We got a good start with a beautiful clear morning. Landon and Marcella pulled away just ahead of us and we followed them back into Yellowstone National Park, taking the large southern loop again, passing by Old Faithful and heading down to Yellowstone Lake.
Everything was going smoothly until we missed a turn that Landon had intended to take. We drove on until we found a long pull-out. We eagerly jumped out and took BJ and Lexie for a short walk down toward the lake... which is, incidentally, bubbling and steaming around the edges. Most unnerving.
|Something about a boiling lake bothers me.
|Just before the awning catastrophe.
Marcella taking a picture of me taking a picture.
About this time Wayne noticed our curb side awning was not securely rolled into it's "travel" position. Now this thing is not one of those good ole reliable mechanical awnings. Oh no. This is an electric awning that extends and retracts with the flip of a switch. Tightening the awning didn't work so Wayne though it might be a good idea to extend it a bit and then try retracting it. I heard a solid "thump" and looked to see the huge 10' x 25' awning fully extended into the trees along the roadside. Wayne's face was colorless.
|Awning deployment here is NOT a good thing.
Manually rolling the motorized awning required all four of us. Using a ladder, Wayne managed to roll the awning while Landon and Marcella held it into place. Then Wayne climbed onto the coach roof to secure it somehow. Meanwhile I was scouring the operators manual for any assistance it would provide -- a useless exercise. In the end we used velcro straps and duct tape to hold the thing in place until we could get a repair. Mind you now... we're in Yellowstone National Park and there's not a really large city near here.
|Wayne on top. Landon holds the forward awning arm.
Marcella at the rear. I'm taking pictures -- very important role.
|Getting the velcro strap put in place.
|Marcella can do this with one hand.
|Finished! Duct tape is a necessity in the tool box.
Once the awning was secured we still needed to turn around and take the turn we'd missed. While our coach is long at 40', Marcella and Landon are 42' and we'll need 40 acres to turn these rigs around. We think we've found it at one point...
|It was right about here Wayne said to Landon on the CB, "You've got it. Plenty of room."
|But there wasn't plenty of room. It's not easy to back a rig but Landon "got 'er done"!
|We tied up traffic for a few short minutes. Once we got all straightened out, we moved on to the next wide spot.
Once we got on the right road we continued the drive south, crossing the Continental Divide several times between Yellowstone and into Grand Teton National Park where we came upon a Elks Ranch Flat and a huge herd of bison. We stopped for pictures, a short rest and a look-see at our awning tape job.
|Photo taken through the glare of the windshield.
We got to almost 8,000 foot elevation and crossed the Continental Divide three times.
|The Rockefeller Memorial Parkway goes through Grand Teton National Park.
|One of two buffalo herds.
|Our rig with the Tetons in the background.
|Marcella, Landon and BJ in the far right corner.
That's their rig -- Tetons in the background.
It was nice to see the Tetons from the opposite side of where we'd seen them yesterday. I was glad we hadn't decided to stay in the Teton National Park, though, as a fabulous view of the mountain range was all I needed for my "Teton fix".
We drove on into and through Jackson Hole, Wyoming and then back into Idaho, yet again to stay overnight at a campground at Swan Valley before going on into Idaho Falls to see about our awning repair. Marcella and Landon make the ride with us as they want to see about getting service on their coach washing machine too.
|The Antler Arches are in Jackson Hole.
|The Snake River going back into Idaho from Wyoming.