May 14

May 14, 2021 – Dillon, MT to Alta, WY

As the old saying goes, “half the fun is getting there.”

Today I was headed for the Grand Tetons, but the drive getting there was epic.

The vast openness of Montana is really something that is foreign to most of us. There is just absolutely nothing around except nature, some farms, and cattle.

After being in some wooded places, the long-distance unobstructed views were a nice change.

I once again found myself on a gravel and dirt road for over 20 miles. But this time, the road was ROUGH!

I’m not really talking about potholes and large bumps. But the road had these tiny little bumps about every 6 inches that vibrated the hell out of the van.

I’ve come to learn there is a term for when the road gets like this and it’s called washboarding.

Because of this, I had to slug along at 10 – 15 mph for the vast majority of that stretch. And even then, my van was shaking around and vibrating the whole way.

I was sure something would come loose or break on the van because of this road, but everything has been working fine since!

The drive was a memorable one though and I’d do it all over again, even knowing how rough the road was. I love finding these surprise places that I never would have known about, but this “road” took me right through the Salmon-Challis National Forest, which is one of the coolest places I’ve ever experienced.

Here are some pictures I took from various places on the drive, most of which are from that dirt and gravel road..

We finally arrived at our camping spot at the South Leigh Canyon. It was only a few miles from the Grand Teton National Park, but the actual entrance to the park was about a 30min drive.

I was expecting a more developed camping area, but this was basically just a clearing to pull into and park, which I wasn’t disappointed about at all. I was the only one there, with a nice running creek near the campsite.

Still some snow up there.

Someone made a fire ring out of some rocks, and there was also a pile of firewood that a kind soul left. It was too inviting, so a fire was made.

These are the camping spots I love the most, and this is among my favorite places I’ve stayed so far.

Here are some daily moments.

The route we took.

Highlights of the drive.

And a timelapse of the full drive.