Before we left Riverton for Yellowstone we received confirmation that we'd be spending Thursday night in a tipi! At the Cody Wyoming Trout Ranch on the banks of the Shoshone River to be exact.
While it would've been shorter to skip Yellowstone and head directly to Cody, we figured we could at least spend a few hours driving through Yellowstone and get a "lay of the land," so to speak. So we made our way north along US-26 through Dubois and the Grand Tetons National Park before finally reaching the south entrance to Yellowstone.
We made our way around West Thumb and Yellowstone Lake as we casually made our way to the east entrance of the park. I had been at Yellowstone once before with my parents when I was 12, but I had forgotten how immense Yellowstone is. It took us a little longer than I had thought (you lied to me, Apple Maps) but we're not on a schedule. At some point Liz read in one of our travel books that Yellowstone NP is larger than the states of Delaware and Rhode Island combined. That's big, but it felt even bigger.
We finally made it to our tipi around 6:30 or so. After we unloaded some of our gear and checked out the tipi I started us a campfire so we could heat us up some dinner. It got pretty chilly after the sun went down but fortunately there were plenty of blankets to keep us warm.
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The next morning we were up by 5am and on the road by 5:15 in the hopes of getting a coveted campsite in Yellowstone. Stay tuned...
If you've been following us on Facebook you know we've been on the road for a few weeks now. By the time we had anything interesting to share we hardly had any internet access, and by the time we had decent internet access we were too tired to post anything here. Liz did share some photos on Facebook but our last update was over a week ago.
So let me backtrack for a moment. We left home (Fairlawn, Ohio) the morning of Monday, August 1, stopping for the night in Davenport, Iowa. We had hoped to make it to Des Moines, but traffic around Chicago and a couple of detours (one because of road construction, the other due to an accident on I-80) limited our travels.
The next day we made it to North Platte, Nebraska. Let me just say that Iowa and Nebraska are very pretty and reminded me a lot of northwestern Ohio. Also, Nebraska is a very long state to drive through. We thought of pushing on further but we found a good deal on a hotel in North Platte (thanks, Lance!).
The next morning we learned that there was a wildfire just west of Crater Lake National Park (or planned first stop) and a Level 1 Evacuation order was in effect. A Level 1 Evacuation order means be ready to evacuate if things get worse. We had some time before we had to make a decision on what to do so we headed west. We stopped for a nice picnic lunch at Lions Park in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and took a stroll through the small but relaxing Cheyenne Botanic Gardens. It was here that we decided to postpone our trip to Crater Lake National Park and instead head north to Yellowstone National Park. That night we stayed in a nice Holiday Inn in Riverton, Wyoming, a few hours southeast of Yellowstone.