The next day was a chance for us to check off another one of our bucket list items. We ditched the camper and spent the day driving through Grand Teton and Yellow Stone National Parks. Everywhere you turned there was a sight to see. Some of the highlights were seeing moose, waterfalls, and of course, Old Faithful. After experiencing as many sights as possible for our short little daytrip, we finally made our way out of the park and into West Yellowstone, Montana. We decided on a whim to take the drive back to Jackson by driving through Idaho. We were pleasantly surprised with the beauty that Idaho had to offer. Seeing the backside of the Tetons from the rolling potato farmland provided plenty of picture perfect moments. We topped the night off by grabbing some dinner at a last minute stop called Three Peaks Dinner Table. This is a place you definitely have to try if you ever pass through Driggs, Idaho. Make sure to try the house made chips topped off with mushrooms and cheese.
After an hour or so drive back to camp in Jackson, we hit the hay and rested up for the next day’s journey to Lava Hot Springs, Idaho. This is a unique little town complete with beautiful countryside and, as the name states, hot springs! We parked our home at the local KOA which happened to be within walking distance of the springs. After setting up camp, making new friends, and doing some laundry we decided to grab a bite to eat and try out the hot springs. The springs were set up so that there were several different pools and each varied in temperature. They weren’t as eventful as taking a dip in a natural hot spring, but refreshing none the less.
We awoke to a dreary morning and headed on to our next stop, Park City, Utah. We made a pit stop in Salt Lake City to visit one of Joey’s long-time friends, Joshua Moses, who works at a custom car shop called Kindig-it Design, where he gave us a tour and an opportunity to see some of the car projects. We then headed up in elevation to our next camping spot in the Jordanelle State Park outside of Park City. This is a really gorgeous state park with stunning lake views and an abundance of wildlife.
Downtown Park City is also a great little place to visit. As luck would have it, I randomly found out that one of my favorite newfound artists was having an art exhibit the same time we were there. Of course I had to stop by and meet her. Teshia uses vivid colors to create huge paintings of various wildlife animals. She was a pleasure to meet and talk with. Check her out...she goes by TeshiaArt on Facebook.
The next day we set off in search of a nearby town called Midway. It’s a quaint little town rich in history and great food! We tried a Mexican food joint called Tarahumara. The food was good but the ginger margarita was even better. We stopped at the local dairy, Herber Valley Milk, to grab some ice-cream and headed back to camp where we spent the rest of our time being lazy.
By morning, we were headed out again towards a major change in scenery. We decided to make a last minute run to Moab, Utah to meet up again with our new friend, Matt, which we had met in Buena Vista. He had been in Moab for a few days and hooked us up with a great camping spot in the Sand Flats Recreation Area. We were so blessed the whole trip to come in contact with awesome people, such as Matt. We spent the night chatting around the campfire and experimenting with cameras. Matt was able to grab an awesome shot of our rig that night, which can also be seen in this article. New friends and new places, it doesn’t get much better than that.
The next morning had us sad to leave Moab. It is a place we will definitely visit again. We headed back to Colorado. We had booked a condo in Telluride for a few days so that we could take a vacation from our vacation; funny how that works. We were about 30 minutes away from our long awaited condo when we passed by a storage facility with an old, red Land Cruiser parked out front with a for sale sign on it. I have this real weak spot in my heart for Toyotas and pestered Joey to turn around and check it out. And boy did we hit the Toyota jackpot! Not only did this guy have a beautiful Land Cruiser, but he was sitting on a goldmine of old Toyota vehicles. He was nice enough to show us his impressive collection which ultimately left me trying to figure out how to bring one home with us. That was probably the best spur of the moment stop we made the whole trip. I’m still dreaming about a way to go back up there and take one of those vehicles back to Texas.
We eventually made our way over to Telluride where the next few days provided us with just what we needed to recharge. It was still raining on and off which gave us a great excuse to be lazy. We had made a day trip to Telluride last year while doing Black Bear Pass and Imogene, but this year we had no shame in living it up in our condo and checking out the touristy side of Telluride. There are a great bunch of shops around town and the free gondola ride over to Mountain Village is always fun to do. The fall colors are amazing during late September and early October, all of which you get to soak-up while riding high in the gondola. Brown Dog Pizza was probably our favorite restaurant from the area, but we also enjoyed Smugglers and La Cocina de Luz.
As we came near to the end of our trip, there was only one stop left to visit. You see, I have always been a Toyota gal but Joey has always had a love/hate relationship with Land Rovers. I suppose that by default, I too am part of this love/hate relationship. And so, as luck would have it, there happened to be a Land Rover rally in Sedona, Arizona during the time we were on our road-trip. We found out many of our Texas Rovers friends were heading out to the Western National Land Rover Rally and decided to see if they would let us sneak in with a 4Runner. We didn’t do much sneaking, but they were nice enough to let us camp out and join in on the fun. We obviously got roped into going on a true trail run (which had me freaking out the whole time) called the Broken Arrow trail. The views were killer and the 4Runner did amazing over any obstacles we approached. My fear of accumulating body damage did not come to fruition, so I was a very happy camper.
We drove back to the rally and enjoyed a beautiful sunset and a great evening with friends. We even had to privilege of seeing our good friend and off-road guru, Bill Burke, who was also attending the rally. The next morning, we awoke for one last adventure with a few buddies from the rally. We spent the day hiking in nearby Flagstaff and we ended our road trip with a family style meal with new and old friends. It was probably the absolute best way to top off the trip! The next morning, we grudgingly said our goodbyes and started the long haul back East to Paradise, Texas.
This was by far the longest road trip we have ever taken. There were so many beautiful sights and awesome people we met along the way. The 4Runner was a reliable companion to have towing our cozy tear-drop that enabled us to pick a new home wherever we decided to park it. There’s not much more that can beat a night under the stars sitting around a campfire near the mountains. I’m already counting down the days until we can hit the road again. I’ll always have a gypsy soul.
Jordyn & Joey Pitts
J – J Adventures
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