If I had to pick just one word that could sum up how I felt on this trip, it would have to be A W A Y. After months of hunkering down at home, A W A Y was all we wanted. The moment we pulled out of the garage and headed out, there was an immediate relief just to be going. And yet, we weren't in a rush to be anywhere. We were A W A Y, together, and that was all that mattered.
Banner, Wyoming | Longhorn Cabin at creekside ranch
After a full day of driving, it was like a dream to pull up to our little cabin on a working horse ranch in Banner, Wyoming. Annie immediately got out and went to watch the horses in their pasture. Chickens followed us around as we unloaded for the night. There were wild turkeys wandering through the yard and nesting in the trees. And the quiet from such a secluded little spot made for such a nice respite from our travels for the night.
We had pancakes for breakfast and collected feathers before we headed back out on our way.
cody, wyoming | Trout ranch camp Teepee
Pulling up to our next stop, I must admit that I felt some mixed emotions. We had close neighbors and our baby wasn't sleeping well, and no electricity with hours to kill before sundown. Maybe a fully furnished teepee on the bank of the Shoshone River wasn't the best idea after all! And yes- it was FREEZING by the time we woke up in the morning, but in the end, had no other reasons for my initial anxiety. Annie took to the place immediately and just fell in love with her "woof" (wolf) teepee. We read books, threw rocks in the river, and fell asleep to the sound of the rushing water. It was Annie's favorite part of the trip, so I'd definitely do it again... next time I'd just figure out how to turn on the gas heater before we went to bed!
Along the way, we also stopped at Minnesota's Largest Candy Store in Jordan, Minnesota, the Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota, Wall Drug in Wall, South Dakota, and two national parks (which merited their own post). And then there were simple moments- like our picnic next to a creek somewhere outside of Sheridan, Wyoming where we saw a mother moose and her calf resting in the brush. And on another day we found the world's greatest playground in Rock Springs, Wyoming- or at least it felt that way for a family of weary travelers. We drove through six states and two national parks, visited family and friends in Idaho and Utah, and slept in a different place every night of the trip (except for one).
Still, even after all that time in the car and all of these stops, in the end, I could have just kept driving. It really was hard to come back after being. A W A Y, but we brought all those stops along the way home with us. We came back feeling a little less restless and a lot more present. And as ever, I can't wait for our next big road trip, wherever it may take us :)
“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”