Trip West: Maryland to New Mexico, The Grand Tetons and Yellowstone.

Our first couple of days were at our favorite places to camp in New Mexico. After stopping off in New Mexico we continued Westward to the magnificent Grand Tetons and a brief visit to Yellowstone.

Camping is great until it’s not. Having truck troubles is the pitts. Lucky for us, Carl is a great mechanic and was able to replace the serpentine belt. Not an easy feat in 98 degree weather luckily we made it to a parking lot. Little Archie wants to know when we are going to get out of this parking lot.

One of our goals on this trip was to “boondock”, which is camping in places that are free. There are many opportunities travelling West to boondock. Cracker Barrel, Walmart and most rest areas allow overnight stays. Not the most scenic but when all you need is a good nights sleep it is just fine and it is free. Casinos also allow overnight camping and some even offer hookups with electricity and water. The best places are on BLM land Bureau of Land Management and National Forest.

The Cherokee Casino, Roland, OK is a great place for a quick overnight.

Santa Rosa State Park, NM One of our favorite camping spots. Unfortunately, the lake is very low but still a beautiful place. We arrived late in the day but I had time for a quick study. “Santa Rosa Evening”. (11×14)

Coronado Campground, Bernalillo: Another favorite spot. We are camped right along the Rio Grande River with gorgeous views of the Sandia Mountains.

Orilla Verde Recreation Area is located within the Rio Grande Del Norte National Monument. in Pilar. We stayed at the Rio Grande site. Only cost $7 for seniors includes electric and water.

“Rio Grande Campground at Orilla Verde Recreation, Pilar, NM”.

Our base was at the lovely Gros Ventre Campground which was perfect for touring the sites along Rt. 191. Also, very close to Jackson Hole which is a great place to visit for a meal in one of the many restaurants or a visit to a gallery or shops. The weather, unfortunately did not cooperate fully , for the first couple of days it rained but nothing could spoil the beauty of the magnificent Grand Tetons. I was in awe of this place. The clouds made for an interesting challenge and there was great moments of beauty when the clouds lifted. It was truly magical to behold. .

“View of the Tetons from Schwabacher’s Landing” (11×14) oil on linen board

“Teton View” (11×14) oil on linen board

I can’t believe these magical Tetons

“The Oxbow Bend in Grand Teton Nation Park ”

This breathtaking spot is located along highway 89/191 between the Jackson Lake and Moran Junctions. My little study does not do it justice. I hope to make another studio painting based on this study and a photo that I took.

Oxbow Bend in the Jackson Hole valley and Grand Teton National Park. The name “oxbow” refers to the curving shape of the Snake River water which is like the wooden yoke used on an ox. The mountain is named for Thomas Moran, 19th-century American landscape painter who painted in the Yellowstone and Grand Canyon. Like the early mountain men trappers/explorers, Moran ventured into the unknown of the American West. He was part of expeditions led by government surveyors and topographers, including Ferdinand Vandeveer Hayden and John Wesley Powell. Moran’s glorious depictions of America’s treasured landscapes helped to persuade the leaders to create the national parks including Yellowstone. Moran became known as Thomas “Yellowstone” Moran.

I wish we could have stayed longer at Yellowstone. Camping was very hard in the cold weather. Some camps were already closing. Two of the entrances were completely closed off due to the recent catastrophic flooding. We were able to see the famous geysers including Old Faithful.

I might consider flying back out to see Yellowstone National Park and instead of freezing at a campground stay at the beautiful Old Faithful Inn Built in 1903-1904 with local logs and stone, the Inn is considered the largest log structure in the world.


  1. Thank you for the history lessons and tour of the west! You are both my heroes. I love that you’re taking this awesome trip and, as always, in awe of your paintings. Sal

    Sent from my iPhone



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