Sunday morning and the first thing we have to do is say goodbye to our beautiful campsite at Buffalo Bill State Park. It brought many tears, but we are better people for it. Ok, no tears, but that place really made us want to just sit, stay there and enjoy doing nothing! There really are not enough hours in a day!
We saw a lot yesterday at Yellowstone. So we figured we needed to take the kids to Old Faithful and then head to Jackson. We have a lot of driving to do in the next couple of days, so we need to make this quick. Old Faithful is only a 34 mile roundtrip off the route we are taking so it shouldn’t take long…famous last words! We made a few stops along the way. Since this is a “working vacation” we needed to take some photos of the camper in action. First we got some photos with the Yellowstone National Park sign and then we parked it next to Yellowstone Lake. Got some nice photos with the lake and this turned out to be a really fun stop.
Back on the road to Old Faithful. From West Thumb to Old Faithful it’s only a 17 mile stretch, but it’s all mountain driving, up, down and round and round…and this time we are pulling the camper! When we finally get to Old Faithful (on a Sunday afternoon) there isn’t a parking spot in the entire lot. It makes you want to leave, but we can’t come all this way and not see Old Faithful! After circling the lot for awhile we finally see an open space. And in our (moms) mad dash to the space we clip the huge RV next to us as we pull in. That's why rearview mirrors fold it, right? Just unfold it, good as new.
Old Faithful is awesome…
but holy crap, the people!!! We got there at 1:30 and the next eruption was at 2:10 +/-10 minutes. We were one of the first ones to get a spot to watch and by the time she blew her top there must of been 5000 people watching. Crazy for being on top of a mountain! It was almost 4:00 by the time we got on the road and we have a lot of driving ahead of us and no place to stay. Sunday night, should be easy to find a place…hahaha
To Jackson and beyond
We drove out the south entrance of Yellowstone through Grand Teton National Park, and the mountains are unbelievably beautiful. Did it just snow a bit? Yes! We haven’t put the miles in that we needed to today, but we thought it might be cool to stay at one of the national park campgrounds in the Tetons. They are first come first serve and it’s a Sunday, we shouldn’t have a problem finding something. Wrong again, everything is full, so why not drive to to Jackson. This is all we saw of the Tetons... :(
We heard good things about Jackson, well not on a Sunday night when you're hungry and tired with no place to stay. I (dad) actually got laughed at when I told the lady at KOA that we were looking for an RV site. Not liking the crowds in Jackson and after filling our bellies with fast food, mom said “screw this, we’re just going to drive and see what happens”. It was getting dark and for the next four hours we drove through mountains on two-lane roads winding through Wyoming, Idaho and Utah. Finally around midnight we pulled into a Holiday Inn Express in Evanston WY and called it a day, a very long day. Still not sure if we wanted to see the roads we were on...heights, mountains.
- We are the worst food planners ever. Bad diets and lots of waiting at Old Faithful in the hot sun=at least one kid that doesn't feel well! Lots of parenting failures!
- No cell reception at Old Faithful (or practically anywhere in Yellowstone) for making reservations at future campgrounds. Also hard to get "work" in even with our WIFI hotspot. We even used a phone booth in Tetons!
- Jackson, WY is smaller than we expected! There was a lack of lodging/camping between Yellowstone and Salt Lake City making for lots of driving! (this ended up being a good thing in hindsight to catch up on miles). No interstate until Evanston or Idaho Falls-both scary drives for novice trailer haulers.
- Thank God for GPS, because it was dark and the roads we took got confusing. But Google maps sends you on the shortest route, not necessarily the best or safest! Lack of research got us a bit on this part of the trip!
- Kids need to poop a lot!
To be continued...ZION!