Monday, July 27, 2015

Summer roadtrip 2015 Part 4: Wyoming and back home

When we originally planned our trip, our intent had been to go more or less directly home from Montana. Then we adjusted it a bit to visit friends in Wyoming who had been wanting us to come out. Looking at the options for routes between Missoula and Lander, we decided to take the western route to pass through the Tetons, thinking that would be the highlight of the day's scenery.  Despite the rain, it was.

As expected, the Tetons were gorgeous, and I can't wait to go back and explore sometime in better weather.  The funny thing is that we saw so many other places along the way that were almost as pretty.

With my limited experience with Wyoming, that drive was already enough to convince me to spend more time there, and then we got to Lander.

The next morning, we went just a couple miles from our hosts' home to Sinks Canyon, and I was blown away by the ridiculous amount of climbing.

I even got to play on a bit of it myself.

And did I mention rivers that disappear into caves?

After a late lunch and a visit to an old ghost town, we went out to take a walk in the hills outside of town.  Unreal.

Safe to say we'll be going back!

From Lander, we decided against taking the straightest way home, wanting to detour slightly north to see Devils Tower and Badlands National Park, which Emily had never seen and I hadn't been to for almost 25 years.

Again, the drive was enough to make me want to come back.  I knew we would be driving through Ten Sleep, and that seeing the walls there would make me want to come back and climb.

What I didn't expect was that mountains above the canyon would call to me just as strongly.

Eventually we made it to Devils Tower, which was just as worth the drive as I remembered.

And with semi-intentional perfect timing, we got to the badlands just in time for sunset.

We even saw some unexpected friends.

The next day was a long one, and Chicago was a bit of a shock to our systems, but we rewarded ourselves with one of the best dinners of the trip.  It's not very often that a 45 minute wait to get in is so worth it.

Our last day was easy.  Only eight and a half hours of driving, and almost all of that on familiar roads. We did stop outside of Cleveland for perch tacos and an IPA sampler though.

And now here we are.  They say time flies when you're having fun, and I certainly had a great time, but somehow that three weeks felt way longer.  I guess it was just because we packed so much into that time and saw so many friends and family, which is amazing considering how often the weather limited what we could do.  As much as we did though, and as fun as it is to be on the road and feel the excitement of wondering what's around the next corner, I'll admit there's a part of me that's just as happy to be home.  But I guess that's the whole point of travel... experiencing new things so we can come back and see the familiar through new eyes.  Fortunately for me, I have three weeks left of vacation to see it with!

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