Friday, September 7, 2007
About Elk, Mini Vans and the West
I'm not sure how big she was, but when the car hit her, she was thrown behind us, and the car was badly damaged. A Tetons Park Ranger shot her, and the car was towed into Jackson WY for repairs. We were uninjured. But I am not one to let an elk stop my vacation, so we rented a car and drove back up to Yellowstone to finish our camping and touring before picking up Libby in Aspen.
Meanwhile, Libby was having a great time at the Aspen Music Festival. She had excellent roommates and good friends, as well as an outstanding musical experience under the baton of several famous conductors. We were all so happy to see Libby! We attended a rehearsal for the Aspen Festival Orchestra, and got to hear the conductor giving his last-minute instructions. The venue is lovely. Orchestra concerts are held in the Benedict Music Tent, so that later that afternoon, when we did not have tickets, we could sit out on the lawn and hear the concert. We met up with Libby and her friends after the concert backstage.
Due to the elk, we did not drive her home as we had hoped, but we put her on a plane with her brother, and we continued our western adventure. For the most part, I avoided driving at night after the elk incident. I am sure the elk are thankful.
A brief word about rental cars (this is for all of you car rental place owners out there). A Toyota Rav 4 is NOT a mid-sized SUV. A Dodge Caravan is not an adequate substitute for my beloved Honda Pilot. A Toyota Sienna is the nicest mini-van I have ever driven...but it's nothing like my Pilot.
Without the SUV, off-roading, or even dirt-roading, was out of the question. Even one campground we visited was a challenge for the Caravan (rented during week 1 of our repair wait). Mini vans have no clearance. So after checking up on the car in Jackson, and spending three rather cold nights under the stars by the Snake River, we headed to nice warm Utah.....