We woke up around 8 & went & had the free breakfast in the hotel. It was decent & even had a waffle maker with real batter in a dispenser. That was popular & was a hit with the residents. It was raining & there was lightning flashing so the drive could be bad. After eating we put the bikes back on the van, packed our stuff and hit the road. The rain lasted up until the Virgin River Canyon & cleared up once on the other side. A bit further & we ran into a huge traffic jam that lasted miles. Turns out it was due to the I15 damage which wiped out a large portion of the highway. I had heard about it and we were diverted because of it on the way up but I was shocked just how much damage there actually was. It was bad. The jam was caused due to I15 going down to one lane. Once past that section it freed up & was pretty clear the rest of the way.
We ate in Barstow at some teriyaki place that was decent. On the way to the restaurant I had to stop quickly & the porta-potti that was out came tumbling forward & knocked my shifter into neutral. Luckily the only leakage was the fresh water. Lesson learned. Don’t drive with the porta-potti out. After lunch we drove the rest of the way home without incident. Once home we unpacked the van & called it a successful trip.
We got up, packed up the van & hit the road. We were homeward bound. On the way out of the park we took Moose Wilson Road which was a nicer way to get through despite it being slower. We stopped in Jackson for breakfast at coffee house & walked the town a bit. It was touristy but nice. We bought some cinnamon bread & pastries at a local bread shop. Then it was back on the road. The rest of the drive was uneventful except for a stop we made to check out the Park City ski resort which required on about a 20 minute detour. The resort was full of mountain bikes & looked nice.
We found a Thai restaurant in Cedar City that closed at 10 so we stopped at about 9:30. They were closing already but let us order take-out which we did & proceeded to eat in the van. We got into St. George at 11 with lots of lightning flashes all around. The place was full with lots of lowlifes hanging out. We decided to put the bikes in the room for safety. The room was nice though and I slept great after the long drive.
The plan for the day is to meet up for a float on the Snake River & then hit as much of Cacade Canyon as we could. We packed up the van & drove to the Jackson Lake Lodge where our group was to meet. We ate breakfast in the van & then went inside for the 8:45 meet up. We were called around 9 & split up into groups, hopped in the van & drove to the place where we would put into the water which was about 20 minutes away.
When the raft was unloaded & in the water we hopped on & floated downstream. The water was very calm with no rapids so it was a peaceful float. Views on the Tetons were great on most of the 10 miles we were on the river. We were hoping for some wildlife views but only got to see a couple of bald eagles. Guide Jess was a decent guide & got us safely to the put out spot. A bear was in the area where we stopped so the Rangers made us go a bit away to load back into the van..
Back at the lodge we grabbed coffee & some scones and then drove down to Jenny Lake where we bought tickets for the boat trip across where the Cascade Canyon trail starts. It ws about 2 when we got to the other side and the last boat back across left at 4 so we would likely be walking back to the dock. The trail went up to a waterfall (Hidden Falls) and then to Inspiration Point where views of the lake could be had. Most people called it a day here but we continued on up Cascade Canyon which followed a river the entire time we were on it. It was a beautiful hike & I really wanted to keep going but after a couple of miles we needed to head back so that we could get back to the car before dark. On the way up some people said they had spotted a black bear about 1/4 mile up the trail. We continued on but I kept the bear spray in hand instead of in its holster.
The lakeside trail was closed we were told so we took the horse trail back which returned along a trail which was further up the mountain & required a bit of a climb before it descended back down to the lake & met the lakeside trail. From there it was another 1.5 miles to the car. We got to the car about 6:45 & it was great to spot the van before the sun went down. Back at the campsite we ate some good Korean ramen and then built a final fire for the trip & I had a well-earned beer. Tomorrow we start the drive back home. The vacation is pretty much over & we survived bear country.