My trip west might interest those who enjoy traveling.
Monday June 1 Day One
We had a 11:45 am flight on Southwest Airlines from Columbus to Salt Lake City.
We checked in and went through security. We had breakfast at Chili’s at the Columbus Ohio airport. Our layover was at the Denver Airport but wasn’t a long wait at all. The Alamo car rental was ground level after a good walk from the baggage area. Our car was a Chevy Cruze and that was OK. We went to Comfort Inn Salt Lake City Airport, 200 Admiral Byrd Road, Salt Lake City, Utah but found out that our reservation was at Comfort Suites Airport. We had some trouble finding the motel but after a few side trips managed to check in. We had dinner at a nearby Greek-Italian restaurant called Basilico Restaurant.
Tuesday June 2 Day Two
We drove to Logan, Utah (about 80 miles) and we had breakfast. Our breakfast was at an unusual restaurant called The Crepery. We both enjoyed our meal and the eclectic interior of the restaurant. We continued our drive up Logan canyon and stopped at a viewing and rest area near Bear Lake.
Our next stop was only to see an elkhorn arch at Afton, Wyoming.
We stopped for lunch at a restaurant called The Virginian in Jackson, Wyoming. We asked about where to view animals and was told to drive the Gros Ventre Loop. We first drove on the Elk Refuge Road and had great views of the Tetons but no animals. We next drove the Gros Ventre Loop and had wonderful views of the Tetons but no animals.
We next went up toward Moose, Wyoming and the entrance to Teton National Park. On this section of highway driving north we started to see antelope and buffalo. We noticed a couple moose before we entered the national park. We stopped for pictures at Jenny Lake and the Tetons. We stopped for gas at the Signal Mountain service area. We next traveled up Signal Mountain which gave us great views of the Tetons and Jackson Lake.
On our trip down Signal Mountain we were slowed by traffic trying to view a black bear. We waited but never saw the bear. We exited the Teton National Park on the north side and traveled south back toward Jackson, Wyoming. We ate at the Sweetwater Restaurant and enjoyed the food and log cabin look on the inside. We stayed at the Quality Inn in Jackson, Wyoming. The room was unique because of a fireplace that was ready to use.
Wednesday June 3 Day Three
We returned to The Virginian restaurant for breakfast in Jackson, Wyoming. We started our drive north toward Yellowstone after our breakfast.
Our first stop was at the Continental Divide inside the Yellowstone National Park.
We stopped at Grant Village for a rest room stop and shopping for snacks and water. We saw some elk in the parking lot. We found out that the road to Old Faithful was not open which meant a long loop drive to Old Faithful. We drove the long route to Old Faithful at 45 mph which added a couple extra hours to drive time. While waiting on Old Faithful, we managed to rest before driving back to the Canyon. We stopped at a couple geysers on our drive to Canyon Village. We checked in to our cabin and ate at the Canyon Village Restaurant. Our cabin was simple but clean and had all that we needed (no TV, cell phone). We saw the Lower falls of the Yellowstone River from both sides of the river before returning to the cabin for a nights rest.
Thursday June 4 Day Four
We checked out our cabin and had breakfast at the Canyon Village restaurant.
We started our new day in Yellowstone by driving north on Grand Loop Road toward Mammoth Springs. We stopped at Tower Falls Overlook and Jeff walked the trail to view the falls.
As we continued our drive to Mammoth Springs, we saw a wolf and deer near the highway.
When we arrived at Mammoth Springs we drove the Upper Terrace Loop Drive.
We had lunch at Yellowstone Grill in Gardiner, Montana.
Our next stop was at Gem Valley, where we looked for and found sapphires.
We drove north to Livingston, Montana where we got on I-90 and drove to Missoula, Montana. We had dinner at Famous Dave’s in Missoula, Montana and before stopping for the day we spent some time at Claim Jumper Casino(which was next door to the motel). Jeff managed to win $40. We stayed at the Sleep Inn, 3525 Dore Lane, Missoula, MT
Friday June 5 Day Five
We checked out of our motel in Missoula, Montana. We had breakfast at Perkins Restaurant in Missoula. We next got onto Rt 12 and started our journey west.
Our first stop was at Lolo Pass visitors center near the Idaho border. The rangers at the visitor’s center told us about a field of flowers near the visitor’s center. We took the small drive and enjoyed the field of blue flowers (camas).
We continued our drive on US 12 west thru the Bitteroot Mountains and down the Clearwater river. We had lunch in Kooskia, Idaho at the Kooskia Cafe.
We continued our journey toward Walla Walla, Washington with one stop at the site where Lewis & Clark stopped on the Clearwater river to make canoes in 1805.
When we arrived in Walla Walla, we had trouble finding our motel( no signs or indications were on Rt 12). We spent the night at Comfort Inn & Suites, 1419 West Pine Street, Walla Walla, Washington. Our dinner was at Smith’s Family restaurant which was beside the motel.
Saturday June 6 Day Six
Our breakfast at Smiths Family Restaurant in Walla Walla, Washington. We drove west into Oregon and saw Hat Rock near Umatilla, Oregon.
We stopped at Cascade, Oregon and ate at Charburger near the Bridge of the Gods.
We next drove the Historical Columbia Highway for views of waterfalls and great scenery. The drive was crowded because of warm weather and Saturday visitors. We went to Vista House and took a break.
Donna enjoyed the elevator in Vista House that was hidden into the floor.
We drove to Troutdale and later Sandy, Oregon. We drove the loop road around Mt Hood plus Trillium Lake and when traveling north we saw Mt Rainier in Washington.
We had a long drive to Pendleton, Oregon where we we spent the night at Econo Lodge, 620 SW Tutuilla Road, Pendleton. We ate dinner at Roosters restaurant in Pendleton, Oregon.
Sunday June 7 Day Seven
We had breakfast at Roosters restaurant in Pendleton, Oregon.
We stopped at Baker City, Oregon to visit the Oregon Interpretive Center. We saw exhibits about the Oregon Trail and actually saw ruts from the wagons that were still visible.
We had supper at the Village Inn in Ogden, Utah. We spent the night at Comfort Suites Airport where we stayed the first night.
Monday June 8 Day Eight
We had light breakfast at the Comfort Suites in Salt Lake City. We went to the airport and turned in our rental car and checked in. We decided to have a little to eat at Cat Coras in the Salt Lake airport while waiting on our flight. We had lunch in the Phoenix airport at the Barrio Cafe. We had a stop in Phoenix and when we landed in Columbus that night Lara had our car outside. A wonderful trip to beautiful sights of the Rocky Mountains and the Columbia River.