Grand Tetons and Beyond

Trip Start Jun 01, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , Wyoming
Sunday, August 10, 2008

So we woke up after another night drive and this morning it was in wyoming with the spectacular Grand Teton national park giving us some shade as the sun began to rise.

This was to be our day, after ommlettes out of plastic bags (trust me it's better than it sounds!) we took the boat across the river at grand tetons and began our day of hiking.

The walking was actually really easy not really a hike. A fe bits of rough ground and some clambering up and down rocks but other than that no probs. The walk was amazing it was nice and warm so we hiked for a few hours and the mountains which were snowcapped and really very beautiful. We sat by a picturesque river that flowed past from the snow melt of the mountains so we cooled down and got our water back from hot to cold by floating our bottles in the ice flow! Oh and we also saw a moose who was just standing in a lake cool down and chewing on some grass. That is the life!

After this we walked back and enjoyed the views all over again and took the boat back again and then hung out for a while before we set out on the bus back for one more night of camping, more singing around the fire more beer more giggling and thankfully a lot warmer!!

The next morning i must have slept super well or drank too much because i was a zombie. I indulged in coffee and failed to wake up nearly all day. I sleep on the drive to yellowstone national park and then staggered around the park as we stopped ina few different places to check out the pools and geysers. We saw old faithful go off and then took a walk through the park to see more of them and some bubbling mud pools and some elk and bisson were hanging out floating around .Pretty cool to see these animals that are so un bothered by everyone trailing past them.

Pretty damn cool. On our way out of yellowstone there was a bit of commotion and as we slowed down whilst driving past we saw a bear in the forest! So so cool. I've seen so much wildlife!! We drove out to a camp and we got there and made dinner and set up to sleep. It was way too cold to sleep outside so we all had a night on the bus but whilst it was not in motion which was odd and fucking freezing, even inside!! Even our hardened sleeps outside with no sleeping bag driver was inside and cold! I woke up so early as the sun came up and was first up and actually very awake! Got breakfast ready with aaron the co driver and sat watching the sun come up in my sleeping bag on a picnic table. It was nice to have some solitude and funy to see everyone huddle up in their sleeping bags!

We spent the morning driving out to yellowstones grand canyon and we walked a trail of a bout 400 steps called uncle toms trail. Let me be clear. Me and uncle tom are no longer friends. My god it sucked on the way back up!! The views of yellowstone falls however were more than worth it and a stunning rainbow from the waterfall spray and the sun was more than pretty! I have to say i found yellowstone prettier than when went to the grand canyon a couple of years ago. After recovering from the stairs we took the south rim trail along the the edge of the canyon and tried to take in just how incredible the views were but to see that aqua marine river flowing through the yellow of the mountains and the sound of the fall its something you could stare at all day and still never comprehend how stunning the world is. After a quick stop at lillypad lake we headed back to the bus. The drive outta there was by far the best of the trip. My i-pod had by this time become the bus soundsystem and thank god the driver has as good a taste in musci as me. We rocked out big time.

Our final stop in yellowstone was some more geysers but these had basically built up a sodium layer over everything for thousands off years so it looked like everything was just covered in snow with water flowing over it. We stopped in Gardiner that evening which is a town of about 700 people in montana and had dinner. It took a super long time but we were after all on mountain time and in a restaurant with 2 people working you have to expecct some slowness!! Back to the bus night drive and ready for one of my favourite days of the trip.

South Dakota is the home of Devils Tower and it loomed over us that morning that we woke up. Absolutely wicked!! We did breakfast and headed up. The one thing that became immediately obvious about South Dakota was there was something going on. Everywhere we drove and went there were harley davidsons blazing along the interstates and freeways. There were also tonnes of them and the bikers at devils tower when we got there.

We took the trail arund the tower and found a spot that over looked a valley. It was without a doubt the most awe inspiring place. There was something about it, quite probably that it is hallowed native american land but the air there was so breathable and the vastness and the calmness of the land really was palpable. Tragically there was a coach of japanese tourists and they were so fucking rude and disrespectful and loud. A real shame but it did not take away anything from the valley and the tower.

That evening some very cool chilled blues music drove us out through the deserts and into the badlands. We drove for miles and miles and believe me when i say there was NOTHING for miles. We were headed to some old native american land home of the sioux tribe to a 'town' of 4 houses and a cafe that opened just for the green tortoise so we had indian style tacos and sat in the blazing heat of the south dakota sun and got bitten by flesh eating flies and after a few hours of cooking in the sunshine, being bitten and hanging out with the old lady who owned the cafe and had lived there her whole life we made our way to our 'campsite'.

This was actually just in a field, very kindly the lady who owned the cafe let us use her land to stay in for the night and it was true roughing it camping no water no toilets no nothing. We layed out the mattresses from the bus on a tarp and layed under the stars that were so clear you could se the milky way in all it's finery!! We layed there and talked and sang and then after a while we wandered off. Me and two of the other girls on the bus took the spirit of wilderness really far and deserted the mattresses and tarpaulins and we walked out into the darkness of the badlands and found a flatish spot of the grass and made our camp there, huddling up and slept out there and slept well! Again the stars were incredible. The sky was so clear that we must have seen over 20 shooting stars that night so it was wish central! And so that was the best of south dakota!
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