2008 Trip Out West

We got back last night from our two week vacation to South Dakota and Wyoming. We are having a hard time adjusting back to eastern time, but even harder is adjusting to the heat and humidity. For the last two weeks we have had no humidity and highs in the 60’s maybe 75. Adjusting to the cooler weather was hard at first too. The first two days in South Dakota were in the 90’s although with much less humidity. After 2 days in South Dakota and temperature dropped almost 30 degrees overnight. That morning it was so cold and I was really dreading camping in a few days! Overall we had really good weather. A few cloudy days and a couple rain showers, but nothing too bad. The night the clouds cleared out in Yellowstone it got really cold. The clouds let out all the heat and the next morning the car said it was 17 degrees. By the second week we were pretty used to the cooler weather and 70 felt warm.

We started our trip in Denver which was the cheapest place to fly and rent a car. We rented a car and drove straight to Custer, SD which was our home for 4 nights. We spent our days exploring and hiking in Custer State Park, Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Deadwood, the Badlands, Wind Cave National Park and the Mammoth dig site. Then we drove across Wyoming to Thermopolis stopping at Devil’s Tower on the way. We spent half a day in Thermopolis at the Dinosaur Center of Wyoming where we got to go out to a dinosaur dig site. From there we drove to Cody for lunch and continued into Yellowstone where we set up camp at Canyon village for two nights. The first night was torture for me because I only wore one pair of socks and I was much warmer the next night with 3 pairs on! After leaving Canyon we camped at Norris for two nights which is where we had are coldest night. That night we also got to hear the wolves howling which was really cool. We spent four and half days in Yellowstone spending a full day in each corner of the park exploring, hiking and watching for wildlife. We both really enjoyed Yellowstone and were amazed at how much the landscaped varied in each corner. After leaving Yellowstone we drove down to Grand Teton National Park for three days, two nights of camping and one night in a hotel. Our second day we drove down to Jackson and went white water rafting. It was my first time on a raft and I was a bit nervous about falling out, but we had a really good time. I didn’t really look at any of the rapids, but concentrated really hard on staying in the boat and rowing so that is probably why I wasn’t scared! Casey got to sit up front so he saw it all coming at us. Friday we drove back across Wyoming to Denver before catching our flight out Saturday afternoon. We were scheduled to fly to Chicago and then Raleigh, but when we got to the airport we found out our flight was cancelled and we were going through Dallas. We were both a bit confused since Texas was being hammered by hurricane Ike! The woman at the counter said the weather in Chicago was much worse and they weren’t having any problems with the weather in Dallas. The flight wasn’t as bumpy as I thought it would be, but you could feel the wind when we landed and took off out of Dallas.

We travelled 2,700 miles, hiked many miles (most up hill), saw tons of wildlife, sunrises, sunsets, and went rafting. We spent many nights keeping warm in our car listening to Fox News before going into the cold tent. It was a great trip and I really don’t look forward to going to work tomorrow!!

I have a detailed journal written that I will post this week for those of you that are really bored or interested. I have over 1,000 pictures so it will take me awhile to go through all of them. I will try to work on them every night this week and add a new set as quickly as I can. There are lots of pictures to go through and I am having a hard time getting them uploaded to flickr. Plus my computer isn’t working so well right now so make sure to check back often the next few weeks!

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  1. AWESOME !!

  2. Man ya’ll go to all the cool places! Glad ya’ll are back can’t wait to see the pics. Thanks for all your hard work to keep the site up and pics up for us!! Great job.