Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks

Days 6-10

Day 6, July 8

Day 6 started in Missoula, MT at 8:30AM, and ended at the Bridge Bay Campground in Yellowstone National Park at 11:00PM.

After playing a few rounds of pinecone acrobatics with Maggie the black lab, we stopped at Black Coffee Roasting Company for some gourmet toast and space to edit photos. The modified warehouse space was filled with twentysomethings, sporting Teevas and tattoos, and Hayley wondered whether she might consider Missoula an unexpected but entirely possible new home.

Butte, MO

Caffeinated and content, we settled in along I-90 once more, swallowing miles of sculpted hills and windy expanses before stopping in Butte for lunch. Prior to moving out to Oregon, Hayley helped Nona, then a 94-year-old woman living in Bethesda, MD, record her life--in writing--for her granddaughters. Nona was born in Butte in 1920 when it was still a mining town. In 2014, she recounted to Hayley her earliest memories on Argyle Street, in the house her dad designed and built with “top-of-the-line brick.” Without a specific address, we drove the length of Argyle Street, seeking a house that looked at once old and contemporary, whose bricks might have been the same as those Nona still knows well.

We then explored downtown Butte for ourselves. We ate lunch at the Hummingbird Cafe, whose delightful name was matched by locally-sourced, vegan-friendly fare and a floor-to-ceiling bookcase of board games! And on our way back to the car, we wandered into Broadway Antiques, our second of several antique stores. Coincidentally, the store owner was from Corvallis, OR, but had followed the market to Butte. Unfortunately he was closing his store after over 50 years in the business.

Pressed for time, we stopped briefly at REI in Bozeman before heading for Yellowstone.

Yellowstone National Park 

We reached Yellowstone as the sun set over the National Parks sign, which meant our first encounter with Yellowstone was primarily through the arcs of the headlights. We encountered a startling number of animals on our way to Bridge Bay campgrounds, including several elk seeking refuge in the resort sprinklers, a buffalo we nearly mistook for a boulder, and a coyote that crossed the road just in time.

Campsites always seemed a bit farther in actuality than they appear on the maps. As we continued towards our campsite, rain started to fall and lightning lit the sky. The 12 and 18 mile sections of road felt longer without the familiarity of well-defined road signs and cell phone service. Finally we arrived at the campsite. We claimed our reservation and map from the late arrival envelope at the Bridge Bay Campground guard station and quickly figured out the way to our new temporary home E234. This was our first time setting up camp in the dark. But having practiced the set-up routine in Glacier, we quickly constructed our tent by the light of Kevin's solar-powered inflatable lantern.

Day 6 wrap-up

We started our day in Montana and ended up in Wyoming, saw 21 different US license plates, (including our first Hawaii on a white pickup) as well as a license plate from British Columbia. We traveled two major roads, 90E & 89S.

The major landmarks we stopped at were Missoula, Butte and Bozeman, MT as well as the Bridge Bay Campground in Yellowstone National Park.

Hayley's Song of the Day: "Against the Wind" by Bob Seger. Heard as we barreled down I-90. 

Kevin's Song of the Day: "News" by Dire Straits. Heard as we traveled through Montana on our way to Yellowstone.

Day 7, July 9

Day 7 started at the Bridge Bay Campground at 10:00AM, and ended at the Bridge Bay Campground at 10:30PM.

After the late arrival to camp the night before, we began our day slowly. We emerged from our tent into what felt like an entirely new place, unveiled by the sunlight. We made some instant oatmeal and checked in at the campgrounds office, to make sure they wouldn't give our campsite away the following night.

Our first stop was the nearby Fishing Bridge Visitor Center. There we met with a ranger to ask about her suggestions for how to fill our day. We asked for a trail away from the hoards of people that infest the park and with a chuckle she said “This is Yellowstone. It’s going to be hard to avoid people.” But she whipped out a few trail maps and a highlighter, searching the map for somewhere to send us. We ended up with about five options. Before leaving, we asked one final question. “What’s your favorite hike in the park?”. Taking out yet another smaller trail map she highlighted a 4-5 mile loop. We took her many suggestions and went on our way.

All of Yellowstone’s most famous features create an approximately 70 mile loop, and this is where most visitors go. Part of the masses, we too, based our day around the lumpy circle of road. From the Fishing Bridge Visitor Center we continued counterclockwise. We were looking for the purple dots on our map, or the geothermal features. The first two features were the Mud Volcano and Sulphur Caldron. We spent just enough time at these two spots to explore the main boardwalks and see the main attractions. 

