The Journey...

Trip Start Jun 25, 2010
1
8
21
Trip End Jul 25, 2010


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Where I stayed
Grizzly RV Park

Flag of United States  , Wyoming
Monday, July 5, 2010

Given that this is the first blog entry by Diane and me, I'll apologize in advance if it’s wordy and slightly schizophrenic. I am certain we have significantly different impressions thus far.

A week has passed rather quickly with some challenges, a bit of a learning curve (driving a sixty-eight foot rig) and some memorable experiences. We set off on this month long adventure to discover the country that exists beyond our little world. Hoping our eight year old was mature enough to appreciate the experience and grasping a last opportunity with our sixteen year old before he starts his travels to independence. We took on this adventure with my brother and his family knowing it would make the experience so much more enjoyable.

Our first outing was to a little State Park in South Dakota called Custer Park. We took a short three mile hike with the kids and the dogs just to see how they would tolerate the challenge. They all did remarkably well all things considered. We had hoped to see a bit more wildlife but when you’re bellowing out "the hills are alive…" you likely send every creature within five miles, running. What can I say, I was in the moment.

We had the opportunity this week to visit Badlands National Park and hike these magnificent mountains of earth that change with every drop of rain and every blowing breeze. It was a tepid ninety-seven degrees, very dry but with a fantastic breeze to cool us. We ventured across the desert like terrain and up onto the grassy prairie, stopping to appreciate the unique vegetation and occasional wildlife sighting.

Yellowstone National Park was a lesson in geology and thermal dynamics (at least that’s what I was told). It was an amazing sense knowing that we were essentially walking on a volcanic table. Experiencing the volatility of the earth below, watching as it surfaces with such variety, from the steaming ponds, the bubbling paint pots and the majestic eruption of Old Faithful. The sheer size of the park cannot be overstated and the geological variations throughout the park were what I found most impressive. Wildlife was abundant (and certainly not camera shy), from the many Bison roaming the river basin throughout, to the Elk and Bear on the slopes above. The occasional sighting of the majestic American Bald Eagle and Osprey to the Moose meandering the grove of pines on the hillside. All I can say is thank goodness for digital photography.

Yesterday, after much preparation; we ventured down to Grand Teton National Park to kayak the Snake River. We put in just south of the dam and traversed the river together for about six miles. Diane and I spent much of the journey trying, with little success, to find a balance between our somewhat conflicting (lefty vs righty) paddling skills in order to keep our kayak true. At time laughing ourselves to tears at the fact that we found our kayak traveling in a circular pattern more than straight. Darian and Timmy were all about the race and Chuck worked aggressively to compensate for Brendan’s sincere, albeit, challenged attempts to assist in their forward progress.

While the times spent at each of these venues was worth every challenge encountered to complete the journey I find myself thinking more about just that… the journey. We’ve been starting our days early and ending them late, just trying to get a functional schedule. Rule number one for such an endeavor as this… start every morning with a “Plan B”. On our travel days I find my passengers taking the opportunity to catch up on much needed rest, leaving me to the silence, the scenery and my thoughts. Once I allow myself to step out of the urban bubble where I’ve spent much of my adult life, it is amazing, the vastness of this nation of ours. There are times you travel fifty, sometimes a hundred miles without seeing so much as a utility pole. How is it so much of this country can exist in this state, devoid of human influence when it seems so many of us are nearly bunk mates.

Along the many miles traveled, you often happen upon these small townettes (as I like to call them)… population one hundred and ninety-one (including resident cats and dogs) in the valley below. I find myself contemplating how they function absent of the three Home Depots and one Lowes within five minutes of my home? What do they do when they need a gallon of milk at ten o’clock at night? Diane’s seems to think they just reach out the back door and yank on a few utters on Betsy the cow. Who has the simpler life? I find this unusual peace when I look at my cellular phone and see no service… no one can call me…As a result of this past week I think I’ve diagnosed a modern condition called TDS (Technology Detachment Syndrome). Running a business that predominately deals with technology there is an unusual uneasiness realizing that the technology we’ve come to rely on to make our life easier, doesn’t help out here and wondering perhaps if all the technological tools that are suppose to make our lives easier…don’t.
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Comments

Bill and Kathy on

What an experience!! Thank you so much for sharing it with us. We love you!

cathy (friend of Patty's) on

Well, it seems writing talent seems to run in the family and across marital ties! Very interesting blog. Love the details and side notes. Very funny and interesting... thanks for sharing! Looking fwd to more reading and viewing spectacular pictures!

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