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Old 07-09-2016, 08:09 PM   #1
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Trip Journal--10 day trip to Yellowstone and GTNP in a Bambi 22

Hi everyone,

We returned back home today, a day early even, from our 10 day vacation to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park. We have a 2015 Bambi Sport 22, and a Toyota Tundra as our tow vehicle.

On the trip were the 2 of us, and our 2 adult daughters. One lives in Denver and joined us midway on day 2 en route. The plan was for the 2 daughters to sleep in a tent and for the 2 of us to sleep in the Airstream.

I want to not have this post be too long, so I am going to post several shorter post on the different aspects of the trip in the hopes of this being helpful for others who are in the planning phase on their own trips.

All in all, it was a great trip, a fun family vacation, and a great first long trip with our Airstream.
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Old 07-09-2016, 08:18 PM   #2
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So glad to hear you had a great trip and am looking forward to your forthcoming reports!
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Old 07-09-2016, 08:38 PM   #3
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Food-Yeti coolers and dry ice

For food on the trip we had the usual assortment of packaged junk food, water, drinks, coffee, cocktails, and crackers and bread.

For the majority of the trip we did not have hookups, since we were at the National Park campgrounds. We did have the small refrigerator running on propane, and a generator to recharge the battery.

For food requiring refrigeration, we went with a system that worked very well for a group of 4 adults for a 10 day trip. We did eat out for a total of 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, and 3 dinners on the trip.

We had a Yeti 45 for frozen food. In this cooler which we pre-chilled according to the Yeti website, we had a block of dry ice, and food (all frozen in the commercial deep freeze at our local meat store) vacuum packed steaks (total of 12) and Italian sausage (these were uncooked) and packages of pulled pork, BBQ burnt ends, turkey, roast beef, (ready to eat, but frozen in vacuum packs).

We had the dry ice on the bottom, and then the frozen food, and topped with 3 clean bath towels to take up the extra room in the cooler. Per the instructions of our meat store, we closed the lid, but did not latch the latches so that the dry ice vapors could escape as it "melted". This worked very well. The cooler traveled in the backseat of our vehicle. The food stayed frozen for about 5 days, at which time we added a block of ice and used the remainder for the rest of the trip as it thawed in the cooler.

We bought another, larger Yeti a few days before the trip for "refrigerated" food. In it we put 2 frozen blocks of ice in the bottom, and then added a gallon of orange juice that we froze. We had a plastic basket in this cooler, and several rubbermaid food containers. It this cooler we had apples, lemons, limes, grapes, a container with various cheeses, another with pepperoni, eggs, precooked bacon, butter, and some yogurt and hummus. I saw the idea of using the plastic basket on the Boat Galley blog

http://theboatgalley.com/storage/.

All in all this worked out very well. We added ice every other day and using this big cooler allowed us to have a LOT of cold food with us.

We then used the refrigerator in the Airstream for frequently used items and opened items. And having the small freezer was handy for re-freezing blue ice packs that we could use in our picnic basket for day outings.

We also had a small cooler for drinks that we could take on outings.

Other food things we did that I liked:

Trader Joes sells whipping cream in a shelf stable box (like a kid's juice box). This allowed me to bring along cream for coffee and not worry about it going bad. We just stuck in the fridge after it was opened. I found that it was good for about 3 days and then got clumpy.

Another great thing turned out to be this collapsible pour over coffee maker. Heat up water in the percolator coffee pot. Pour over the collapsible gizmo, lined with a paper filter. No cleanup! I would drip right into a big thermos and then the coffee stays hot. Great since we did not have electricity so we couldn't reheat coffee.

https://www.rei.com/product/798277/g...uY0aAkjo8P8HAQ
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Old 07-09-2016, 08:55 PM   #4
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Getting There-Kearney NE RV park and Wind River KOA in Dubois WY

En route we stayed overnight, without unhooking, at these 2 campgrounds which were both very satisfactory.

I had reservations in advance at both places, and would stay at them again.

Kearney RV park is on I-80 in about the middle of Nebraska. It was nice and flat, and on the same exit as a Casey's general store. For those of you not from KS, NE, IA, or MO, Casey's is a gas station/convenience store chain based in Des Moines IA. They are always very nice and clean. And they have great pizza. We pulled into Kearney, went to Casey's and gassed up for the next day, ate a pizza, and then went to the RV park.

The next day was our first ever long day. We left early and were meeting our daughter in Cheyenne at lunchtime. We ate in the Airstream after gassing up, and then continued on. We were on I-80 until Rawlins, where we went northwest up through Lander, the Wind River Indian Reservation, and to Dubois. We drove about 60, and except for cities and road construction made good time.

Once you are off I-80 here, this drive is one of the loveliest drives you will every see. Eastern WY is kind of rough and industrial. And then your trip is transformed. You are driving through open rangeland and hay fields with several different types of hills and mountains in your vista. It is just beautiful.

Dubios is a nice little town, and our campground was right on the river and was the perfect distance to get into Yellowstone the next day.
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Old 07-09-2016, 09:26 PM   #5
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Madison Campground Yellowstone National Park

We stayed 4 nights in Madison Campground in Yellowstone National Park.