Dragon's Mouth at the Mud Volcano.

One of many similar features at the Mud Volcano.

Yellowstone river near the Sulphur Caldron.

As we continued along the loop we approached (learning from our time in Glacier) an animal-siting traffic jam. There were no close points of interest on our map so we deduced that everyone was turning into the small roadside turnout for only one reason. With good timing, we found someone leaving just as we pulled up. As we were getting out of the car we realized our timing may not have been as good as we first thought. It seemed everyone was leaving, and there was really only one reason this would be the case: the animal or animal(s) that drew the crowd had disappeared into the wilderness. But we kept walking to where a few hopefuls remained. There we met our ranger friend that had helped us not an hour earlier. “Well you guys haven’t made it very far!” she greeted us. We asked what was causing the commotion. "A pack of wolves were crossing the river, and disappeared up the hill." The Yellowstone wildlife tracker was there too. He thought it was a possible the pack went up the hill to ambush a small herd of elk sunbathing on the other side. Holding out hope we might see this encounter we stayed and watched. The wolves never returned. Disappointed, we continued towards our suggested hike. 

We found our way to Uncle Tom’s Point. After stocking up on water and a couple granola bars we ventured out on the trail. Yellowstone is a weird park; with so many geological oddities--consider: mud volcanoes, geysers, sulfur hotsprings--it offers dozens of natural spectacles and is probably the reason so many people visit it each year. Our hike started just as the ranger had described: through a small valley with grass fields and a beautiful view of the surrounding mountains. After climbing a hill and cutting through a cluster of trees, we came upon our first landmark: Clear Lake. 

Except for some bugs, there were no signs of life at Clear Lake. No fish, no birds, and even the trees along the lake’s perimeter had collapsed in defeat. The smell of sulfur hung in the air. The turquoise water--gorgeous and eerie in its refusal to reflect the sky--tempts visitors to wonder at its contents, and what gives the lake its color.

Some fellow hikers flagged us down as we were leaving the lake. They had come from the opposite side, and were wondering exactly how much more of their loop they had left. We shared our map and, after learning where they came from, decided to alter our route slightly and retrace their footsteps. 

As we continued down our revised route, Yellowstone really showed us its peculiarity, its distinctiveness from any other landscape we had ever entered. The trail led us out of an area with a few trees and a lake into a place that felt like a alien planet. The ground was barren and grey, with large thermal pits scattered everywhere, each boiling over with water, a subtly scary feature after hearing a few stories.

The trail wound its way through this cracked field, and back up into the woods. After a fork and a few seconds of doubt we found ourselves back in an area of lush greenery. Lily Pad Lake brought us back into a scene brimming with life and color. There was even a butterfly that followed us as we followed the path uphill. We could see open sky, we thought that we might be coming up on an open field. It wasn't until we were almost to the edge that we realized we were overlooking the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone

For a while we just sat and reveled in its incredible scale, still confused at how something so massive could sneak up on us like this. Reds and yellows spilled down its walls, as though nature had tripped over its paint cans and stained the sun-bleached rock. We walked along the top of the canyon, following the river upstream. Though it was dozens of stories below us, we felt the power of the Yellowstone River, the culprit responsible for carving this vast canyon. The whitecaps of the rapids only emphasized this point. Of course we knew the water was coming from somewhere, but unsure of its source, we kept walking. We came upon a family taking a break in an outcropping, and detoured from our route to see what their view was like. As we approached the edge of the cliff, the mother said, "Keep going, it gets much better." So we did. And she was right.

We reached a lookout from which we saw Yellowstone Falls for the first time. We watched as gallons of water cascaded down, cutting even deeper into the painted canyon. Our hike had felt blissfully secluded, but as we got closer to the falls, we saw more and more people. We found ourselves at the aptly-named and heavily-trafficked Artist Point, a large area with a parking lot, and people flocking to get a picture of the falls from the manicured overlook. You have to stand your ground here, because anything goes. If you move even slightly from your spot it will be gone in an instant, especially around lunch hour, when we happened to arrive. After taking our obligatory pictures at Artist Point we completed the loop back to our car at Uncle Tom's Point. Once again we ate a PB & J lunch as we enjoyed the surrounding views.

