Christian Kemp's USA travelogs

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The first picture for the day was also my first moose picture - but considering that there wasn't much daylight yet, and the moose was galloping away from the road by the time I'd spotted it, it's not a picture that I'm going to frame on the wall.

My main morning destination was Snake River Overlook, a spot that had probably risen in fame not merely because of the view, but mostly because of a famous picture Ansel Adams took there.

The sky was mostly overcast, and I was lucky to even get a little bit of Alpenglow on the tip of the three main summits that crown the Tetons. Overall, however, contrasts weren't very strong this morning, and even though the clouds in the background looked quite dramatic, there seemed to lack a certain "punch". Later, the sun and the clouds placed a checkerboard of bright and dark on the mountainsides, which made for a nice effect; but before too long the clouds took over.

It was time for me to head East. I wanted to visit the southwestern tip of South Dakota - 500 miles away - and considering that I was plagued by a headache it seemed like a decent option to combine that with a driving day... not an ideal combination, mind, but at least the air conditioning would provide some relief.

And drive, I did; to the extent that the first time I stopped (save for lunch, and refueling) was eight hours later at the state border. The weather still wasn't very cooperative - large rain cells loomed all around me. I was beginning to be more worried about the state of my front tires, because every time I drove through a puddle, the car literally seemed to swim. I began to slow down slightly for the larger spots of water on the road, but by then my headache had grown to the extent that all I wanted to do was to get to Wind Cave National Park, where I hoped there'd be a nice camp site.

There wasn't, so I headed on to Custer State Park, where I was lucky. I decided that I'd set up my tent in an attempt to sleep in an environment that was flatter and airier than the confined space in the trunk of my Trailblazer; and that I'd worry about my tires the next morning.

Miles driven: 499mi (803km)

Campground Accommodation: Blue Bell Campground (Custer State Park): $15

Written June 9th 2008 in Luxembourg