Whirlwind Wild West Adventure

It’s been a whirlwind two weeks on the Wild (and a Bit Wearisome) Wild West Adventure. The tour included eight states, three of which we had never previously visited. Okay, Idaho was somewhat suspect because we were only in that state for about 15 minutes, but we did get out of the car and put feet to the ground for official scorekeeping. We looked for an Idaho Visitor’s Center, because one of our tall-tale telling friends, who used to live in Idaho, says if you walk into one, they microwave a potato, hand it to you, and say “Here’s a ‘tater for an out-of-stater!” Unfortunately we were on back roads and encountered neither a visitor’s center nor a hot potato. We slept in six different lodgings, visited three National Parks, one State Park, and had one major meltdown involving a thirteen hour drive, a high school lacrosse team, an Amish family and Subway sandwiches.

We visited some bucket list sites, including

13951f6e-5feb-45bb-a1ac-1b51d9b8f79d

and

9f9e3723-6cb6-4538-bc1b-975d35d6d177

And of course, we had to visit the classic roadside attractions like Wall Drug Store and the Corn Palace…

56f88b77-36e2-4c8f-9c93-5a3e8356dbb4

Not to mention the myriad of casinos throughout South Dakota that all look like converted Long John Silver restaurants…

c489cadf-5058-4d8d-abcf-f5875b0a732c

We stayed at some luxuriously western places like Sundance Resort…

7be20d82-5b1f-4164-9c38-a3f08baa9fb7

And this cabin in Yellowstone that at first we mistook for a double-wide outhouse.

40aa0d27-1da3-4125-9dd0-4a6287e3feb6

We encountered an amazing array of wildlife, including a stand-off with a bull elk (he won), a bear who evidently knew all the ways to unlock a “bear proof” dumpster, wild turkeys, marmots, a black squirrel, mule deer, deer deer, a bald eagle, and a swarm of toads, even more amusing if you read the “Two Girly Men and a Toad” blog from a few months ago.

toad swarm

We ran into this traffic jam…

46c53026-9551-4bc3-bff4-34159f7c91fa

And spotted a moose:

eebb5de8-a83c-4be8-9539-55cfdde63ff9

The moose was quickly named “Fudgie,” as that is what Estes Park, Colorado locals call tourists for their tendency to cluster around fudge shops. It also allowed Karl to extoll the virtues of hiking with “Fudgie” and “Pudgie”… once…

There was one mutiny. After multiple days of 10 to 12 hour drives, I told Karl it would take a great deal of Vaseline and a crowbar to get me back in that car. He wisely decided we could take an unscheduled day off… marriage saved.

We walked, talked, planned, dreamed, hiked and explored, were awed by sights and nature, ate at fantastic restaurants, and awful ones, lived like kings, then like paupers, laughed, argued, loved and lived. We got a bit misty watching a wedding in front of the magnificent Stanley Hotel with the awe-inspiring views of the majestic mountains in the background, and hoped the couple would be smart enough to appreciate all the joy marriage can bring. Karl even became a bit philosophical, “Look at the mountains, with their jagged edges, peaks and valleys, it’s like life. If you look at the big picture, it is so beautiful!” It was an amazing two weeks. Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire and Rhode Island, watch out!

Advertisements

About cherichat

No better way to get to know me than by reading my blog. It is much more the truth than you would see in person.
This entry was posted in Animals, buffalo, elk, Estes Park, Family, Funny, Marriage, Tetons, Travel, Yellowstone and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s