With our hiking need satisfied for the day we hopped back in the car and drove around the loop hitting as many of the “must-see” attractions as possible. At this point we were at the northwest corner of the loop, heading west. Off the main road there are many short but very worthwhile detours to take. They lead you to beautiful areas of the park, that remain hidden if you just follow the main road. One of our detours took us to Firehole Falls, a large waterfall that bellows at the bottom of a valley disguised by trees.

As we drove on we noticed what looked like pockets of smoke rising from the ground; we had just entered a geyser basin. Each plume of steam was a different geyser, and they were scattered evenly throughout the large meadow. We parked and went out to explore. As we walked along the boardwalk we marveled at the many oddities that filled this area of the park. Trees that somehow found a way to grow in these harsh conditions now looked dead, and the bottom three feet of the trunks were bleached white. There were colorful pools of water that looked nice enough to swim in, but the bubbling water deterred us. Geysers gushed boiling water ten feet into the air instantly turning to steam. It was hard to distinguish the steam from the clouds of an incoming storm, until a flash of lightning lit a halo around the steam. The boardwalk looped back to the parking lot and it was off to the next stop.

Grand Prismatic

Grand Prismatic is one of Yellowstone's most famous attractions. Like most areas in Yellowstone boardwalks indicate where it is safe to walk. Steam rises everywhere and people stop every few feet to take a picture, so it's important to watch where you walk so as to not accidentally knock anyone in.

Hats litter the thermal areas having been blown off people too wary to retrieve them. Although by the number of hats it seems some may have been purposely thrown.

As we made our way to the exit of Grand Prismatic we hit a traffic jam. Having moved freely throughout the entire day we became a bit frustrated with a rogue group of selfie takers who stopped in the bend of the boardwalk, holding up traffic in both directions. Eventually they caught on to what was happening and moved out of the way, but they cost us five valuable minutes we could have used to drive to our next location.

Old Faithful

With our limited time to spend in the park Old Faithful wasn't necessarily high on our list of things to see. Sure, we would stop to see what the buzz was about, but if we had to wait an hour or more before it erupted we would probably skip it. We weren't going to base our day around Old Faithful's schedule, especially with the possibility of wildlife traffic jams striking at any moment.

As we followed the signs pointing to Old Faithful we wondered where exactly it was. We made our way through a large parking lot and towards the Old Faithful Lodge. We told ourselves we would take the next available parking spot and found one across from the entrance to the large hotel. As we pulled into our spot out of the corner of our eye we saw something fly into the air. Not 100 yards away Old Faithful was erupting. We threw the car in park and dashed to try to catch the last few bursts of the reliable geyser.

Old Faithful is definitely a sight to behold. Almost as impressive is the number of people that attended this event. Even at close to 9PM it was standing room only, drawing a larger attendance than some professional sports teams. The crowd made up of five to ten rows, formed a semi-circle in the designated area patiently waiting, but as soon as it was over the crowd dispersed, leaving only a few stragglers to enjoy sunset.

Pleasantly surprised with our luck we explored the tourist area surrounding Old Faithful. It was built up more than any other area in the park. A large hotel, ranger station and general store made up the circle. We stocked up on supplies, and a couple souvenirs and made our way back to camp.

We watched the weather change all afternoon and by the time we returned to Bridge Bay, the sky had made up its mind: wind, rain, lightening and hail. Though we trusted our tent to hold up in the storm, we were unsure how well its thin vinyl could protect us from a fierce lightning bolt. So for the first and final time, we slept in the car. When she packed her car in Oregon, Hayley left enough room for 1) Kevin 2) Kevin’s stuff and 3) a view out the back window. Unfortunately she had not considered dark and stormy nights such as this one. With no room to recline, we folded ourselves like messy paper cranes and willed the sun to rise as fast as it possibly could, tossing and turning until we found the least uncomfortable position.

Day 7 wrap-up

We stayed in the Wyoming section of Yellowstone National Park all day, and saw 17 different US license plates. We traveled on one major road, 89S.

The major landmarks we stopped at were the many roadside turnouts, Dragon's Mouth at the Mud Volcano, Sulphur Caldron, Clear Lake, Lily Pad Lake, Artist Point, Upper and Lower Yellowstone Falls along the Yellowstone River, Firehole Falls, Grand Prismatic, Old Faithful, and Bridge Bay Campground.

Hayley's Song of the Day: "Goodbye To You" by Michelle Branch. Heard while we entered the parking lot at Grand Prismatic.

Kevin's Song of the Day: "Your Love" by The Outfield. Heard while rounding the main loop of Yellowstone.

