Wednesday, August 08, 2007
I started this trip with rosy visions of me merrily blogging along as we drove and camped across the western USA. I guess I sort of neglected the fact that said trip would involve lots of, well, driving and camping. Both of these activities are amazingly time consuming. When you camp; the basics of living take on huge porportions. At home, when you take a shower, you just walk into the bathroom and the whole thing is pretty quickly over. When you camp, you have to do a scavenger hunt before you even get anywhere near the water. Where is your towel? The soap? Are clean clothes even a remote possibility? And when you add four kids into the mix, the fun really begins.
As for the driving aspect, we have been through Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota, Wyoming and are now in Montana. That's a lot of roadtime. The kids are mostly happy just to listen to music and look out the windows of the van. Yes, we rented a big van to hold all of us and our huge volume of camping stuff. It's a "conversion van", I was told. So, you climb into the thing a Catholic and come out an hour later saying "Hey, now that I think about it, that Mohammad guy made a LOT of sense. Where do I sign up?"?
I am currently blogging from West Yellowstone, Montana. We just spent the day at Old Faithful. We watched the famous geyser erupt, along with about a thousand other tourists. ( No, the tourists didn't erupt, though that might have added a lot to the drama.)
Last week, we saw Mount Rushmore and visited Jewel Cave (second longest cave in the world, people.) Then we went on to camp at Devils Tower as featured in "Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
We will be here at Yellowstone until Friday. After that, we will head into Idaho. Famous potatos and all that.
So far we have seen: bison, moose, elk, deer, chipmunks (much beloved by the twins) and many, many, many bikers. Yes, it's Sturgis motorcycle rally time ( official sponsor: Jack Daniels) and the Harleys abound, as do their leather-clad owners. Bikers from all over the USA converge in the Black Hills region and rule the roads for a couple of weeks. Related story: One night, some bikers came into camp late, their engines roaring and thumping, as Harley engines have a tendency to do. We were all sleeping, but were woken by the racket. Severin yelled "Hey? Are you just 'too cool' to buy a car, or what?" The engines shut off abrubtly and Severin disappeare ddown into the bottom of his sleeping bag. He was sure that they'd heard him and were coming over to defend their honor.