We finally have some down time to update on what we have been doing during our first week on the road. It has been a fantastic week – we estimate that the Civic has logged over 1500 miles since we pulled out of Portland on June 3. Here is a snapshot of the goings on:
After driving about 7 hours, our first day came to an end at the lovely Wallowas in far Eastern Oregon. Since we got there later than planned and it was raining, we didn’t do any hiking. We quickly set up camp and grilled hotdogs for dinner. Here is Jaime displaying his amazing fire starting skills.
After leaving the Wallowas, we pretty much drove the whole next day through Idaho to get to Craters of the Moon National Monument near Arco, Idaho. We had a brief stop off in Boise, Idaho where we had some excellent Basque food at Bar Gernika.
Who knew Boise was a hotbed of amazing Spanish food? The gods were smiling upon us – when we checked into our KOA in Arco, they upgraded us to a cabin for free. Thank you KOA of Arco!!
We really enjoyed the Craters of the Moon National Monument. It is really a big heap of lava in the middle of nowhere Idaho. We climbed up to the top of one of the larger craters there. Very cool experience – the landscape there does resemble pictures you would have seen of the moon.
Before heading out of Arco we stopped by to see the sail of the USS Hawkbill aka “The Devil Boat” which now sits in a park. The city of Arco spared no expense building the monument commemorating the dedication of the sail.
We ended up driving back through Idaho to West Yellowstone, MT where we’re camping while exploring Yellowstone and got to see the awesome Spud Drive-In Giant Potato. I couldn’t pass up this photo op.
Although Idaho was cool, we were very anxious to get into Wyoming and see the Tetons and Yellowstone. After pushing the Civic to the max crossing the Teton Pass we arrived in Jackson during a lightning storm and decided to treat ourselves to a night in the Motel 6 rather than setting up camp in the storm. To our delight we found out that some friends of ours, Jony and Katie, who we haven’t seen in 6 years were also in Jackson. It was great to see them and we had fun, perhaps a little too much fun, with them in downtown Jackson Friday night.
Grand Teton National Park:
We left Jackson the next day and moved up to the Colter Bay campground in the park.
Jaime was able to get some amazing pictures that show off the grandeur of these mountains. We loved our time in Grand Teton NP and feel it should be on everyone’s bucket list of places to visit.
Yellowstone National Park:
Jaime and I have always wanted to visit Yellowstone, so we drove through part of the south end of the park on June 6 (Day 4 of our cross country jaunt). Absolutely breathtaking. We saw tons of bison and some elk. One of the coolest things we encountered was a bison that we nicknamed ‘Billy the Bison’. He was chilling out at the base of one of the hydrothermal pools. You can see that he is just lounging and the steam vents are right behind him.
I have always heard that Yellowstone was huge; now i really understand. We spent about 3 days exploring the park, driving around all day and seeing stuff, we still didn’t cover all of the sites. The geysers and the thermal pools are so spectacular.
One of my favorite moments was encountering a field of bison with their calves. They all hovered close to their mothers and then all of a sudden two calves started playing around, head butting each other. It was so adorable.
That’s all for now. Tomorrow we leave West Yellowstone and head over the Beartooth Mountain Pass and up to Billings. More to come soon.