Day 8, July 10

Day 8 started at the Bridge Bay Campground at 7:06AM, and ended at the Gros Ventre Campground in Grand Teton National Park at 7:30PM.

We woke upseveral times throughout the night as we adjusted and readjusted throwing limbs onto the dashboard or sneaking our head into whatever nook we could find. We didn't start our day however, until we saw the sun for the first time. Kevin took the picture to the right before we mustered the energy to leave the car on this brisk morning.

We stopped once along the shores of Yellowstone Lake, beaten there by only a couple early bird fishermen and what looked to be a research team leaving on a boat.

Our final stop before leaving Yellowstone was Lewis Falls, set back a ways from the road. A few fallen trees got anyone who dared to venture out on them for a better view, but only slightly.

After a day and a half of weird weather, close calls and many stops, our time in America's first national park came to an end.

Grand Teton National Park

As we entered Grand Teton National Park the rain began to fall. In combination with the pines that lined the road it felt like we were back in Glacier. When we reached the park sign the rain falling was so hard we didn't feel like getting out of the car even to take our obligatory sign picture. There would almost certainly be another opportunity as we explored the park.

As we drove a little further the weather changed once again to something we had not seen before. Hail the size of marbles fell. At one point it was so dense we had to pull over and wait for it to pass. As we drove away everything was coated white,as if it had snowed.

With the storm behind us we came to our first sign of the Teton Range. From Yellowstone we arrived first at the northern tip of Jackson Lake. Jackson Lake provides a great view of the mountains when there are no clouds in the sky, and we patiently waited for the clouds to break.

We traveled along the shore of Jackson Lake stopping every so often to get out and admire the view. It wasn't until we were well down the road that we got our first good view of the Teton mountains.

Meeting the Tetons

Though we left the hail and the lightning behind, the rain and the mist followed us down the road through Grand Teton. Our spirits slightly dampened by the limited views, we had big hopes for any movement we could glimpse in the clouds. As we rounded the road bordering Jackson Lake, we sensed such a spreading, lightening, lifting: a scrap of blue, mountain scraping sky. With nothing more than time to lose, we took a chance and parked at a nearby lot. There were a couple people coming and going, but the sky had hidden the main attraction. On foot, we followed the road to the lake, and descended giant steps that curved and disappeared into the water, concrete ruins succumbing quietly to the graceful fortitude of this place.

We took in the view: the Tetons holding court as the sky rushed to meet them. We had already and would again feel small and speechless. But this was certainly a moment of majesty, and we surrendered, too.

There were only a few more stopping points along the way before we got to our first sign of civilization.

As usual our first full stop, was the visitor center. There we talked to a ranger looking for hikes to fill the day. Again we left with a good list and a highlighted map, but also with doubts that the weather would cooperate much at all during the day. Already tired from a night with sporadic sleep we were skeptical having enough energy to hike. We decided to try a short hike on the other side of the park where there was a chance for us to see moose. To get there we drove down a half-paved road that at times was only wide enough for one car to pass. We turned into the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve, hidden from the main part of the park we were surprised to find a busy parking lot. We were greeted by a ranger who told us the parking lot was full, and that we could wait if we wanted to but there was no telling how long it would be. With the chagneable weather our eyelids a little heavy we decided to save it for tomorrow.

We soon braked for wildlife traffic jam. The narrow road gave no chance to pass, so like everyone else we parked. Kevin ran with his camera down to where a crowd gathered, passing parked cars, people standing and pointing, some out of their sunroof, all with some kind of camera in hand. 

When Kevin arrived at the scene the star of the show exiting the clearing, but he was able to capture a nice shot of a moose's backside before only ears were bobbing through the tall grass. But that was one more animal we could add to our list of wildlife sightings.

Although we were excited from our recent sighting we were still tired, and it was time to get off the road for a little while. We located the nearest dining area on the map and headed there. Dornans is a small roadside area with a few eateries, lodging and a gas station. We decided on the Spur Bar, a pizza and pasta place with a great view of the Tetons. After a long couple of days it was nice to get a hot meal and re-energize.

With the weather still overcast, we took our obligatory picture with the park's sign and then moved on to the campsite to make our reservation. On a friend’s recommendation, we passed the few park-run campgrounds to try our luck at Gros Ventre Campground. To get there we had to pass America's most photographed barn, which we ironically did not take a picture of, and traveled down Mormon Row, an uneven dirt road. Although by far the shortest route on the map it would likely have been quicker to take the longer paved road.

