2,532 miles or 4,075 kilometers
Updated: Oct 14, 2019
The total distance from our home in Scottsdale to Yellowstone National Park and back was 2,532 miles or 4,075 kilometers.
May 11 - May 12, 2019 drive to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.
We dropped TeTe off at Hopi Animal Hospital’s boarding and we were off on our way.
This was the longest trip we have taken the Tesla on. I would like to thank Elon Musk for having all these charging stations along the way as this trip costs us nothing for fuel. It only costs in time spent recharging. Actually, it works out fine as we need to stop and stretch, get something to eat and take those bathroom breaks.
For a ten mile stretch in Flagstaff, Arizona, we encountered the most “interesting weather”. The temperature dropped from 72 degrees to 42 degrees and then back up again in that short 10 mile span. I don’t think the temperature gauge could keep up. We had sunshine, rain, sleet, hail and snow. I should have had my iPhone or camera out to capture this but…
I finally took my phone out when we were driving through the Navajo Nation. I took out my camera when we stopped in Page, Arizona but it was easier to take pictures with the iPhone as Michael zipped along at 80 miles per hour (and a little over). The highest speed limit in Arizona is 75 mph. Utah has 80 mph and Idaho has 80 mph for cars and 70 for trucks.
We passed through a few rain bands but the rain only lasted a few minutes.
We whizzed a short distance by Lake Powell.
Scenery was breathtaking, unique and varied.
Surprised to see large scale irrigation of fields. They need large amounts of hay for the cattle.
Passed through quaint little towns. A Family Dollar Store could be found in most of these small towns.
Snow capped mountains off in the distance.
We stopped overnight in Provo, Utah. As we were talking to the receptionist at The Residence Inn, we found they had a charging station, too. It was just installed. It isn’t a Super Charger (charges very quickly) but a Destination Charger (charges slower). This one was half the amount of delivery as we have at our house, but it didn’t matter to us as it had all night to charge.
After we had breakfast, we were on our way. All women were given a power bar at check-out. Well, it was Mother's Day.
Michael used to be the technical support for a salesman in Farmington, Utah (about 30 minutes north of Salt Lake City) so he knows the area around Salt Lake City. Fun to have him be the tour guide as we zipped through Salt Lake City.
Zoning must not be a high priority in Salt Lake City as you see residential areas next to refineries next to industrial areas next to strip mining.
Mormons, members of the Church of Latter-day Saints, are generous with their resources, including their time. Because Utah is comprised of 62% Mormons, it has the highest rate of Volunteerism in America. “Mormons serve the poor and needy through humanitarian and welfare service. The Church’s humanitarian programs target victims of disaster and poverty worldwide with programs that administer emergency relief and also long-term aid with food, shelter, medical supplies, clean water initiatives, etc. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints also has a highly effective welfare program dating back to the time of the Great Depression. Members of the Church donate their time and resources to produce and purchase food, clothing, and other essential supplies. These are made available mostly to needy Church members, but also to others in need. Contributions made to the Church are sent to Church headquarters and then redistributed throughout the world.”
We passed by some NSA buildings. We only see one level. They actually go down 6 levels.
We are used to seeing paragliding in Switzerland but we actually were able to see some outside Salt Lake City.
Hill Air Force Base is approximately 30 miles north of Salt Lake City.
The base was named in honor of Major Ployer Peter Hill of the, U.S. Army Air Corps, who died test-flying NX13372, the original Model 299 prototype of the B-17 Flying Fortress bomber. In this decade, Hill AFB is still the sixth-largest employer in the state of Utah, and the third-largest one excluding the State Government and Higher Education employers. Hill AFB is the home of the Air Force Material Command's (AFMC) Ogden Air Logistics Complex which is the worldwide manager for a wide range of aircraft, engines, missiles, software, avionics, and accessories components. The Ogden Air Logistics Complex is part of the Air Force Sustainment Center.
