America’s North Country Trip~Part 11

29 Nov

A Slice of Life

 Bill Lites

 

 

 

Day 11 (Monday)

 

This morning I did a little back-tracking north on US-20 heading for my first visit of the day to the Legacy Flight Museum located at the Rexburg-Madison County Airport in Rexburg, ID. This was a small one-hanger museum where all of their planes are flyable. I learned that several of the planes from this museum were at the Extreme Blue Thunder Airshow in Idaho Falls last weekend.

 

 

As I walked thru the hanger taking photos, I spotted a yellow P-51 Mustang that looked familiar. I asked the tour guide if that really was Bob Hoover’s “Ole Yeller” and he said, “Yes.” I asked him how it ended up in their museum, and he said, “Bob knows one of the owners of this museum, and when Bob was forced to retire from flying, he designated that his P-51 Mustang would be displayed, maintained and flown by this museum until a specified time, when it would go to the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum.” What an amazing man and airplane!

 

 

Now I headed east on SR-33, past a beautiful part to the Teton Mountain Range to visit The Teton Valley Museum located in Driggs, ID. The museum was closed, but I learned from their website that their exhibits mostly center on local history of the surrounding Teton Valley.

 

 

Just down the road a ways, at the Driggs Airport, I visited the Teton Aviation Center. This center houses a small FBO as well as an impressive collection of beautifully restored WWII warbirds. There is also the “Warbird Café” where you can eat a delicious meal and have a great view of the Grand Teton Mountains from your table.

 

 

In downtown Driggs I visited the Teton Geotourism Center just to see what it was all about. They advertise to be the world’s first Geotourism center which they say is the portal to an experience on the Teton Scenic Byway (a part of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem). Most of their exhibits are interactive, showing the Teton Valley in its best light. I did like the on-board husky-driven snow sled ride video.

 

 

As I headed south and west on SR-33 thru the Caribou Targhee National Forest, where I picked up US-26 in Swan Valley. I continued south along the Snake River, crossing the border into Wyoming, where I picked up US-89 into Afton, WY where I visited the CallAir Museum. This was a very small museum located in the Afton Civic Center building. I learned that the Call Aircraft Factory was founded in 1939 there in Afton, and went on to design and manufacture single engine passenger aircraft and crop duster aircraft until 1970.

 

 

Before I left Afton, I wanted to see and photograph what is advertised to be the World’s Largest Elk Horn Arch. The arch is 18 feet high and 75 feet wide, and is said to contain over3000 elk antlers. Sure enough, there it was, stretching across US-89 in downtown Afton, with a pair of elk sparing on top. Wow! That took a lot of elk Horns to build! There must have been a lot of elk roaming around these parts in the early days, as I have seen all kinds of elk Horn furniture in museums on this trip.

 

 

Now I headed south on US-89, skirting the Bridger National Forest, until I picked up US-30 just below Geneva, ID. US-30 continues south another 25 miles before it turns east, past the Fossil Butte National Monument, to where I could merge with I-80 near Little America Travel Center. Since it was only another 25 miles to the Sweetwater County Historical Museum in Green River, WY were I had planned my next visit, I put off a potty break until I got there. As expected, this museum’s exhibits majored on the cultural heritage of southwestern Wyoming, including the early explorers, fur trappers, sheepherders, cowboys, and the Pony Express.

 

 

 

While there in Green River, I went looking for what I thought would be an old timey Wild West saloon where I could get a sarsaparilla. But the address for the Wild Horse Saloon and the Hitching Post were both the same, and I found out that they had been combined, and were now called the Hitching Post Restaurant & Saloon. Since I was sure this saloon would probably not be serving anything as mild as a sarsaparilla, I decided to look for the Island Park, down by the Green River, to relax while I called DiVoran. I couldn’t find the Park, so I just pulled up in a nice shady spot next to the river and made my call. The rustling water was very soothing.

 

 

 

Now I headed east on I-80 another 15 miles to Rock Springs, WY to look for my motel for the night. After I got checked in, I saw the Best Western “Outlaw Inn” across the street. They had a restaurant called the” Open Range” where I enjoyed a dinner of Baby Back Ribs with all the trimmings. What a great way to end a long day on the road.

 

 

—–To Be Continued—–

2 Responses to “America’s North Country Trip~Part 11”

  1. Onisha Ellis November 30, 2017 at 12:35 pm #

    Pretty cool that you had the chance to see Old Yeller before it goes to the Smithsonian!

    Like

  2. divoran09 November 29, 2017 at 4:37 pm #

    Good post, especially since my name was in it.

    Liked by 1 person

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