 A sprawling space at the southeast edge of the park, Gros Ventre had dozens of available spots, and the attendants were very happy to have us. She made sure we had everything that we may need, including an optimistic weather forecast for the rest of the day. We quickly found our assigned campsite, but with very few people at the campground we thought we should continue exploring.

Reviewing our map we found a nearby lake that was off the beaten path and we decided to take a look. On our way there we pulled into a lookout view of the Gros Ventre River. Across the river was a bull moose grazing in a clearing. Quickly a crowd gathered. Although the moose was the main attraction it's good to look elsewhere every once in a while. Because we did, we saw a tree swallow dart in and out of its home in the trees.

Continuing towards our predetermined destination, a hiking trail on Lower Slide Lake, the rain began to pick up again. The road was not well-marked, and we had no idea how near or far we were from the trailhead. The combination of the rain tapping on the windshield and the heat in the car made us both a little drowsy, so we pulled off at the next turn-out. We jumped out quickly to see the view, but uninspired we jumped right back in the car. After a cat nap we accepted this was just our luck for the day, so we headed back to camp. Not wanting a repeat of last night we left; hopefully leaving enough time to find a pocket of clear skies while it was still light out, in which to set up our tent.

On our way back we stopped to look at the wildflowers.

The irregularity of the weather brought some rare sunshine, and we thought we'd better seize the opportunity. We stopped when we saw a sign for a hiking trail. We found a break in the fence, and although it looked like a simple hill we were ready to get our blood moving, so we ran up the hill. And then we saw it...

The day's continuous search finally paid off. With the clouds low all day we had yet to get the most iconic view of the famous Tetons, and this was the perfect way to find it. Feeling satisfied we went back to camp for the night.

There was still daylight when we got back to camp and it was nice not to have to rush to set up the tent and cook dinner--garlic coos coos with fresh vegetables. We attempted to start a fire. Though the air was dry, the ground was not, and the dampness of all potential kindling thwarted our dogged attempts to build a fire and roast marshmallows. Noticing our struggles our neighbor brought over a homemade firestarter: an egg carton cup filled with newspaper and melted wax. Our new friend Joe, told us to light it and place it under the wood. By coincidence, Joe met his wife forty-some years ago at a summer camp in Groton, MA, Kevin’s hometown. In spite of Joe's gift, and a flare-up or two, we never got a fire started.

Day 8 wrap-up

We stayed in Wyoming passing through Yellowstone and ending in Grand Teton National Park. We saw 20 different US license plates and traveled on two memorable roads, 89S and Mormon Row the dirt road toward our campsite.

The major landmarks we stopped at were the many roadside turnouts, Lewis Falls, Jackson Lake looking out at the Teton mountains, Dornans, an unknown hill looking out onto at Tetons, and Gros Ventre Campground.

We added more wildlife to our list: 2 moose, tree swallows, a bald eagle, and many pronghorn antelope.

Hayley's Song of the Day: "Annabelle" by Gillian Welch. Heard as we passed Lewis Falls on our way out of Yellowstone National Park.

Kevin's Song of the Day: "Peace Train" by Cat Stevens. Heard while following the shore of Jackson Lake, headed south through Grand Teton National Park.

Day 9, July 11

Day 9 started at the Gros Ventre Campground at 10:45AM, and ended in Victor, ID at 8:30PM.

We decided today would be a slow day. A day to catch up on sleep and work. We wouldn't set a schedule, just enjoy the day as it came.

We did however, hope to get a short hike in so we ventured back to the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve looking for the hike we missed yesterday.

Again the rains came. So instead of the hike we enjoyed what the visitor's center had to offer. The preserve is named after Laurance Rockefeller, who Lady Bird Johnson dubbed “America’s leading conservationist” in the 1960s and who is responsible for expanding the acreage of several national parks including Grand Teton. The visitor center hopes to connect visitors with nature; printed on the walls were various quotes to mull over. Multiple exhibits used image and sound technology to simulate the park’s rich ecosystems. One room played four videos simultaneously of various wilderness scenes whose sounds very smoothly fused into one, while another room offered benches on which to sit and listen to the crisp and layered sounds of the surrounding preserve.

Of course our trip down to the preserve wouldn't be complete without one more moose traffic jam.

National Museum of Wildlife Art

With the clouds’ blessings, we drove down the road to spend the afternoon exploring the National Museum of Wildlife Art . Built into a hillside, the stone building looks like an extension of the land that surrounds it. The covert exterior, however, belies its size: upon entering, visitors descend a staircase into a space divided into ten large galleries filled with hundreds of paintings, sketches, sculptures and photographs.

