Jake and I started our road trip leaving Spring Green around 5am. I drove the fist leg since I was too excited to get any sleep at that point! From there, we traded until somewhere in South Dakota. We ate our packed deli meat sandwiches at a road side stop and hit the road again. Around 4pm we finally got to The Badlands. What a cool place! We were driving a long flat boring road and then Boom! The scenery totally changes to colorful cliffs and peaks. What a strange place.
And of course, no trip out west is complete without stop in Wall Drug! After a long day of driving and cooler food, we decided to reward ourselves with a pub burger. Delicious! From there we finished out our day's drive when we pulled into our hotel in Buffalo. All in a day's drive...Our first big adventure was driving through the Big Horn Mountains in Wyoming. We hit the road early and headed up the mountain pass. The weather in the mountains was sunny and comfortably cool. We stopped several places along the way to take in the views, including a snowy mountain side, and a beautiful rapids. We even found a great abandoned campground to have our lunch at. It was right next to the stream so we could hear the water rushing by. From the Big Horns we drove through a stretch of desert (where we got a speeding ticket...oops. But I guess no road trip is complete without one.) then on to Yellowstone National Park.Yellowstone - what an amazing place. Driving through the park was such an adventure. Each bend in the road provided us with an entirely new landscape, terrain and breathtaking views.
We finally arrived at our destination: Old Faithful Inn. I stayed there when I was really young, on a trip with my parents and the old inn is just as magical and enchanting now as it was then. Our room was small and quaint and each night we sat out on the balconies and listened to the piano. It felt like we had stepped back in time. At dinner at our fist night at the park we happened to meet a photographer who told the "hot spots" to go see in the park. We took his advise and hit the road at 6:00am. It was so beautiful outside and we were some of the only people up that early. The only tricky part was getting to our car, as a buffalo had decided to camp out between our room and the parking lot.
We took the first side road that we came across and were lucky enough to find a huge geyser going off. It was unbelievable. The mist was still lingering and no one else was around. We got back in the car, only to turn the corner and see a giant elk right in front of us. He was shortly followed by a ghostly fox.
We spent the rest of the day driving around the park. We went up to Canyon village to the waterfalls where we found the most beautiful hiking trial, complete with a rainbow and finger dips in the river. We spent the rest of the week in Montana hanging out with family, meeting new relatives and making new friends. We enjoyed the beautiful mountain scenery, went four-wheeling, sat around the campfire and ate like kings! Jake's family knows how to host a good time!
My favorite part was our sleeping arrangement. The climate was nice and dry so sleeping in a tent was a dream. We got to set up right by a little stream that trickled by in the night. And our comfy flannel sleeping bags were so cozy and perfectly warm for the cool Montana nights.
We toured an old ghost town, Castle Town... and went fishing in a near by stream. Both Jake and I caught fish!And I've been told, no Young reunion is complete without rhubarb dumplings. An enjoyable first for me!