Yes, it's me again. Just when I had practically every detail nailed down for my 31-day road trip out West in Sept. 2012, I'm now starting to re-think one big aspect of the trip: my two days at Grand Teton and three days at Yellowstone.
I realize I'll get ripped for this, and probably deservedly so, but here's the deal: I'm getting a bit tired of all this concern over the issue of grizzlies at GT and Yellowstone and, honestly, it's slowly but surely sapping away my excitement for that part of the trip. Seems like every other TA thread I read addresses the concern for bears while hiking. I mean, I was all excited for a sunrise photo shoot at Schwabacher Landing, until reading that it is a prime spot for bears and that people need to be very careful here.
Since the point of vacation is to relax, what's the point in walking around constantly worried and looking anxiously around every corner, wondering if I'm going to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and suffer a horrible fate? I know fatal bear attacks are rare, but bear attacks overall seem to be more frequent than people realize, as I continue to read. I know all about being smart and cautious, but you can be smart and cautious as that couple last month was, but if you round a corner and mama is with her cubs, it's all over.
So here's my question: After leaving Yellowstone, I'm scheduled to spend three days in Portland/Hood River, and then one day driving down the Oregon coast from Portland to Northern California. Since these areas also warrant more time than what I'm giving them (especially only one day driving the coast), should I scrap the Grand Teton/Yellowstone part of my trip and add those five days onto Portland and the Coast? I was so looking forward to seeing the spectacular Tetons and all the wonders of Yellowstone (and have even booked, and paid for, my three nights in Yellowstone), but am wondering if I can make better use of my time by immersing myself more in Portland/Hood River/Mount Hood and adding a couple days to my coast drive rather than hike in constant fear of bears (not to mention the added hassle of crowds, and possible snow/road closures).
I know the decision is mine, and I'm still leaning slightly toward keeping my itinerary as is, but would value the opinions of you folks who have been to these places to help me put everything in better perspective.
Thanks so much.