Our visit coincided with two special exhibits that were of particular interest. "Yosemite 1938: On the Trail with Ansel Adams and Georgia O’Keefe" presented each page of a photobook that Adams made by hand for each of his close friends that accompanied him on one of his many excursions to Yosemite National Park. This particular album was presented to David McAlpin. Kevin had a particular interest in this exhibit, because not only is Ansel Adams one of his favorite photographers, but also a during the summer of 2013 he spent a week backpacking in Yosemite, hiking much of the route outlined in the exhibit.

The other exhibit to really caught our eye was, "Yellowstone National Park Through the Lens of Time", which juxtaposed images of Yellowstone in 1871 to the same images over 100 years later. It was eye opening to see how much the park has changed. Trees, even mountains have grown, however, the most notable changes are those made by man.

Time passed quickly while at the museum. Before we knew it, it was close to 4PM, explaining we were both so hungry. We traveled south into Jackson Hole for an early dinner. Entering Jackson Hole was like entering a whole new world. Though it was only about a 20 minute drive from the park, we no longer had the feeling we were in a remote corner of America. It felt like it was more to enjoy the beauty of the mountains while still maintaining cell phone service and being treated to all the amenities of a four star hotel. At one point a crowd gathered to take in a good ol' fashioned gunfight (put on by the local playhouse).

After the show we made our way to a Starbucks where we took advantage of their free Wi-Fi and caught up on some work after being out of range for the last few day. It was here that we realized we actually enjoyed being out of range. It's nice to have an excuse to not be permanently tied to your phone.

After getting less work done in Starbucks than we hoped, we left Jackson Hole and headed towards Victor, ID where we had booked an Airbnb for the night. We stopped once to watch the sun cut across the mountains. After three days of driving, hiking and sleeping in our tent, it was nice to get a shower. The heated bathroom floors were a nice surprise, a luxury not available in our tent!

Day 9 wrap-up

We spent most of the day in Wyoming while ending up in Idaho. We saw 20 different US license plates and traveled on three major roads, 89S, 33W and 22W.

The major landmarks we stopped at were the many roadside turnouts, the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve, National Museum of Wildlife Art, Jackson Hole, WY and Victor, ID.

Hayley's Song of the Day: "Dreams" by Fleetwood Mac. Heard as we discovered the National Museum of Wildlife Art.

Kevin's Song of the Day: "Forever Young" by Audra Mae & The Forest Rangers. Heard while editing photos for the night and reminiscing on year past.

Day 10, July 12

Day 10 started in Victor, ID at 8:45AM, and ended in Douglas, WY at 7:04PM.

Staying in Victor meant we could drive through the Grand Tetons once more before crossing Wyoming. On this bright and dry second morning in the park, we took another picture in front of the entrance sign, this time with a clear view of the Tetons in the distance. 

Inspired by the exhibits from the day before Kevin paid homage to Ansel Adams and his famous 1942 Snake River photograph. The Snake River overlook was our last stop before leaving Grand Teton National Park and driving east.

Day 10 was filled mostly by driving, with seldom stops. We crossed a large portion of Wyoming on our way to the Black Hills of South Dakota.

Though we planned to camp in the Thunder Basin National Grassland, daylight was beginning to wane as we drove through Casper, WY. We stopped at the Kampgrounds of America (KOA) in Douglas, WY to consider our options for the night. Neither of us had stayed at a KOA before, but we were happy to learn they offered a very easy, affordable stay. We felt quite at home at our site with its picket fence, picnic table and a deciduous tree. We watched the sun set over tall grasses and enjoyed golden brown s'mores later that night.

Day 10 wrap-up

We woke up in Idaho, but spent most of our day in Wyoming driving west to east. We saw 15 different US license plates and traveled on five major roads, 33E, 22E, 26E, 20E & 25S.

The major landmarks we stopped at were a couple roadside turnouts, the Snake River Overlook, the Grave of Sacajawea, Casper, WY & Douglas, WY (the birthplace of the Jackalope).

Hayley's Song(s) of the Day: "Way Over Yonder" by Carole King & "Hero" by Family of the Year. Heard on the long drive across Wyoming.

Kevin's Song(s) of the Day: "Beautiful World" by Colin Hay & "Boots of Spanish Leather" by Mandolin Orange. Heard on the long drive across Wyoming.

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