Since last year I had decided that I would take a real vacation with my husband and, being jealous after seeing photos on a friend’s blog (Claire, that’s you!), I made Yellowstone the destination. I kept two weeks open in my schedule. I did everything I could to make it easier to take care of animals and I got my kids to farm-sit. I had events or people here up to the time we were to leave. We didn’t make a plan other than to visit Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, and the Pendleton Woolen Mill. (I had lots of other destinations marked on the map, but when you’re in the West an inch on the map is many hours of driving so there will have to be another trip.)
We left about 4:30 on Monday afternoon. That was only 2 1/2 hours behind my announced time of departure, although 4 1/2 hours behind the time I’d thought about trying to leave. We drove west on I-80 over the Sierras and into Nevada. I didn’t take many photos the first day driving although now I wish I had. By the time we were finished with this trip I knew that the theme was the grandeur and beauty of this country, and even though NV gets a lot of flack (especially from my fire-fighter sons who spend a lot of time there), it can’t be beat for it’s share of wide-open spaces. Making trail mix before leaving.Packing books and projects for traveling and sitting around camp.The Nevada desert from the truck window.We drove until after dark and spent the first night at a rest stop in Valmy, NV. Dan had made a plywood platform in the truck so that we could stash our stuff beneath and sleep on top. He has an old foam mattress and I slept on a couple of yoga mats topped with one of the new large sheepskins I just got back. Not to make this a sales pitch, but you can’t beat a nice thick sheepskin for making a soft, warm, cozy bed for camping. We will remember this night as the MOTH STOP. I don’t have any photos but the bathrooms and eventually the truck were filled with big moths. In fact the next night we had to take everything out of the back to rid ourselves of the moths. We talked to someone at a coffee shop the next morning and she said that there were enough moths in the area for it to be newsworthy so I looked it up. These are miller moths, the adults of the army cutworm and are thought to be more abundant this year due to the mild winter.
Since we had no time-line we could stop at all the roadside markers that we wanted to. We discovered that we were following the California Trail on our outward bound journey (although in reverse direction of the pioneers) and the Oregon Trail on the way back. My kids have always teased me for pointing out “what it would be like if you were a pioneer” when we have traveled through the deserts and mountains, but Dan and I continue to be in awe of these stories. It made the trip interesting to follow along with some of the history using pamphlets we picked up on the way and what I found on my iPhone. Lunch break near the Nevada/Idaho border.My friends who just came back from France posted photos of their meals along the way so I guess that’s what you do when you’re on a trip. What do you think? Horse mural in Shoshone, ID, taken quickly from the truck window. Near the entrance to Craters of the Moon National Monument. Stay tuned….