After my adventuring in Rocky Mountain National Park, I spent the night under my wing at Granby airport, fueled up in the morning and departed over rapidly rising terrain, headed almost direct to Driggs, Idaho.
The smoke from all the western US fires was pretty bad and by the time I arrive at Driggs the visibility was very poor. It was still technically VMC (visual conditions) but barely. Although I’m not current to fly IFR I loaded up the instrument approach into Driggs and flew the approach until I could see the airport a few miles away. Since I was never in IMC this was legal and a safe way to not hit any mountains, of which there are many of in the area.
I was thankful that I did have the IFR training and experience because if I was a VFR only pilot this would have scared the C* out of me! As it was it was no big deal.
Driggs is a great alternative to Jackson Hole airport. Much less expensive, quieter with a nice pilot’s campsite right on the field and a fine cafe. I rented a car there and 45 minutes later I was searching for the start of the mountain bike ride I had planned for that day out of Jackson Hole.
The purpose of the trip was to check out some family adventures for the book I’m writing, and one of the adventures I had planned was an E-Bike ride from Jackson to Jenney Lake. I rented an E-bike in town and rode along the Moose-Wilson road. I came upon a line of cars and being on a bike, I just passed them up and rode to the front of the line – where the cars where stopped to look at a small bear on the side of the road.
Oh my. I’m about 40 feet from a bear. He sure didn’t care about the cars so I was hoping he wouldn’t care about the bike either. He didn’t. He just looked up at me and then went back to eating alder berries. I didn’t want to push it though, so I took a quick photo and then put the bike into “Turbo Mode” for my escape.
I finished my adventures over the next several days and was somewhat disappointed that I couldn’t get any photos covering any great distance because of the smoke. I drove back to Driggs and settled in for the night at the pilot’s campground for another early am departure the next day back to California.