Saturday, July 17, 2010

Trip: Day Eleven

It was all downhill from here. Quite literally, in fact, but emotionally as well.

Leaving the campground, we headed back into Alpine to top off on gas and refresh ice. There was still one real photo op coming up for us, as we headed up to the Tetons before hitting Moran Junction and aiming east. They were still as impressive as ever, although quite quickly a pesky cloud settled around the top of the highest peak and insisting on staying there, allowing only very infrequent peeks to show there was something more than cloud there.

According to the map, the route to Riverton, Shoshone, Casper, and up to Buffalo provided the flattest and thus fastest route. Mostly the map was correct, but it didn't really show the pass we were heading into when we left the Tetons in the rear view mirror. I never did look it up properly, because I'd already given it a name: Construction Pass. Major work was being done, and there were plenty of one-lane roadways and halts for traffic the other way to proceed. During one stop I had time to notice an impresssive rock wall rising in the distance, and managed to get off a few shots while we were moving. Since I've been using all my free time now we're back for blogging, I've not taken the time to check them out to see what I got.

The cameras pretty much got packed away again at this point, anyway.

Two other things were memorable. First, pronghorns were abundant as soon as we hit the flat country, covered with sagebrush. A few stood close to the road, and we noted several roadkills, but most stood back a ways, calmly grazing in small groups. I estimate that within an hour I viewed over a hundred of them.

Second, the RV decided to start acting up again. We'd tried to pretend it was fine all the time at Alpine. True, an engine that's not running for two days also isn't missing and backfiring. Plus in the back of my mind an idea had been forming for a solution. It's not just that I didn't want to spoil anybody's holiday by trying to get it looked at. '86 means carburetor, not fuel injectors. They used to gum up a lot, meaning they needed to be cleaned. A rebuild was extreme and hopefully unnecessary. What we needed was jet fuel! In case you never noticed, that's what's in those tiny bottles of fuel injector and carburetor cleaner: jet fuel. At our late afternoon stop, we put two of them into our 30-gallon tank, and added another with the next fill the next day.

It worked! However, until it did, there was a lot of slow driving, put-put-putting going uphill and slowing on long hills to about 35 mph.

Buffalo was, as the map suggested, snuggled low on the eastern side of the Bighorns, out in the flat, great for driving, not so much for scenery, after where we'd recently been. The campground brochure promised a swimming pool heated to 86 degrees and we'd been looking forward to that all day. I managed to get in down to the second step before giving it up as a terrible idea. The pool was freezing! Where was our promised 86 degrees? When I inquired at the check-in desk, I was met with, "Well, it was very cold here recently. I'll have to have it checked out. But nobody else has complained." The last was accompanied by a look that strongly hinted that we were just way-y-y-y too fussy and maybe we just ought to put our attitudes in order, thank you very much!

We settled for hot showers. They were pretty nice, except for having to climb up several stairs to get into the building. Each shower had a toilet with it behind its door, making it convenient. However, mine also had a very nice bathroom rug, soaking wet from previous campers. Not so appetizing.

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