The weather that I listened to along side of the North Platte River last night ended up not developing into anything. Instead, I have a nice and cool sleeping environment and pretty view of the sunrise this morning. The sunrise did wake me pretty early (before 6:00am), so I didn't linger.
All of the Oregon/Mormon/California Trail routes that I'd researched before I left home were a bit south and west of Lander, WY... so I thought it best to stop in town first for breakfast and fuel... and an impromptu oil change, as the Jeep told me it was time. All of those pesky things taken care of, I hit the road to search for things like 'The Parting of the Ways," "Lander Cutoff," in addition to a handful of side roads. It was along these roads that I was able to get up close with snow capped mountains inside the Shoshone National Forest - so pretty! I was unfortunately turned away from some routes due to high, quick moving water. It would appear that I've arrived in the midst of the spring thaw... which is also why the wildflower season seems to be in full-swing. Beautiful!
I'd hoped to get into Jackson and Grand Teton National Park by this evening... apparently I didn't know how close I was, because that was easy! So I played in the park some, got some photos and initiated the Patriot to Grand Tetons via the off-road route that Aaron and I had traveled with my Liberty and his mini-moto a couple years ago. It handled that route without any problems. However, with the occasional flinging of the wayward stone, I'm thinking I should get those skid plates on order...
I finished off my evening in Tetons before heading back into Jackson for refueling... both me and the Jeep. While dining, I did some speedy research on dispersed (free/cheap) camping in the area. I found a couple of places with potential - the first a legit campground just over Teton Pass... which ended up being full. Given this campground only has 12 sites, it's understandable. My other option was to meander up a nearby forest road and find a spot to park, out of view of the highway. This is what I ended up doing. The spot isn't too shabby either - I'm parked alongside of a creek inside the Bridger-Teton National Forest... maybe 100 yards from the main road... and mere minutes from the Idaho border!
I'm not sure yet how I'm going to route myself through Idaho. The last couple of times, I went by way of US Hwy 20... which took me across barren and creepy national laboratory land. I think I'd like to do it differently this time, seeing more scenic areas, so I'm sure there will be more research in the morning.
Till then... Zzzzz.