Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Kahler's Big Adventure: Part One

I got home from my triathlon Sunday morning and got a wild crazy idea...let's go somewhere.  It is very rare Heath and I have more than a day off together and I realized yesterday we didn't have to be anywhere for almost four days!  I think we were all holding our breath for this time off because we didn't know what it would hold, with my Mom, the kids or anything else.  I realized that everything was going to be fine and we needed a break! Let's go...
Well, it took a few hours to convince my husband that it would be fun,  we could do it and we should do it.  Many hours later we had dusted off the camping gear, acquired a new soft roof rack and with all 5 of us, Luke included, headed north.
Because of getting such a late start we didn't get very far Sunday night.  We decided to stop in Cheyenne, Wyoming for the night.  We found a decent price hotel that accepted dogs.  For any future travelers of Cheyenne I wouldn't suggest staying at the Rodeway Inn.  Cleanliness and maintenance were not some of there core values.  Either way we all slept well and had fun being somewhere "different".
After a not-so-special continental breakfast we headed north again bound for Casper, Wyoming.  Heath and I don't eat fast food as we decided a couple of years ago it was a huge blockade in our healthy lifestyle goal.  We decided this trip that with 2 kids, and a dog in tow eating anything but fast food was going to be near impossible.  So we have been indulging our fat tooth.  We saw a Arby's after breakfast and drooled at the thought of curly fries all the way from Cheyenne to Casper.  After a quick bite at Arby's and some time to stretch our legs we embarked onto highway 20/26 due west.  Through Powder River ("was that even a town"?), Hiland (population 10), and a special treat in Shoshoni we trekked on.  Distracted by our treats we took the wrong road out of Shoshoni and ended up going through Riverton instead of Thermopolis.  I guess it was where the wind blew us.  
The kids had a great time playing
And being wonderful travelers.  Their awesome Aunt Emily made them some quiet time books.  They loved them and it kept them entertained for hours.  Thank you Auntie Em.
 We arrived into Teton National Park around 6 pm.  Since this has truly been a trip of seeing where the wind blows us, we saw the fork in the road and took it.  We ended up deciding to stay there for the night because Yellowstone was still an hour further north.  
Insert complete mind loss...  
we decided to tent camp for the night.  
The campsite was awesome, perfect for our first time.   Pull up service, right across the road from the bathrooms (no showers) and had an incredible view. 
Annabelle and Logan had a great time playing while we set up camp.
It was a great camp ground.  Grocery store, restaurant, laundromat and marina. This is the view from the parking lot of the restaurant.  
Several of my friends have taken their kids (who are the same age as Annabelle) camping and at first I thought they were crazy.  They all had very positive things to say, so that helped inspire my insanity.
Our first night of camping went AMAZINGLY!!  Heath and I were really worried that they would get cold and we came up with several contingency plans.  Once we got the kids to sleep (took 30 minutes or so to wind down) they slept the whole night.   I woke up several times to find Annabelle out of her sleeping bag and without covers.  I guess being a hot sleeper will serve her well for camping.
The kids woke up really excited.

We got up Tuesday morning with the plan to head towards and explore Yellowstone, or how Annabelle interpreted "stone park".  I am amazed that my Eagle Scout husband had never been to Yellowstone.  As he put it, the Boy Scouts didn't go to "touristy" places.  I had been to Yellowstone about 10 years before and we must have visited during a off season.  Holy people batman!  Yellowstone was PACKED!  We persevered and even braved an hour wait for Old Faithful. 
So hard to get a good picture with these monkeys!
We ended up enjoying our $30 picnic lunch (I didn't plan food for this trip, poor choice.  I didn't know a PB&J could cost $2.95) in the rain, to try to reserve a spot for the kids to see the eruption.  
After the excitement of seeing Old Faithful do her thing, we headed back to the car.  It was raining but didn't stop the kids from exploring while we let Luke stretch his legs.  Needless to say the highlight of "stone park" was in fact running up and down this hill.  Kids keep life in perspective.
We drove north from Old Faithful and explored West Yellowstone.   You could probably spend a week here and still not do the park justice so one afternoon was certainly not enough.  We wanted to see some falls and Firehole Falls fit the bill.  We were able to drive up to and get out for a short walk.  It was beautiful.
The kids had a horrible time
Logan wanted to make sure he got a good view
We drove back to Teton National Park and our campsite in lots of traffic and down pouring rain.  It amazes me how poorly some from other states, country's and cultures drive.  Absolutely no consideration for others on the road.  We were glad to leave the park and all of the craziness.  Note to time we want to visit a popular tourist destination, try to go on off or early seasons.
Once we got back to our camp site area we decided to explore it a bit better by foot. There was a really cool foot path around the marina.  We had a very nice easy hike and enjoyed beautiful views of cloud covered Teton' s.

We capped off the day by having a camp fire and roasting smores.  This was both Annabelle's and Logan's first for both.  They were both more interested in the process then in the treat itself.  They did have quite a bit of fun testing our patients in how close and dangerous to the fire they could get.
We tucked in for the night exhausted from the day.

1 comment:

  1. VICTORY!!! I am so glad you all went on this journey! I love reading your posts:)