This was a road trip several years in the making. I don’t remember exactly when the idea came to us, but I do know that we’ve been talking about it for at least 3 years since our last major road trip. Maybe even before then. I have no idea what drew my husband to Yellowstone, but he was desperate to go. As the trip got closer, we did more research and found out that Grand Teton National Park was super close by and Glacier National Park was only 6.5 hours away (and if we did it right, we could swing by Theodore Roosevelt National Park on the way home). 😉 So from that small Yellowstone dream came another road trip of a lifetime.
Omaha, NE to Rawlins, WY
Ideally we would have left really early in the morning but because I had to work we weren’t able to leave until almost 2 o’clock in the afternoon. I’m going to be totally honest, I was absolutely dreading the drive on Interstate 80 across western Nebraska. We’ve made this drive at least twice before and have also seen it by train. And let me tell you, there is not that much in western Nebraska to keep this drive exciting (at least not along the interstate). However, if we wanted to get to the other side, we needed to suck it up and just start driving. So drive we did, for about 10 hours.
This first leg was thankfully pretty uneventful. We had one near disaster with a very full diaper that we caught just in the nick of time, and had a couple moments where we thought we had left a couple important things behind, but alas, we found them!
We finally got to the Econolodge in Rawlins, Wyoming which was pretty mediocre even by mediocre standards. The front desk was less than friendly, the room was shabby, and breakfast the next morning was…well, it was free is what it was. But can you really complain for $73 for three people to sleep, shower, and eat free breakfast? No, we can’t. 🙂
Rawlins, WY to Grant Village Campground, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
I was so excited for this day of driving because we “only” had 6 (and a half) hours ahead of us and we would finally get to a National Park! We were actually going to see two National Parks because we planned to actually drive through Grand Teton National Park on our way into Yellowstone NP. (Don’t worry, we didn’t just pass Grand Teton NP by without care, we planned to go back a couple days later for a better look!) However, I forgot to take one small thing into consideration…we stop a lot when driving through scenic areas. It’s something I need to remember to build into our timeline for our next road trip. But how can you not stop!?!?
We tried to press on as much as possible but just couldn’t help ourselves at a few particularly scenic spots. Fortunately we already had a campsite reserved in Yellowstone so we weren’t in a huge hurry to get there. We just really wanted to be set up before dark and in time to have some dinner. 😉
We were overjoyed to pass this sign on the way in, we had finally arrived!!! After a few more stops along the way, we made our way to the campsite and set up camp for the evening. I was perfectly happy to set up camp after a long day knowing that we were going to be in the same campsite for 3 nights. Especially on a road trip, it is rare and lovely to be in one place for so long! 🙂
We did do a little more sightseeing before turning in as well. We visited the Grand Prismatic and a few other amazing features at the Midway Geyser Basin. I fell asleep hoping to wake again quickly because I could not wait to do more adventuring the next day!