Some basic info is below. I would stay here again as the location is great and the sites were easy to get in/out.

Reservations are necessary, and you probably want to get them as soon in advance as you can. The campground was definitely full every night.

This campground is nice and flat, so set up was easy. Not too rocky, and had a lot of tall trees for shade. Location is very centrally located in the park.

Dogs are allowed in the camping area only, not on any of the trails, including ones right there in the campground

The campground is adjacent to a river with a nice meadow to sit and have coffee or take a nice flat walk with kids (no dogs or bikes allowed here). We saw a deer and a buffalo here one morning.

Yellowstone is a big place. Maximum speed is 45 MPH, so you are basically driving everywhere as though you are doing city driving as to pace.

Madison had no hookups. It had flush toilets, and sinks with cold water only in the bathrooms. There was a power plug in the bathrooms, a dishwashing sink with cold water was at each bathroom building (2 bathrooms buildings per loop). And an outside tap for drinking water (2 per campground loop). Madison has NO showers or laundry. They sold firewood at the campground entrance, and had a machine to sell ice for $3 (cash money exact change needed ) in either bags of cubes, or blocks of ice. They had full recycling dumpsters for everything, including glass and propane canisters. There is a lighted dumpstation with 3 bays

We used a 5 gallon jerrycan to keep our fresh tank filled, a 12 gallon blueboy to drain the shower and sink gray water each day, and ran the generator to keep the battery charged. This all worked out fine for 4 adults.
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Old 07-09-2016, 10:25 PM   #6
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Hi Piggy Bank!
We also just returned from Tetons & Yellowstone! Had a great trip. We camped at Fishing Bridge & it had full hookups. Too bad we didn't meet up. There were several other AS ther so we did so hi to several other campers.

Jane
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Old 07-10-2016, 05:12 PM   #7
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20 days and counting to RMNP, Tetons and Yellowstone from Stowe VT.
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Old 07-10-2016, 05:13 PM   #8
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Tetons & Yellowstone excursions

Piggy Bank:
Thanks you so much for the information; very timely as we are heading to both places in August. Normally, we would take our Airstream trailer, however, we are going with my wife's sister and husband and they don't have a trailer and, at least we feel, our 25' Safari would be two tight as we are then going on to Wash, Oregon & Calif. We will be renting a minivan and driving and staying in motels, however, the info you provided will be very helpful even for just touring. We are planning on staying in Idaho Falls, ID and traveling from there each day into Yellowstone or Tetons. Don't know if you went into Idaho Falls, but if not, maybe someone who has will respond and let me know how long it takes to go from there into Yellowstone. Are the roads very slow (maybe average 25mpg)?? Will there be many travelers in mid-August? We have motel reserved in Idaho Falls. Thanks for anyones comments and thank you for your lovely report!!!
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Old 07-10-2016, 05:41 PM   #9
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To See and Do in Yellowstone

We were camped in Yellowstone for 4 nights. Here are some of the highlights of what we did and enjoyed.

Swimming. If you get a nice warm and sunny day, there is a place you can swim in a shallow river that is fed from geysers. Firehole river swimming area. It is on a 1 way loop road. The entrance is between Old Faithful and Madison. The water temperature was cold at first, but then very pleasant. There is a bit of a current, so if you had young children you may want life jackets just for additional peace of mind. More enjoyable if you have water shoes or sandals on.

Old Faithful area. We did 2 things here that we liked. First is to walk up to Observation Point to view Old Faithful erupting. It is not a long walk, but it is uphill (and then back down). Easy enough for kids, but might be too much hill for anyone with bad knees. Second is the walking loop on the boardwalks in this area. It is the longest duration walking tour of thermal gysers and features, and is very flat and not as crowded as some of the other "park and walk" thermal areas. Fine for strollers or any one with limited mobility.

Hike to a hidden lake. Shoshone Lake can only be reached by hiking to it. It was a relatively flat hike, (we did use walking sticks), and suitable for families with school aged kids, and anyone who can walk for about an hour and a half. Trailhead is Delacy Creek. Lots to see as you walk through forest, meadow, and then approach the lake. Bring water and a snack.

Mammoth hot springs area. We had rain this day, and couldn't see as much as we wanted. The drive from Canyon to Mammoth was very different landscape, and very beautiful. We saw a Grizzly mama and cub about 200 yards away up a hill on this drive.

There is also road construction between Mammoth and Madison that caused traffic delays getting back.

Aside from that just the basic touring was a good time. We saw a lot of wildlife, and lots of busses of people. Best advice is to get up early and get going before the crowds.

