Have you ever arrived at a campground and found it to be completely DESERTED? Yes, its open, yes you can camp there, NO, no one, not a soul was there!
Simply put, I had my “pick of the litter” when it came to campsites! The date – April 4, the place – Tough Creek Campground in Boysen State Park near Shoshoni, Wyoming. Yes, I know the lake here is still frozen over (but not for long!) and yes, I know its early in the season, but the next several days will feature high temperatures well into the 60’s!
I JUST finished camping all winter in Jackson, Wyoming and was ready for some adventure, but first…
Camping all Winter in Jackson Hole Wyoming – a wrapup…
It was quite a winter! My first winter in Jackson as a ski instructor for Jackson Hole Mountain Resort (locals call it “Teton Village.”) Also my first winter to experience a HEART ATTACK (learn more about that HERE.) My post shares the whole story – including advice that I followed…and if you do as well, it *could* very well save your life.
How’d the ski season go? Well… I skied 99 days (97 at JHMR and 2 at Grand Targhee) and worked over 400 hours instructing guests in adult group and private lessons. 33 of those ski days were AFTER my heart attack, beginning just 5 days after I left the hospital after getting 2 stents! (And yes, this was WITH my cardiologist’s blessing!) In fact, when I returned to work, I skied 8 straight days before taking 4 off and ended up skiing 33 of the last 42 days before I called it a season on April 1st.
The weather and the camper…
It was a cold winter here in Western Wyoming – consistently cold but not bitterly cold. The lowest temperature in the campground was -19F. Most days on the mountain were in the teens. There was no real thaw all winter (it would have been welcome!) When Spring showed signs of arriving, it did so very slowly and near zero and sub zero mornings were still common into mid-March.
Snowfall was moderate, except in February where it was a record breaker! This produced snow depths in the valleys (and the campground) in excess of 3-4 feet. Some of the storms produced heavy, wet snow, so I had to clear the roof and slides – yes, even once after the heart attack, or risk damage to my trailer. As it turned out, both my trailer and I survived – quite well!
***It PAYS to get a good quality camper! I strongly believe this, and to help others get the BEST camper, at the RIGHT price, I started my Concierge Buying (and selling) Service – if you’re in the market for a camper and want unbiased advice from an experienced camper – contact me HERE.***h
Tough Creek Campground
When I left Jackson in early April, I had only about a 4 hour journey across Togwotee Pass (9600 ft elevation) to reach Tough Creek Campground. The morning I left, it was about 35F, raining lightly, dreary and still quite winterlike. Those conditions persisted until about Dubois (7200 ft elevation and just east of Togwotee Pass) where it was in the low 40’s and overcast. Between Dubois to Tough Creek, the skies cleared and by the time I arrived at the campground it was 64F with NO snow in sight except on the higher peaks of the Wind River Range nearby.
A note about early Spring mountain pass crossings… know your passes! When I traveled over Togwotee, temperatures (in the early afternoon) dropped to the high 20’s and it was snowing. There was *just enough* daytime warming to prevent the road from icing up. High winds and heavy snow are *possible* on mountain passes in this region right through Memorial Day in late May. Check your weather forecasts for the passes BEFORE proceeding towards them!
I was mildly concerned about the campsites being within a few feet of the water – normally a true benefit, but with the water surface still frozen, I thought there might be a (weak) cooling effect similar to a sea breeze at the ocean. There was in fact slight cooling noticed at the campsite compared to along the highway (about 2 miles to the east), but it was at most a 3 degree difference.
Tough Creek Campground is 100% dry camping – no electric/water/sewer is available. The town of Thermopolis – about 30 minutes north has several options to soak in mineral water also provides facilities to shower if you wish to conserve water use in your camper.
Thermopolis also features some good places to eat, campgrounds with full hookups, and a complete grocery store (along with a hardware store and an auto parts store.) When in “Thermop”, I prefer the Star Plunge to soak at – even though they charge a fee (the state facility next door is free), they offer a “vapor cave” which is kind of like a natural steam room. For me, it really helps clear the sinuses!
Looking towards summer – RV sales and consulting…
The store at which I sold RV’s for the past 4 years is no longer (and considering who owned it, that’s a GOOD thing!) At a minimum, I do plan to continue to serve anyone who is looking to buy or sell a camper (any type of camper) through my Concierge Buying and Selling Service. The good news is when a client comes to me, I have no allegiance to any one manufacturer or type of RV – as such, I can offer truly unbiased advice and find them the best possible deal for their hard earned money.
I AM planning to return to Casper, Wy. for the summer and work on other projects with friends – and possibly work with a startup RV dealer in the area if tentative plans come to fruition. In fact, I’m writing this closing in Casper, it snowed yesterday and its now mid-afternoon “the day after” with MORE snow showers and temperatures in the mid-20’s… aaah Spring!
***In case you’re wondering about the generator I purchased – I’m adding it to my Best RV Accessories section, but for your convenience, here is a link below…
More coming soon about this generator and why I selected it. For now, here’s a hint… Portability (38 pounds, small size) and fuel longevity (holds 1 gallon and has fuel economy features), a price-break in generators… and naturally, it had great reviews!
Anyway – all for now. I will have more videos and news very soon, so… stay tuned!
Hey, thanks for allowing me to share my story and my journey. If you are able to and moved to help me with my medical bills due to my recent heart attack (hard to believe its only been 2 months!) – you can reach my “gofundme” page HERE.
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