Colter Bay, 9/3-9/15/2015

We packed up in the morning at Gros Ventre after a nice breakfast and a short walk.  We didn’t have much to do really. For only one night we really didn’t unpack anything.  Inside stuff is usually where it needs to be whether we are moving or not.  We had no water hooked up, We rarely do unless we are adding water to our onboard tanks.  We had no sewer connection. We never do unless we are emptying waste tanks.  With a full water tank and empty waste tanks we gan go for 7-10 days. When we travel we start with empty waste tanks and only 25% or so water. Same with fuel, we try to run between 1/3 and 2/3 full, about 700 miles worth.

We checked with Colter Bay and they said we could check in at noon. So we pulled out of Gros Ventre at 11 and headed north.  It was only about 35 miles.  We had to go through the Park Entrance which took a few minutes.. There were maybe 5 cars there. 
We took the more eastern road, it was more direct with fewer turn offs up to the Moran Junction and then west towards Jackson Lake. It followed up along the lake past the Jackson Lake Lodge to the Colter Bay Junction. 
Every turn revealed more of the Tetons.

We turned in the Colter Bay road,. It was about a mile to Jackson Lake and the entrance to the campground.

Normally there is a line of RVs waiting to check in.  When we got there there were none.

Check in was quick and then down into the campground to H66,

This is by far the nicest of the National Park RV campgrounds we have stayed in or driven through.  Big roomy sites, most all pull throughs, lots of tall lodgepole pines and shade.  Very quiet and calm.  Maybe 100 yards to Jackson Lake.
Colter Bay is towards the northern end of the Grand Teton National Park. It has a large campground (360 sites) about 10% of which have electric hook ups (very rare in National Parks). It is like many campgrounds in the National Parks, first come, first served.  Same with the electrical sites.  If they are available when you show up you can get one and once you have one you can stay for 14 days.  The other campground at Colter Bay is more like an RV park (160 sites) no tents, electric, water and waste connections. And they are reservable.  For many people, including us, the reservable part is worth a lot.  In this case they are $15/night more than the non-reservable sites in the other campground that only have electricity. 
There are also 160 cabins here for rent. They range from very tiny with a single double bed and a detached bathroom that you share with four other cabins (about $100) to a big double cabin, two bedrooms, one bath with four double beds for about $300. No kitchen facilities.
And there are tent cabins you can rent for about $95. These are a tent on a concrete pad with a canvas covered outside area with a fire ring.  Inside there are four single bunk beds with a mattress and a wood burning stove.  Bring your own sleeping bag and pretty much everything else you want or need.  Bathrooms and showers and a small store were nearby.
And there was a horse corral for all the cowboy wanabes.  A one hour ride was almost $50.  They had longer rides, breakfast rides, chuck wagon dinner rides.  Just about anything your never-before-in-a-saddle butt could stand.
And there was a fairly big marina.  Jackson Lake is quite large (a reservoir) many miles long and more than a mile across in some place.  So there were some very large boats, cabin cruiser types to go with the show homes and private jets, sailboats, speed boats, lots of boats.  And canoes and kayaks for rent and small 10HP powered boats (even more than a horse ride) and a scenic cruise boat for a ride around this part of the lake. 

Mount Moran straight ahead and,in the distance, to the left and much higher, Grand Teton.

What else.  Oh there was a laundry and a shower building ($4.25 for the shower) and a grocery store and a gift shop, of course, with a few interesting things and some more bathrooms.  There is a smallish parking lot for all of this and it was rarely full or even close to full.
There is a Visitor’s Center with an auditorium and a gallery of native art that changed from one artisit to another each week. And another gift shop. There has to be those,  where else would one get a patch from every place we go that has one for sale?
And all of this is closing piece by piece while we are here.  By the end of the month Colter Bay will be essentially closed for the season.
We are taking lots of pictures.  I am trying to keep the blog close to current.  Trying is the operative word.  We are busy, go to bed early and sleep a long time.  
So more to come,
Roger and Susan

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