Destination: Jackson, WY
End of Day Odometer: 172,205 km
We started off the day right with Egg McMuffins at McDonald’s before heading out on the road towards Wyoming. At this point I was thinking we may need to find some other places to eat, but McDonald’s can be a consistent source of both food-like substances and free wifi, which goes a long way when your cell phone can’t get service because your cheap provider can’t figure out how to set it up right. I actually kind of forgot what it was like to travel without Google Maps, but am glad to know my skills haven’t been dulled completely.
The road was relatively uneventful as we headed towards Yellowstone National Park on the I-90. We stopped after a few hours at a trusty Flying J in Four Corners, MT for a bathroom break and a snack pickup only to find the bathroom out of order and the snack selection severely deficient. Dissatisfied with the usually excellent Flying J, we stopped off for some Big Macs at McDonald’s. I have to say though, the consistency can only carry a “restaurant” so far. After lunch we declared a moratorium on McDonald’s moving forward. Lunch pro: their drink dispenser had an interesting mix of Sprite and Tropic Berry, saving me the hassle of mixing it myself; con: despite ordering a Double Big Mac, Dave received a Double Quarter Pounder. You win some, you lose some.
The roads finally started getting interesting as we got closer to Yellowstone, which is exactly what I remember from the last time I took this route with Joel. Thankfully this time I will not have my senses offended by the upsetting nature of Yellowstone as I planned on safely driving around it. Still, it is quite the sign.
Soon all memories of Yellowstone became faint in the rear-view mirror and we drove south on the west side of the Teton peaks and looped up through the Teton Pass to the east side. While I had been diligently tracking forecasts for most of the trip before leaving to make sure there would be no problem with the Dunlop track tires and freezing temperatures, I think the today’s travels through this pass are probably about the worst we should see before Pike’s Peak on Friday. The snow was consistently over six feet tall and in a couple spots much higher than that. Still, the roads were very clear and there were plenty of wiggles to finally put the Yaris through some of its paces.
The sharp contrast between what we found in Jackson, WY to what we had experienced at that McDonald’s in Four Corners, MT at lunch and even the Motel 6 in Missoula, was like comparing a fine steakhouse to a poorly lit bistro. Jackson is a beautiful town, quiet in the off season and we scored ourselves a much nicer room for an even lower price at a local place called the Elk Country Inn. Upon pulling into the parking lot, our nostrils were greeted with the divine smell of Applewood smoked meat coming from the restaurant next door, Bubba’s Smokehouse. When in America, eat as the American’s I always say, and so we popped in to check if the flavour matched the smell. It did.
While the St. Louis ribs weren’t the best I’ve ever had, they had solid smoke penetration and were properly cooked; kudos Bubba.
Day 3 Destination: Rawlins, WY or Denver, CO depending on how we feel tomorrow.