Monday, July 7, 2008

Speedtrap Hunting: Cheyenne to Jackson, Wyoming with a Whistler XTR-695

27-29 JUN 08 (Posted 12 APR 09)

Lisa and I enjoyed a wonderful stay at the Windy Hills B&B located 23 miles west of Cheyenne Wyoming. Cooki really provides a special B&B experience with their Terra Cotta-styled homes.

Our Very Private Windy Hills B&B Suite, with Overnight Guest

Windy Hills is directly adjacent to Wyoming's Curt Gowdy State Park and our secluded house suite provided spectacular views especially in the evening.

Got Milk?
Astrophotography from our Windy Hills B&B Suite
Nikon D3, Nikkor 14-24mm @14mm/F4, ISO-2500, 30secs

Overlooking CGSP from our private outdoor hot tub
Nikon D3, Nikkor 14-24mm @14mm/F5.6, ISO-2500, 30secs

We enjoyed the Windy Hills so much that we decided to stay here again for another couple of days after we ultimately returned from Yellowstone on our way back to Denver, Colorado.

Veil Gal: Nikon D3, Nikkor 200-400mmVR @400mm/F4, ISO-200, 1/500sec

Our next destination was Jackson Hole, Wyoming and the Grand Teton Mountain Range on the other side of the state. We knew it was going to be a long trip because our GPS predicted that our travel time from Cheyenne was projected at 9 hours and 1o minutes. Given our late departure time (14.30), our GPS unit reported an estimated arrival time of 23.40.

What the GPS unit didn't take into account was that I was piloting our Infiniti M35 and Lisa and I chose the Whistler XTR-695 as our radar detector of choice for this segment of our trip. After a couple of instant-on Ka encounters on I-80 West (one moving and one stationery), we found ourselves on a wonderful stretch of highway called WY-287. This road, without a doubt, is a fabulous road to drive with very little traffic.

Summer's Transition

If you are fortunate enough to get out to Wyoming, you must drive this road which leads North West from Cheyenne towards Jackson.

Heaven's Highway
Approaching Grand Teton Mountain Range

During our travels on WY-287 we came through an Indian Reservation of the Wind River tribe and I nearly inadvertently passed a marked patrol vehicle at an eye-popping speed. Fortunately, I spotted him in time and he didn't seem to mind my rate of speed as he, himself, kicked it up (to about 100mph) and we closely followed, once outside their tribal population center.

Despite two fuel stops (hey you burn some serious fuel at the rates we were traveling), one snack stop, and numerous photography stops, we managed to arrive in downtown Jackson Hole, Wyoming a little ahead of schedule.

$4/gallon petrol didn't phase our consumption demands

...Try 2 hours and 50 minutes ahead of schedule. When we arrived, it was still light outside and we managed to watch a glorious sunset.

Nice "Big T#$s"
Nikon D3, Nikkor 12-24mm @24mm/F7.1, ISO-200, 1/200sec

That's right, we made the entire trip in just over 6 hours and 20 minutes—with the help of our new friend the Whistler XTR-695.

Speed Trap Hunting Ride Along: 14 Miles in Six Minutes (No Encounters)

I put my entire faith into and held nothing back from this new capable Whistler and it didn't disappoint.

First Whistler XTR-695 in it's Rightful Place, my Infiniti M's Windshield (Violet Display Mode)

We arrived at the Sassy Moose Inn located in Wilson, Wyoming and were greeted by Craig, the inn-keeper. Craig informed us that Jackson Hole is such a wealthy area that most celebrities can't even afford to live there, the ones that write their paychecks do. The town is home to several multi-billionaires and a couple of well-known politicians, such as VP, Richard Cheney and former PA Senator, Rick Santorum.

Harrison Ford keeps his personal jets at the local airport and also provides helicopter air-lifts for individuals in need of medical transports, which is a pretty cool thing.

Although the town is "nice," Lisa and I did not take to it, especially at this time of the season. There's much to much of an "urban" feel to it and, at least during this time it was a zoo.

Fortunately, we had planned our stay here to a minimum. The next day we drove around the area looking for nice wildlife to photograph through Grand Teton National Park.

Best to Heed This Advice

Later that evening we visited some good friends of the family from Victor, Idaho located about 30 minutes west of us.

Bill is a retired Marine and I always look forward to spending time with him and his wife. Tonight, Lisa and I were treated to a nice outdoor family BBQ.

Semper Fidelis
Bill and Speed Trap Hunter Lower USMC and US Flags, at End of Day

Given the amount of traffic that we experienced in Jackson, I had asked Bill for an alternate route to Yellowstone through Idaho which we took the following morning.

Craig, the Speed Trap Hunter, and friend

The next morning, we finished up our breakfast at the Sassy Moose with an intense conversation with Craig about politics and the state of things today. Like me, Craig believes that gas prices are still too low and need to be more in line with the global/international level and that good things will come from our need to devise new solutions to our energy demands.

We had been expecting an overnight delivery from Escort, one of the very first production Passport 9500ix radar detectors, which had not quite yet begun shipping, but the delivery truck was delayed. We ended up having to wait, until we could connect with our special package, to start accumulating some serious miles another day. However, we did manage to blog the initial release announcement of the Passport 9500ix from our wireless connection, that morning and we still have our other trusty companion already along for the ride, its predecessor, the Passport 9500i. Besides, thank the Good Lord that, Wyoming does not use photo enforcement on these sparsely traveled roads.

Roadside View from the Idaho Side

Afterwords, we made our way towards Montana and ultimately to the northwest entrance of Yellowstone National Park, by way of beautiful Idaho, to partake in three days of fabulous wildlife and outdoor photography.

Osprey & Offspring
Nikon D3, Nikkor 200-400mmVR, Nikkor TC-300 2x, Equiv: 750mm/F13, ISO-200, 1/250sec

Mrs. and Mr. Speed Trap Hunter