at the grand landscapes, and not really concerned with the details.

The weather had steadily improved throughout the day, and even though there was still a cloud cover that was probably at least 75%, that still meant that the sun broke through from time to time. The wind was pretty strong at times, and was somewhat distracting when I wanted to get to sleep that night.

Miles driven: 266mi (428km)

Campground Accommodation: Craters of the Moon National Park (Camp site #33): $10