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NorthWesty Trip 2015 :: Part 4

December 14, 2015

The last leg of our trip, heading home…

Day 23: Packed up, said goodbye, drove back into the U.S. and went to Glacier National Park (the American one). The drive up to Logan’s Pass is amazing and we saw a little bear on the side of the road!

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Oliver and I went on a magical hike to the Hidden Lake overlook. We saw mountain goats, marmots, and lots of little chipmunks. We had a great time!

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Lesson Learned: Having huckleberry pie for lunch and dessert might be too much of a good thing.

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Day 24: After a delicious breakfast (thank goodness for restaurants) and a long drive through beautiful Montana we arrived in a rain storm in the Custer Gallatin National Forest. We were heading for Yellowstone, but it was getting late and it was raining, so we stopped at the closest campground. The Beaver Creek Campground was a pleasant surprise and we were awarded with a rainbow.

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Lesson Learned: The dogs get worked up when they haven’t had enough running around time, wait, I thought we had already learned that.

Day 25: Yellowstone!

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What a beautiful and stunning place, but also touristy and crowded. We were stuck in more traffic jams in one day than the entire rest of our trip. Although we had hoped to see more of the park, we got to see many of the hot spots. Thermal pools, a bison, Mammoth Hot Springs, a bear, a petrified tree, and some friends from school! We camped at the Canyon Campground.

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Lesson Learned: You never know when you will run into someone that you know!

Day 26: Old Faithful!

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…and a cool walk around to see other geysers and hot springs.

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Left Yellowstone but were blown away by the views in the Grand Tetons National Park, each view was better than the next.

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Watch out! There’s a moose!

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Harrowing drive over Teton Pass, then crazy drive through rain and hail to the Falls Campground next to the Snake River, Idaho!

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Lesson Learned: Camping next to a moose is exciting but also terrifying.

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Day 27: Crazy day. Mouse in our shoe box, moose in the campsite, cracked windshield, and a rainbow exactly as we crossed 4000 miles on our trip. We went to Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, so cool!

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Uh, it was really windy…

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The brave among us also explored some caves!

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Then a long drive through Idaho and into Nevada. I didn’t know that Nevada could be so beautiful! We camped at Angel Creek in the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest.

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Lesson Learned: Driving through Idaho is no joke.

Day 28: We woke up on what ended up being the last day of our Westy Trip! We drove through Nevada, no longer looking so beautiful, then back to California where we blew a tire only about an hour and a half from home. After our longest day on the road yet, we made it back home in our filthy Westy with a cracked windshield, on a spare tire. We were a mess! The blown tire was on the floor in front of the boys, scattered with In n Out fries interspersed with coloring pencils, little toys, and rocks collected along the way. Even knowing that we had a day of unpacking, laundry, and washing out the Westy ahead of us, I don’t think we have ever been so excited about being back at home! 

Lesson Learned: What a fun trip. Looking over the photos and remembering all that we did only helps to remind me what amazing opportunities we have had to take our kids on long road trips, visiting so many new places, seeing friends, and camping the whole time. It wasn’t always easy, we weren’t always happy, we certainly weren’t always clean. But I’m so thankful to have had this opportunity to take our two kids and our two dogs, load up the Westy and get on the road. We had fun, we had adventures, we had yummy food, we saw friends, and made memories.   

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What more can you ask for?

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