Day 17 . Awaking to the Tetons

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Road trip across America… daily reflections by Ema and Elle.

By Ema ~ I woke way to early after being up late finding a spot for us to rest. My arm has been waking me in extreme pain some days and even hurting during the day. I think it is from so many days driving, maybe I have pinched a nerve or something. It brings shooting pain all up my arm and my fingers go numb. Nothing seems to make it stop progressing except to get out of bed. We are on the border of the Grand Teton National Park and will go back through Jackson Hole and make our way to Idaho Falls for the meeting with Fin Fun on Monday.

I am thinking of getting a room. After 17 days on the road and much of it without electricity or showers has me feeling the need for a good cleaning and bed that may actually allow me to rest. I also really much get online, as I have been without reception for a good portion of this trip and have not shared anything in a couple weeks. I am so back logged that my phone is getting very full and not wanting to work. I must get caught up so I can move the photos to my computer. I am in Wyoming on my way to Idaho, yet still need to share my journey of the rest of Florida and Hawaii. I also must get a chance to research tickets for my next care-taking position on the Big Island in September. So I have found a hotel with good ratings and a fair price. We shall get ourselves there and hope they have a room for us. I am trusting as it is not quite as touristy of a place that we will have luck finding a spot to land a moment. The view where we stayed last night is spectacular with the grand Tetons filling the horizon and the nation park sign just across the way.

I sat up last night writing in my journal and kept hearing something outside rustling in the sage bushes. We are on a elk refuge, so as much as the stars we calling me out to sit beneath them I stayed in my seat in the van until I was ready for bed.

Elle has just awaken and we shall prepare to journey on and see where the sojourn shall lead us next. We had to get a picture next to the Grand Teton sign before we wandered on, and a kind gentleman offered to take our picture. He also happened to be a us senator for Wyoming. Elle gave him her card and he confirmed she was the first mermaid he had ever met and now that he knows there are mermaids in Michigan, he has another reason to visit someday.

We were on our way back in to Jackson and found it was there farmers market day, so we strolled through as the booths were closing. We bought four organic peaches and had hoped for some lavender lemonade, but unfortunately it was all gone. Elle had spied cinnamon rolls, so we went back for one only to find a lady had just bought the last three. She kindly gifted us one and the baker also gave us two bioche. The booth next to him gave me some sheeps cheese for half price. It is a type of brie.

From there we got a few post cards and set our gps for Idaho Falls. We were surprised to be routed on the 22 and made our way up and over the Tetons. Elle was trilled at she had wished we could go over a mountain. After we left the national park and forest we saw more sage growing on the side of the road and stopped to harvest some for sage bundles. We took a quick break from the drive while we wrapped them and then were off down the mountain again. We crossed into Idaho and pulled over for the ritual photo with the state sign.

I had hoped to find a hotel tonight and have a bath and hopefully deep rest in a bed, but the rates I saw online were not being honored by the hotels. I just can’t budget over a hundred a night right now, as I am already concerned about making the complete trip on what we have left. I am even being advised to turn around and head back to Michigan after the Fin Fun meeting on Monday, yet the entire purpose of this trip was to get to California and collect my belongings. I had not told Elle just how low were are running on funding, until today, as I figured if we are to keep going she needs to understand we must simplify even more, as much as I have loved exploring everything along the way. We are now sitting at a park trying to decide what to do. Elle is playing in the river with other locals and their dogs. They have two black labs. The two little boys and Elle have convinced me to let them cliff jump into the river. I am hesitant, but see thus far it has been safe for others, so I leave it up to her to decide. As she approached the edge you could see the hesitation in her, but she did it. She lept into the air and down into the waters! They did it a couple times each, which I film on shore, and them with the go pro in hand. I know one way or another I need to find a shower before Monday, and probably tonight as Elle is playing in the clay on the shore also. It would be great to get all of our electronics charged and get online a moment as well, but it may just be camping at a place with such at the most if we are lucky. Moments like these I so wish I had my little travel trailer with a bathroom and a little kitchen. It turns out the the little boys that Elle has friended, has a grandpa that works at a camp spot less than a mile from the falls, so I have called and they will have openings. We went to the campsite and got set up. No van tent though, I just am too tired. Feeling very wore out after this many days on the road. I sat and wrote my postcards while Elle made a friend. A young girl named Amelia that wears a unicorn crown, rainbow socks, and a dress fit for a princess. I love her camping style! Elle and I went to the pool and I was grateful for the hot tub. I sat relaxing into the hot waters, hoping some of the pain in my body would release. I discovered tonight that Elle has healing hands, she massaged my aching arm and shoulders, and I must say she did more in those 15 minutes than some massages I have paid for, and she is 12 years old! The pool was not too cold, and I did a few laps underwater really working my core and a few on top doing the backstroke. One more sit in the hot tub and we were off to the showers. It was heavenly to be clean again, after having been roughing it since we left Bozeman. I was exhausted and it was after midnight, so I crawled into bed and that was that. To my dreams I went.

By Elle ~ Today I woke and we got ready and took photos in front of the Grand Tetons sign, where we met a senator who was taking photos for people. He was nice, but I kind of felt he was a little to friendly, but we exchanged cards after taking a few photos. We said our goodbyes and headed to a hotel that sissy wanted to go to because she said we were dirty. We found that the hotel was way more than it said online, so we went to a different spot which happened to have a river beach. I asked sissy if I could swim. She said it was okay, so I put on my swim suit and went to swim. There were 2 adults and their dogs. The water was cold, so I stayed at shore and played with the clay that was under the sand. After playing for about 20 mins the 2 boys came. An older one and a younger one. The older one started talking to me and we jumped off the side of the cement ledge. He told me about the cliff he jumped off and after some convincing sissy let me jump too. At first I was standing up there scared. I was nervous I’ll admit, but I finally built up the courage and jumped! It was scary because it felt like you were falling for a long time even though it was only like less than a second. I was willing to do it more though. Each time falling seemed shorter and shorter. Finally after about an hour at the beach we decided to head on. The parents told Ema about how their kids grandpa worked at a camp ground and it was called snake river, an rv campground. Before the little one about 8 found a necklace and it wasn’t their moms even though it was under her clothes, so they gifted it to me right before heading to the campground they had told us about. I was still in my swim suit by the time we got there. We were right by the playground and there were some kids around. I specifically noticed this girl in a dress wearing a unicorn horn. I put on a dress and went to the playground to sit by her. She started talking to me and we quickly became friends, but soon she had to leave for dinner, so I was alone again, but we were going to meet in the morning at the playground so we could look forward to tomorrow. After a few hours after Amelia left, sissy and I decided to go to the pool. There was a hot tub, but only for 16 and up. It was cold in the pool and I longed to get in the warmth, so after all the adults left she let me in for 1 second and then I was out. Her arm was in pain so I decided to massage her arm before the pool closed and we headed to camp.

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