'Twas a mere week ago this morning when the truck was all packed and ready to go. 'Twas a mighty fine trip!
We were pleased to find such a nice library in Dubois that enabled us to post up a synopsis of each day's activities. That helped us get ahead of the curve and not face a huge backlog of writing upon our return. The challenge now is to frame a few words putting last week's trip into perspective. Here's the short of it:
We really enjoyed Dubois and the Togwotee and Union Pass areas. It's definitely a "come back" spot. It has everything we now look for in a destination. We hope to return there at least once a year and possibly twice.
Here's a list of the Top 20 "pros" of Dubois. (There are no "cons" that we can think of.)
1) Close to home--less than four hours away including three stops.
2) Great campground that's reservable online. Big waterfalls within walking distance.
3) Campground has electricity which means no annoying RV generators are heard.
4) Campground is a mere 25 minutes from "civilization."
5) Campground is centrally located and surrounded by cool stuff to do. (Cool is both literal & figurative.)
6) Dubois is in the Wyoming desert--the geology reminds us of the Southwest.
7) Dubois is a hopping little town of 962 people. Lots to do there.
8) The grocery store is a great little store. Prices are high but they have everything one could want. Ice is cheap.
9) The library is wonderful and the free WIFI is top notch.
10) Dubois has a great city park with a great riverfront pathway. Nice hang out spot.
11) Union Pass Road holds great allure. The Green River Lakes beckon!
12) The National Big Horn Sheep Interpretive Center is well worth several repeat visits.
13) The Dubois Museum was a big surprise. It's going to take several visits to digest all that place has to offer. (See additional comments below.)
14) We get to drive along the Upper Snake River and in front of the Teton Mtn. range both going and coming.
15) The view of the Tetons from Togwotee Pass is epic.
16) We can stop at Dornan's going and coming, too.
17) There's a Wendy's in Jackson.
18) The Absaroka Mountain Range awaits exploration. Trails every which way everywhere.
19) Three giant watersheds head up nearby: The Columbia, the Colorado, and the Missouri.
20) There's water everywhere and the forests are beautiful.
We were both quite smitten by Dubois itself. The downtown has a lot of great shops. Susun really enjoyed herself during the short times she had to prowl those streets. Any small town worth its salt oughta to have a great thrift shop and The Opportunity Store in Dubois fits the bill. There will always be something waiting for us in that store. The Dubois Museum was the real sleeper of the trip. We had very low expectations and we were both amazed at the caliber of the facility. It's far in excess of what one would expect out of a town of 962 people. It's much better than cities of 10,000 have to offer! Point of fact: Mountain Home's museum falls far short of the Dubois facility by every measure. Mountain Home has population over 12,000 with a major Air Force base nearby. The Mountain Home museum is virtually nothing compared to the Dubois museum. How did Dubois manage to muster up such a great facility? Who knows? For whatever reason(s), the Dubois Museum is a home run ball with the bases loaded. I could easily spend hours there and then come back for more. Their exhibits about geology and Native Americans are really professional and genuinely educational. We'd really like to learn more about both topics so having such displays really floats our boat. Meanwhile, as you know, we wanted to learn about the Tie Hacks. The museum delivered Big Time with its Tie Hack interpretive material. In fact, they devoted an entire separate cabin to the topic. You walk into this cabin with no knowledge of Tie Hacks. You walk out feeling like you got a Master's Degree in the subject. That's a tough act for a small museum but the Dubois Museum delivered like a Big City Pro! The Museum's bookshop is also a gem. There's a book addressing just about everything you can imagine about Wyoming and Fremont County in particular.
Well, that about wraps it up for Dubois. I doubt we will be able to return there again this year. We are already looking forward to next year's trip. Susun wants to make it a Summer Solstice Tradition. We'll have to monitor the snowpack, the mosquitoes and the black flies before we commit to that plan. It's a good idea, though, and at least for now it's penciled on our 2011 calendar.
One of these days this week (hopefully) we will put together all of our photos and gin up an online slideshow.