Saturday was the worst day for crowds when we were there.
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Old 07-10-2016, 05:47 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by MissingLink5 View Post
Piggy Bank:
Thanks you so much for the information; very timely as we are heading to both places in August. Normally, we would take our Airstream trailer, however, we are going with my wife's sister and husband and they don't have a trailer and, at least we feel, our 25' Safari would be two tight as we are then going on to Wash, Oregon & Calif. We will be renting a minivan and driving and staying in motels, however, the info you provided will be very helpful even for just touring. We are planning on staying in Idaho Falls, ID and traveling from there each day into Yellowstone or Tetons. Don't know if you went into Idaho Falls, but if not, maybe someone who has will respond and let me know how long it takes to go from there into Yellowstone. Are the roads very slow (maybe average 25mpg)?? Will there be many travelers in mid-August? We have motel reserved in Idaho Falls. Thanks for anyones comments and thank you for your lovely report!!!
I don't know specifically how long it takes to get into the park from Idaho Falls. There were wait lines when we were there getting to the parks in early morning. Our daughter had the national park annual pass. This did make getting in faster. (you do need to show photo ID with the pass). She got it since she lives in Denver and goes to RMNP a lot on weekends to hike. She said that when it's busy, that she gets waved through with that annual pass. So that may be something to consider. The fee for the 1 week pass for Yellowstone and Tetons was $50. I *think* that an annual pass is about $70, so not much more money and it does support a good cause.
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Old 07-10-2016, 05:51 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by MissingLink5 View Post
Piggy Bank:
Thanks you so much for the information; very timely as we are heading to both places in August. Normally, we would take our Airstream trailer, however, we are going with my wife's sister and husband and they don't have a trailer and, at least we feel, our 25' Safari would be two tight as we are then going on to Wash, Oregon & Calif. We will be renting a minivan and driving and staying in motels, however, the info you provided will be very helpful even for just touring. We are planning on staying in Idaho Falls, ID and traveling from there each day into Yellowstone or Tetons. Don't know if you went into Idaho Falls, but if not, maybe someone who has will respond and let me know how long it takes to go from there into Yellowstone. Are the roads very slow (maybe average 25mpg)?? Will there be many travelers in mid-August? We have motel reserved in Idaho Falls. Thanks for anyones comments and thank you for your lovely report!!!
Because the Jackson Hole airport was closed in with fog we flew into Idaho Falls on Air West. We had to be bused to the Jackson Hole Airport, so got to see a little of the drive. It was open 2 lane highway that ran along the river and lake for a good ways. It was not a problematic drive. We drove over the pass from Jackson Hole going to West Yellowstone. It was a drive up through Idaho. It was a great drive with the "back side" of the Tetons visible.
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Old 07-10-2016, 05:54 PM   #12
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We are planning on staying in Idaho Falls, ID and traveling from there each day into Yellowstone or Tetons. !!
Seriously? That's over 100 miles each way just to get to West Yellowstone and another hour of driving just to get to the center loops of the park. You may want to look at hotels in West Yellowstone so you have time to get out of the car and see something. Oh, and yes, August will be very busy in the parks!
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Old 07-10-2016, 06:11 PM   #13
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Grand Teton Camping

After 4 days in Yellowstone we moved for 2 more nights of camping in Grand Teton National Park.

These 2 parks are so close, yet so different.

Yellowstone is very spread out and we seemed to be constantly on the go. Grand Tetons were more relaxed and easier to navigate.

The places we were considering camping in the Tetons did not accept reservations, so we had to get up very early to get there and secure a spot. We left Madison Campground in Yellowstone about 6 and got to Signal Mountain Campground in the Tetons around 8:30. At that time there were about 3 available spots in the areas that accepted trailers (some spots are tent only) and allowed generators (one loop is generator free).

This was a very pretty campground, but very different from Yellowstone.

We now understand why people say that they want a small Airstream so that they can camp in National Park campgrounds. It was TIGHT. It took us several tries to back in, due to both the tightness of the road and campsite, which was further complicated by these "stumps" used to line the roadway and edge the campsites, that stuck up about a foot. They were hard to see, so hard to maneuver around. We somehow did finally manage to work our way into the site and unhooked really quickly, as we were completely blocking the road for others until we unhooked and moved our truck. We didn't have time to level side to side, so just made do with getting front to back level.

We did manage to get 2 sites next to each other so our daughters could put their tent next to our site. We ended up parking our truck next to their car in their campsite, since that let us have room for the awning on our site. These were not large sites.

We have a 22 Bambi and I cannot imagine having anything larger and getting it into this campground where we were. So if you have a larger Airstream I would recommend getting a reservation in advance at one of the campgrounds in the Tetons that accepts them.

We like Signal Mountain area for its location. Campground bathrooms were similar to Yellowstone. But this campground also had pay showers ($5-purchased with tokens), and a nice laundry mat. There is also a gas station, convenience store (with great espresso), marina with canoe and boat rental, casual restaurant, and cabin rental in this general complex area.
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Old 07-10-2016, 09:07 PM   #14
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Skitique,
I just read your other thread on Yellowstone and Tetons. Sounds like you had a great trip.

We actually saw more AS this trip than ever. We had some folks from Illinois across from us in Kearney the first night.

We had a AS next to use in Dubois.

We had a nice older one in our loop in Madison. Sure was neat to see a vintage one up close and personal. It was a 22 but was a double axel.

And we had a Bambi 16 that we saw in the Tetons in our campground.

We would have liked to meet you as well. Glad you had a good trip. Its so hot here back home, I am missing that mountain air for sure.
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