Thursday, June 21, 2012

Yellowstone Vacation Part One: Chevy Chase has nothing on the Davis Family

When Dorkfish and I got married onehundredyearsago in 2001, we loaded up our truck with all our camping gear and headed out West. For two weeks, we traveled from Knoxville, Tennessee to Oregon for a friend's wedding. We backpacked into to remote areas, camped beside beautiful lakes, bathed alongside fly fisherman in the middle of rivers and I even got my first bout of food poisoning at Dorkfish's favorite pizza joint. Out of those two weeks, I think we spent five nights sleeping in hotels. It was quite the adventure, to say the least.

So when he mentioned to me that he wanted to take the boys out West, I was completely supportive. Aslongastherewerebeds. He decided the only way to get our gear out to Wyoming was to drive it. Seeing as how this isnt my first rodeo with kids, I refused. Putting those two crackers in a car for three days would most certainly ruin the trip for everyone involved. Since Dorkfish hangs on my every word and is always in agreement with everything I say, he found the cheapest flights into Denver and agreed to the at-least-four-nights-in-a-hotel rule I had inacted.

Giddy with mountain air and not having anyone to talk to for 35 hours, Dorkfish picked us up in Denver on Saturday. I don't think he stopped talking for the next two hours. In fact, he was still recounting the flatness that is Kansas when we arrived at our first campsite for the trip. Apparently, the 'old haunts' as he remembered them had gained popularity. Driving around in circles, close to sunset, with two tired children and a hangry wife is NOT how one wants to start a vacation, justsoyouknow... Finally, losing all patience with the search, I grabbed my iSimple and Siri found us a lovely campsite in Laramie, Wyoming. The staff at the Hilton was completely understanding when we laid our picnic out in their lobby. I will have to say, the boys were completely disappointed that the color on the TV was so poor. Deuce even announced, "Camping sucks!" and we hadn't even been on vacation for 24 hours. (I may have laughed a little too loudly at that statement, judging by Dorkfish's newly-developed twitch.)

The next morning, we did the nostalgic drive around his alma mater where Deuce noticed that his dad's tattoo was EVERYWHERE! Bonus then decided that he would love to attend the University of Wyoming as long as he didn't have to get a tattoo. I wisely chose to leave that one alone... I think everyone who reads this blog understands that we reallocated their college funds for therapy years ago.

Our first night of vacation behind us, we piled in the car and headed West toward Yellowstone. The six-hour trek to our first real campsite seemed to take forever. The boys, restless to see a bear already, were throwing out the "Is this our camping spot?!?!" at every gas stop. The only wildlife we had seen so far were some antelope; none of which were playing, and I was getting just as antsy as the kids. Suddenly, we spotted a moose trotting through a creek! Dorkfish chased him with the Tahoe so I could get a truck-window picture, all tourist-style. That's how you roll out West...

Finally arriving at our camp ground, at 9,000 feet, Dorkfish set up the tent while the boys tore everything apart and I tested the bear spray. Wearesohelpful. The wind, which had been blowing nonstop all day, seemed to have picked up as soon as we set up camp in the woods. Listening to the trees creak and watching our tent blow over had me a little less worried about getting eaten by a bear, I will admit, but when the huge tree fell 20 yards from our tent, I grabbed my phone for the nearest Camp Hilton. Dorkfish, refusing to be deterred from his rustic adventure, carried the tent to a less wooded site and insisted wearecampingdammit. We spent the entire night listening for fallen trees and bears, but we managed to survive and the boys loved it. I will admit, the lack of coffee the next morning did have me a little on edge. Fortunately, Bonus stopped me from grabbing the bear spray when some hapless camper walked by with a steamy cup in his hand. He probably saved that guy's life...

Next up: Yellowstone and the Old Fathful pipe discovery!