The scenery changes somewhat when you get to Idaho.
All boats had to be inspected once they crossed into Idaho.
We had to always be on the lookout for wildlife crossing the road. We saw many deer, elk and even a marmot.
Many trains used to carry cargo in this part of the country.
From the car, we could see the Tetons off in the distance.
Soil was tilled. Potatoes to be planted soon.
Many snowmobile trails.
You drive only a short distance through Montana.
We stopped and charged the car in West Yellowstone. This was the last charging station before entering the park.
The year 1964 marked 100 years since Montana was established as a territory.
While the car was charging, we went over to see the Montana Centennial Train.
I went to the World's Fair many times but I do not remember seeing this train car.
The weather forecasts had been wrong both days on the drive from Scottsdale to Yellowstone. Temperatures were to be a high of 58 degrees at Yellowstone. Well, we had 80 degrees in Pocatello, Idaho and it was 76 degrees as we entered Yellowstone. Really now??????!!!!!!!! Good thing we packed shorts, too.
May 18 - May 20, 2019
The weather on the drive home certainly was not favorable for our homeward bound plans. Other than the time at Yellowstone, we did not have definite plans so it was easy to change course.
When he left Yellowstone, the temperature was 34 degrees. Wind and heavy snow were predicted. Our first stop was to be Jackson Hole, Wyoming with a stop at Grand Teton National Park. Instead of going out the South Entrance of the Park, we left through the West Entrance. Weather predictions were better if we left this way. Snow was predicted for the coming week in Wyoming, Idaho and Utah so we decided to head toward home and skip the area by the Tetons.
We thought about stopping in Park City, Utah. The forecast was snow so we continued on.
We stopped for the night at the Residence Inn in Provo, Utah again and fully charged the car overnight.
View from the parking lot at the Residence Inn. Snow levels had dropped during the night.
It was lightly raining when we passed Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park.
New plans would take us to Bryce Canyon and/or Zion but due to occasional rain and snow we kept heading south to Page, Arizona.
Stopped to see the Glen Canyon Dam in Tonalea, Arizona.
Glen Canyon Dam, rising 710 feet above bedrock within the steep, rust-colored sand-stone walls of Glen Canyon, was constructed to harness the power of the Colorado River in order to provide for the water and power needs of millions of people in the West.
Glen Canyon Dam is the second highest concrete-arch dam in the United States, second only to Hoover Dam which stands at 726 feet. The 26.2 million acre-feet of water storage capacity in Lake Powell, created by Glen Canyon Dam, serves as a ‘bank account’ of water that is drawn on in times of drought. This stored water has made it possible to successfully weather extended dry periods by sustaining the needs of cities, industries, and agriculture throughout the West.
Hydroelectric power produced by the dam’s eight generators helps meet the electrical needs of the West’s rapidly growing population. With a total capacity of 1,320 megawatts, Glen Canyon Power plant produces around five billion kilowatt-hours of hydroelectric power annually which is distributed by the Western Area Power Administration to Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and Nebraska. In addition, revenues from production of hydro power help fund many important environmental programs associated with Glen and Grand canyons.
Stayed overnight at the Marriott, where the super charger is located.
We decided to book the Slot Canyon and Horseshoe Bend Overlook tour for the next morning. The weather was to be cold but sunny. Mother Nature was not that kind to us. We had a light drizzle when we left on the tour. When we had only driven a couple miles, that drizzle turned into pelting accumulating hail. The driver decided to turn back and refund our money.
Encountered accumulating snow in Flagstaff, Arizona, too. Roads were being plowed. Quite unusual weather for this time of year.
Snow accumulating along Interstate 17.
With all the rain we have had in Arizona the last few months, grasses along the roadways have grown high and have now turned from green to gold. Unfortunately, this may mean an active fire season.
Palo Verde trees blossoming yellow. The majestic saguaros stand among them. We are close to home.